From Victim to Victor – A Personal Note

Or, Don’t Rain on my Parade.When it rains, dance

I’ve been back in Queenstown, this town I called home for 4 years, for an entire day and still can’t believe I’m here.

It feels like a surreal dream, one that I haven’t quite woken into.

Walking down the town centre and running into people I know, going to the grocery store and running into more..

Jetlagged and tired, in a familiar yet different surrounding. To find a Queenstown Summer turned into a Vancouver Winter (sorta, but I’m exaggerating a little bit – it’s raining but it’s not that cold).

This is a town that saw some of my worst times.

I won’t go into details but suffice to say it rubbed me raw in many ways and led to a lot of growth, learning and healing after being broken into a thousand pieces. When I left nearly 2 years ago, it was painful and hard.

So of course, I was a little nervous about being back here, even though the excitement was pretty rampant.

It almost feels like a pilgrimage of sorts, visiting my past, the memories of a Tia who doesn’t exist anymore except in the deep, dark corners of the not-so-distant-past.

I feel strangely vulnerable and exposed.

Which is why when something happened today that made me feel a little “helpless”, I realised how easy it used to be for me to slip into the ‘poor me, I have no choice’ victim role.

And how although much has changed since then, this is still a familiar emotion and feeling, one that my body recognises uncomfortably well.

Long story short, due to extreme tiredness, jetlag (still!) and unclear thinking, a little miscommunication resulted in me being ‘stranded’ for 1.5 hours in the rain, waiting for a friend with whom I was to ride home, while she waited for me at the actual place we were to meet.

In that time, I lived a lifetime of feeling paralysed, stuck and unable to act.

I didn’t have the external tools I needed (cell fone to call my friend, car to drive home myself etc) but luckily, I DID have some internal tools.

Byron Katie’s work (which I’ve been leaning into a lot of late), closing my eyes and breathing into the knot in my stomach and the dizziness in my head, allowing myself to feel frustrated, and consciously choosing how I wanted to feel instead.

Each time the “I can’t believe this is happening to me” thoughts arose, I’d stop and ask myself “how is this making me feel and do I still want to feel this way”?

Sometimes the answer was yes, so I let myself wallow in feeling sorry for myself till the answer changed.

I wish I could say I did all that and it was fine.

Instead, I had to consciously keep changing my state at least 7-8 times in 1.5 hours before I managed to make it stick it out in the state of calm and “holy mother of God, what a lesson I just learned”.

The lesson being, if you’re gonna step into the past, make sure you take the present with you.

We all have an Achilles heel, a behaviour / thought / person/ circumstance that trips us up.

You know – they’re the ones that make you go “wow, I thought I was past that by now” or “I’ve been through this a 100 times, I really should know better” or “when will I ever learn” or something equivalent.

Where in your life do you find yourself stepping into the past and forgetting how far you’ve come in an instant?

If I were to share my thoughts on this (and I will), I’d say

  • Find yours, acknowledge them, really know them
  • Be aware of what triggers them
  • Have tools and strategies to manage the situations and feelings they thrive on
  • Don’t let them fool you into thinking you haven’t accomplished anything, this is just a reminder to show you that you have

So the next time those old triggers pop up, you can do your thing, smile to yourself and say “I’ve come a long way, baby”.

As you chart new plans and desires for the coming year, I invite you to look back at the progress you’ve made thus far. What are you really proud of? Where do you still need to be more conscious in your actions? Where in your life have you gone from being a Victim to a Victor? Celebrate that!

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  1. says

    Excellent post, Tia. I think this is something I have to consistently be on top of… The victim role gets me no where and is almost an insult to all I’ve accomplished. There are so many blessings around each of us that I owe it to myself to get back up, dust myself off and get back in the game. Acceptance is key…

    Once again, I love your insight! Thanks for sharing this…

  2. says

    What’s scary is how easy it can be to slip into that role sometimes.. and what’s encouraging is being able to recognise when that’s happening and finding resources within that change the outcome.

    Thanks for writing Jess, I must admit my head was rather foggy when I wrote this post last night and I wondered if I’d wake up to regret it. So far, no. Have an awesome day!

  3. says

    Hurray for you, Tia, for not only for recognizing you were back in the past, but allowing yourself to BE there until your answers changed. I am so in the same spot with family members, and the Holidays exacerbate the situation. I accepted being silenced and recently I stood my ground and said I will talk about the long standing issues whenever I feel like it. The thing is I don’t want to perpetuate them, but pushing my rudder to turn my boat downstream isn’t working either. What standing my ground has done is allowed me to feel the victimization, and look to see where I could have made different choices. In doing that the boat is turning in the current–by taking responsibility for my part and seeing the others with compassion. I am finally being with the victim that I have allowed myself to become, and I am no longer being the villain that lashes back at those who played the other part. By bumping up against the rocks long enough to feel their lesson, I am detaching from the oars and watching the boat turn downstream on its own accord.

