One very important aspect of working with the shadow comes from the work of Cliff Barry, who has separated the shadow into four different quadrants—four different aspects of the shadow—to help people understand the energies that are often in shadow for us. His belief is that these energies are essential parts of who we are and they are either working for us or against us. If we become more aware of them, then we will be able to have them work for us more than against us.
One of Cliff Barry’s shadow aspects is the predator; one component of this is the perpetrator–victim dynamic. Even within the area of shadow work, this is a broad area of inquiry and discussion, so we will just touch on it here. First, let’s take a look at how this dynamic is created.
If at some point in your life you were unable to protect yourself, take care of yourself, or you were hurt by an outside force, whether a person or an institution—then in this experience you intimately learned about being a victim. What is less talked about is that victims through their experience learn about being perpetrator as well. This is not to say that they are perpetrators but rather that they understand both sides of the coin. Through being victimized we understand the realities of perpetration.
Victims usually vow never to be like the person who hurt them. And this sets up a shadow dynamic. They either act out the perpetration while denying its effects. For example when someone experiences abuse and then perpetrates it on someone else. Or, they turn the abuse on themselves.
In situations were the person replicates the perpetration they experienced, they often do this because the pain is so significant that it is unmanageable. So, they use a variety of methods to minimize the pain disconnecting them from themselves and the results of their actions. They often make a vow to themselves, usually unconsciously, never to be in a powerless position again. Often this person thinks along the lines of “I don’t want to be the victim.” But because, they believe that the same situation will in one way or another play out again –it is usually all they know- it is supportive of their survival not to remain in the victim role.
Someone who has not been through this kind of experience might wonder how a person, after experiencing such a horrific experience, could go and do the same thing to others. The reason is more complicated than can be explained here, but for our purposes the dynamic is that the victim is simply trying to take back power in a situation where they felt powerless so as to avoid the pain of that event.
Conversely, sometimes the victim will say something like, “I will never do that to another person.” But, because they have not resolved the dynamic, they play it out inside themselves. For example, they might be horrified at the idea of hurting another person, but they might be cruel to themselves on a regular basis. In this version, the perpetration is turned inward toward themselves, which might manifest as a strong critical voice, self-sabotage, or even a lack of self-care, all of which may or may not happen consciously. Very often, this person, even though they try their hardest not to let this inner perpetrator out, will inadvertently do just that. This can sometimes cause them to be even harder on themselves and continue the cycle.
Even if we are not aware of a shadow dynamic, it still is expressed—we just don’t have control over the expression.
To learn more about the Victim–Perpetrator Shadow Dynamic, watch this video: Free Yourself From the Victim Perpetrator Dynamic
There are some things that maintaining our victimhood gives us. People are less likely to challenge us or try to over power us. Often they are willing to give us our way if we have had a hard enough time. We have a tendency to think that we are less responsible for our actions and emotions. And, with all the privilege that we have victims actually have a bit of social capital.
The hardest thing about playing the victim is that the last thing that we want to do is admit that it is what we are doing –how embarrassing! However, spotting it and transforming it could be one of the most amazing transformations of our life.
Let’s be clear here. There are some points in our lives where we may have been victimized and there are people who experience this again and again in their lives. This has serious repercussions and I am most certainly not saying get over it to this.
However, some of us might benefit from moving on and becoming more empowered –using our power directly rather than passive aggressively with others.
How do you know if this is you? Here are some clues that you might be being a victim:
If you do chances are you are justifying things as being out of your control or somebody else’s fault –and that is the territory of the victim.
Here is what you can do instead:
Have you ever felt victimized in your life or met someone who is constantly be running the “poor me” story and feels completely powerless to change their reality? Chances are you have. We all have at one point in our lives felt like victims, but why is it that some people identify with the personality of victimization while others choose to get up, reclaim their personal power and take full responsibility for the outcomes they have manifested in their lives? And why is it that people who are compassionate tend to attract victims to their lives? Or why do victims sometimes end up as perpetrators and lash out at those who are trying to help them?
Victimization is an epidemic in our society and in this article we will uncover the minute details of the Professional Victim Archetypes and its multiple manifestations and relationship dynamics. Remember that these are archetypes, personas and manifestations of the shadow self. Do not confuse the description of the archetypes with your essence or the essence of another person, for no one is truly a victim, but rather some of us simply have chosen to unconsciously identify with these archetypes.
