Our perception of the persecutor can be the trickiest aspect of the victim triangle.
That is because we feel justified in hating them.
The truth is, we should help that child, and we should stop that person from abusing that child. However, there’s a really fine line that exists once we begin to act to stop a persecutor. If our actions are centered on the victim triangle, its very easy to become the abuser, as we try to correct situations of abuse.
There is something to be said for righteous anger. Sometimes someone needs to stand up and say that this is wrong. To proclaim the truth that others are unwilling to see. There are many people who have a better life now, because someone was willing to stand up against a situation that was wrong, or a person who was abusive. However, it can be hard to find the line of standing up for another and becoming part of the victim triangle.
The reason that you want to try not to be drawn into a victim triangle, is because it can turn a rescuer into an abuser. The motivation to work on avoiding the triangle, is to avoid victimizing more people, and perpetuating the injuries of abuse and victimization.
- They are the bad guy, I am the good guy.
- This person has an awesome amount of power, I am justified to act in extreme ways to counteract his or her power.
- The need for other people to recognize and acknowledge what happened
You have a right to be angry.
You have a right to speak the truth about what happened to you.
What was done to you was wrong. Feelings your true feelings: that of the rage, the helplessness, and the sorrow is part of healing.
However, the one inside of you who is raging, may not be the part of you who can see clearly enough to bring true healing to a current situation. You know when that part of you is in charge, by observing your reaction in the present moment. How are you reacting to the perceived victim and persecutor in the situation that is facing you?
Our feelings for a persecutor are the most tricky of all, because the feeling about the persecutor feels justified. Their actions were wrong.
Don’t mistake me, this isn’t a message that you should “love” the persecutor, or have blinders on about what they have done wrong. Sometimes, people make it sound like its your job to forgive the persecutor. Sometimes, people want to gloss over the persecutor’s actions, so they can go back to feeling OK, and avoid being made uncomfortable by the truth. The truth is important, and should not be glossed over, so that everyone can go back to feeling comfortable again.
However, the urge to unveil the persecutor can, and will lead you back into the victim triangle. To truly move away from the triangle, you will need to learn how to deal with this urge, in a way that works for you. You aren’t trying to gloss over the truth. You are trying to learn how to act from a different place than the rage, or the helplessness. It is one of the most challenging aspects of working to move away from the victim triangle.
Anger always feels more powerful than helplessness. Sometimes we are raging, because we don’t want to touch that feeling of helplessness. Its hard to act authentically, if we aren’t aware of some of the truths about what is motivating us. If your not ready to touch the helplessness, that is understandable. However, if you can admit that is where your rage is coming from, that can be very helpful.
When you can identify where a feeling is coming from, and admit that it is there, you are less likely to allow that feeling to move you into actions or decisions that may not be in line with what you truly want.
Forgiving the Abuser or Perpetrator?
When and if you do move into a place where are willing to forgive the abuser, in a very true way, that is a gift that you give to yourself. Whatever we cannot forgive, we carry with us. When you forgive someone or something, you are given a freedom of no longer being connected to that person, group of people, or to that event.
Depending on what happened to you, you may not be ready to do that. You should honor and respect those feelings. In order to truly love ourselves, we have to love ourselves as we are right now. The triangle is created when the ability to truly love yourself and others becomes broken. So accepting where you are right now, is an act of love. That act of love, is the beginning of healing.
The Victim Triangle Series
This article was broken up into three sections. This was part Three. These are the links to the other two sections:
Lauren Torres – Lansing, IL
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Do not reproduce with out express written permission.