There are two pathways that put you into the role of a victim.
- “Perceived wrong”
- Truly victimized
With the first pathway, an event occurs in which you perceive that you have been wronged. However, it is a perception that is based on your “story” of how the events “invaded your boundaries.” Still, there is a high chance that the event that triggered the perception in you was not a “real wrong.” Still, whatever thoughts or imagery exists in your mind is your current reality.
An example might be that a close friend did not invite you to a big party. Maybe he or she was mad at you or just forgot to invite you. Either way, you were not physically harmed. Your perception or “story” of being wronged can set off your anger cascade.
The second pathway is that you were wronged. Someone robbed you. You were not listened to at the last doctor’s visit. You had a surgery that ended up with a severe complication. You don’t have enough money to put food on the table. You are a victim in the truest sense.
Whether the victim role is just a “perceived role” or that of a true victim, the anger response will be about the same. The imagery in your mind from the perceived wrong will still elicit a full anger response.
There is an important similarity and difference. The similarity is that the resultant anger is equally as destructive to your mental health. The difference is that when you are truly a victim, it is much harder to let it go.