I’ve been meaning to share this for a while now, but have delayed putting it together.
My Cinderella Story
I was all of three when this incident that I call my Cinderella story took place. A visitor to our home brought a box of chocolates for us. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the chocolates and begged my Mum for one. Since it was close to lunch time, Mum told me I could have one later. I began to fidget with the box. To make sure I didn’t help myself to a chocolate, she took the box and put it on top of the refrigerator – out of my reach.
I always had a smart mouth, and even at that age was completely absorbed by books and stories. So I turned to my mother and questioning her ‘cruel’ behaviour of making me wait for the treat asked her: ” Are you my stepmother?”
Naturally, this story got a lot of laughs down the years. But today I’m musing about another aspect of the story.
Do we all have a Cinderella story?
I think we all have our own Cinderella stories. Times when things happen to us that are for our own good, or people act to save us from ourselves and yet we consider ourselves victims.
Without any insult to the true victims of emotional, mental and physical abuse, it seems that these days a lot of people seek attention by playing the victim. The victim card is flashed even when they are in the wrong and someone has told them where to get off. I remember someone cribbing about the unfairness of a traffic cop who stopped her for being in the wrong lane and fined her. She was breaking the rules, but when he fined her, the cop was in the wrong!
Victim or Creator?
There are stories we tell ourselves about incidents and situations in our lives. Instead of looking at these situations with honesty, we prefer to see ourselves as the victims of people and circumstances. By doing this we often deprive ourselves of learning the lessons life is seeking to teach us.
I know this happens, because I’ve done it too. I entered into a relationship, knowing that it was not good for me, gave that person more than I should have and then when things didn’t work out, I blamed him. Totally unfair, because that person, quite early in the relationship, showed himself for what he was. It was my fault that I chose to think I could change him. Like Maya Angelou said, “The first time someone shows you who they are, believe them.” And yet I played the victim about this, only to delay my own growth.
I used to think I was a victim of my story until I realized the truth that I am the creator of my story. – Steve Maraboli
Today I invite you to ask yourself what stories you are telling yourself about your life and what role are you playing in them.
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Your chocolate incident reminds me of the time when I was young and had a tantrum when Mom didn’t give me Maggi 🙂 That was when I played victim to Mom’s ‘hitler’ rule
Heart breaks or headache, I have kinda always kept to myself … or even better I add some humor and turn it into a blogspot.
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I practiced being a victim in simple cases like I went to take bath, checked the geyser was switched on but still found there was no hot water and since I had to rush for college or work, I was forced to use the cold water. Then I cribbed about never getting hot water and played the victim card. This I had imbibed from my parents and other people around me. I used to get formal lessons in how our relatives were the tormentors and our family the victim. The concept of choice of whether to stay in touch with such relatives or not, nobody knew or understood that. Today I do not have a victim story of any sorts. I erased them a few years ago. I know I have the power in my mind to feel in control.
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Hmmmm, I have been in one of ‘those’ relationships too. It was very toxic, and lasted for years…. we even got married. I didn’t play the victim so much as hide what was going on from everyone, especially my friends and parents. I did however, subconsciously think that I could ‘change’ him…. because he charmed his way into my heart and I believed all the lovely things he said. Problem is, he also told me ‘who’ he was after a while, and I simply refused to believe him. He also said he’d changed because of me…. and I fell for that. I only focused on the ‘nice’ bits and thought that when the ‘bad’ stuff appeared, it surely had to be a mistake, or a deviation from his true self, or just him finding his way. It took months of counseling to recover from the damage he did (I let him do) over 10 years, and realise that even though I thought I was doing the right thing by sticking by him and trying to ‘help’ him become the best he could be and overcome all the negative bits of his personality disorder, in fact, what I was doing was trying to control him. I was trying to change him into the image I had of him. The image that fitted the ‘nice’ version he presented at the very start. It was a lesson hard learned. Now I know to walk away if what they say and any of the things they do don’t fit with what I’m looking for in a relationship. It’s best for BOTH of us that way. I don’t have the right to control anyone like that.
Definitely a good thing to think about!
