- An Examination and Exploration of
-The Damaged Personality Disorder -
The Self-Defined -"Victim"
Playing The "I've Been Victimized" Role
The self-defined “Victim” uses stealth personal power strategies to cope with anger, to“control” situations and other people in order to punish and to maintain a sense of superiority. Making use of "stealth" behavior provides the self-defined "Victim" a safety net while acting out this negative behavior pattern.
The self-defined “Victim’s” primary mechanism of personal power and control is through the manipulation of the sympathies of others outside or peripheral to the spouse or intimate other.
Like the Iceberg's ability to destroy through its unseen dangers, the self-defined "Victim's" stealth activities are hidden from the most recently (Victim-defined) "Victimizer" in his/her life.
“Colluding” facial expressions (an attempt to manipulate a “viewer” by an expression to “let's agree” that the other person is a jerk, etc), the raised eyebrow, negative full-body language, belittling comments behind-the-back of the “Victim”-Defined vs. his/her “Victimizer” accompanies the primary mechanism for maintaining personal control of each relationship the self-defined “Victim” has established (including the relationships that are lost through maintaining the fiction of having been victimized within that lost relationship).
Support garnered through such projections provide outside support during rejection, separation or divorce potentials and isolates the falsely labeled "Victimizer" in his/her life).
Often having been born into an early abusive relationship as a young child (where he/she had been a genuine victim), the underlying determination as an adult is a lesson learned; being "abused" provides outside sympathy and protective reaction within any life situation).
As is common with having been abused as a child, the past-abused child now becomes the adult abuser (within the self-defined "Victim" personality disorder, this adult is a stealth abuser).
The self-defined “Victim” sets out to redesign, re-direct and redefine the now “Victim”-defined “Victimizer’s” life.
The self-defined “Victim” is now the “Almighty” power within that person’s life. The self-defined “Victim” has now become the secret (stealth) abuser.
A self-defined "Victim" can be understood by the "effects" of his/her behavior. The reason (cause and effect source) "for" the behavior itself may vary. The "effects" that a self-defined "Victim" produces in the lives of others is more than desiring to be "seen" as someone an "on-looker" should genuinely pity.
No human being who is living within the real world will come out unscathed by sorrow, loss, pain and suffering at some point in his/her life. These experiences are not figments of his/her imagination.
Merely experiencing times of feeling angry, powerless and sorry for oneself is not the foundation for a definition to mark a person as a self-defined "Victim."
True victims have been injured by the abusive situations forced upon them and will feel (throughout their lives) unexpected often suddenly painfully intrusive re-exposure of that suffering visited upon themselves by the strength of the implanted experience.
When a child has been abused and is in the process toward some level of recovery, he/she may (no doubt will) have limited internal resourcefulness or emotional resiliency to meet the needs to allow recovery to take place.
One would be hard-put to suggest this child would fill the definition for a self-defined "Victim" even though continuing to use the learned manipulative role-playing and deceptive practices forced upon him/her through fear of the abuser.
The context for the child's behavior is fear not self-examination and adult responsible choice-making regarding the "effects" of his/her behavior.
Every choice an adult makes regarding his/her behavior serves some purpose (within a negative or positive "effects" framework).
The institution of society is founded on the concept of personal responsibility. Men and Women have the ability and responsibility to examine their behavior choices (changing the behavior when the behavior does injury to others).
Societal Expectation: It is within the context of moral and legal accountability that all laws regarding the definition of adult responsibility come into play within society.
"You do the crime. You do the time."
The stealth abuser is just as dangerous to those he/she targets as those who openly slander and libel others and of whom the law offically requires an accounting.
Merely because the damaging behavior is insidously acted out and is difficult to present to a court of law as a specific assault against the human rights of an individual real victim, doesn't make the behavior palatable (or shouldn't) to a society interested in justice.
Regardless of the "reason" i.e., past abuse, early learned manipulative behavior, etc., when an adult makes choices that harm another person - child or adult - the "effects" of the choices have real consequences on the targeted (real) victim(s).
Within the consequences of the behavior TO the child/children or the falsely labeled "Victimizer" lies the rational basis to justly define the role-playing activity of the "self-defined Victim."
The motive behind the self-defined “Victim” behavior is to achieve what he/she wants (What this behavior serves is to provide a power “pay-off” regarding what is wanted out of life). The “Victim” now has obtained the same power of his/her earlier abuser...he/she is IN complete Control.
