Own Your Behavior: Vanquish Victimhood

Do you ever wish when you look at life you could unleash your imagination to take the place of your current situation? Have someone with unparalleled courage, an unlimited supply of strength and an inexhaustible supply of mental fortitude to stand in the place of what you fear to face? If it were possible for my youngest daughter, she would relish the chance to live as an actress or a superhero and take no ownership of her current circumstances.

She just entered the sixth grade. In her mind, the teachers talk far too much and give her far too much homework that she doesn’t understand. Our city has a summer reading requirement- something she has stopped and started about 20 times, claiming the books are too hard or that no one in our family is willing to help her with the reading.

Whenever she’s caught at the house in a troubling incident or situation, the way she’ll turn it around will be to pin the blame on someone else for their actions- irregardless if they were involved in the incident. For instance- one morning she claimed that 5 dollars of hers was missing in the house, and immediately she tried to put the blame on her older sister. When the facts came to light, she didn’t want us to know that an earlier “walk” over the weekend with that same sister revealed she the accuser spent the 5 dollars at a local donut shop on breakfast and was hoping to scam us out of another 5 dollars.

My wife and I keep wondering at what point our youngest will decide that she’s not a victim of what life is giving her and that her choices and how she behaves and treats people makes the most impact on what’s going on with her current situation. It’s as if she’s made a steadfast decision that her early development and the circumstances of abuse, neglect, yelling, screaming and shuffling around mean that’s how her life will be forever- so why bother going about any steps to change it.

She has so much potential for kindness, openness, laughter, fun and energy. It’s frustrating to see doors shut for her because she admits defeat before even going into the first obstacle. We’ve had talks with her therapist and psychiatrist and all of us are on the same page in knowing that when she is ready, if ever, she’ll make the connections and breakthrough. The hardest part as a parent to handle is not knowing when it will take place- within the comfort of our home, when she’s on her own, or beyond.

Look, we all make mistakes in life and wish we could take back certain words said out of emotional turmoil or change choices that cause repercussions to those we love. There’s nothing wrong with saying your sorry and then making sure the next action will be something to make people feel loved, appreciated and valid. Just make sure you don’t excuse what comes at you- own your behavior and live in a position of pride versus a position of victimization.

My daughter often believes that what happened would be much more tolerable in her world if she came from my wife’s belly- but the realist in me tells her that we can’t live in ‘what if’ land. We need to cope and come to terms with our past so that we can lead a healthy now and future.

If there’s been something in your life that you feel like you’ve been holding onto for months or even years that’s holding you back from a successful career, a prosperous and fulfilling relationship or even how you handle relationships with family members- seek out help and get the issues worked on. Perception can turn into a reality that’s holding you back from accomplishing everything you desire.

Let the pain out to regain control over your mind, your body and your soul.


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