P.S. to How to Stop Playing The Victim in Your Life
“I want everybody to remember that we cannot change what happened, that is a tragic part, but we can change how we relate to it.” — Eva Kor, Auschwitz survivor
Last week, I published a story that created as much positive feedback as controversy. I wanted to address those responses collectively here.
My story focused on how overcoming self-pity is critical to regaining control of our lives. I believe doing so is a personal decision.
Life is not fair. It’s not unfair either. Life just is.
I received tons of responses asking me about “real” victims. As I responded to most of the comments, the piece was meant for those who play the victim role, not real victims.
For someone that has been abused, healing is a much complex and long journey. I’m not a therapist so I cannot speak about what’s the right path to help people who have been abused mentally, sexually, and physically.
What I can tell by direct experience with people who were victims of abuse is that, many of them, were able to overcome feeling self-pity. Stop blaming others helped them recover too.
The women who made the #metoo movement possible are a perfect example of overcoming self-pity. It takes courage to admit in front of a camera that you were abused. But that courage not only helps them heal, but also encourages others to speak up.
Acceptance doesn’t mean agreeing with a perpetrator. People who abuse others, need to be denounced. We need to make justice happens. And justice is blind to titles or power roles, everyone should abide by the same rules.
Forgiveness Makes Us Better Human Beings
Victims can forgive their perpetrators. Once again, that doesn’t mean to say it’s OK. But forgiveness helps you move on. It takes a deeper level of self-knowledge, courage, and maturity. Very few people can achieve that, but it’s possible.
Take the case of Eva Kor who survived Auschwitz, after being subjected to human experimentation under Josef Mengele.
“My forgiveness is an act of self-healing, self-empowerment, all victims hurt, feel hopeless, and feel powerless. I want everybody to remember that we cannot change what happened, that is a tragic part, but we can change how we relate to it” — Eva Kor
Both of Eva’s parents and two older sisters were killed at the camp. She received global attention when she publicly forgave her perpetrators for what had been done to her.
Listen to Eva tell her story of overcoming being a victim and how she was able to forgive her perpetrators, watch this moving video: