The term victim has been thrown around quite a bit much recently. That or it’s just come to my attention. Its either in the political spectrum or in social experiences that society chooses to define qualifiers of the victim category.
We are all victims of something. I think it’s important to start with that before I pretend to be writing this from a point of perfection. We all struggle, we all have skeletons in the closet. Some struggles are bigger like terminal illnesses, disabilities, nuclear wars, climate change you name it. Some seem smaller like a bad hair day, losing followers on Instagram or a power shortage for a few hours. Whichever way you choose to look at it.
Life comes with its challenges that sort of put you in a category of which victim you are. I say category because in the course of this article you will see I don’t like the term victim. It indicates that you are stuck in a position of disadvantage and have no options available to you. I prefer survivor. Not that the choice of words matter but I believe having survived an uneventful encounter rids you of the burden of having to carry it around. Sure some side effects may still be visible but deep inside you there is freedom from the past.
I realize I have to choose my words correctly as I write this because in no way do I want to seem like I am dismissing someone’s pain or struggle. A mistake that I have made before. No I am not. By all means feel the pain, because pain demands to be felt. It cannot be boxed away and ignored, there has to be a period of grief before anything. Its the same way today slavery as we knew it back in the 18th century was abolished but you can’t rub it on people who it affected and tell them to get over it. The disadvantage always persists because a bad thing needs to be called a bad thing. But had the same people whose forefathers were affected remained blinded by the pain and anger we wouldn’t have the first black president of the free world or the fight against bigotry and racism from a point of knowledge and information. I’d like to think we would still be at war leading to loss of more lives.
My angle is that there is great importance in transition from being a victim to a survivor. To be able to identify that I have hit rock bottom but I’ll get back up. To be able to recognize fear and not let it take over. There is no formula really or time frame for the transition because we all are different as we should be.
Being labeled as a victim of circumstances is a powerful tool against progress. You are innately defined by the fact that you underwent an unfortunate event. A box you aren’t allowed to get out of. As Gabriella Union correctly put it at the Red Table Talk with Jada Smith; people do indeed like having you in a box. (Okay something close to that but you can just tap the link and watch the video).
Unfortunately today victim mentality is what gets us going. We believe we are victims of domestic violence so we will never have a great relationship with someone else. We believe we are sexual assault victims so we are forever damaged goods. We believe because we have failed a test we will never succeed in life. We believe because we were colonized we are dependent on grants and loans from other countries. We believe because we have never set foot in elite schools we will never have a place at the table. We believe being born in what some have termed as a sh*thole countries means we’re condemned to a life of suffering and poverty. Instead of fixing the problem we just adopt coping mechanisms drugs, alcohol you name it.
Everyone has their own version of what they believe is wrong with them or the world. Whether we like it or not that shapes how we react to ever situation in life. Meaning you may be stacking up problems that are so unnecessary and keep dragging around what’s bringing you down whereas if you just let go you’ll be set free but here we are holding on. (Yes I am quoting Heavy by Linkin Park feat. Kiiara).
As a man thinketh, so is he. If you believe you were born into the wrong family; if you believe you will never be good enough; if you believe you are the most broken person there ever can be then you can’t be anything more than what you believe. Again I do not say this to disregard pain or suffering. I say this because a shifting of the mind from victim mode that always has you defensive about anyone willing to push you buttons; to being a survivor who has learnt their lesson and refused to be dragged under again is extremely necessary. It’s not easy because of the comfort being a victim provides the thought that the end is here but it’s essential as it is for the sun to rise by day.
Life comes with challenges, quashed hopes and dreams and it will probably sometimes give you no reason to wake up in the morning. Not that you did anything to get there or are deserving of the pain. Staying at rock bottom however is the ingredient to anger and toxicity. Simply because we have agreed to be put down. We see angry people everyday who are pissed at life, who have decided there’s nothing more than come out of it. Maybe they are right in thinking nothing more can come from it. But what if they are wrong? It’s not uncommon for someone to ruin your day because of their unresolved issues and you can’t really change that. But you can change whether you’re the person ruining someone’s day because of your issues and in any way you are being toxic.
I believe arguments don’t need to have a winner. It is not about who shouts the most or claps back the hardest. I only realized this later rather than sooner. They should end up in identifying why everyone is arguing because whether you like it or not you are a victim if you’ve gotten to a point of verbal or physical exchanges.
The sooner you know the problem, the sooner you survive its damage and heal.
So are you a victim of circumstances or a survivor of fatalities?
I hope though this may not be your usual fashion, photography, beauty or lifestyle blog you always get a chance to leave here with a better perspective of things not for clicks and views on my end but for your own personal growth. Because, though the clicks and views are important, if we aren’t building each other to become better then what is the end goal? Writing helps me come to terms with the world. It would be great if it did that for someone else.
It’s always the small things that make a difference,