Many people ask me how I keep going and how I keep such a good attitude. And my answer always is because I choose to. Life is full of choices and being a survivor is one of them. Sometimes people get lost in the victim mentality and do not know their way out and sometimes people like being the victim because it fills a need inside for attention or to not have to be the fighter we can be or because it is familiar and they would rather have the familiar than to empower themselves and step out and become a survivor.
Things happen in life that make us all victims at some point but the truth is, we do not have to stay a victim. It is not what happens to us in life that makes us who we are…it is how we deal with it that does. We can either become what happens to us or we can become the survivor of what happens to us. I personally choose survivor because that is how I am.
Being a survivor should instill in us the desire to make it easier for those that come behind us and we do that by showing them what is still good in our lives, not all that has been wrong or still is wrong. I am always humbled when people tell me how much I inspire them. I do not set out to inspire but more to try to offer what I have learned along this journey of mine to help them survive too. I call it my older than dirt wisdom.
danLrene’s Signs of a victim mentality versus a survivor mentality
A victim focuses on the things they can not control.
A survivor focuses on the things they can control and influence.
A victim will get angry if you encourage them to be positive.
A survivor will be enthused by positive affirmations.
A victim surrenders power over their life to others and to events.
A survivor’s life is focused on the power they have gained by how they respond to life.
A victim tells you everything that has gone wrong or is still wrong in their lives.
A survivor will tell you all that is still right in their lives first and how they refuse to give up.
A victim uses the event that made them a victim as an excuse of why they are a victim.
A survivor uses the event as a reason why they have survived and overcome.
A victim’s life centers around all that is wrong and why life is so hard.
A survivor’s life centers on how they are going to cope and make their life better.
A victim wears a badge of sorts that says “I am a victim. Feel sorry for me”
A survivor wears a badge and tells everyone with pride “I am a survivor”.
A victim gives up easily, feels helpless and feels like they have no choice in their life.
A survivor fights to get ahead and endures and feels empowered to take their life back.
A victim is often dramatic about what has happened and portray themselves as limited.
A survivor is quick to tell you that they are a survivor and are capable.
Victims tend to associate with other people who have the victim mentality.
Survivors tend to associate with other people with survivor mentality.
Those are just a few things that differentiate victim from survivor. And it is all choice. It may take a little time to go from victim to survivor and hopefully on to thriving in your life in spite of all the obstacles you have overcome but it is essential that we keep moving forward. It is when we stall out in the victim mentality that we are cheating ourselves from having a better life.
I have been through many things in my life…personal hardships, financial hardships and medical hardships including at one time losing a child, my home, my vehicle and my health and yet each time, I have been able to survive and go on. I do not go into details on these things because to me they are past and I look to the future and they are hurdles I have jumped over and am still jumping over. But, let me tell you that in spite of all the health issues I have now, I am still leading a full and happy life. I am NOT my health issues. I am Deb who just happens to have some health issues.
Things happen to us that make us a victim at the time and change our lives totally and in order to be a survivor, we have to accept and come to terms with these changes.
“We must be willing to get rid of the life we planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” Joseph Campbell
I think people cling to the victim mentality because it is a familiar lifestyle. It is the same reason that people will stay in bad relationships or jobs..because they know what to expect and that is less scary than being a survivor and having a willingness to step out into the unknown and become empowered enough to take your life back and not let whatever has happened or is happening to steal your life from you. Every moment we remain a victim when we could work towards being a survivor is stealing our life from us and letting the event have more power on us that it should. And I do not have that many minutes I want to waste anymore.
And once you become the survivor, you are only a step away from becoming a thriver and living your life to the fullest no matter what you face. Being a thriver is more than surviving, it is flourishing in your life where you are at. You know that old expression, bloom where you are planted. Well, I bloom from a hospital bed with oxygen on and I have so much love and laughter and joy in my life…because I choose to. Thriving is not about just surviving, it is about how you see yourself and who you think you are and what you think you are capable of doing.
