Thursday, July 26, 2012

I'm hurting...and it's all your fault

Editor's Note:  This is the second installment in a series of posts about how I managed to find peace in my own life. The first can be found here.

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Looking outside myself, I realized my problems were always someone else's fault.

I blamed my mom for telling me people will laugh at me if I cried. (Never mind that I was child throwing a temper tantrum when she said that.)

I blamed my dad for never taking an interest in my endeavors when I was younger. (Never mind that HE bought ME the electric typewriter on which I wrote my first story. Never mind that he spent 30 years adrift on the estrogen ocean, raising four daughters and no sons. Never mind that I wanted for nothing because he knew how to provide for his family.)

I blamed my sisters for picking on me when I was little. (Never mind that I'm the one who fell down the stairs and got rolled up in the plastic runner. And I'm the one who stuck my head between the iron spindles on the patio railing. Truth be told, I'd have picked on me, too.)

I blamed my husband for being an alcoholic and putting me through hell worrying about the chaos his latest med adjustment would create. (Never mind that he's the one who gave up alcohol and cigarettes. And he's the one who suffers the most anguish during those med changes.)

I blamed my children. I blamed my coworkers. I blamed my friends. I blamed everyone.

But I didn't blame myself.

Why would I? I was the victim here.

There's safety in identifying ourselves as victims. We can coddle ourselves and plead for others to join in our pity party.

And it works wonderfully until we realize being a victim requires no strength at all.

In fact, the only thing required to be a victim is to have been treated badly by someone or something else.

Real strength comes when a person ceases to be a victim because they've decided to become a survivor.

Unfortunately, I truly had to become a victim in order to learn that lesson.

I'll venture lightly into that territory on Monday.

Until then, I want to hear from you. Tweet at me, Facebook me or leave a comment here -- anonymously, if needs be -- about the struggles you've dealt with or are dealing with that make you feel helpless.

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