PREVIOUS: ACoAs Wanting Revenge (Part 1)1. AS CHILDREN

SITE: Psychology of Revenge & Deterrence

1. AS CHILDREN (Part 1)

2. IN THE PRESENT we believe that:
a. we have no option other than to re-play the victim role (wondering how we got into ‘this mess’)…. and
b. …. since we believe we’ll always be taken advantage of, we insist the other person change (not us!) so they’ll stop hurting us, and so we don’t have to leave them
c. If they won’t change but we’re not allowed to leave, some of us become physically violent ….. the WIC convinced that we have a right (& obligation) to be revenged, whatever the consequences

WE ACT on these beliefs (consciously or not)
• obsessive hatred, which can cause us physical problems & also generally, being shunned by others because the rage is palpable
• fantasies & dreams of punishment, torture, murder
• wish for bad things to happen to others, getting off on their suffering
• drop a friend or lover for minor infractions of our rules (usually unspoken & unexplained)
• bad-mouth people we know, be judgmental, put everyone down
• slander, gossip, hate mail, lawsuits
• cause drama, trouble or fights wherever we are….

Domestic & child abuse = ONE MOTIVE: an indirect but often unconscious way to punish their FoO (family of origin), by taking their rage out on a powerless mate, & their own children – to different degrees – or toward one particular child designated as scapegoat

Elder abuse = a direct way that an adult-child expresses rage – if they have to take care of an aging / ill / helpless parent who abused & neglected them when they were little

‘Revenge Porn’ – digital distribution of nude or sexually explicit images of a person without their consent – used as retaliation or blackmail by a current or former partner  (More….)

• REVENGE gives us a false sense of power, & being false, is NEVER satisfying. It doesn’t make the pain go away, so we keep wanting more
• In spite of our desire for revenge we still believe our parents were right to abuse & neglect us since we deserved it, just for being ourselves. Otherwise – WHY would they have done it ??!!

• This creates rage – but we’re not allowed to be angry at them.
SO: The intensity of our DESIRE for REVENGE is equal to the intensity of our self-hate & powerlessness over past &/ or present abuse

No matter how good we think it will feel, NO amount of revenge will:
• ever sooth our pain or comfort us
• satisfy our rage, to make it go away
• make them suffer in equal amount (as in Elder Abuse)
• give us self-esteem or S & I (Separation & Individuation)
• make us feel genuinely empowered
• eliminate acting out the Victim Role, although we don’t actually have to deprive ourselves anymore.
We’re still a Victim by staying emotionally attached to family, since becoming a ‘perpetrator’ is simple turning ourselves into them!

TRUE POWER comes from
• having our original trauma validated by other abuse survivors, skilled professionals, & possibly by someone in our family willing to acknowledge what happened to them too, or what they witnessed

• understanding & accepting we did NOT cause the abuse (bad things done to us or around us) & neglect (good things not provided)

• learning skills to actively treat ourselves better – being kind, patient & LOVING
• gaining boundaries, so we can stop others from hurting us now
• surrounding ourselves with healthy, positive people – in all areas of our life.

RESEARCH  & Results
One Science study : “…. the decision to be revenged caused a rush of neural activity in the caudate nucleus, a brain area known to process rewards (also lit up with cocaine & nicotine use) ”

• BUT Another : “….. the actual execution of revenge carries a bitter cost of time, emotional & physical energy – even lives”
• AND: Ohio State U : “…. found higher levels of aggression in people who had supposedly vented their anger than in those who had done nothing at all “(MORE….)


NEXT: Rebellion vs Compliance #1

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