And that brings me full circle to why I am a survivor and thriver and how I believe we should be setting an example and being all we can be for those coming behind us who fall a victim so that they too can become survivors and thrivers. Inspire means to encourage, to motivate someone in a positive way and what more positive way than to encourage someone to be a survivor.
We got home from the doctor Tuesday and had 6 inches of snow. Son actually went out and measured. Then it continued to snow and snowed more during the nite and the snow reached almost to the top of the brick little wall out front that is like a retainer wall for a step up. It measures 11 inches and you can see in the picture how close the snow comes. I love living at this altitude. While places in lower altitudes get three and four inches..we get a bunch.
Flower pots taken when we got home.
looking from porch
An amazing show I got last week coming home. The orange glow in the center is NOT the sun. The sun is way to the far left of the picture. I took a lot of shots of this orange glow trying to figure out what it was.
The ice from the roads…this was really awesome to see.
a sheet of ice on the door that fell off in one sheet when I opened the door.
And update on doc visit. They burned the nerves on the left side and will get the right side this coming Tuesday. It is more painful to have done in the mid back but I can tell it helps so the result is worth it. Then I saw my regular doc because of this rash on my face..cheeks, forehead and eyelids and feeling bad..achy joints, head hurting, etc. They are testing me for lupus, sjorgens and rheumatoid factor to eliminate them and then will see where to go next.
If a fifteen year old child can write with such strength on never giving up, then I know I can keep fighting and never give up. I refuse to give up.
I WILL NEVER GIVE UP
I will never give up
No matter what the odds are
No matter what people say
No matter how far
I will never give up
If I throw it away time after time
If I am one step behind try after try
If I miss dime after dime
I will never give up
Even when it seems all over
Even when no one else believes
Even when it seems I can go no further
I will never give up
For I know I have strength within
For I know I can persevere
For I know that I can win
I will never give up
Because it’s someone elses fault
Because I am settling for good enough
Because I fear that I will fall short
I will never give up
There is so much I can still do
There is too much talent to waste
There is so much in me that I want you to see
I will never give up
Why squander all of my hard work and dedication
Why not show the world that I am a fearless baller
Why quit when I still have the opportunity to go on
I will never give up
If I do, I will not be the best me that could live
If I do, I will never know what I am capable of
If I do, I am not giving the world all I can give
I will never give up
Written in 2004 by K.D., Age 15 — Oregon
POSTED BY SON:
I am always amazed when I get out of my house and things are not handicapped accessible like I am used to and I find that these things make our lives so much easier and yet people will not use them because they think it makes them look old or whatever.
My parents would not use handicap things like the handicap seat for the toilet and hated the walkers they were supposed to use. My mother wanted them kept in the other room. When asked why? Their response was “it makes us look old”. They were 83 and thought the people in the assisted living were old people, not them. And so, both my parents fell, broke a hip, had surgery, developed MRSA and died. All because of pride.
Maybe because I was disabled at such a young age…in my early forties and really disabled in my thirties but did not get on disability until my early forties…that I handled having handicap things better. Having the handicap toilet, the grab bars, the utensils with bigger handles, higher hospital bed bed, power chair, forearm crutches, remote control lights, etc all make my life easier. And when we go to the doctor or have to stay in a motel to be there for medical things at the hospital, I realize just how much easier that these things make my life. They help me save my energy so that I have the energy to do things I enjoy and to be with my loved ones and enjoy them.
Son is so awesome at handicap stuff and is always making or fixing things to make it safer for me or to make it easier. For example, on the door frames going out of the house is a grab bar so that I can hold on to it to answer the door. There was a grab bar right beside where the coffee pot was on the old cabinets that son just pulled out so that I could hold on to make my coffee. The little shelf was a telephone nook and low so you could sit on a stool but because I was standing to get my coffee, he raised the little shelf up. He removed those big bulky cabinets to make it easier for me to get around in my power chair that I am having to use right now and will probably have to use more and more as time goes on.