Professional Victim Persona:
Victim of the world. Blames everyone and everything, including their own incompetence, irresponsibility and even predatory behaviors. Victims expect special treatment or exemption from life because he/she is so fragile and decimated by tyrants. They will often attack even those who are trying to help them and may often collapse into dysfunction “you can’t expect anything from me.”
Addictions: powerlessness, worry and cynicism
Goal: regain safety
Issue: Is “victimized” by the conditions required by solutions. In order for victims to heal their victimization they must take full responsibility for their life and its outcomes.
Virtue: once the victim persona is transcended the person becomes interdependent.
Victims point the finger of blame at everyone else except themselves. Blaming everyone (family, relationships, co-workers, friends, teachers, healers, coaches, etc.) and everything (government , media, weather, economy,etc.) for why they are unhappy and life is such a struggle. Victims do not take responsibility for their own happiness, they believe that the responsibility for their happiness is owed to them by other people. Victims find compassionate people and then blame them because they are not happy. People who are identified with the victim persona are not fun to be around because even compassionate people will eventually turn into tyrants in order to get rid off the victim. At first when a compassionate person engages with a victim they think “I must help him/her” and they do anything possible to help this person. Then the victim keeps blaming the compassionate person because they are not happy or not feeling well and then one day the compassionate person who is playing the Rescuer Archetype explode and turns into the tyrant.
If you play the rescuer and the person you are rescuing does not need it, they will lash out and victimize you. When they become the persecutor and victimize you, later they are likely to feel guilty and try to save you as well, making them the rescuer. If a person plays one of these roles then they will most likely end up playing all three. These roles tend to cycle and repeat over and over again – a classic “karmic loop.”
Victims are very addicted to the emotions of hatred and pity. They project their own self hatred to others and constantly tell their “poor me” story so that other people feel pity towards them. Victims are energy vampires and they extract energy from other people who have pity for them. Another way victims get their energy is by putting a guilt trip on everyone by blaming them. This is exactly why compassionate people tend to attract victims.
Compassionate People Persona:
If a compassionate person has unresolved guilt from past lives, the guilt makes us blind to victims.Our willingness to help other people because we are trying to get rid of our own guilt makes us easy prey for victims. Compassionate people are often emotionally addicted to the need to be needed. There is a big difference from TRUE COMPASSION and emotional neediness.. Sometimes true compassion requires us to tell victims that we will not accept their guilt anymore and ask them to leave.This is compassion because it encourages the victim to become independent and sovereign.
Victims will often say “I have tried everything” as an excuse to avoid taking responsibility and will blame the methods, techniques and healers for their own unhappiness. Many people in the coaching and healing industry are compassionate people with good intentions that unfortunately attract a lot of victims who only want to do is suck their energy and are not really committed to become their own rescuers, take responsibility and do the work that needs to be done. Although victims have tried many different approaches, many victims will keep telling themselves and other people same story of how “my life was devastated”, “I’m so unlucky”, “life has been so cruel”, “some of us are not meant to be happy” or “no matter what I do nothing works”. Their reality will never change as long as they keep running and identifying with the same story. As long as they expect other people to “make” them happy and do all the work for them NOTHING will change, they might get a relief but soon enough they will go back to their own ways. We all have seen people who have gone through incredible hardships of abuse, poverty and other misfortunes only to become people who inspire others with their stories of success, happiness and triumph. All of them have one thing in common, they didn’t let their circumstances define who they were and they became extremely hungry and believed they could defy all odds. They simply changed their story, gave it a new meaning and took massive action to achieve what they envisioned.
If you have identified with the Victim Persona it is time to clear this energetically from your field and reclaim your personal power. Only then will you be able to take full responsibility for your own happiness, take charge of your life and become ALIVE again. If you are a compassionate person or you are playing the Rescuer Archetype is time to energetically clear your unconscious guilt, the need to be needed and begin to focus on helping those who actually are willing to receive your help and will benefit from it. If you were once a victim and someone told you to leave, be grateful for the opportunity to become independent and sovereign.
Commit to eradicate all thoughts, behaviors, words and rituals that resonate with victimization, blame and guilt. Take full responsibility, embody your personal power and become the master of your own destiny.
reblogged from ascendedrelationships.com