I'm speaking to supporters here. I've received too many emails and listened to too many callers where the supporter complains about everything they do to help their loved one to manage their Bipolar Disorder (key word here being complaining), and receive nothing in return, or about how unappreciated they are.
I'm a supporter myself, so I do know how much we do for our loved ones. And I know that much of it is thankless. There have been many times when I just wanted to quit, as I'm sure you have as well. But I don't quit, and neither do you. But does that make us victims? NO!
There is something called a "victim mentality." And that is what I want to talk to you about.
Some people would have you believe that you have a right to be angry…to be frustrated… to be hurt… to be whatever negative feeling you want to fill in the blank with. And, yes, maybe you do have a right to feel those things.
It is these types of things that lead to a victim mentality, however, because when you dwell on these negative feelings – when you develop a resentment against your loved one – when you start blaming your loved one for your negative feelings… that is when you begin to have a victim mentality.
But the point is… You are NOT a victim. You are the supporter of a loved one who has a very serious mental disorder. And they did not ask for that disorder any more than you asked to be their supporter. You are their supporter because you love them, and you want to help them.
You took the time and effort to learn how to be a good supporter. You have learned how to be positive, to look at the better side of things. That is what keeps you going sometimes, even when things look bleak.
Now, you could choose to be a victim if you want. You have enough reasons, no doubt. But is this what you really want? To be a victim for the rest of your life? Who will benefit from your victim mentality? YOU? Your loved one? Your children? The rest of your family? Your friends? Your co-workers? Your friends? Society? NO! NOBODY benefits when someone has a victim mentality.
In fact, it is just the opposite. Someone who believes they are a victim (has a victim mentality) usually becomes a complainer, and no one wants to listen to a complainer.
In your arsenal as a supporter, you have learned many things. And knowledge is power. Knowledge empowers you! It makes you stronger! Not just as a supporter, but as a person in your own right!
By this time, you should have left your victim mentality behind you. You are NOT a victim!