PREVIOUS: Victims or Not? #1
QUOTEs: “I began to understand that suffering, disappointments & melancholy are there not to vex us, cheapen or deprive us of our dignity, but to mature & transfigure us.” Hermann Hesse, in ‘Peter Camenzind’
• “Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life. Define yourself.” ~ Harvey Fierstein
• “You can either be a victim of the world or an adventurer in search of treasure.” ~ (from ‘Eleven Minutes’, by Paulo Coelho)
🌋 VICTIMs or NOT? (V = victim , P = Perpetrator / abuser)
a. Perpetual (Part 1)
b. Stoic: At the other extreme are the ACoAs (often Heros) who can’t admit anything bad happened to them. These believe we were not abused & that everything was fine. Even if we do sometimes say it wasn’t all great, we believe it was our fault. We walk around with emotional stab wounds, bleeding from unseen trauma & pretend nothing’s wrong.!
Our closest & ‘dearest’ can carelessly spew their damage at us, YET we blame ourselves! We say: “But, they didn’t mean it / They didn’t know any better”….
What we’re actually saying is : “Since they didn’t mean to hurt me, there’s no reason to be upset (I don’t want to feel anything)”. Phew!
• This reasoning is SO flawed because all ACoAs are in fact sad, lonely, disappointed, hurt & angry – under whatever defenses we cobble together! It’s not healthy for us to ignore what’s going on – inside or outside. Denying that we were wounded by our family and that we have many & complex emotions – is a way to victimize ourselves.
If adults are enraged by being mistreated over time, how much more so are children, who are dependent, vulnerable & powerless. Abuse & neglect is terrifying & humiliating, no matter what the reason for or motivation of the P. As kids, the longer we had to ignore bad behavior, the angrier we got – which then gets acted out on ourselves & others.
EXP: Reason for the murder of Martha Moxley, seen near the end of the TV movie “Murder in Greenwich” (2002).
REVIEW of why we don’t want to “know what I know”. It’s because:
• we figure the situation is futile – since we can’t change it – so why even notice
(This is NOT the healthy Powerlessness of Recovery, ie. Letting Go)
• it would mean having to S & I (reject the Introject), be our own P, giving up the WIC’s desperate wish to be taken care of
• it would mean giving up the WIC’s hope (demand) that they will get better, love us, turn things around, connect with us
• we’d have to give up the illusory power of our S-H (I can fix people-places-things so they’ll stop hurting me)
• we’d have to feel the depth of pain from how badly we’ve been treated
• it would make us angry, & we’re not allowed to be angry at ‘them’ OR to WEEP about it!
Re. Pity for others
One way stoic ACoAs can feel superior & also deny our pain – is to feel sorry for others, especially our parents & mates. It may seem like a show of kindness & empathy on our part, but all it does is allow our Ps to get away with being inappropriate & stay unhealed.
Feeling pity for incompetent, addicted or abusive people is a way to disguise our anger at them for not taking care of themselves & not carrying their weight in the relationship.
Protecting someone’s feelings from the truth – how their damage affects us – is not only arrogant, it’s abdicating our responsibility to ourselves. It’s giving them permission to neglect us, beat up our Inner Child & disrespect our Healthy Adult!
Not letting ourselves feel ALL our emotions (high achievers, isolators, rescuers, caretakers, Heroes & Mascots….), especially the old sorrow & rage, has a high price – it keeps us separated from ourselves and from others, making us ‘dead’ & alone – even if we keep busy, busy & have lots of relationships. RECOVERY is about moving out of the Victim Role into our True Self.
NEXT: Grandiosity & normal #1