I have a core wound.
My core wound tells me “you are an unnecessary disruption in everyone’s life.”
Ultimately, this wound convinces me “you should be rejected.”
Thankfully (sort of), my core wound has a best friend. He doesn’t believe anyone should be rejected, no matter what they did. He says, “NO.” Which is a good healthy response.
However, this friend takes things too far. He also says “we can’t take any blame or ownership for our actions or it means ‘they’ are right.”
So when I do something wrong, unhealthy, or damaging to my relationship with Lori, a part of me begins to search for how it is her fault. This is really dangerous.
This part of me starts to look for places where I have unmet expectations or where Lori has done something in the past which looks similar, but is not the same. It wants to create a distraction, a decoy, a lie about her that I can use to blame her and not look at my own actions.
This friend is called Playing the Victim.
Disclaimer: There is a difference between being a victim and playing the victim.
When Playing the Victim runs things nothing is ever my fault because then it means “Yes, you ARE an unnecessary disruption in her life.”
Playing the Victim is trying to protect me from getting rejected, by blaming someone who did nothing wrong and probably has no idea why I am upset.
Playing the Victim ultimately leads to rejection because no one really likes being accused of something out of nowhere about something they didn’t do.
Something to know: Playing the Victim is a conspiracy theorist. You can present facts about what really happened and without missing a beat, he will have another reason why it is not my fault.
I believe Playing the Victim had a healthy reason to enter my life, “no one deserves to be rejected.” However he is now causing chaos, damage, and abuse.
For several reasons, I don’t think I can get rid of him. I think he would find a new way to hide in my thinking and be more difficult to spot.
So, I have to embrace him. There is some good to be gained in getting to know him and how he works.
As Carl Jung would say, he is my shadow. He is trying to protect me but harming those closest to me as a result.
I recommend making a list of expectations you have of your spouse, partner, or significant other. Be brutally honest about it, if you expect them to have dinner ready at six then add it to the list. Areas where you might want to look: time, money, friends, family, etc.
Also, look at old conversations where this has happened. You might have a few, like I do.
During conversations, pay attention to any moment where you think “but you do that all the time” or “if you would let me explain.” These might be areas where Playing the Victim wants to cut in and blame someone, anyone, else.
Take ownership, early. Playing the Victim exists to keep me from taking ownership of my actions and thinking. If I take ownership, spoken out loud, with the other person, I have a better chance of staying on track.
Also, look at the outcome of these conversations. Are they really getting you what you want? Are you more peaceful, happy, and content? Or are you living in an anxious fog hoping no one points out your negative behavior?