Victim or Survivor?

We all have had bad things happen to us.  Some have been in accidents, some have had someone treat them badly and others like myself have developed unusual and life threatening illnesses.    As Joel Osteen has said, “Trouble is inevitable, misery is optional.”

For the first several years I was angry at what happened to me, angry at my workplace where I got sick, angry at friends I lost because I could no longer do what I did before, and angry at the defense’s medical doctors for not believing me and that my workplace had made me ill.

I was a victim and stayed in the victim role with all my anger penetrating deep into my soul.  During my treatment I was constantly with others who were as ill as I was.  We shared stories and tried to comfort each other.  However, they felt as angry and victimized as I did, and the more I was around them the more angry and victimized I felt.  It was a perpetual cycle that seemed impossible to stop.  Finally through the help of my family, a few close friends, my wonderful therapist and the doctors I had who cared for me and believed me I began to realize that being angry was not going to make me any better.  Being a victim and acting like a victim was not healthy.    I had to make a choice:  would I continue to feel sorry for myself and what I couldn’t do or would I focus on what I could still do?  My choice was to focus on what I could do and to try to find things that made me happy.  I surrounded myself with my new grandchildren and their unconditional love.  I began to try to sew again after years of being too sick and unable to handle the stimulation of shapes and patterns. I was still a wife, mother, sister, and daughter despite all the changes that had taken place in me.   I struggled for years after my illness with my identity.  (I will elaborate more on this in another post).

I hope that anyone dealing with severe illness or some other tragedy is able to look beyond the anger and get to a place where they can forgive and allow themselves to pull out of the victim role and begin a healing journey.  Anger has its place but continued anger is not healthy and is bad for soul.

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8 responses to “Victim or Survivor?

  1. I believe that God gave us anger to show us that our emotional well being is being hurt, just as HE gave us nerve endings in our bodies to show us when our bodies are hurting. And just like we quickly remove our fingers from the burning stove to stop the nerve ending from hurting, you are correct Kathy, we must remove ourselves from the source of emotional hurt to stop the anger from hurting our souls. Good insight about all you posted!

    • Thank you Patricia. I truly believe that faith is what has kept me going through all this. Whether a person is Christian, Buddhist, Jewish or any other faith; it is the faith that keeps us from sinking into despair when our world crumbles around us.

  2. Reblogged this on allergictolifemybattle and commented:

    I read this post written back in May of this year every now and then to remind me that I want to be a survivor and not “a victim”. I hope all of you who read this for the first time will ask yourself if you are a victim or a survivor. For those of you who have already ready this post, it is a reminder not to let yourself slip into the victim role.

  3. Great– thanks Kathy!!!! May I reblog–on my blog????

  4. Pingback: Victim or Survivor? | sondasmcschatter

  5. Anger is part of the grieving process of the losses experienced by the illness. But letting go of that anger is sure liberating. I learned that the only ones hurt by the anger and bitterness are me and those close around me. The ones that were involved in the cause of my illness were not impacted at all by my anger. You wrote a great post about moving on with life.

    • Yes I don’t think anyone at the district was impacted by my anger but they were impacted by having to fight in court with me through the workers’ compensation process.

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