It’s equilateral. That is to say, there is not more victim consciousness out there in the world than rescuer or perpetrator.

Contemplating all the discourse lately with regard to victimhood, responsibility, incels, drama triangles, and all the mistrust between men and women. We can be sourced from ourselves/the divine on some level, but at the end of the day we all want mommy and daddy to love us. That’s deep shit, and it’s difficult if not impossible to meditate away.

To say that people are in victim consciousness and that “being a victim is so hot right now” is, quite frankly, true. Being a perpetrator and a rescuer is so hot right now, too.

But why is it true?

It’s true because WE LIVE IN A SOCIETY FULL OF FUCKED UP SHIT, and the very systems our society is founded upon are unsuited to handle the task of addressing these traumas or creating harmony.

Any which way you slice it we’re dealing with trauma here. Trauma from bullying, trauma from abuse (verbal or physical), trauma from toxic family dynamics, trauma from living in violent belief systems that teach men to derive their self-worth from their ability to “conquer” or outperform others, trauma from the way they were treated since birth as a creature with little emotion. Let me reiterate: Men also experience trauma. Trauma begets trauma like Adam begat Seth. Both men and women are acting out of trauma. Hell, the vast majority of society makes its decisions based on fear which, in our cultural climate, is mostly the result of de facto institutional violence. Which creates trauma.

How do we begin to change that?

The answers people come up with may seem complex in the heady world of people who genuinely care about this shit and think about it all day.

In my experience, they’re not.

Either someone believes the change begins within YOU first, or they believe the change begins in the systems. “HANDLE YOUR SHIT/HEAL YOUR TRAUMA” vs “CREATE A WORLD IN WHICH TRAUMA IS LESS LIKELY.” There may be some overlap, and the thinkers I admire most are able to hold both of these simultaneously, but the two basic approaches remain the same as the age-old conservative/liberal dichotomy. Do mindsets create systems or do mindsets emerge from systems?

Those in the personal sovereignty camp often address it by taking an antagonistic stance towards those who have experienced trauma and feel victimized, and even against those who demand social change (“if the world must change for you to be happy, you’re fucked”). They advocate for others to internalize the concept of individual sovereignty, and claim their antagonism has the best of intentions. I’ll call this “upshaming,” and it may work for some. In fact, I’ve seen it. Sometimes (though not always) I see this position as a facet of perpetrator consciousness. Why else would so much charge exist there?

I am not taking either of the two routes. I have seen how much discord is caused by such dogmatism. My approach is simple, more or less. Model the sort of loving presence I would like to see in the world. That probably leans me more towards the personal sovereignty camp, but only because I haven’t always fit in with politics or organizations. I’m a writer.

Quite frankly, I still experience the effects of trauma, and may yet for some time experience the aftershocks. What has been absolutely instrumental to my healing are the people who sat there and listened, who cared, who held me when I cried, who transmitted the feeling of unconditional love and acceptance.

And the people who loved me even when I hurt others were equally important. The people who loved me enough to tell me I fucked up, but still offered me their hand in friendship.

When we dismiss others for holding a differing perspective, or even for saying hateful things, we amputate a part of our body. We’re all in this together, humans.