Having a chair in the shower and a handheld shower nozzle is probably the most wonderful thing in the world because it does not wear me out to take a shower as bad. Before, just taking a shower meant a nap after I got out and dressed because it took all my energy. Son helped me shampoo my hair at the kitchen sing..and another nap before I could dry it and I never did both on the same day. And yet here I can with my new shower chair with arms on the side.
But, the hardest thing for people to accept is help when they start getting limited mobility. It does not have to mean you are totally disabled. It can mean that you get exhausted easily like from CFS or Fibro. It can be all sorts of things and there is no shame in using these things. It took me a while to use the scooters in the stores when I first became disabled because I was afraid of what people would say. Before I got a hospital bed, son put two mattresses stacked so that I did not have to sit so low to get up and down. And then I learned that it did not matter what people said. Those that loved me and knew I had problems would understand and those that were not willing to really see the real me really did not matter. What mattered is taking care of me.
I learned to keep things in every room to save me energy of which I have precious little. I had notepads, ink pens, lotion, reading glasses, a fleece cover, even a brush in case someone showed up…all by every place I would use in each room. Why? Because it saved me a trip to get them. People who live on two floors should do the same on each floor to cut down the trips up and down the stairs.
I have had people tell me that they could no longer get on the computer because it hurt too much to sit at the desk and yet when I would suggest moving the computer to the table by their recliner or by their bed, you would have thought I was crazy and they would say “I am not ready for that yet”. What are they waiting on? To be so bad that by the time they are “ready” they will not even be able to enjoy that? Think of the joy they could have now if they conserved their spoons now and used ways to conserve their precious energy.
Look on the side of my page here and you will see my hospital bed with my computer monitor and flat screen tv. I type laying on my back with the keyboard on a pillow on my stomach. It allows me to continue having online friends and social interaction plus doing something I enjoy BUT had I not been willing to use an easier method…I would not be doing this. Assistive methods mean just that…ways to assist us and to make things easier. They are not something to be ashamed of. They do not make us old or look old. It is making our lives where we can enjoy more in spite of the things we have wrong whether it be limited ability or totally disabled.
And it comes back to that word I preach so much…choice. It is our choice. We can choose to use things to make life easier so that we do not use what little energy we have or we can choose to let pride rule us and we make life harder and that in turn takes life away from us. I realize how much it helps me to use the things available, to change my home to help me no matter if it no longer looks like a Good Housekeeping Home or like everyone else’s home.
And I have learned that it is important for me to do the things I can do for me and if people do not understand, that is ok. That is their problem, not mine. My problem is to take care of me, to make life easier for me which in turn makes life’s good moments more frequent.
I am thrilled to say that they put off my Radio Frequency Ablation next procedure until October 9th and I have no appointments the next week which will enable me to rest. All of the doctor appointments and the RFA have worn me down plus the ugly sitch with the medical supply people, so I look forward to laying here and recuperating the next days.
There comes a point we need a reprieve and I got mine.
Sorry for posting so much but I am laying here feeling pretty yukkie. Seems the third day is always the worst and then uphill. This topic is one of my passions. I hear people call animals “dumb animals” and treat them like they have no feelings and it makes me sick. I have said this before, if you do not know if what you do hurts an animal, then do it to yourself first. If it hurts you, it will hurt the animal.
Also, I want to ask people to stop thinking of animals as objects. Parents get children animals and when it does not work out, they take it to the shelter. Here a feeling animal has grown attached to a family only to be abandoned. And it shows in their looks. All animals want is to be loved. If they are wild, love them from a distance but do not abuse them. If they are domestic animals, please treat them like what they are…feeling, living beings and not a toy that you can just give away when you are tired of it, not something to make money with without concern for the animal but a living, feeling, breathing being.
Ok, back to animals feeling. If you really look at animals, you will see emotions in animals and research has shown that they do feel. Animals often say their pet is smiling and others will scoff at them. And animals feel fear, pain, sorrow, loss, excitement, joy, contentment. Where did some humans get the ideas that only we humans feel these things and they can mistreat these wonderful creatures? Animals show expressions and give actions because they have no words to tell us that something bothers them, that they are tired, that they want to be left alone, that they are hungry, etc and if we pay attention we soon learn our own pet’s expressions and sounds.
