The Scott Shaw Blog Be Positive

Victimhood and the Definition of Who You Are

Recently, there have been a few women that have come out and made serious accusation about their famous ex-boyfriends or ex-husbands. Watching morning TV and even the Dr. Oz Show these women have been featured. I believe this is a very interesting phenomenon for a couple of reasons. Perhaps the most of which is that the only reason that these people are being presented, on the national level, is that they are speaking about someone who is famous. If these women were not speaking about someone who is notable their voices would not even be heard and their accusations would certainly not be broadcast to the world.

Now, there are all kinds of levels of supposition we could go into about why these women are speaking out. There are also all kinds of issues of defamation, (is it true or is it not), that could be contemplated, and as none of us know how any of this is going to turn out I don’t want to mention any names, but that is not really the issue. The issue is, how one person claims to be a victim and calls out another person to be the wrongdoer.

The question emerges, is victimhood a good place to be operating from? And, who ultimately is the victim?

It is very obvious, and has been proven throughout history, that the majority of the people who unleash abuse onto others are those who were themselves abused. Abuse is a learned behavior. So yes, one person may be saying or doing something that someone else finds abusive but if we look to the life history of the doer, almost universally, that is how the so-called abuser was taught how to encounter life and how to react to other people. In fact, many times when a person is young their abuser is also proclaiming their love for their victim. From this, the person who later does things that are decreed to be abusive is, in fact, simply acting out on what they believe is an example of love; as distorted as that example may be.

As we see, abuse emanates from a very veiled place in the mind of the so-called abuser. Moreover, abuse comes in many undefined forms and is only called abuse when the receiver deems it as such.

I get it, this is a very controversial issue and many people have very specific ideas about this subject and I’m not trying to piss anyone off. But, if we look to modern society and to the people who have either claimed victimhood or were projected as such, we see that they become defined by that label.

For example, if we step back a few years, when Chris Brown brutally beat up Rihanna everyone assumed his career would be over and perhaps her next boyfriend would take revenge. But, nothing happened. Aside from the minor charge he caught, where he got probation and community service, his career continued to thrive. Art Alexakis, of the band Everclear, detailed how he was sexual assaulted by a group of boys when he was a youngster. In the early days of his band, in the 1990s, this attack seemed to be some sort of misguided marketing tool but to this day, whenever he is interviewed, he is often required to mention that experience. You can see he wants to move pass it but it has become one of the definitions of his life. Thus, victimhood has become his calling card. Is that a good thing?

I am not diminishing any person’s claim of abuse nor am I negating any of these experiences as they must have been horrible to have lived through. But, the point being is, why does anyone want victimhood to become the definition of his or her life?

Yes, claiming victimhood, at the hands of someone famous, has propelled certain individuals into the public eye and provided them with a voice and, in some cases, even career advancement. But, at what cost?

This victim mindset is not limited to what one person did to another. During this point in history we are witnessing entire movements based upon victimhood. …Movements based upon what one race did to another race and/or to what one segment of society, (say the police), did to specific groups of people. Again, this is a tool used to get a message out there but at what cost? What does it cost the individual or an entire race to become defined as a victim?

For many of us, myself include, we have experienced some appalling things delivered to us by the hands of other people. Particularly as children, there is very little we can do about this.

For many of us, myself include, we have done some things that were less than commendable to other people. We can blame the, “What was done to us,” but it was, nonetheless, we who did what we did to someone else. We must own that fact and never make excuses for it, especially to ourselves.

All life is interplay of human interactions. We are all formed by what we have experienced. And, we shape the life of others by what we do to them.

For those of us who care, we try to become better people and move away from our Lower Self. We try to learn from our mistakes and fix the things we have broken. For others, they lock themselves into a place of negativity throughout their life. Whether that negativity was given birth to by what someone did to them or not, it was they who chose to embrace it. Meaning, it is ultimately you who has the choice about how you choose to be defined. You can decide to be a victim. You can define your entire life by that moniker if you want to. But, is that who and what you ultimately want to be and/or become? Is that how you want the rest of the world to feel about you? Or, do you want to be the person who overcame your victimizer or victimizers and rose to a place where you were not defined by what was done to you but the good you have done for others?