The Book of Life – Martyrs, Victims, and Recipients
I’m seeing a great number of people falling into a pattern of martyrdom and it serves no purpose. It can even be said that it is self-serving. With this in mind, I’ve decided to publish this chapter, in its entirety, here on my blog. When I initially began writing and compiling The Book of Life — and it was published long before the movie by the same name — it was out of a desire to help people.
Sadly, the people who most need to understand these concepts are the ones that will probably ignore the content of this chapter. Still, it is my sincere hope that it will at least help other people to resist falling into the trap that is so expertly lace with guilt and ill intention.
In part, I am also posting this because of the unprecedented amount of ‘victims’ attacking books and authors that explore alternative lifestyles. Your ‘opinion’ is not ‘fact’. Think before you join the mob mentality. A victim on the rampage is as dangerous as an abuser with a harmful objective. As the saying goes, “Two wrongs don’t make a right”.
I urge everyone to read it, and if it’s of help, please do let me know. I would love to hear from you.
The Book of Life
Martyrs, Victims, and Recipients
Oh, I am sorry! I was not shipped with an Abuser’s manual!
Are you a Martyr? The dictionary definition of a Martyr is basically someone who dies or suffers for a cause. That cause can be real or imaginary. I find that far too many people suffer from what I call the ‘Martyrdom Syndrome’.
While the legitimacy of historical and contemporary Martyrsis not in question, I tend to see Martyrdom as an excuse to whinge and behave in a whiney fashion. I should know. I have done the ‘Cheese and Whine’ Martyrdom party occasionally. It is not something I am proud of and — pssst, it will be our little secret!
The reality is that Martyrs with true causes do not whine incessantly! They have a plan and they stick with it. They follow through to the bitter end — even when that end is death — all to advance their particular cause.
In short, Martyrs without a cause are attention seekers. They stay with unbearable spouses and partners, show up for jobs they loathe, and generally just lead miserable lives — by choice!
So what is the reward for all of this behaviour? What is the payoff? If it is a fruitless, negative pit of vile energy then what is the point? There are as many payoffs as there are reasons for the behaviour.
The ‘Martyrdom Syndrome’ is a black hole of negative energy; a vortex that sucks everything in and not much escapes unharmed. People afflicted by this condition are akin to emotional vampires. They need an audience, preferably quite captive, literally! After all, it does not help to suffer if no one is around to notice and commiserate. They will flounce around like emotional cripples and employ any method of guilt required for their entrapment of the kind-hearted.
Some people just thrive on negativity and being miserable. Some use it as a means to seek sympathy. Others are simply manipulative at the core and this is just as good a mechanism to control those around them as any other. People who ‘suffer’ from depression will sometimes display symptoms of Martyrdom.
There are people who confuse love with Martyrdom. They equate self-sacrifice with love. We have all seen this type of personality. He or she stays with an abusive partner because they see it as their cause. They dedicate their lives to changing a particular person who is in their lives. Ahem! News Flash! You cannot change someone who is unwilling!
There is a very definite line to be drawn between a person lovingly assisting someone to help him- or herself, and enabling that person to remain unchanged. That is Martyrdom with very little cause. It is a relationship that feeds two interdependent pathologies.
It is noble to become a Martyr during the course of assisting or saving a person or a worthy cause. It is simply stupid to become a Martyr to a situation or to someone when you are powerless to influence an outcome. All you are doing is enabling the situation to continue.
If there is one thing that we should keep in mind (each and every day), it is that people only change when they make the decision to do so. Until such time, all energy put into resolving the situation is wasted.
Some call this philosophy Tough Love … I just call it Common Sense! I have a simple rule in life when offering help to someone. I will only help someone who really wants the help. Note that I did not use the word needs in that sentence. It is quite obvious that someone who needs help, really does ‘need’ help, but whether they really want the help is quite another story. I do not give people endless chances either!
People must learn that there are consequences for their actions. I am not about to enable anyone else’s bad habits! I have enough of my own to nurse! If the person I am helping begins to mess me about then I pack it in, and walk away. If there is one thing I have learnt about these types of situations, it is that my own life is too precious to throw away on unworthy pursuits.
If someone continually keeps on screwing up … walk away! You cannot make anyone change by sheer desire or Martyrdom! Do not feed the behaviour by enabling it. Be someone who is supportive and a catalyst for change by not succumbing to senseless Martyrdom.
Love is not dependent on close proximity. You can still love someone but remove yourself from the negative situation. You can choose to leave a situation by making it known that you will always love and support the person, but you cannot tolerate the behaviour and as long as the behaviour persists … they are not welcome in your life. This imparts a firm but loving decision which is more likely to bring about change than a lifetime of Martyrdom.
For the purpose of this chapter if is not really important to fully understand every cause of Martyrdom. What is crucial is that we be able to recognise the symptoms and not fall victim to unhealthy situations. Who cares why someone is hell-bent on self-destruction? If you have tried to understand, spent time trying to remedy the situation and that person is still unwilling to change — then walk away.
There will be enough people with legitimate problems, which you may be able to assist down the road, and who genuinely want to change. Do these people not deserve a helping hand too?
Each and every person is responsible for his or her actions. You should not martyr yourself alongside someone who repeatedly makes bad choices. What good is that? How are you imparting a positive outcome on a negative situation? It is bad enough when one person throws their life away, but when two willingly do it … well, it is just utterly senseless!
The game of Victim and Martyr is really masochistic in nature. It stems from (amongst others) feelings of ineptitude and selfishness from both parties. The Victim dashes about being a victim of his or her own actions and the Martyr diligently follows, mopping up endless catastrophic cycles, reminding him- or herself that they are doing this out of love.
The Victim can continue unchanged, in a supportive environment, while the Martyr is dedicated to endless deliverance of ‘love and devotion’. The Victim is absolved every time and the Martyrfeels self-worth by providing love and support in this fashion. It is an unhealthy co-dependence.
The payoff for these relationships and behaviour is very primitive and base. The truth is that no one can ultimately be happy in this push/pull game. It inevitably turns sour and a bitter resentment follows. Until this kind of dependence is unlearnt, there is little chance for healthy relationships. As the relationship falls apart, these people move on to more Martyrpastures.
Essentially the Victim needs to grow up and assume responsibility for his or her actions, and the Martyr needs to understand that love does not equate dependence!
Get it on Amazon
For more information on The Book Of Life, please visit one of these links.
Change your Mind and Change your Life!