Animals showing fear. Can you see the fear in their eyes?
human showing fear
image from louisdietvorst.wordpress.com
Bears showing love
image from lindsayreddick.blogspot.com
Humans showing love. Amazing how similar is it not.
image from funnybabyanimalphotos.blogspot.com
Animals Showing Anger
image from m.inmagine.com
Human showing anger
image from goodreads.com
Animals showing grief
Humans showing grief
Amazing when you look at animals, really look at them, their expressions are so much like our own and that is because they do feel. They feel the tone of our voice, they feel any thing physically done to them be it love or hurt, they feel loss when they lose someone or one of their own and they even feel anger….just like us. And they smile and show joy just like we do.
Animals showing happiness
image from somethinwonderful.blogspot.com
image from slices-of-life.com
image from fanpop.com
Baby Smiling and showing happiness
image from ididafunny.com
Animal loving a human
image from youthvoices.net
What is sad is that humans are the biggest threat to animals. Is that not horrible. These beautiful, smart and feeling creatures and we are their biggest threat. People take their land which takes their habitats and food. People use them in horrific ways such as in dog fighting. People slaughter them in horrendous ways. People mistreat them and injure them and most of their deaths are because of humans. Is it not time that people quit treating them like objects and started treating them as the magnificent creatures they are?
This is a pet peeve of mine. I am no longer in junior high or even high school and yet so much of that mentality seems to exist especially on Facebook. There are cliques and groups and bullying and you name it. But, my pet peeve is this junior high attitude that people want to tell you who you can talk to and who you can not talk to.
I am open and what you see is what you get. If you know me, you know I am honest and that I do not play games. I am also an adult and capable of deciding who I will talk to and who I will not talk to. I am not going to drop people just because someone else does not like them. If you really are my friend, then you KNOW me well enough to know I am not going to betray you and that I am not involved in ugliness. I am simply refusing to hurt others just because others do not like them.
And if you think that trying to force me to choose whom I talk to works with me…think again. I am an adult. I talk to many people…not daily…maybe even not weekly but I certainly do not just block people because other friends do not like them. I believe in loving all and in trying to be kind and open enough so that maybe some thing I say or do in love will touch a spark in someone else and leave them feeling better. I can not base my actions on what others do.
image from reecerants.blogspot.com
This is one reason I do not care for Facebook. It brings out the junior high mentality, the paranoia and the insecurities in people. And so, what do they do? They try to exert control to make themselves feel better. Bad thing is…I do not control well. I do not hate anyone. I do not waste my time on hate. So, if you hate someone, do not expect me to hate them just because you do. Life is too short for that. I do not approve of everything everyone does. Heck, I do not always approve of everything I do because I am human. That is how we learn.
But most of all, please do not act all “Christian” and yet, you are hating others and want others to ostracize them too. That is NOT Christian. Jesus sat down with the sinner…and folks we are all sinners. I try to treat everyone the same. I may not agree with all you do but I am not going to disrespect you for your beliefs, nor am I going to hate you for your actions, nor am I going to refuse to see you as a creation of God and refuse to see any goodness in you. Is it not time people stopped the hate and started seeing that others have good in them too. We can not do the “say one thing and act another” for it soon catches up with us.
Thank God freedom of thought and speech is still alive. Yes, it comes with responsibility and with consequences. If I do not like what you say or what you do…I simply am not part of that. But, I still believe in the innate goodness of people and so even when I do not like what you do, I still believe you have good in you.
And while I still believe in the goodness in the world…I also still believe in myself being part of that goodness in the world. And that means, I should not contribute to the ugliness in the world by junior high attitudes and by hating others and by acting like I think I am better when I am being just as judgmental if I try to get everyone to hate someone and yet say I am a kind and loving person. Does not jive does it? And it certainly is not very Christian. What is that quote “love the person and hate the sin”. Is it not time we started seeing the actions and hating the actions instead of the person?