When or by the time, the labeled “Victimizer” (labeled this by the “Victim”) becomes aware of the part he/she has been unknowingly activated to play in their life together, it is often too late to repair the damage to his/her reputation or to other important relationships already negatively impacted by his/her relationship with the self-defined, “Victim”
The now defined, “Victimizer” often loses his/her confidence in his/her abilities (if he/she fails to “see” what is taking place). He/she often feels confused, inadequate and puzzled when once he/she may have felt both confidence and adequacy.
The now defined “Victimizer” will find him/herself being advised by his/her friends and family to be “more kind” - “more thoughtful” - “more patient” - “more understanding” - “less abusive” - “more willing to listen” to the “Victim”.....on and on.
The (falsely labeled) “Victimizer” finds that his/her family is not immune from the talent of the “Victim” personality -- no one is left out of the widening circle of negative influence of the dedicated “Victim” and his/her efforts in maintaining his/her part in the continuing struggle for “Victim” dominance.
It has become a familiar addiction to prove to his/her external world (primarily outside the needed victimizing “relationship”) that he/she is living with an “abuser”
It is important to this damaged personality that his/her family and friends come away from each situation feeling sorry for this friend/associate or family member who is such a“sweet person,” yet, who has been so unlucky to have been unfortunate in his/her relationships.
The self-defined “Victim’s” personal history will most likely include parental abandonment, sexual abuse or psychological abuse and/or abandonment within the early abuse by the power-broker mother or father within the family (who is seen now by the adult who had been abused as a child) as one who should have protected him/her and yet had not protected the powerless victim, who, in that early situation had proved to be a genuine Victim ). Many times that early abuser has never paid for his/her crime against the child. When questioned about the later lost or “messed-up” relationship(s), the self-defined adult “Victim” always places the blame on the then “Victimizer”--- These lost or “messed-up” relationships are rarely seen by the “Victim” as the result of any negative behavior by him/herself.
The learned role has become convenient to the adult:
The adult self-defined “Victim” in reacting to the early abuse re-plays his/her earlier role of being abused, over and over again, only this time with each act of empowerment purchased by the stealth “exposure” of his/her “Victimizer” he/she proves to him/herself within the safety of the hidden activity (against the now labeled “Victimizer”) that this time - the “Victim” is IN CONTROL.
The Continued Dangers of Entitlement: Without a willingness to "see" and recover from her/his own negative behavior patterns, the self-defined "Victim" will no doubt continue to make sure everyone believes he/she has been “abused” by presenting “abuse” today. This once true Victim of early abuse will continue to seek power (now empowered to "pay-back") the rest of his/her life by making sure the world sees that he/she is being abused.
All abuse can produce a loss of personal power and a degrading of the value of “self” (to the abused powerless child) and becomes the means for the early destruction of a right to personal control for the abused (the right to personal control is an inherent right of being human and is a learned response within the process of growing into adulthood).
Depending on the age when this destructive personality profile is finally exposed (or recognized) by someone, there will be revealed within the self-defined "Victim's" history, a past of earlier “victimizer’s” and destroyed, damaged, lost, minimally functioning or no longer functioning relationship(s).
Often what relationships are intact within the new couple's lives will be sustained by the behind-the-scene "support" for the self-defined "Victim" and are made up of those who have not suspected the false front provided them.
Those persons who suspect or have suspected the deceptive behavior of the self-defined "Victim" are not retained within the circle of influence and/or who have been made uncomfortable by the stealth comments made by the self-defined "Victim" that they remain at a distance to the couple's life (to the confusion, increasing isolation and hurtful loss to the falsely labeled "Victimizer.")
While this destructive negative learned behavior has been encouraged by stressful and abusive situations within the child’s life of the (now) adult, the choice of continuing to role-play the “Victim” throughout early adulthood (which may continue throughout life when there has been no positive intervention ) always creates more real victims.
The major casualty of a self-defined “Victim” (besides innocent children) is a genuine victim who will carry permanent and lasting damage to his/her life, relationships and reputation for the rest of his/her life because of living with the self-defined “Victim” personality.
