“How come kids with cancer,
prayers get no answer?
Do you hear their mothers when they ask,
‘Why God why does my child have to die?’
Staring at a vacant sky beginning to cry
Can you hear that? Do you feel that?
This is real rap, God doesn’t hear crap.”
——Letter to God, Reezin the Revolutionary, Charles Aubrey Rogers
Other family’s children are doing well. Why wasn’t my youngest child?
My child is addicted. My child has a mental illness. My chid is dead.
I remember scrolling through Facebook and seeing other kids go to the senior prom. My son was still in a therapeutic boarding school, not doing well. Later, kids he’d gone to school with graduated from high school.
I avoided social media. It seemed everyone’s children were moving forward. Except for my youngest child. I longed for and ached for a normal life. What came so easily to everyone else’s family, was a distant fantasy for ours. How I longed for it. We’d left “normal” years prior.
Then after he died, seeing the support other parents got for children with other illnesses and comparing it to the judgment and gossip we got, made me angry.
Comparison really is the thief of joy. Feeling that I was robbed is natural. It wasn’t helpful, however, and I didn’t want to live a life of bitterness. And when those resentments would peek into my consciousness, I had to acknowledge it and then ask myself if Charles would want me to live this way. And then I had to write about it in an emotionally naked way.
Was it unfair what happened to us? That we lost our son to addiction and then suicide? Yes, it is. But what about the mom who lost her whole family, spouse, and two children in a car accident? What about the family who lost their home in a flood? What about the parents who have two severely disabled children? Why do any of us think we are immune to tragedy? Or that someone else prayed better than we did and they were granted a more beautiful life? What about people who lived in abject poverty and didn’t have running water or food?
I couldn’t look at just what those who were doing well, I needed to look at what others didn’t have, too, in order to be fair. If I always looked up, I’d always be disappointed and for that, I needed to widen my lens.
Know that it’s natural to feel that way. But recognize the feeling, label it, and pledge to find your way out of that mousetrap. Eventually, you’ll work your way out of it. Like I did.
4 thoughts on “How to lose victim mindset”
I lost my son 7/21/2017 – he was 22. I will not accept it as a suicide. He died as the result of a gun, that was in his hand, but there is no way he wanted to die.
I don’t consider myself a victim. I am a grieving mother – I lost my 22 year old son whom I love deeply and miss more with each passing day.
I cringe when I hear other parents scream at their children or make comments like “my child is acting so bad I want to beat him” – even though they don’t mean it literally, it makes me sick to my stomach.
The loss of a child cannot be made right, it cannot be fixed … regardless of the age of child, regardless of the circumstances … these are cold, hard facts. These cold hard facts do not make me feel, or act as, I am a victim. I am a heartbroken mother – I have lost a son that I brought into this world and cared for every day for 22 years. A child I share a deep bond with as he is half of me.
I am not a victim. I am a mother of a beautiful son who should still be here with me. I am a heartbroken, heartsick mother who now loves her son while sitting at his side unable to hear his voice, unable to wrap my arms around him and hold him, unable to exchange calls, texts, I love you’s.
I know that feeling. I do. And usually, they don’t want to die but just end the unrelenting pain. I’m so sorry. Working through it was hell for me, too. My son died at the age of 20. Like you, I miss my boy’s hugs and “i love yous.” I had one of those pangs of grief just this morning. Thank you for candidly expressing how you feel.
I still struggle with that 8 years later. My head knows that it could always be worse, but that doesn’t seem to matter to my heart.
I can understand that. I still have relapses. They are shorter and I get myself back on track mainly because it doesn’t make me feel good or better. But it has taken a lot of practice, writing and time. I try and ground myself in the Present, watch it float by instead of engaging the feeling.