At one time I knew a woman who had been a teenage victim of incest. It was a terrible thing to have happened, and I truly sympathized with her for a while.

But the more I got to know her, the more I realized that she had never dealt with the experience, in spite of years of counseling. Instead she had come to embrace her role as a victim. Many times when making a new acquaintance, she brought up her experience in the first conversation.

She had become a professional victim. It was her claim to fame, and at times it almost seemed like she couldn’t wait to share the news of her past with anybody and everybody she met. It became her excuse for anything that had happened to her in her life since then.

Back in my days running small town newspapers, one of my regular advertisers was a bar, and every week when I went in to collect for their ad, the same guy, about my age, was sitting on the same bar stool, in the same worn out Army fatigue jacket. And he always had the same thing to say: “You know, Nick. You were there too. All of us Vietnam veterans got screwed, and nobody cares. Every month I have to fight for my disability check.” Then he would tell me about his tour of duty working in a motor pool in Da Nang, and how the experience ruined his life.

One day Bad Nick just couldn’t take it any longer, and told him, “You know, I really feel sorry for you. Not because you got your knuckles skinned up working on a truck someplace, but because the single most important thing that ever happened in your life was over 20 years ago, and you’ve been too damned busy whining to get on with your life, or even to get a life!”

I’ve known men who were in heavy combat and were wounded, some more than once, who came home, took off their uniforms, and went on with life. I have tremendous respect for our nation’s veterans, but no patience at all for sandbaggers and whiners.

People, I don’t care if you are handicapped, a woman, a veteran, a minority, a crime victim, or whatever personal cross you have to bear. Get over it!   

I can’t tell you how many people I have met who live on some kind of disability because they are too “disabled” to work. But I have seen these same people riding bicycles, playing golf, going out on fishing boats, wandering for hours through swap meets, and doing all kinds of other things that their “disability” doesn’t keep them from enjoying.

The world is full of professional victims, and they make me sick. Your ancestors may have been slaves, you may have been born with birth defects, you may have been drafted, or you may have suffered some terrible calamity in your life. But guess what? So have millions of other people in this world. And yet, every day they get out of bed, put on their big girl panties, and deal with it!

There is a man I love enough to call my brother, who was born with no legs and only one full arm, on which he has only a thumb and part of a finger. But he worked a full career, never asked anyone to feel sorry for him, and never allowed himself to be a victim.

My attorney is a wonderful woman who was left both blind and crippled in a childhood accident that left her walking on crutches for life and with many physical problems. But instead of being a victim, at age 32, as a divorced mother, she decided to follow her dreams and went to college and then law school, graduating magnum cum laude.

I have a relative who was wounded in Vietnam, decorated for valor, and who later was seriously injured again in a parachuting accident, and yet he battled the system to remain in the Army and made it his career. This American hero is a quiet, unassuming man whose body betrays the injuries he suffered in service to his country. But if you were ever to feel sorry for him, I have no doubt he’d slap you into the middle of next week. He’s too busy getting on with life to be a victim.

I respect anyone who can take whatever life throws at them and deal with it. But professional victims get no pity here.

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18 Comments on Professional Victims

  1. Steve Prejean says:

    Right on !!!!

  2. Glen Lawrence says:

    I agree. Too many whiners.

  3. Sandy Stoltz says:

    Bad Nick, you are suspiciously very eloquent, quite like “Good Nick”, hmmmmmmmm.

    I so totally agree with your comments; the true winners of this world are the doers and you can’t “do” if you can’t move on in life. Not many of us have had a “perfect” life. Meeting and overcoming an obstacle be it small or large truly makes one stronger.

    Great blog!

  4. Brad Barnes says:

    You couldn’t have said it better,way to go bad nick.

  5. Claire says:

    Let me tell you about my past… Ooops, sorry, don’t have time!
    Gotta run; I’m late!

    Bad Nick, you speak for many, many of us. Love the new blog.

    Claire

  6. SAL Bellomo says:

    Never truer words were said about some people in this world,and you can’t have it all “”Perfect”” all the time .I would like to thank you again for “””Bad Nick Blog””” Keep it going and Get-er it Done SAL

  7. Sharon says:

    Thanks for giving the whiners a label. I’ve known several people like this, one in particular that I finally had to “un-friend” because I got so tired of hearing the same sad stories about how she’s been wronged. And she’s also one claiming disability while she’s full-time RVing and enjoying this lifestyle.

  8. Bess says:

    Couldn’t have said it better, Nick

  9. Tammy says:

    Way to go Bad Nick, very well said. Those of us who were dealt lemons at one time in life have made some good lemonade and can enjoy it.

  10. john webster says:

    Nick, I also know a few who drive thru life always looking in the rear view mirror, thinking life is over if they look ahead…

  11. I could talk about big strong men working in our warehouse in Montana. Just about haying time, several of them would get “sick” for a few days. Our security manager would inevitably find them out in the field, throwing hay bales up onto a truck. Not victimes, really, just scam artists, getting sick pay for doing their own heavy work.

  12. Bob Gray says:

    Good on ya, Bad Nick! A little fire in the belly is what this country needs.

    She had years of counseling, and her therapist lets her get away with that? She should ask for her money back.

  13. Susan Wilson says:

    You know, you could excerpt parts of this posting and send to that Heroes blog that other Nick writes…

  14. Cal Hall says:

    Right on Nick,
    I also did my time in Vietnam as a Grunt Medic in 68-69 and after I came home they told me I should join a Vietnam Support Group so I did. After the third meeting I realized there were a couple of guys there who really needed help but most were just like the guy you used to see in the bar so I quit going. A few years later I joined the Navy and spent a total of 27 years in the miltary. My philosophy has always been, “quit your snot bubbling and get back to work”.

    Keep up the great work.
    Cal

  15. Dan Chance says:

    Great blog Nick! Can’t wait to hear how the bad guy feels about our federal government’s attempt to bankrupt this great country. Tell it like it is……Dan

  16. Camille says:

    I LIKE Bad Nick. I like “good” Nick too, but I really like “bad” Nick! Glad you’ve allowed him out.

  17. Connie Braidh says:

    Agree with you. Whiners see the glass as always half full or less. The folks who get on with life see the glass not only half full but many times completely full. Life always will give you some rough spots but the good times are so much more frequent. Its how you handle everything that allows you to keep on keeping in.
    And I really don’t care what happened to your ancestors. What you are doing about your own life now is where it’s at. Connie B.

  18. Patty Knott says:

    What makes me even madder is the disbled that go around sueing companies because there is something that does not meet ada laws. I work for a mini-storage and we are being sued by a professional handicapped and his crooked lawyer. We have to update all the bathrooms and walkways in all locations reguardless of how old the building is. What happened to grandfathering in older buildings?

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