That person - (the REAL victim within this examination)- has been impacted by economic loss through lost jobs, clients, friends, potential friends and had respect taken from him/her through the deceptive behavior of the “Victim” and a genuine ugly “deformity” of his/her true personality has taken place. It will take careful repairing work grounded in a firm morality or he/she risks his/her actions toward renewal as seen as doing exactly what had been done to him/her by the self-defined “Victim.”
If the activation of “Victim-playing” begins early within a relationship (usually after marriage), once this behavior is recognized and the now falsely labeled "Victimizer" feels the negative effects of that role, it may be difficult to save an existing intimate adult relationship for long.
The behavior - recognized or exposed: The “Victim” now used to his/her role-playing feels no alternative but to maintain his/her “Victim” status. Exposure is to destroy the source of his/her personal power because the “superiority” of the “Victim” is threatened with extinction. The ability to “tweak” to “control” to “activate” has been lost.
The individual self-defined “Victim” may not fully understand what a fraud he/she is, but it is difficult to deny that “Victim’s” who play this part, do know that lying, stealing, hypocrisy, belittling comments, back-biting and personality destruction of another is a moral wrong (within logic).
In spite of the logic regarding moral behavior being seen: Instead of acknowledging his/her activity is a moral wrong, the self-defined “Victim” rarely admits to the pattern of behavior, thus, denying that a moral wrong is being perpetrated on another human being by him (or her).
To fall in love with such a damaged personality is dangerous to a healthy “self” (in reality, the real personality has been hidden by the devious behavior of the “Victim” so that when exposed, the person damaged by this behavior realizes that the man or woman he/she thought he/she loved was not real).
Damaged Dreams - Damaged Minds
Will the REAL person please stand up? -- To the now-awaken falsely labeled "Victimizer", it had been a projected “image” that was loved. To understand this reality, allows survival reformation activity to begin but the pain of the experience does not go away and the true victim will be forced to deal with the inability to “believe” what he/she hears or sees initially for the rest of his/her life.
It is difficult to find studies that have tracked the “Victim” personality disorder and the many-faceted destructive elements to it (a life-long harmful effect to the falsely labeled "Victimizer" is that these types of relationships may degenerate into a sustained self-sabotaging interaction that may continue throughout life).
The real Victim may never understand why it happened or even “what” is happening, but may have begun to interact within the relationship by a now “defensive” posture, thus, sustaining a self-sabotaging relationship, unwittingly providing a life-long unhealthy “play-ground of empowerment” for the self-defined “Victim."
The best hope for a healthy workable solution for the (“Victim” defined) “Victimizer” is to outline strategies for the now defined “Victimizer” to become more aware of the behavior of the acting-out self-defined “Victim” in his/her life (awareness must come before a possibility for recovery and repair work can begin).
Self-Defined "Victim" Behavior -You May Be Living With A Damaged Personality - The Self-Defined "Victim"
1. If you find yourself feeling sad when only moments earlier you were content and/or happy; question why
2. If you find yourself being advised by family, friends and associates to treat your spouse/friend/associate more thoughtfully or less impatiently (and you know you are a kind and thoughtful person), question why.
3. If you enter a room where the “Victim” has been talking to others and all eyes turn to you with a questioning or shocked expression in their eyes, question why.
4. If you are in public with your “Victim” and strangers (waitresses/waiters, for instance) look at you strangely, question why.
5. If you have been threatened by a spouse to report you as an abusive person (and you are not abusive). If within his/her counseling sessions you have been accused of being abusive. If you have been accused of domestic or child abuse and it is not true. If you have just divorced your “Victim” and you are notified that your ex has charged you with domestic abuse or child abuse (and it is not true), question why.
6. One of the first clues that you may be living with a self-defined "Victim." --- If your own family members begin to look at you as though you had lost your mind, were out of control or you are a jerk (for no reason you can think of or they had no clue as to what activated a specific response) and/or you feel or find that your family now most often "sides" with your spouse or intimate other within a dispute, question why.
7. If no matter what you provide your intimate other, it is never enough or not quite right or nice enough, question why.
8. If regardless how pretty/attractive your spouse or intimate other once thought you were and you now feel you don’t measure up, question why.
A. An example “put-down” behavior acted out by the self-defined “Victim” is to chose an earlier photo and place it in a conspicuous place so that you daily see he/she prefers you looking younger, thinner, etc.
9. If you have purchased something that you have always wanted and the spouse/intimate-other refuses to allow you to enjoy it (example behavior: it could be criticism of it or a “damning with faint praise” reaction or stressed out behavior, crying, expressions of sadness or other anxious behavior that places a pall over the event) question why.