  4. says

    Good to “see” you again, Berta. Yes, I think the big difference this time was allowing myself the time it took for the answer to change AND be patient with myself in the process. Also, recognising that it was just that – a process, and not getting caught up in the drama. Phew!

    It’s interesting to read about the shift in perspective from silence to expression. When you say you’re pushing your rudder to go D/S, it automatically makes me wonder what’s downstream about pushing. In this case, downstream is upstream! lol

    Downstream doesn’t mean being silent or feeling victimised btw, it just means letting it flow in and out of you or simply around you. There is great power in being unattached and simply stepping out of that zone.

    I frequently tell my clients to imagine themselves in a pink bubble of happiness especially when around those with negative vibes. Yep, a little NLP goes a long way at family gatherings 😉

    Isn’t it great how things change when we stop resisting what is? That law of detachment and non resistance never fails 🙂 Thanks for sharing that learning with us all, much appreciated!


  5. says

    Wonderful post! Interesting that this accepting of ourselves, this giving oursevles credit for the work we’ve done, is one of the huge lessons that this principle applies to! For example, I can imagine myself having a meltdown, chastising myself for it, and then saying “I should know better than to berate myself! Will I never learn?”

    But the truth is that, when clear, I DO know that I’ve come a LONG way. Even when I get that old feeling that comes up at the worst of times, it’s never as bad as it was then — and I’m so grateful I can recognize that.

    Enjoy your time in Queenstown, as the lovely mix of the new and old Tia that you are.

  6. says

    It’s never been more apparent to me than right now, Lynn! 2 years away, a whole lot of soul searching and healing, a new life, new skills, new attitude, new beliefs, everything is being put to the test as I feel the pull of the old.

    In many ways, this trip isn’t a holiday .. it’s some sort of surreal “test” to see how far I’ve come and an opportunity to do things differently. Unless of course, it’s another layer of learning.. could be anything!

    Thanks for pointing this out – Even when I get that old feeling that comes up at the worst of times, it’s never as bad as it was then — THAT’s gold IMHO.

    It’s never as bad as (we thought) it was then. 🙂 Lovely! And thanks for reminding me the old wasn’t all bad either, I forgot that in my quest to be the new Tia. A good mix of old and new, and that’s my job now, to accept that.

    You just gave me a whole new perspective and I am so grateful to you for that. An honour to have you here xo

  7. Silvana says

    If i were to say you that you spoke of feelings I myself have been facing it would not be a lie. Yes its ever so easy to fall back and hear the voices of past ghost. But there you are standing stronger than ever before. You have helped me in ways I am yet to understand. Strangers we may be but perhaps kindred spirits growing from the past experiences and heading in a direction filled with Light and Joy.

    May the weather be kind New Zealand is a very beautiful place i have been told one day i wish to see it for myself.

    Thanks TIA

  8. says

    What a smile you bring to my face Silvana 🙂 I love everything you wrote! Esp the part about heading in a direction filled with light and joy, and the part about kindred spirits and the part about standing stronger and similar feelings, and wait … did I just copy everything you said? Hehehe >: )

    The weather is stunning, hot as can be and lovely! Thanks for your active, engaging spirit here and on the facebook fan page, you are greatly, greatly appreciated my friend!

  9. Carol says

    Kudos to you, Tia, for turning your boat and heading downstream again (love that Abraham analogy!).

    It’s funny the stories we tell ourselves about our past and the people in it. Here are a few thoughts I had while reading your post:

    1) You and everybody else were just doing the best that they could at the time given what they knew then. Because that’s what we all do. When we know better, we do better. 🙂

    2) We assign the meaning to everything. Someone can say or do something kind or unkind, and we determine what value we are going to put on their words or actions. The analogy of the dirty hanky is a good one. Someone can toss a dirty hanky (insult) at us, but we decide if we are going to catch it or let it bounce off of us. If we *choose* to accept an insult, we are saying that someone else’s opinion of us is more important than our opinion of ourselves. If there is something constructive in what they say, we can *choose* to contemplate how we want to add that to our life experience. Or we can *choose* to totally ignore them. It’s all choice.

    3) The past is really just a story. It’s how you viewed a series of events through the filters you had in place at the time. Now that you have different filters in place, you can view it differently.

