The Victim Addiction

Mary Threatens Escape
Creative Commons License photo credit: Lomo-Cam

Vic­tim con­scious­ness is the num­ber one addic­tion that under­lies all addic­tions … which may at least par­tially explain why it is so hard for some of us to take space from those who abuse us.

We are com­monly addicted to being on the vic­tim tri­an­gle with one another; we are addicted to res­cu­ing (try­ing to con­trol their out­comes), and per­se­cut­ing oth­ers (when they don’t coöper­ate). We see oth­ers as vic­tims that need us. And then we feel vic­tim­ized by them when they don’t uti­lize or appre­ci­ate our help. We want to get even with them, or ‘show them’ when they don’t go along with our plan.

In other words, our whole rela­tion­ship with many of the peo­ple in our lives takes place on the vic­tim tri­an­gle where we are addicted to our dys­func­tional roles with one another. And as is true with all addic­tions, we suf­fer painful con­se­quences as a result.

Self-responsibility is the key to health­ier func­tion­ing. Self-responsibility means that we stop blam­ing oth­ers for our prob­lems, and our unhap­pi­ness. But it does not mean that we then turn the blame onto our­selves! That does not help — but only serves to drive us deeper into denial of our part.

To move out of our addic­tion to vic­tim we must rec­og­nize our own lim­it­ing mind-set that keeps us there. We come to see that the things we accuse oth­ers of are the things we have not for­given our­selves for. We take respon­si­bil­ity for com­ing into a kinder rela­tion­ship with our­selves. Self-responsibility means self-acceptance which can only come about as we see clearly how it is that our own thoughts are what holds us pris­oner in vic­tim — NOT the world at large.




  1. says

    Thank you for your com­ments Lynne and your con­tin­u­ing words, I so enjoy them.

    Have you read David Emerald’s book, The Power of TED* (*The Empow­er­ment Dynamic)? It is a small book with a big mes­sage, there is an escape from the drama triangle.

    Take a look at his web­site and let me know what you think.

    thanks again,

  2. Anne says

    I know some­thing very pro­found and life chang­ing has been revealed to me, I had to feel the painful real­ity of my lim­ited mind-set before I could accept the truth. The truth truly does set us free!

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