Ask Jenn Vicious: Don’t See Yourself as the Victim

by:   Jenn Vicious 

Quotes for Cheating Boyfriend

Jenn Vicious is the radical community’s Agony Aunt, providing life coaching and social etiquette answers for radical cultures.  Need poly, kinky, or queer dating advice, need to to know what to wear to court or a family function (you know, one you have to look “respectable” at),  want to understand how not to be an ass hat, ask Jenn Vicious.

Hey Jenn, it’s the guy from before who manipulated and lied and is paying for it.  It seems like my life is only geting worse as a result of what I did and word as spread.  I’ve met a few people and been honest only to be outright turned away and I’ve met people who already knew about my situation and met me with hostility.  I’ve been physically attacked by two boyfriends of women I hurt in the past.  I can’t afford to move, either.  I don’t think I deserve this much hostility.  What can I do? 

Ok, let’s back up here. You don’t “deserve this much hostility?” Did the women you screwed over deserve the way you treated them? I’m going to guess from your last question, no.

We live in a world where women (and other men) often get screwed over by patriarchal assholes (often men) and there are no consequences. In fact, sometimes those people go on to hold positions of power. They get away with it. The people they screwed over deal with the repercussions of their actions.

You admitted to lying to, cheating on, and manipulating people. Do you think that those people have recovered from what you did? Do you think it is easy for them to trust people, to build relationships? Trust me, it’s not.

Does it suck for you that you are getting so much hostility? Undoubtedly. Is it a result of your actions? Yes. So, even though it sucks for you that everyone knows what you did and a lot of people hate you, I think you should stop feeling sorry for yourself.

So, what can you do? That’s a hard one, because I try to give people advice about things that are within their control. What people think of you is not totally in your control.

You could try communicating, through other people (NOT directly to the people you hurt), and find out if there is anything you could do for the people you hurt that would help the healing process. That might mean never being around them ever again, or something equally as inconvenient. I recommend doing it. They also might not want anything from you at all. It’s hard to know. But try to be respectful and don’t see yourself as the victim.

I really do want to live in a culture that allows for people to grow and change, to fuck up and make mistakes and make amends for them. That is a really hard culture to create. We all make mistakes, and some do more damage than others. How can we create cultures where people are able to make mistakes and be able to admit them, while making space for people who have been hurt?

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2 responses to “Ask Jenn Vicious: Don’t See Yourself as the Victim

  1. Pingback: London Meetup, Northwestern Talk, and Kink-Friendly Advice « CaptainAwkward.com·

  2. The topic of reconciliation is one I have had close contact with professionally. Jenn is right to say that competing for victimhood is not constructive. Neither is attaching the perpetrator, though I think those who are hurt do deserve to give vent to those feelings — even fuck-up guy, who is now reaping hurt consequential to the hurt he caused! He should express his hurt to people who still care for him but I hope they will encourage him to look forward to ‘restorative’ solutions (as Jenn hinted). Sometimes, there will be none.
    As hard as this will be to swallow, wounds only heal — they cannot be undone. Rather than being either a super-hero who makes everything right again or trying to turn the tables and feel sorry for himself, fuck-up guy can accept that he fucked-up extra (we all fuck-up) and be better in future relationships. In the mean time, there is going to be a period of hurt and emptiness. Embrace the brief emptiness, let go of victimhood: life will move on.

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