How Victimization Leads to Anger

November 17, 2015   •  Posted in: 

Along with tying your identity to your anger, there is also a temptation to define yourself as a victim: once a victim, always a victim.  This negative, fatalistic approach has its perceived positives.  If you consider yourself a victim, you have a familiar template with which to evaluate yourself and your life.  You can demand redress from others.  You can remove any responsibility you have as an oppressor yourself.  In this self-definition, you are always wounded, always entitled, always justified, always angry.  

There is deep pain in being victimized by circumstances or people.  This is a wounding event, a defining moment.  The intensity of the trauma burns an image onto your life.  To think otherwise would be to enter into the realm of denial, which is damaging and unhealthy in its own right.  Instead, you need to integrate the bad things that happened to you into who you are; they are part of you, a part of your experience.  However, when you integrate victimization into your view of yourself, you grant authority and control over your life and your future to the worst thing that’s ever happened to you.  

When you say “once a victim, always a victim,” this becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.  I understand the perverse comfort to be found in knowing what will happen next, especially if you’ve been hurt.  If you decide, based on the past, that bad things will always happen to you, the at least you can be prepared.  You’re ready, you’re on alert; you’re on guard.  You are also anxious and defensive.  On the constant lookout for bad things, you will find them.  

Once you decide to look at life through this victim filter, you intentionally make yourself color-blind.  You will be able to detect every insult, every injury, every heartache, every dismissal.  Looking through this lens, you will cease to recognize the subtle shades of remorse, regret, and repentance and be blind to the circumstantial and the unintentional.  Once this vision is lost, you compromise your ability to experience kindness, joy, gentleness, genuine delight.  These emotions, though rich and rooted deep, are often scorched away like stubble in the burning heat of anger.  Though not gone completely, it can take a long time for them to break through to the surface of your life again.  

Once you have declared yourself a victim, it is an easy step to cross over into the concept of entitlement.  After all, you are a victim, you have been wounded; you hurt and have needs that arise out of that woundedness.  Therefore, because of this condition of crisis, it is your right to ask others to redress your pain.  If you ask and they do not deliver, then you are justified in demanding.  Your need for redress trumps any of their needs.  You feel justified demanding your needs be met before anyone else’s, whether that person is responsible for your pain or not.

If you are struggling with deep-rooted anger or anxiety, our team at The Center • A Place of HOPE is skilled at addressing the symptoms today, but also unearthing and healing the root of the issues. For more information, fill out this form or call 1-888-747-5592 to speak confidentially with a specialist today. 

Dr. Gregory Jantz

Pioneering Whole Person Care over thirty years ago, Dr. Gregory Jantz is an innovator in the treatment of mental health. He is a best-selling author of over 45 books, and a go-to media authority on behavioral health afflictions, appearing on CBS, ABC, NBC, Fox, and CNN. Dr. Jantz leads a team of world-class, licensed, and...

Read More

Related Posts

How Emotional Abuse Leads to Depression

By: Dr. Gregory Jantz  •  February 27, 2012

It is said that depression is only anger turned inward. Emotionally abused people often given up on emotions, since emotions have proven to be so damaging. They have been beaten down by the emotions of others and struck through the heart by their own emotions in response. No safety, just...

How We Perpetuate Emotional Abuse

By: Dr. Gregory Jantz  •  February 4, 2012

As with other types of abuse, emotional abuse can be self-perpetuating.

The Effects of Emotional Abuse

By: Dr. Gregory Jantz  •  November 21, 2022

When most people think of abuse, they think of physical or sexual abuse. They may imagine a parent hitting or molesting their child. Or a domestic violence situation in which one partner physically harms the other. But there is another type of abuse that can be just as damaging: emotional...

Get Started Now

"*" indicates required fields

Main Concerns*
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Whole Person Care

The whole person approach to treatment integrates all aspects of a person’s life:

  • Emotional well-being
  • Physical health
  • Spiritual peace
  • Relational happiness
  • Intellectual growth
  • Nutritional vitality