Are you a Victimized Vicki?

A couple of weeks ago I had a personal training session at the gym scheduled for 10am.

I was really looking forward to getting there early, doing some cardio and then my strength training.

Jon left for Whole Foods with the kids, and I got my workout clothing on. When I couldn’t find my car keys, I realized…they were in the diaper bag with Jon!!! This meant not being able to get to the gym, not working out, but still having to pay for my session.

My first impulse was to get angry and blame Jon — “How could he have taken the diaper bag without looking inside first!”

My second impulse was to go straight into the familiar cloak of victimhood: “Everything goes wrong for me…I never get the time I need for myself…”

Over the last decade, I’ve become very aware of my tendency to allow myself to go down the rabbit hole of dejection and defeat when something doesn’t go my way or when I get scared. Victimhood is the pattern of feeling like you can’t win, like a force (or that God) is against you, like no matter how hard you try or what actions you take, you’ll always get burned.

The Victim can’t see facts for facts, can’t really and truly be positive, and doesn’t know how to take responsibility for him or herself. The Victim also isn’t interested in solutions. She’s more interested in rolling around in her misery and hopelessness. When your Victim is out to play, she rejects any solutions or problem-solving ideas.

If you’ve got an active “Victim” lurking inside of you, she is probably running the show of your life a lot of the time.

I’ve come to call the “Victim” part of myself “Victimized Vicki”. Victimized Vicki has been with me a long time. She was activated through a lot of modeling that my mother and father did from the time I was very young, as well as my “family story” of being Victims of the Holocaust (as opposed to “Survivors”).

Victimized Vicki is always ready, at the drop of a hat, to have me feel bad for myself, to feel like nothing will ever go my way, to have me compare myself with others, and to feel as if I’m fighting a losing battle. When Vicki takes over, I don’t recognize myself at all. I’m at the mercy of her energy and fear.

It has been incredibly helpful for me to name my Victim self – naming her and giving her a persona has allowed me to take her out of my blindspot where she feels totally integrated into who I am…and into a separate space for me to be able to see her and recognize her fully. The more I can see Victimized Vicki for who she is, the more I can separate myself from her and stop myself from falling down the Victimized Rabbit Hole.

For example — In the scenario where my keys were in the diaper bag and I couldn’t get to the gym — I was able to not give in to my impulses to blame Jon or feel bad about myself and instead, was just able to see that the situation was sucky & annoying…but not really such a big deal in the scheme of things. From there, I decided to make the most of the morning and go for a run in my neighborhood, which turned out to be great because I got to be outside.

Because I wasn’t letting Victimized Vicki get in my way, I even saw opportunity when I passed some picnic tables — I used them as a makeshift gym and did arm and leg exercises and stretches with them.

The more you can eliminate the Victim from your life and your business, the happier you’ll be. I see the Victim show up when I support my clients sometimes, and she is often a force to be reckoned with, threatening to keep entrepreneurs from moving forward, attracting more clients and wealth, and staying small.

Here are some journaling questions to help you with this:

–When was the last time your Victim Self showed up? How often does your Victim show up in your life? In your business?

–How does your Victim Self act? Who is your Victim Self modeled on?

–What are the beliefs that your Victim self tells you?

–How can you spot/identify the Victim the next time she wants to come out?

With love,


  1. Boy is this ever true for me. Even though I have gotten rid of a lot of victimhood thinking. I love the way you told it and easy it was to get trapped in it again. Naming it is brilliant and that is what I am going to do with my thoughts.
    Just had a great breakfast with my son and grandson and was so proud that I heard these words come out of his mouth when I told him I was signing up for your coaching. “Good for you it is time to start hanging out with better thinkers” Just like you told me.
    When you choose to step into Thriving from Survivor and Victim lots of your ” shit” comes up and out but it is so comforting to see and hear it so quickly and reflected in those around you

    • Joanna Lindenbaum

      I love all of this Janet! And your grandson is so evolved….just like you! Can’t wait to start working together!

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