I realized something very peculiar about myself today. For background, I have anxiety-triggered depression as well as OCD. I dislike telling people this, not because I’m embarrassed about it, but because I don’t want them to treat me differently. Unlike SJW professional victims, I do not care to be treated as a victim by others. I realized, however, that I have been – on a largely unconscious level, I believe – treating myself differently.
I am pretty good at manipulating people. Unfortunately, this extends to manipulating myself. In this instance, my self-manipulation was of the form that, when faced with things I didn’t want to do, I began triggering myself to feel like I were getting a panic attack. Now, you might ask why I would do this; very simply, it would make me feel like I had a valid excuse to avoid the thing that I wanted to avoid. Just wanting to avoid it didn’t strike me as a good reason, though, so I was subconsciously providing myself with what I thought of as a better reason.
Of course, that’s not to say I think all my feelings of panic are brought on this way. Sometimes, they are not, and are instead genuinely brought on by the situation at hand (example: being stuck in traffic on the highway). But the fact remains that I began to actually make myself panic in situations that would not, in themselves, make me panic, simply as an excuse for not wanting to be in those situations. And again, I didn’t do this deliberately or consciously.It was largely a subconscious thing.
I think, more broadly, that this is a danger in encouraging people to think of themselves as victims at all. When we tell someone that they have a status which entitles them to sympathy and special treatment, that status takes on a certain quality of attraction, and consciously or unconsciously people may be tempted to try to prolong or increase that status (whether that status is ‘being a victim’ or some other characteristic).