Dr. Mary Ellen O’Toole coined the term “injustice collector?”
She writes: “An ‘Injustice Collector’ is someone who sees injustices in many, if not most things that happen to them in life. Injustice Collectors can misperceive the smallest slights and turn them into major events and they can accumulate these injustices for years. Their response to these injustices—real or perceived—can be extremely disproportionate to the original grievance. The distinction among some Injustice Collectors—those who decide to act out violently—is that their reaction to the real or perceived injustices is completely disproportionate to what really happened to them. This tendency of extreme overreaction can often be seen in their history …”
Some of the unhappiest people we will ever meet are “injustice collectors.”
Such mindset always involves dehumanizing and demonizing others.
“The whole problem is my boyfriend. He’s a sex and porn addict.”
That’s how Margie would described her problem. I don’t recall other reasons what prompted her to see me.
But as a result of her counseling, she realized it was not 100% her boyfriend’s problem.
He did commit a lot of excess in his addictions. And anyone would be so distressed.
But Margie had faced up to the fact that also at heart was her nagging and even physically abusing her boyfriend.
Even when her boyfriend had been sober for several months, she’d always find a reason to nag, push hard her boyfriend.
She’s an “injustice collector,” as one psychiatrist would call it. A collector of grudges and resentments.
So Margie had learned to see better. At least in her head, she realized how much she’s bringing most of her pain upon herself.
Noted therapist and author, Rollo May, once wrote:
“People then should rejoice in suffering, strange as it sounds, for this is a sign of availability of energy to transform their characters. Suffering is nature’s method of indicating a mistaken attitude or way of behavior, and … to the non-egocentric person, every moment of suffering is the opportunity for growth.”