10. If in spite of many kind actions or positive behavior you exhibit to the spouse/intimate other in front of his/her children, they often present a “defending” posture against you regarding the spouse/intimate other, question why.
11. The “Victim’s” children may even lie, deceive and defend him/her regardless how friendly they appear to the most recent, labeled “Victimizer.” The “Victim” must bond (put in bondage) his/her children to him/herself by implementing an early conforming unquestioning loyalty within them toward the self-defined, “Victim.” When this is the situation, question why.
12. If the “Victim” begins a storm by some comment when others are present and then walks way or stands/sits back and watches the explosion -- the pay-off is the activation of the storm itself and/or the "presentation" to the audience of your "negative" behavior. When this behavior takes place, question why.
13. If the “Victim” implies your family has not been supportive of you or suggested they have been a negative influence on your life (when you have felt supported and loved by them), question why.
14. If the “Victim” makes hurtful remarks and even though he/she can see that you have been hurt by them, does not follow you to say he/she is sorry, but allows you to simply go away, question why.
A. Children are sensitive receptors to influence - good or bad influence. Great damage have been done to good people because children have been programmed to believe things that never took place especially when they have been placed in uncomfortable situations wherein they have no control or sense of security, asked repeatedly to role-play, allowed no time-out and emotionally exhausted.
B. Children that have been in the control of a self-defined “Victim” are helpless within their exploitation. Their view has been defined continually by the “Victim” role-playing his/her role. It is rare to observe a child questioning any view or subtle suggestion of his/her primary parent.
15. The effects on the falsely labeled "Victimizer" -- Depression is a common reaction to living with a self-defined “Victim.” People who find themselves feeling uncomfortable within many different situations, stressed, puzzled, often confused about what seems to be going on around them find themselves questioning their own state of mind (usually beginning after marriage or living with this intimate other.)
A. In reality there are real things going on around them of which they can’t put their finger on exactly because they have been carefully kept in the dark. This subliminal activity produces a self-doubting, uncomfortable confusion in their lives (a self-defined “Victim” is a thief on many levels - stealing “peace of mind” is just one of the losses that the falsely labeled “Victimizer” will experience).
16. If the self-defined “Victim” refuses personal loyalty to ground the relationship with the spouse or intimate other; question why. The answer may be that the “Victim” has a working relationship only with him/herself.
17. If the self-defined "Victim" wages life on swings of being happy and then devastated, push and pull behavior, question why.
This is a sad summary of the destructive ability of all kinds of early human abuse. Even more sadly (to its later real Victims), this list could go on and on. A “Victim” cannot be made happy, content or satisfied for long. The “Victim” rarely enjoys your enjoyment and will even when appearing to enjoy it initially will act out a behavior to spoil the moment for you.
No person is able to see a negative expression or “mouthed” negative comment arrive on the face of the role-playing “Victim” after or while speaking to another person in the room if his/her back is turned toward the self-defined "Victim."
An objectionable behavior must be "seen" before it can pursued openly as to what is/was being implied by the self-defined “Victim’s” behavior.
As uncomfortable as this action may feel, the person who may be within a self-defined “Victim’s” life should learn how to pause (just around the corner) before continuing out of the room where the “Victim” and family/friends/associates may remain and listen carefully to what is now being said by the “Victim.”
No person who is being reacted to or about behind his/her back can become aware that this is happening unless he/she learns to listen (and watch) for the snide, belittling, demeaning comment about him/herself being made by the “Victim” to others (many negative expressions against the other by the self-defined “Victim” are hidden to the view of the now defined “Victimizer”).
If you suspect that this is taking place within your life or to someone you care about, be prepared that it is exhausting, both mentally and emotionally to live within the environment of a self-defined, “Victim.” The possibility that this relationship will survive is low because the exposure of the activities of the self-defined “Victim” has the potential to take away all (or most) of his/her ability of empowering the “self" through these early learned role-playing deceptions. While this (becoming-more-aware) behavior may be distressing and hurtful to think about having to act upon regarding the behavior of a spouse/intimate other, there are few family members and friends who will take it upon themselves to tell another person this behavior is being acted out against him/her even when it may be recognized as self-defined “Victim” behavior.
