Friday, September 2, 2016

Victim Mentality Triggers Rescuer Trance

This phrase has been turning in my mind for several days now. I decided to stop and write about it quickly to help you, and to help myself. Victim Mentality, that is victim behavior triggers a trance-like rescuer state in those of us who were raised in narcissistic, less-than-nurturing environments. It's all part of the Karpman Drama Triangle, which is a by-pass of intimacy and consists of unhealthy, toxic games played in relationship to self and others.

In childhood you may have been taught to adapt a certain way to behaviors of your primary caretakers and others who helped influence and raise you. I have found that today, as an adult, I can be triggered back into those old childhood patterns almost as though it were a trance or hypnosis! I can be sucked into someone else's drama whenever certain behaviors are triggered. It's a bizarre thought, but so freeing to think that I can actually catch myself in action and begin to rethink my reactions.

Trances can be triggered by a variety of behaviors. For example, if someone becomes irate, this may trigger your childhood patterns of becoming accommodating and people pleasing. If someone needs help, this may trigger your fixer-rescuer patterns of behavior.  These patterns are birthed in childhood when you were required to take care of the needs of your primary caretaker instead of showing or having needs of your own. A child who is parentified survives childhood, but these behaviors cause problems in adulthood that need to be solved if one is to be happy and free.

So let's start with Fixer Rescuer since that is what is coming up for me personally lately. I've noticed that whenever someone displays behaviors that are needy, in pain, needing help, inadequate, victim, I immediately go into Ms Fix It Mode. I have a compulsive drive, a need to become the hero and fix the person's problem. Doesn't matter who it is... I just want to fix everyone's problems. I feel I have overcome the same problems they are having, and I want to rush in there and save the day.

However, this behavior is detrimental to my soul. Helping, rescuing, saving, caretaking is not healthy. It's not good for the victim and it's not good for me. I can't help anyone else. I can't do for others what they should be doing for themselves. That's codependency and that's what I'm recovering from. I have to learn to just let go and let other people have their own process. I have to learn to sit back and let others make mistakes. Sounds really easy, huh? Well, it's harder than you think because I have been mentally programmed, conditioned to jump into rescuer mode whenever certain behaviors present to me by others.

The drive to fix, help and rescue is very strong within me. I want to help everyone so much! This is a noble cause for me, but it also has selfish undertones. I want everyone fixed and right where I need them to be because their victim situation makes ME uncomfortable. So I want to control their reality by coming in and fixing things. I know other fixers have other reasons, I'm just being honest and sharing mine. I feel over-responsible.

So I started noticing when I'm talking to people when I'm triggered into Ms Fix It Mode. And I started noticing that I'm baited into this mode by others who play the role of victim. Whenever a friend, partner, family member acts helpless and needy, it is like a hook with bait on it. I take the bait and get pulled into the unhealthy dynamics of the drama triangle. I become the Rescuer.

What happens to the Rescuer? It's not good. You can rescue all day long, but if the person you're rescuing doesn't do what they need to do, your efforts at fixing are all in vain. The Rescuer can give and give and give, but in the end, the Rescuer becomes the victim. The victim of the original victim who was baiting you to join the game in the first place. Talk about a mess!!!

So the point of this article is not only to stop trying to rescue people, but to nip situations in the bud before it even starts. Don't take the bait. Don't allow your conditioning to be hooked into situations where you feel a compulsive need to fix, repair, help, rescue. Detach from caring so much.

Whenever someone approaches you with patterns of victimhood, instead of joining in the conversation, merely detach from the person and their problems. Listen to them with empathy, but don't enmesh with them. Let them have their process. Let them work out their own issues. Even if you have all the answers, enthusiasm, money, time, energy, experience and knowledge to help them out of their quandary. DON'T DO IT. Hold back. Hold yourself back. Those resources are yours and you don't need to give yourself away. 5 Ways to Detach.

Have faith that the other person, the victim, will find the resources to help themselves. This is not to say you cannot support this person, but it is to say you must not rescue this person because if you do, you're going to end up depleted. If they are miserable and you feel a tug to help them lift their spirits, and they don't take your advice (or even ask for your advice) then you're going to feel worse and worse. The victim feeds off of pity from others. The victim plays the martyr who is looking for people to join him or her in their misery.

You can help friends, but if you're prone to be a rescuer, I am finding it best for me to just stay out of the way. You don't want to give of your time, resources, heart and soul only to be resentful when the victim doesn't appreciate anything you do.

Another thing to realize about a need to rescue others is that you're trying to give to others what you really need yourself. If you rescue others, it means YOU NEED TO BE RESCUED BY YOU. How to do that? That's another article. :)

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