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May 21, 2012

Victim mentality

Photo Source: ETOnline

If you ask me, Christie Brinkley has a lot to be happy about. Not only has she maintained a long career in the public eye (something most models – even of the “super” variety – aren’t always able to do), she is also currently touring the country, reprising her Broadway role of Roxie Hart in “Chicago: The Musical.”

And yet, like me, you might have caught her late March appearance on The Today Show, during which she sobbed and sobbed about how unfair her life is and basically communicated that she is a victim. In fact, she spent so much time crying during the appearance, that she had to be re-booked since she was there to talk about “Chicago: The Musical.” (In other words, the show ran out of time during the initial segment due to her breakdown.)

Once again, Ms. Brinkley’s very public “He said, She said” divorce was being played out in public — even though the divorce itself had happened years ago.

Recently interviewed by the LA Times to promote “Chicago: The Musical” playing in the Los Angeles area, Ms. Brinkley once again fell into “Victim mode” when asked about her Today Show appearance by refusing to own her own behavior and, instead, blaming the incident on Matt Lauer. She told the interviewer, “The one thing that happened to me was I got hoodwinked on the “Today” show [on March 27]. I’ve known Matt Lauer for 30 years. I never expected him to do that to me. I was completely shocked.”

And her interview became even more of a pity party from there, since Ms. Brinkley went onto say that, “Each question was so inflammatory that I needed to respond because I couldn’t let it lie there as fact. I still tried to answer my questions within the confines of the rules I’ve applied to myself as well as the rules I’ve agreed to in the stipulations. And you cannot find a comment in quotes from me with any name-calling. The only thing I ever said when I left my first trial – and I said it really as a public service – we had to go through a forensic psychiatric exam that was assigned by the court and I was deemed normal and he was deemed a narcissist.”

Once again, Ms. Brinkley has brought up her divorce and all the people who, in her version of things, are causing her to have to comment on her divorce and/or breakdown about it in public. In other words, it’s always someone else’s fault and never her own. Now, I don’t know Ms. Brinkley personally. But if I did, I would wrap my arm around her shoulder, buy her a frozen yogurt (with her choice of toppings) and gently but firmly tell her to “Get the heck over it.”

Victim mentality serves no one except the victim. Because if you think you’re a victim, then you are a victim. Those of you who are familiar with my upbringing know that I was raised by a very abusive mother who did some unthinkable (and what many consider to be even monstrous) things. But that was then, this is now.

If I kept replaying all of the horrors that I had to deal with as a child, I would weigh 900 pounds and be living in a box (a big box, mind you) on some remote highway, under a bridge. Instead, at a certain point, I just accepted the cards (and parents) that I’d been dealt and decided I wasn’t going to blame anyone or anything (anymore) for my present day situations. And the day I took my focus off the past and stopped portraying myself as a victim, I no longer was one. Life started revealing all of the amazing gifts (along with some amazing challenges) that it had in store for me. And since I was no longer facing life situations (be they good or bad) with a victim mentality, life got very, very good (in general).

When I see people in Ms. Brinkley’s situation, I am reminded that hers is a mental state I never want to revisit – even when or if I’m in the midst of a very challenging circumstance. We never have to be the victim. When we make ourselves the victim, we can’t see the forest for the trees – to say nothing of seeing potential solutions, fixes and avenues for potentially transforming circumstances that we might want to change. Ms. Brinkley needs to realize that the only person “making” her cry is herself. Not her ex-husband. Not Matt Lauer. And certainly not me for calling her (and the rest of us) to task on this.

Let’s all check our victim mentality at the door and move into the next moments of life with curiosity, joy and gratitude. I promise you the world will open up. And anything you want to accomplish (whether weight loss related or otherwise) will suddenly be possible. One step – and one grateful smile – at a time.