If you are living with a self-defined "Victim" you have a moral right to begin procedures whereby you have the ability to protect your best self-interests along with the best interests of your children.
Note: The self-defined “Victim” understands what button to push with his/her spouse or intimate other and may begin a chain of such events in order to provide “proof” of the implied “abusive” behavior.
If you feel that you may be living with a self-defined “Victim” you must understand that you have been left with only one option. You must maintain full control of your emotions and reactions at all times or you will find that personal recovery will either be limited or impossible (your reputation will be permanently sacrificed).
If you are convinced that your spouse/intimate-other has been functioning within the damaged self-defined “Victim” personality, never view this personal situation as a challenge. Never make the decision you can play this “game” and win.
It is not a game, but a learned and accepted way of life. In spite of the possibility that this morally unacceptable behavior pattern may have begun due to an unhealthy and harmful response to an earlier daily enforced "role-playing" (because of an "abuse" situation) the "effects" now being produced target new real victims and are no more acceptable than the activity of that early abuser.
The earlier abused child had lost his/her right to “self” power and functions now within what is seen by the self-defined “Victim” as a “safe” way to maintain self-serving control while empowering “Self.”
The self-defined "Victim" has been taught by the early abusive situation that people can be manipulated and used for the benefit of the "Victim"...similar to prison-time experiences that produce a more clever criminal once released into society.
If you are tempted to maintain a sense of sympathy for the self-defined "Victim" keep in mind that while a rapist or a child molester also has a history of damage to his/her personality, the consequences of his personal choices, attack and mutilate innocent lives. They become life-long real victims of his desire to feed his obsession, to control and do injury.
The self-defined "Victim" behavior choice (when being acted out by an adult) is in reality a treacherous decision based on an "entitling" arrogance. It is the psychological equivalence of the terrorist mentality that he/she has a right to destroy the innocent.
To understand a cause and effect consequence within a pathology, does not provide an excuse to condone or ignore the damaging effects of such behavior.
Love within relationship considers the "other." It doesn't take a superior intellect to understand that if you love, you love within empathy. When a demeaning comment or a lie strikes out at the loved "other" you feel the pain and injustice of the offence.
A healthy response to feeling sad and demeaned does not always point toward a need for an encounter with a psychologist, perhaps it suggests a closer look at the behavior of that person whom you love.
If you are wondering, "Is there help for a relationship under the direction and control of a self-defined Victim?"
The answer is rationally consistent. There is little help (or hope) unless the self-defined "Victim" is able to see the destructive and dishonest application of his/her behavior on another person's life. He/she must be willing to commit to a relationship loyalty that refuses to put the spouse or intimate other in a contrived negative light.
Summed up, this means that the self-defined "Victim" allows the spouse to be FREE to be defined by his/her personal behavior choices alone (this is the human right of every person).
To find oneself in situations such as summarized above and making the decision to either look the other way or to be accepting of the “Victims” claim that you (the labeled“Victimizer”) are being “controlling” - “too sensitive” - merely “imagining things” or “becoming ‘paranoid’” at such moments is allowing the fiction of you being the “Victimizer” to continue with all the negative consequences that will follow you the rest of your life (Note: This setting is a “tweak” and“power” opportunity for the self-defined “Victim”).
Many emotionally healthy couples may have some similar situations being acted out within their relationships and yet they work through the hurtful moments and continue to find comfort and pleasure over all (within a personal loyalty grounding the relationship). This open and functioning “loyalty” (based on empathy) is fundamental to a healthy relationship.
When there is a consistent self-defined “Victim” behavior pattern being acted out: A relationship (without personal growth) and a refusal by a spouse or intimate other to maintain the personal loyalty inherent in “intimacy” are the tell-tale signs that this relationship should be reexamined or examined more closely.
When there is evidence that there is not and has not been a working toward a healthy exchange of genuine caring or supportive behavior plus an effort toward changing negative behavior within the relationship, the real victim should look for the already activated, unseen damage to him/herself and take actions to prevent it continuing.
The indicator to the (often deeply sad and too often puzzled) falsely labeled “Victimizer” is that he/she may be living with a self-defined "Victim" and that it is in his best interests and the best interests of his/her children that he/she must look more closely at the self-defined “Victim’s” behavior, in and out of his/her presence.
Every human being has an inherent right to refuse to allow the stream of his/her life to be poisoned by a damaged and destructive personality.