A Victim Mentality Destroys Your Power

Choose Your Path

To be a victim is disempowering in the absolute sense – there is no opportunity for healing there. I have been raped but I will not refer to myself as a victim. In my search for healing I’ve concluded that there can be no such a thing as a victim, for if there is, healing would be impossible; it would depend on what others do, and that is something I have no control over. The best I could do is attempt to influence, and hope for the best, and this is emotionally draining and frustrating at best.

The victim mentally is a pervasive and disabling part of our culture. It is woven into the way we speak to each other, into our language, when we say “you make me so…” or “he makes me feel…” or “she made me…” Whether the feeling is positive or negative is irrelevant, when we believe others have the magical ability to make us feel something, we believe ourselves to be a victim. But how can I say that in the awful scenario or rape, for instance, that the person raped is not a victim?

Let’s be clear, a person who is raped has had a horrible thing done to them, but no one can control how they will react to and feel about the rape. In the climate of a victim mentality culture, however, most people who have been raped expect that others should do or say something to make healing possible for them. Feeling retraumatized and revictimized by the reactions of others is common. Many people who have been raped report that the reaction of the community, that often protects or apologizes for the rapist, was just as, if not more traumatic then the actual rape itself. I can attest to this since this has been my experience. I was expecting my friends, family, and community to rally around me, and instead I was met skepticism, silence, and even anger. In order to heal, it has become blatantly apparent to me that I cannot rely on others, and I cannot wait for them to “come around” to my point of view. I have allowed myself to be “revictimized” because I felt powerless, because I felt like a victim, because I believed that others have the power to give me my health and happiness or take it away.

A victim is by definition powerless. A victim has no control, and is at the mercy of others. I am convinced that even if a person forces another to submit to them physically, power – true power – has nothing to do with a physical offence. Only the perpetrator’s fear, self-hatred, and feelings of powerlessness can inspire such acts in an effort to regain the lost sense of power. Again, it is magical thinking at work when the perpetrator believes that power can really be taken or exchanged between individuals. If your friend felt powerless could you offer to give him some of your power by choice if he insisted he was hopeless? Could you choose for him? No.

Understand that the definition of power I am referring to has nothing to do with money, or politics, or hierarchy. That has to do with material control. I’m talking about another person’s ability or inability to control your internal state of being, of feeling, of thinking. It cannot be done! Only YOU have the power to control your inner state and that is the only true power that anyone can ever have. All other “power” is an illusion, but the illusion undoubtedly looks very real simply because so many of us buy into the belief that we can be made to feel like a victim by someone else.

I know all this and yet the victim mentality is still the default explanation my mind resorts to whenever I feel imposed upon by others or by situations. It is like a software program that runs in my brain, and healing is going to require my full attention and a commitment to changing the false belief that others can “make” me feel anything at all. Even in the positive instance, for example, when I feel swept off my feet by a lover, I must recognize that the feeling comes from me, and not from them. Another might not feel such lust or love toward that person as I do, therefore my feelings comes from me and only me, and have nothing to do with the inherent qualities of that person.

To heal I must change my fundamental beliefs I have about the world and myself, I must see things through new eyes. What it really comes down to is destroying my belief in a lack of free will, my belief in thought control, for when I acknowledge my real power I see that no one can control my thoughts. In fact, to believe such a thing is in the interest of those who wish to “take power” away from me. It is to their benefit that I believe I have no control over my emotional reactions to them, that I fear them and fear how they can “make” me feel.

Once again I must be aware of the flip side of the coin here. If I allow myself to have the belief that others can take my power away, then I must also believe that they can give it back to me in a gesture of “helping.” The only real help others can give is to show me how to help myself, to inspire me to be the change I want to see. But the belief that another can simply give me power, that I can simply buy my healing from a therapist or a pharmacy, is nothing but a illusion, and indeed it is “giving away” my power to another. This is dangerous, for it even allows for self-interested corruption to function under the guise of helping. There is nothing wrong with seeing a therapist, as long as I am not expecting them to “heal me,” but instead expecting them to partner with me and show me the work I must do for myself. In terms of taking pharmaceutical drugs, I can’t see any potential for healing, only numbing.

The expectation that others need to do something differently or change in order for me to heal or be happy will forever be unfruitful. No one is going to give me anything, even if they wanted to they cannot. Even the truly benevolent do not have any power to help me, just as the truly evil do not have any power to hurt me. It is a choice, and I must defend against my false belief in either sense and take my healing into my own hands. I must work with others who inspire me to find that truth again and again, others who know this and practice it in their own lives. When I take stock, it’s true that the only time I’ve ever experienced any real healing is when I took responsibility for my own health and happiness. Others can point toward the path, but I must walk it myself.

~ “Destiny is no matter of chance. It is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.” – William Jennings Bryan

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Psychiatry the Fraud

This is a very interesting speech given by Dr. Jeffery Schaler, psychologist and professor at American University. Schaler compares the diagnosis of a mental illness to nothing more than a political weapon used by the powerful to control the thoughts and behaviours of the less powerful. Some of the goods from this video:

“What’s the difference between the DSM and a scientific book of disease? Every disorder in the DSM is invented; every disease listed in a pathology textbook is discovered. Real disease is found in a cadaver at autopsy, mental illness is not. Mental illness refers to something that a person does. Real disease refers to something that a person has.

Consider this yet another way. It takes one person to have a real disease. It takes two people to have a mental illness. If you’re alone on an island, you could develop a real disease like cancer or heart disease, but you cannot develop a mental illness such as hyperactivity or schizophrenia. This is because mental illness is always diagnosed on the basis of some sort of social conflict. When people do something that others find objectionable, they can be diagnosed as mentally ill. If the person doing the diagnosing is more powerful than the person diagnosed, then there is trouble.

In this sense, the diagnosis of mental illness is always a weapon. Not so when it comes to diagnosing real disease. Think of how when people get angry at one another they inevitably resort to some sort of diagnosis. They say ‘you’re crazy, you’re mentally ill, you’re paranoid!’ Can you imagine someone getting upset with somebody and saying ‘You have diabetes, you have Parkinson’s disease!’ Social conflict has nothing to do with developing a real disease. You don’t develop diabetes because someone doesn’t like the way you think, speak, or behave. You have to have someone else present to judge that your behaviour is morally good or morally bad in order to have a mental illness. So diagnosis is a weapon, a tool people use against one another, especially when there is some kind of power conflict present.

And what of treatment? Treatment for mental illness is punishment. Look at our criminal justice system. When someone commits a crime, and a psychiatrist is in the courtroom, a defendant may go to a mental institution instead of a prison. Can you imagine a judge saying ‘I sentence you to treatment for your cancer’? I submit to you that psychiatric treatment is worse than prison. For in prison, they don’t judge how long a person should be deprived of liberty on the basis of what they think about themselves and the world. In a mental institution, of course, this is the case. If you don’t think about yourself and the world correctly, you’ll be punished longer.”

~ “The only true political virtue is obedience to authority, and the only true political sin is independence. Independence renders authority useless, and that is what infuriates it so.” – Dr. Thomas Szasz, Professor of Psychiatry Emeritus at the State University of New York Health Science Center, Adjunct Scholar at the Cato Institute and a Lifetime Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association