Get out of the victim mentality, and feel more empowered on your fertility journeyMar 20, 2023
There is nothing worse than feeling like the whole world is against you. But this is how I was feeling on the night of my 37th birthday. We had finally gotten pregnant – well our surrogate had. This was after 4 years of struggling with infertility and being forced down the path of surrogacy. By that stage, we had undergone numerous IVF cycles and traumatic surgeries. But we were finally pregnant for the first time ever. And I remember thinking – finally – something is going right. Maybe there IS a light at the end of the tunnel? Maybe we could actually be blessed with a baby?
And then we hit rock bottom again. Our surrogate had a miscarriage. It felt like a cruel joke was being played on us. I was supposed to go away with some girlfriends to celebrate my birthday, and I was planning to tell them that we were finally going to have our baby. And instead, I found myself sobbing into my glass of champagne, while I explained to them what was, and what may never be again.
I was understandably feeling sorry for myself. I was deep in victim territory, which according to the dictionary means - the belief that one is always a victim: the idea that bad things will always happen to one.
And when you have bad things happen to you enough. When you find yourself continually at the wrong end of the statistic. It’s hard not to take it personally. To wonder whether it’s just the way things are now. So, you curl yourself into a ball and convince yourself that nothing good will ever happen to you again.
But it doesn’t feel good, and it’s definitely not helpful. So here are a few things you should know about this mindset.
Firstly, how do you identify when you’re in the victim state? Yours may not be as dramatic as mine, but you can tell when you’re in it, by the chatter happening inside your head (no, it’s not just you).
Questions like “why me?” or “why does this stuff always happen to me?” surface a lot.
You are hyper aware of all the horrible things that are happening to you, and have blinders on to the rest. You tend to focus on the bad news you’ve received and the tough moments, and disregard or can’t recall all the other moments in between that aren’t so bad, or the positive results.
You expect bad things to happen to you. Statements like – of course it didn’t work out this time. Of course I’m not pregnant. Of course they lost my fertility medication in the post.
And you tend to blame yourself or others for your situation.
When you’re going down this path of infertility or loss, it is almost impossible NOT to think like this. Depending on how long you’ve been trying to conceive, I found the path to victim territory to be a slow downhill battle. So, if you’ve made your way there and have set up camp in the victim mentality, there is no need to punish yourself. It happens to the best of us. The good news is - you’re aware of it now, and that’s the first step. And awareness can give us a sense of relief too.
So WHY exactly is being in this state of mindset so bad? Well, if you didn’t realize by now, it feels like crap. It zaps your power, your energy, and your self-esteem. You’re negative, angry, and feel defeated all the time. But most of all, it keeps us stuck. We enter the victim loop and feel sorry for ourselves instead of taking action and moving forward. We get stuck in the problem, instead of trying to find a solution.
So now you know whether you’re in the victim state, and why it’s so bad – here’s the big question I bet you’re asking right now……how the heck do I pull myself out of it?
You’d think it would be a simple switch to make once you know what you’re doing, you realize it feels like crap, and that it’s not helpful. But of course, it’s not that easy. So, if you’re finding yourself resistant to change, it’s usually because you’re actually getting something out of being in the victim mentality. Here are a few of the potential things you may be getting out of it -
It could be that you are desperate to take a break, and this provides you a way out – you may be doing all the things to try and get pregnant (which you hate, by the way) and if you tell yourself that this is never going to work because bad things happen to you, then you don’t have to do all the things that are making you miserable. It essentially lets you off the hook.
It’s a form of self-protection. If you sink into this level, you get to stay safe. You tell yourself that if you think it’s not going to work, it will hurt less if it doesn’t. And if it doesn’t work, it means you were right – and one of our most human urges is to want to be right at all costs. We feel foolish when we have hope and it doesn’t work out. But if we can say, I knew it wasn’t going to work – we’re right.
You may be so exhausted, that you just don’t want to be strong anymore. Leaning into the victim state allows us to be taken care of for once. It gives you permission to rest.
But the truth is, that you don’t have to go down the victim mentality path to get all of those needs met. You can take a break when you need, you can reach out for help, and you can protect yourself by setting boundaries. You can get all the things you are craving another way.
So how do you break the cycle and reframe your thoughts?
- Start asking better questions. Instead of asking yourself – why me? Ask yourself – what now? Because there is no answer to that question of why me? And the more you ask it, the deeper you’ll fall. What now? Helps you look forward and find solutions.
- Forgiveness also plays a huge part in moving forward. Instead of blaming others for the hurtful thing they said to you, and holding a huge amount of resentment, forgive them. Forgiveness is not about saying what they did or said was right, it’s about saying that you are no longer going to let it have power over you. And most importantly, forgive yourself. You have done nothing wrong. You can refer to a previous blog I wrote about blame HERE.
- Start focusing on the things that ARE going right in your life. This is not about ignoring the shitty things – because they are definitely there. But it’s about giving the good things equal weight too. A gratitude practice can help with this.
- Create some healthy mantras to replace the thoughts that come up, to bring you into neutral territory. It’s so hard to go from - what if this doesn’t work out? To…..this is going to work out. So, bring it back to the middle. Instead, say - What if it does work out? Or I don’t know if this is going to work out. You can read more about how to create affirmations in a way that feels genuine to you, in my blog HERE.
As you can see, there are ways to get out of the victim mentality. It isn’t easy, but it is definitely worth the effort. Because you deserve to feel a whole lot better than you do today. And while this journey robs us of so much, it doesn’t have to take your power away. You are better than infertility. So put your shoulders back, stick your boobs out, hold your head high, and say goodbye to being a victim to this crazy ass disease. You’ve got this!
Would you like to know more about how you can work with me, so you can get back control of your life and start moving forward? My 1:1 coaching program is packed with information, tools and support. Find out how you can get on the wait list now.
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