I was thinking earlier this week about why many victims of child abuse, or domestic violence, continue to believe they deserved what happened to them. One of the themes I very often see is actually immaturity. The reason I say that is, immature people see themselves as the center of everything that happens, mature people understand their true place in the universe, and understand that other people make their own decisions, and are responsible for their own decisions.
Think of it this way, many little children blame themselves for parents divorcing, or other things that go wrong within the family, mistakenly believing that if they had just been better, things wouldn’t have happened this way. When they grow up, they realize that what their parent’s decided to do had nothing to do with them at all, they make their own decisions. Too many survivors continue with this belief, well past the physical age of maturity. They continue to believe that all the bad things that other people do are somehow a result of them not being good enough to stop it, or some sort of punishment for their own sins.
That couldn’t be more wrong headed. It’s time for all of us to grow up a little here and recognize that life is bigger than any one of us, and that people are only responsible for their own individual decisions. When another human being makes a decision to act, that’s exactly what it is, their own decision. Just because another person chooses to do harmful, destructive things, doesn’t mean you have the power to change it, or that you caused that decision. It is their decision, and their responsibility. Do the mature thing, and understand that not everything is a statement about you.