Number Two of Bella’s List – victim or what!?:
Last night I took my 5 year-old daughter on a sleep-over date at a hotel. Generous I thought …and boy was it! To me!! I couldn’t believe how much fun I had. I quickly realized why I had done this.
A bit of me still wants to float away on wings of the modern-martyred-Mom, and I can, because it did take a lot of time and money and energy and…. But it’s not too friendly to me. As attractive as that flight may seem, I’ll lose air at some point and take a big fall. Ouch. I might fall on my kid too which is against my intuitive effort here.
Being a victim is attractive at some level, no? My story is a softer example, but we all have tougher ones. Like Bella’s when “she spoke of her injury.” The gravity of her injury was created by her perception of things. Our perception makes our emotional success. My story about last night with my daughter sounds pretty because that’s how I perceived it. However, I have other stories that have negative power over me as Bella’s had on her and as yours have on you.
The key here is that when we take the victim role, we aren’t just telling our story or venting. We are feeling self-pity. But venting is not necessarily self-victimization. Venting can be healthy. Venting can be done without taking a victim air-bus to no-where good. Venting can be a way of being present in your suffering, of going where the pain is and letting it lose power over you. Self-pity only gives the suffering more power.
The great novelist and philosopher, David Foster Wallace, who courageously lived and died with major depressive disorder, encouraged,
To be just a little less arrogant. To have just a little critical awareness about myself and my certainties.
The willingness to learn or grow is the foot-path away from victim-ville. Could we even say that being a victim is “arrogant?” We – Me, my patient Bella, you – have we taken steps to tell our story, to be present, to live with the humility it takes to look at ourselves and not escape/fly-away?
Whatever it is you are going through, it might help to vent it! Grow and learn and get bigger than that experience.
Self-Care Tip #94 – Get in your own space to choose freedom from self-pity. Be a friend to Yourself.
Question: What barriers have you felt to telling your story? What has made it difficult to be in the space of your own feelings? Please tell us.