Victim Mentality: The Mindset That’s Kicking Your ButtI grew up in a family that had it’s fair share of dysfunction and problems. Out of respect for my siblings whom I love, I won’t go into all the details, but there’s enough material for the makings of a sequel to Osage County. Maybe that’s a slight exaggeration, but only slight. Someone once told me I should write a novel using my family members as characters. That was after I told her about a distant cousin who poisoned his obese and petulant wife and hid her sizable body in an upright freezer. He told the judge he killed her because he didn’t believe in divorce. Fortunately there wasn’t anything quite that dramatic in my immediate family, but there was enough craziness to merit years of self-work in adulthood. I DID experience love and support from both of my parents, and that’s a foundation that can heal many wounds. Nevertheless, I’m sure I’m not alone in suffering pain and emotional trauma from childhood experiences. In fact, every single one of us, even those born into emotionally healthy families, have something that scarred us along the way. If you’re alive and have reached maturity, you can’t escape it. Life simply presents difficulties that cause deep and lasting pain. I will openly admit as a younger woman I sometimes used my childhood “story” as a way to gain sympathy and as an excuse for my behavior. It’s hard to escape this when you get feedback from people who validate how much you’ve suffered and how hard it must have been for you. For the moment, or maybe for many years, it feels good to have someone look at you with sympathetic eyes or give you a pass when you fall apart or act irrationally. I succumbed to the victim mentality.