    4) When you stop to realize that others are here to learn just as we are, it is easier to view them with compassion.

    You are living at a higher level of consciousness now, and through your interactions with us, you are helping us to live there too. The lessons you have learned have made you an incredible teacher, Tia. Thank you for sharing . . . 🙂

  10. says

    @Carol–I love the dirty hanky analogy. It is one that I will use, and not just during the holidays. I especially love the the truth that if we accept the insult “we are saying that someone else’s opinion of us is more important than our opinion of ourselves.”

    I love your blog, Tia, and all who write replies to it. It is so enlightening to see other perspectives and learn from other’s experiences.

  11. says

    Fabulous summation and reading between the lines, Carol. I know anyone reading this will take SO much from your reply!

    We assign the meaning to everything. You can`t imagine how timely this is. With this level of awareness and consciousness, it`s hard to take anything personally! I am learning this every day.

    Your dirty hanky analogy reminds me of what my dad once told me – about how grudges are rocks and the sooner we put them down, the lighter our travels.

    Ok I feel like rewriting everything you wrote and triple underlining it. You rock! YES the past is a story we tell through our distorted selves (when it hurts us) and through our divine selves (when it serves us) and either ways, it is still just a STORY.

    Thank YOU for sharing and allowing me to share in this sacred space. Ever so grateful …

  12. Carol says

    @Berta, I don’t recall where I heard the dirty hanky analogy, but hearing it said that way was a real *AHA* moment for me . . . 🙂

    I also love this blog (as well as Both have helped me to grow immensely. The wisdom on both of these communities truly amazes me!!!

  13. says

    Thank you Berta, believe me, the learning and perspectives I get from you all (including you) is the best gift of all. Writing this blog is a prayer, reading everyone`s amazing responses is my heavenly reward 🙂 I`m so blessed.

  14. Carol says

    Tia, your “grudges are rocks and the sooner we put them down, the lighter our travels” just went into my Book of Wisdom. What a great thought!

  15. says

    Loved this post!!! And love that you stuck with your feelings until your answer changed. But I bet they changed faster than they ever did in the past!

    I know I’ve told you about my recent boy disaster (he disappeared for no real reason) which led to a mini-meltdown. I say “mini” because I let myself feel the anger, hut & disappointment fully for an entire DAY. That Saturday was a full-on pity party!

    A day might seem like a bit much until you know that the last time I had a really bad break-up not of my choosing, the pity party last 2 YEARS!! Give that timeframe, a day was like a new land-speed record!

    And look at you…you were able to go through the whole range of emotions in 1.5 hours. Damn impressive!

    I never get tired of reading your blog posts. Every one has great insight learning. Congrats to you on making it to NZ, living throught e 1.5 hour rain fiasco, and being totally awesome the whole way thru! 🙂

  16. says

    2 years to 1 day .. Leslie my girl, I am proud of you (and me) (and ALL of us)! I’m learning that awareness doesn’t mean we’ll stop doing the ‘dumb’ things we do or stop feeling what we feel – normal human emotions – it just means we allow, experience and move on without wrecking ourselves.

    I’m SO thinking this trip is all about exorcising the past and looking at old patterns re-emerge – it’s not about getting rid of them forever as it is a deeper layer of understanding and healing. Cryptic, I know but have patience, next blog post forthcoming! And what a lesson in assumptionitis THAT was…

    Thanks for always reading and sharing and yes, I’ve made it to Day 6 and the learning and living keeps on a-coming! Love you babe xo

  17. says

    Thank you Tia!

    This is just what I needed right in this moment. (No accidents…) I was annoyed with myself for doing something that I have done before and didn’t want to do again (something mundane but nevertheless annoying to me). But I am the me of right now, not of yesterday or last week, and I needed the reminder…again.

    “…if you’re gonna step into the past, make sure you take the present with you.”


    Thank you!


  18. says

    Glad I was there just when you needed Alli, of course there are no co-incidences… I just came home to my friend`s from a night out feeling a little sad for the past and the way things are now and thought it was so ironic that I was telling you how to change that vibe, yet HERE I WAS IN IT AGAIN!

    Blows my MIND how I was brought to this place once more – feeling and thinking things that I don`t want to anymore and getting sucked into another pattern (this time it was the old one of feeling unloved and alone).

    To anyone who thinks I`m on a 5 week holiday (esp ME), I say – I wish it was. It`s more like an exorcism and painful at times. All a part of the bigger plan though, so I`m trusting, allowing, flowing and experiencing the healing process and movement through aspects of my life.

    Ahhhhhh. Ahhhhhh!


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