Don’t Be A Victim’s Victim

June 3, 2009

Have you ever met any one who just doesn’t seem to be happy unless they are miserable?  Some people are like that.  They need a certain amount of drama surrounding them.  They are what the medical community calls “crisis oriented”.    They are sickly addicted to emotional or physical pain (or both).

They usually complain about their situation to anyone who will listen, but the truth is they enjoy the attention that situation draws to them a lot more than they would enjoy being delivered from it.

As much as you might want to, you simply cannot rescue a person who doesn’t want to be rescued.  What’s worse, if you try to do it anyway, chances are they will only take you down with them in the end.  Like the drowning person who instinctively fights the rescuer, unless the rescuer is skilled in saving lives, they too risk death if they attempt to intervene.  And again, that’s even when the person actually wants to be saved!

It’s a sad truth.  Sometimes people get  so accustomed to their uncomfortable, even dangerous circumstances, they choose to remain there rather than move to safer, happier ground.

It has been referred to as “familiarity”.

Horses will run back into burning barns, people keep wearing their old “broken in” comfortable shoes … and women keep going back to  abusive spouses.

The real tragedy that stems from the latter example is that by staying in abusive relationships, the surroundings become “familiar” to the children involved and as adults, they too will often seek out unhealthy partners.   And so on and so forth, the cycle continues.  Abused children turn into adults who abuse others.   As my former pastor use to say “Hurt people hurt people”

I’ve not studied in depth the psychology behind why some people leave abusive relationships while others stay, but I suspect it has everything to do with self esteem.  From my own personal observation, it appears the longer a person remains in such conditions, the less likely it is they’ll ever escape.  While they may claim this is because they love their partner too much to leave them, I’m pretty sure it has a lot more to do with how little they love themselves.  The longer they stay in the relationship, the more time the abuser has had to break down their partner’s confidence, alienate them from outside sources of help …brainwash them into a paranoid mindset.

Before you try to “help” someone out of a painful situation, make sure they really want to be helped.  If after a while you discover they are only dragging you down with them and you sense you are being pulled under by the current, save yourself!

It’s a horrible experience to watch people you love destroy themselves, but if destroying their self is what they are intent on doing they will eventually succeed with or without your intervention.

I know this sounds harsh, but I’ve seen too many people succumb to the tragedy of abuse  already.  Please! Love yourself enough not to be counted among the statistics!

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