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7 Responses to “Victim mentality”

  1. WJK says:

    you have read this wrong,… She was not on Today to speak about her divorce,… she was on the show to promote Chicago,… there are petitions around against how Matt Lauer treated her that fateful morning. That being said,… Matt Lauer also had two huge affairs on his wife! He kept saying, “What about the children” “What about your children” and i thought, what about YOUr children Matt the two times you had affairs. Christie was not playing the victim and has always answered honestly about her divorce. Her ex was having sex with a 17 year old and then hired her when she was 18 and continued to have sex with her and stal Christies money to buy the girl a car and hide money all over long island like a scavenger hunt. PS Christie eats Soy and chocolate ice cream bars all the time,… she also excercises and is a vegan . Her body is her business so she must keep it on shape. That all being said, how bout support her as she cares for her dying parents and is a mom of three makes her own money and continues to give to charities locally and globally. Until your side of the street is clean do not judge anothers.

  2. Gregg says:

    Thank you for your comments and sharing your perspective, WJK. I always appreciate everyone sharing their opinion and point-of-view. Believe me when I say that I wish Ms. Brinkley all the best. I appreciate her many accomplishments and life and know she has what it takes to start looking forward rather than backward — something that can serve us all as we move through life.

  3. Clementine says:

    If find it unfair to have Christie Brinkley called to task and being labeled a so-called victim. In this day and age of salacious TV (yes, even the great Today Show regularly features Octo-Mom and Lindsay Lohan on a weekly basis) Celebrities can no longer just promote their work on national TV – they are REQUIRED to spill their guts about any personal situation, while journalists pick at their flesh. With that being said – Christie, like many woman, are put in positions to stand up for their rights – regardless of whether she lives a privileged life or not. She should no longer have to take abuse from her seedy ex-husband – while he is staging his own one-man pity party and publicity campaign. Why shouldnt he pay child support as required by the court? What has this woman done? She raised 3 beautiful children, gives her time and money to important charities and works hard on her career. I dont think any of us should judge her unless we walk in her shoes. Having the media glaring into your private life is no picnic and she continues to show class throughout. I wish her the best moving forward.

  4. Gregg says:

    I appreciate your weighing in on this topic, Clementine. Your opinion matters and I’m glad you shared it. As for Ms. Brinkley, there’s an easy way to get the media to stop paying attention to her divorce and the subsequent fallout — stop talking about it (even if a reporter asks about it). As is true for all of us, our attitude doesn’t have to be affected by anyone else (including exes, reporters and heck, even bloggers — LOL!). Thanks again for your commentary. Please keep it coming!

  5. ohReally? says:

    Sure sounds to me like the writer of this “piece” is the one with a huge chip. I believe Brinkley was on tv to talk about her latest successful endeavor and had never previously spoken about that lunatic ex of hers who cannot handle reality. Yes, this writer has revealed sooooooo much more about htemselves than anyone else and you have my sympathy and prayers for a happier life going forward.

  6. Gregg says:

    Your comment leaves me wondering if you read my entire post. This isn’t an attack against anyone — least of all Ms. Brinkley who I have great respect for. It’s about choosing to see life through rose-colored glasses no matter what the circumstances. We all choose our focus. I choose one that contains both joy and happiness — for myself, for Ms. Brinkley and for you as well.

  7. Kathleen says:

    For the three who defended Ms. Brinkley, my suggestion is you get your head out of the clouds. People need to take personal responsibility for their actions. She DID play the victim. The blogger DOES point out that she was NOT on Today to discuss her divorce, rather Chicago and whether Matt Lauer asked her questions about her divorce or not, potentially trying to sidetrack her, makes no difference. An adult would say “I’d rather not discuss that, lets focus on Chicago”. But NOOOOO Ms. victim had to go on and on about how horrible her life is. Yeah, Christie, I feel for you. Grow up and get over it.

    And while we’re on the subject, who the hell cares if Lauer cheated on his wife. What does that have to do with anything???

    BTW, consider spell check.


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