Life is tough enough. There are enough things we have to deal with in our lives but no matter how many things we deal with, I have found that being complacent only makes me lose out. If I am not willing to stand up for what is right and more important stand up for myself….how can I expect anyone else to?
If we sit by and become complacent and put our heads in the sand, we’re complicit.
I think sometimes people feel like if they do not rock the boat and make any waves and keep the peace that they are doing something good. What it does is make us complicit to whatever is going on. If we are complacent and do not do anything when we see a crime, it in essence makes us part of that crime.Well, the same is true if we do not stand up for ourselves. If we are complacent then we have no reason to complain for we became part of whatever is mistreating us.
“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.”
James Neil Hollingworth
To give you an example, the Social Services on the other side of the mountain treated me badly and cut off my services before it was even time. We had sold the house and you have so much time to put that money back into another house before it goes against you. My first reaction was just to cry in tears and frustration. And if it had not been for the Social Services on this side of the mountain, I might have just given up and been complacent about it. I might have said what is the use?
Take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim.
I was encouraged to get a lawyer and I did and it took three or four conference calls with a judge and the social services people on the other side of the mountain and with my lawyer here with me in my room and then the judge told them to reinstate my services. He was quick to catch that they had terminated them too soon and that this was taking too long and keeping me from getting the health care I needed. It affected my son as my caretaker, my home help, my medical…everything. Had I been complacent, I would be sitting here today with no medical coverage.
I know sometimes it is hard to stand up for ourselves. Some of us find it easier to stand up for others or for causes than ourselves but we have to be our number one advocate. If we are not, then we can’t expect anyone else to join in our defense.
“If you stand up and be counted, from time to time you may get yourself knocked down. But remember this: A man flattened by an opponent can get up again. A man flattened by conformity stays down for good.”
— Thomas J. Watson, Jr.
Being complacent may be the easy way out but it is also the most expensive way out emotionally and sometimes financially. Being complacent does not just apply to ourselves but also to what we see in the world. We have no right to say we are against abuse if we see it and never report it. Nor do we have a right to complain when things happen if we do not get out and fight for what is right. It also applies to politics. We should not complain about who is in office if we did not bother voting. Complacency makes us complicit. I love that for it is so true. If someone is in office and we do not think they should be there, if we did not vote…then we are complicit in putting them in office.
We should not be complacent but especially do not be complacent about what happens to you and to those around us. Sometimes we can not always pick the easy way out….which is usually to ignore whatever it is. Sometimes we have to put on our big girl panties…our big boy boxers…and do what is right even though we may make someone mad. We show people what they can do to us by what we accept. If we do not accept mistreatment, ugly talk, condescension, verbal attacks…whatever, then people will know and will not be as tempted to try it with us.
Cowardice asks the question – is it safe?
Expediency asks the question – is it politic?
Vanity asks the question – is it popular?
But conscience asks the question – is it right?
And there comes a time when one must
take a position that is neither safe, nor
politic, nor popular; but one must take
it BECAUSE it is right.
Dr. Martin Luther King
I love when friends take me with them when they go somewhere. For someone who stays at home 95 percent of the time, being able to go places even if it is by internet or video is a wonderful experience. My dear friend sent me this and said she hoped that it helped me in times of pain…which it surely will. I could stare and feel myself dipping my feet into that water and throwing bread crumbs to those seagulls.
So grab your swimsuits, put on your shorts and take off your shoes and lets all go to the beach.
Never underestimate the joy you can bring to someone who is disabled or shut in. A video, a card, talking to them, visiting them all mean the world. Thanks to Sassy for this wonderful video.
- Comfort foods
- Dreams for the future
- Eating Out
- Etta James
- Female Impersonators
- heart center
- helping others
- Native American
- New Year's Resolution
- Protection from fraud
- Rocky Mountains
- US Military