Talking about self victimization today and realizing how all of my examples (or my real life experiences with such victimization) are connected only with women. Yes, i mean women and women alone. There is not a single instance I can recall at the moment where a man played the role of a victim. The reasons could be many. Firstly, men rarely if ever are so emotional if they talk and secondly, it could be unmanly to be the victim. So I am not assuming directly that being a victim is a womanly thing to do. However, it is quite possible that the roots of such victimization are deep in our culture. Anyway, not talking much about the background, here we go and talk about the things that matter more.
The ‘Victim’ Behavior
As far as I see, self victimization is less about ‘being’ the victim and more about ‘playing’ the victim. I have come across so many people who are completely healthy, fit and have a good life but would not leave a chance to suggest and even to prove that they are a victim to their circumstances or to the people around them. Maybe one day (about 20 years ago) her father forgot something significant. Maybe today her husband did not come back home smiling. Maybe her kids are simply stressed out with their studies, exams and jobs and just don’t feel like talking at the moment. The victim will instantly believe that it is about her. She has probably done something wrong. More often, they have done something wrong to her because she does not deserve to be treated well. Yes, all these thoughts pass through her mind.
The victim thinks that everything that is going on around her is simply to let her down. She controls nothing around her and this is why she is being dragged around in any direction that the people around her wish to. You simply cannot give her power for she will want this power to be exercised by someone else. It is always the other person who has to take a decision for her. She cannot decide anything on her own. She feels left behind most of the time and would even indulge in some kind of reckless and absolutely senseless behavior just to believe that she is a part of the group. Often, when facing a situation that needs firm decision making, she would end up taking the wrong decision simply because playing the victim is easier than being the controller. She has done this all the time and she is aware of the ins and outs of the game.
She blames herself for everything and needs constant reassurance that she is loved and wanted. No matter what you do for her, it will never be enough. Maybe you died for her. You did the wrong thing. You should have lived to make yourself look like a miserable existence. She will find ways to find faults with herself. This woman has a keen eye for faults. The good news is that she finds faults in herself as easily as she finds them with others. The sad part is that most of these faults are imaginary. The bittersweet relationship that you will have with her becomes a downward spiral. Most of the times, she is depressed. As time passes by, it becomes difficult by the day to drag her out of this spiral. You either want a relief away from her or you simply enter the spiral yourself. Some people would prefer to speak out openly about this. The victim will stop playing the victim openly. She will still be the same from the inside.
Why A Victim?
Some experts blame it on genetics while some others consider it a part of the Dependent Personality Disorder affected by circumstances. I personally support the latter. Some people are definitely more dependent on others for keeping them happy (and sad). Imagine being with someone who would be happy when you pay attention to them and do nothing for them but turns extremely negative when you move your eyes. Sometimes, they become possessive and it is difficult to let things go. A couple of women I know who clearly exhibit this victimization are born and raised in families where being self dependent or taking independent decisions for life is not the norm. In fact, the parents also exhibit a very weird personality. On one hand, they are extremely controlling and protecting when it comes to their children. On the other hand, they are meek and submissive and cannot take the right decisions for themselves. The children, who are raised by such parents often end up taking a few decisions for themselves. Most of the times they are wrong. However, in general, the kids too are extremely dependent on someone for their happiness.
The dependency is such that rests on one or maybe a couple of people at a time. There is never a full span of attention. They focus their entire energy on one person or a couple of people at one time. Occasionally, their minds would digress and they would try to find solace in the sympathizing words of a another person but they would again like to come back to the stronger personality to lean on. After all, not needing anyone (including the victim) is also a sign of strength and this draws them towards that person. No wonder, a lot of women stay in abusive relationships even when they can leave simply because they love the thrill or dependency on a very strong (however forceful and abusive) personality. They like to stay close to a person who is quick, harsh and focused because they know that they cannot do this on their own.
Playing a victim also helps you in steering clear of the blame on most occasions. Imagine, being a part of everything without having to take the blame for anything that goes wrong. A victim, in her senses or not, wants to steer clear of responsibilities and answerability. On most occasions, you will find a person with such a dependent and self-victimizing personality working on jobs that do not let them take on a huge responsibility. They like doing the chores and have absolutely no problem in fitting into a mechanical routine. Moreover, the dependent and self-victimizing personalities I know are passive aggressive as well. They could end up being somewhat manipulative too. They get quickly attached to the stronger personalities around them and when they are rejected by them, they feel ill at ease. They may get depressed.
An inherent depression is always present in a self-victimizing person. Small bouts of this depression appear when they are focusing their attention on someone and do not get as much back. The depression is mostly in full swing when they are left desolate or rejected. Such a person needs help. The worst thing is that they are extremely clingy as well. They can cling to someone who helps them. If it is the opposite gender, they can quickly assume that the help is love and then problems will be given an open invitation to wreck a havoc in their lives.
In the end, they become what they thought they are in the first place – A VICTIM.