You get married, have some children, with the vision of a loving family unit.
Turns out that you vision was way off the mark. The person you married has destructive tendencies. Despite every effort to succeed, you find yourself with little choice but to escape a sinking ship. Sometimes the circumstances just don’t comply with your fantasy of how it should be.
Your circumstance does not define you unless you see yourself as a victim of the circumstance. You have the ability to overcome your victim mentality.
How do you see yourself?
The way that you see yourself is purely a function of your brain. You will see yourself as a victim if you believe these sentences from your brain:
- it shouldn’t have happened
- it’s not fair
- it’s so hard
Every time you argue with the reality of the circumstance, the facts, the math of your life experience, you feel terrible. You feel victimized.
Every victim needs a villain
When you feel like a victim of your experience, you get to pick your villain. I am going to predict it is your ex. When your ex is the villain, you actually believe that if s/he behaved differently, you would have a different life. You would be happier.
Believing this tale gives all of your power away and keeps you in a state of victimhood.
Your ex may never change. Now what? Do you want to be a victim for the rest of your life? Maybe it is time to overcome your victim mentality.
The opposite of victim is responsibility
The truth is, your ex has no power over you once you can start to manage your brain.
Step one is to recognize that it is your belief, your story about your ex that is generating your pain. Stories like:
- S/he shouldn’t do that.
- My ex is making the kids suffer
- S/he is so vicious
- My ex ruined our family
Any time you think your ex is doing or saying something s/he shouldn’t be, you will feel terrible and victimized.
Newsflash – Your ex is just being your ex. Nothing more. Expect it, and stop arguing with the reality of who the ex is. Your ex is not on the planet to provide you with peace and love. That is your responsibility.
You get to play the poker hand you have been dealt. All of the circumstances, including certain people like your ex, are totally neutral. The way you interpret the circumstances, including your ex, is your choice and your responsibility. What can you think so that you can have some peace, strength, and self compassion?
- I can do hard things
- one amazing parent is all a child needs
- I am a badass
- my kids and I will thrive in spite of all of this
- I will figure it out
- What if my ex’s behaviour is not a problem for me or my kids?
Play your poker hand like a hero
It is 100% your responsibility to show up in the world the way that you want to. Victim or hero?
This does not depend on your circumstance or your ex. Your ex does not have to change for you to become the hero in your story. That is the best news I have for you.
This is not to say that you have not been injured. There will be shrapnel to remove. You can dig deep for the courage to process your pain and grief. These feelings are not your final destination. They are just a stepping stone to moving forward.
Seek resources to help you move forward. I found an online abuse recovery program that helped me in my recovery. Breathe and do yoga. Try coaching and/or therapy. Join a facebook group of divorce survivors. Work on speaking to yourself the way you would to your best friend. Look after yourself. You cannot pour from an empty cup.
Do everything in your power to become the hero. This is work worth doing. You are the barometer of your house. When you overcome your victim mentality, you achieve your pHD in self reliance.