It's important to be aware of what something or someone has done to you or child and how you feel about it, but it's also important to know that you have options, that you can choose what position to take. Victim-thinking drains your life of energy. What your child thinks can positively or negatively change his feelings and behaviors. To find out if you are stuck in victim thinking mode, see if any of the following apply to you.
To begin, make a check beside those statements that sound like something you find yourself thinking or feeling.
- __ I have to accept bad situations, because they are part of life and can do nothing to make them better.
- __ I don’t expect much good to happen in my life.
- __ Nobody could ever love me.
- __ I am always going to feel sad, angry, depressed, and confused.
- __ There are situations at work and at home that I could do something about, but I don’t have the motivation to do so.
- __ Life overwhelms me, so I prefer to be alone whenever possible.
- __ There are only a few people I can trust.
- __ I feel I have to be extra good, competent, and attractive in order to compensate for my many defects.
- __ I feel guilty for many things, even things that I know are not my fault.
- __ I feel I have to explain myself to people so that they will understand me. But sometimes I get tired of explaining, and conclude it’s not worth the effort, and choose to stay alone.
- __ I’m often afraid to do something new for fear I will make a mistake.
- __ I can’t afford to be wrong.
- __ I feel that when people look at me, they know right away that I’m different.
- __ Sometimes I think that those who died during the traumatic event I experienced were better off than me. At least they don’t have to live with the memories.
- __ I am afraid of the future.
- __ Most times I think things will never get better. There is not much I can do to make my life better.
- __ I can be either a perfectionist or a total slob depending on my mood.
- __ I tend to see people as either for me or against me.
- __ I feel pressure to go along with others, even when I don’t want to. To avoid such pressures, I avoid people.
- __ I am never going to get over what happened to me.
- __ I find myself apologizing for myself to others.
- __ I have very few choices in life.
These are very common reactions following a trauma, but they are not thoughts you want to have; in fact, you probably try hard not to have these thoughts. These statements are reflective of individuals who think and behave as victims. (Matsakis, Aphrodite: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, New Harbinger Publications, Inc., CA. 1994) Go to the "Help" page and click on "Survivor Thinking" to see how a survivor sees life.