Darla M Sands
Delightful story! And this provides good food for thought.
The best part….”We are not victims but creators of our story”. I believe that it holds true for every aspect of life. A strong person would analyze himself but a weak one will always blame others. Short story but strong message. Thanks for sharing.
A thought-inspiring post. I think that you are right – we all do this sometimes.
My mother elevated victimhood to an art form. Once I got out on my own, I learned that I really did have choices–not only about what to do but how to think about/perceive it. And being a victim was not for me. I like being the mistress of my own destiny–good or bad, I’m the one who’s responsible. Thanks for an eloquent reminder!
What a good Cinderella story! My parents were always very forthright in we create what we want. They encouraged and supported us in our dreams but they never let us forget that it was our road to travel with all the bumps that come along with it. Sometimes it’s hard not to feel like the victim in some situations, but I have to remember I can change my reactions and be positive. I was laid off from my job this week. I can sit around and mope and feel like a victim or rejoice for a new opportunity. I choose to make the best of it because there is really nothing I can do to change it.
Wow Corinne! We must be sharing a little synchronicity! I’ve been thinking a lot about story lately: the ones we tell ourselves, the ones we tell others, the ones we love to hear and the ones we hate to hear, even as we’re drawn to their flame. We are story! It drives us. We learn from it. We need it.
There’s this show in the US call “Once Upon a Time” and one of the characters is “the Author”. He can write something and it simply happens. It means he can change things, make things happily ever after, or not.
We are “the Author”.
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Really beautiful and wise post… I have done lot of things wrong but I don’t play the victim card thesedays a tall… I don’t know about relationships even though we know its not suitable for us yet we try for it and waste our time, I did that too!!): … never learn… but beautiful post… never play the victim post and listen to your heart but not let it take over you completely use a bit of your bits, both are good combination. Whatever you do let it not hinder your life for too long and be a blockage(:
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True, we have our own Cinderella moments. However, one thing that I have realised is that whatever happens turns out for the best. I have learnt to look at the positive in these Cinderella moments.
Loved the way you have explained it.
I have done it too,Corinne..Sometimes I’m so adamant that I’m the victim that I don’t let even myself admit that maybe I was wrong. But yes, sometimes I manage to say it to myself, accept my fault and try to learn my lesson..Still learning…
I’ve done it too many times and never saw it for what it was. Sometimes it is hard to understand right from wrong and we don’t realize we’re playing the victim until it’s too late. Great post… it helped me make a decision in fact. Thank-you for sharing 🙂
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Thought provoking. There are times I’ve behaved badly for sure, just to get attention, and I don’t just mean as a child. You would think the adult me would have known better.
Haha. That’s a cute Cinderella story.
But this got me thinking. How do we see things? Do we have the victim or the victor mentality?
I actually don’t like what Cinderella implies. It’s like tolerating cruelty. She’s too kind! And if the prince didn’t came she would have rotted there in the attic. I think girls should watch Mulan and Frozen first before they watch Cinderella so they know what kind of girl they should be. 😀
A very interesting and clear reflection on how we plat victims. Something we need to ponder on and assess our role, be it not standing up for something or blaming someone else.
Yet another thought provoking story . What is my Cinderalla story? And do I have just ONE story ? There are lots of times when I feel sorry for myself and paint myself the victim but your post has reminded me that I write my own story. Thanks Corinne for pointing this out .
Such a funny story and shows your love for chocolate.
I have played victim a lot in efforts to defend myself but with age, I look at myself and see what could have I done better. Then I laugh it out or play the ‘being human’ card 🙂
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It’s actually an eye opener for me. I too played a victim ( just to get rid of the cops). Liked it 🙂
This is a very insightful post, Corrine. I think we have all played victim at some point in our lives. The stories we tell ourselves are not always honest, just what comforts us the most. But looking at the truth in the face is the only way to grow. Else we just keep going in circles, and doing the same mistakes, over and over again.
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This is thought-provoking. I think there really are victims in society. But I agree that some people play the role to get attention. I Some are what I call “professional victims,” using it as their identity. Not healthy at all.