Victims of PMDD?
When Victim Identification Becomes Self-Abuse
We need to talk.
I just saw yet another PMDD post on Facebook that calls us "victims" of this condition. I cringed but nearly scrolled on by until something made me scroll back on up and reply. It was a feeling in my gut, a compulsion, that if I ignored would make me complicit in a cycle of abuse.
Words are frickin' powerful. They hold energy. They are channels through which the energies of thoughts can flow. They are like magnets, and they attract like. If we aren't thoughtful about how we use them, we become incompetent magicians wrecking havoc on our reality with our spells.
"Victim" is one loaded word. I am NOT a victim. A victim is helpless. A victim is powerless. I am not my PMDD. I am none of those things. And in truth, neither are you.
I experience PMDD. Who I am is SO much bigger than PMDD. Pa-lease!!! Can we stop with the victim bullshit? A victim has no choices left. I always have choices. Always. If not in a single moment, then in the next. And so do you.
When I see the victim word, especially among women who are supposed to be empowering each other, I shudder. I mean, it's fine to be sensitive to one another when we are feeling vulnerable, but even "vulnerable" does not equate to "victim". Vulnerable shouldn't even mean that we have to give each other trigger warnings because we are all just ready to crumble into dust.
We are grown women! We need to know that when we get upset by something it is because of something inside us, not the other way around. We must use "triggers" as they happen to examine ourselves. We shouldn't have to use "triggers" as warnings to each other: "What I'm about to say may trigger you?" What the hell is that? Anything and everything on the face of the planet is enough to trigger someone at any time. We can't plan for that! We can't go around warning people. We can't go around censoring ourselves either because "someone might get triggered."
Why do we do it? Why do we enable one another this way? Is it our conditioning? Our brainwashing? Do we really need to enable one another to be kind?
I understand that PMDD can feel like we're being punished, like we in fact don't have any control over what happens to us month to month. I get it. I get that we can be treated like shit by our doctors and lovers and family and friends. But here's the question to ask yourself. Do you have to treat yourself like shit because they do? Do you have to relinquish your power because of what they do or say? Do you want to be a victim or a victor? The choice is yours.
Granted, you might be having a meltdown and be passed the point where you can pull yourself out of it. That itself still doesn't make you a victim. What makes you a victim is feeling sorry for yourself (and we all do it; it's okay!), getting stuck in a moment of time, and failing to recognize that your next moment may be entirely different than any current moment. What makes you a victim is believing that you are one, and once you believe it, good luck feeling better about yourself and your life. Lookout, because everything will trigger you now.
Identifying as a victim is a road to hell. It's an eternal punishment for a single slice of time. Even if that time repeats month after month, it passes. Let it pass!
And for those women out there mad as hell at me right now for trying to wrestle their victim identification from their cold, achy hands, I'm not recommending blaming one's self for what happens either. Blame is just as toxic as victim identification. We are not at fault for our condition. We are not at fault for things we cannot control. But that again is not enough to make us victims.
Nor do I suggest we judge ourselves for our shortcomings. Bashing ourselves because we "don't want to be victims" makes about as much sense as going to war for peace.
Think about it? What do we need? We need to feel better about ourselves, not worse. We need to adopt thoughts and behaviors that strengthen us, not ones that perpetually neuter our power. We need to empower one another and lift each other up, not politely agree to not rock each other's delicate boats with the truth. We need to remember and be reminded of who we are, not get trapped in the illusions of stinking thinking. We need to know and be reminded that we have choices. Maybe they are only small ones, but they are always there. They may be hidden in a moment, but they are always there.
I just want to cry when I think of all the women out there calling themselves victims for whatever reason. It's a misidentification. It's a misunderstanding. It's a trap in time. It freezes us forever in place...in single moments that have long since passed. It is a cycle of abuse perpetrated on ourselves, for God's sake.
We are not victims. We are not labels. We are resilient and we are victors.