Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Victim

This is stream of consciousness, as I’ve just had a really important insight into an emotional challenge I’ve been trying to sort out for several weeks. I am writing my way through it.

I am having a difficult time with seeing Knight in relationship to others when we interact socially. There are multiple reasons for this that don't all come from being the ex-girlfriend, but there is much that does come from that.

I was contemplating this issue tonight because it came up with a friend who is throwing a party. I didn’t like how I felt when she brought up her desire to have him there. I was also looking for an art project to work on tomorrow night, as I had just been invited to a crafty night at a friend’s. I wandered around, looking at different art supplies, feeling out the appropriate creative expression for right now. Then I grabbed one of Shiloh McCloud’s coloring book journals, drawn to the title She Moves To Her Own Rhythm.

I started turning the pages and was immediately drawn to a paragraph that starts, “Gratitude is a remedy for self-pity.” Suddenly I realized that I have been feeling significant self pity, feeling sorry for myself because my relationship with Knight didn’t work out, partly because he rejected me as a partner due to my actions, partly because of his desire to spend more time and energy on other lovers than on me, partly because he was careless with me when trying to manage multiple relationships (and many other reasons, too), and now I have to watch him be with those other women...and more...if I desire to continue participating in tribe and Imps activities. The paragraph continues on to talk about being a victim...

“Gratitude inspires humility. Gratitude guards against self-pity. I cannot express how important it is not to be a victim. Being a victim, along with holding guilt and shame, paralyzes us and keeps us from growing. Those emotions and responses are a disease, once you let them in, they spread and mutate until you cannot even tell where they are and what havoc they are wreaking. Cast those demons out. Tell them you have no more use for them. We can become invested in our sad story and use it to control others and keep ourselves from being well. Overcoming the victim does not negate that you had to endure injustices. Overcoming acknowledges your pain and allows you to transform.

I work with archetypes as one of my tools for self and human exploration. Caroline Myss, a teacher I highly respect and that I’ve mentioned before, says that there are four archetypes that all of us contain: the Child, the Saboteur, the Prostitute and the Victim. Even though three of these have negative connotations in our current cultural understanding, all of these archetypes have both a light and a shadow expression.

In the light the Victim is the Guardian of Self Esteem.

My victim has been at play regarding my reactions to having to confront Knight and his other relationships at social events, most especially the Imps parties. Being confronted with your ex-partner seducing, playing and having sex with other women shortly after your break up is not an easy thing to do. While there are many reasons our relationship didn’t work out, I seem to have fixated on the sense of rejection that I feel. Hence the self-pity.

The self-pity, and shame from feeling that I was rejected specifically because of my shadow around emotional control, have been feeding a monster of emotional brutality in my heart towards Knight. It is so easy to demonize him. But it hurts me to do so.

I have been digging at this, feeling the negative reactions and trying to chase down the sources. I don’t like the way it feels at all. I don’t like that I left the staff party a couple weeks ago because I couldn’t bear watching him seduce another woman and feeling it as rejection. I don’t like that I’m afraid to attend the social this weekend because I will feel that way again, even though I have my own lovers to connect with. I don’t like that I want to shut him out and convince myself that he isn’t worthy of relationship with me by focusing on his shadows.

It’s like I’m trying to take my power back by wielding the power of disconnection – which is actually the most potent weapon I can use against him. He thrives on connection and intimacy. Shutting him out is a powerful way to hurt him.

And disconnection has seemed like the only way to protect myself from more heartache. Essentially that's what it's all about, trying to protect my heart. But defenses never lead anywhere good.

The lesson is that my victim needs to develop personal boundaries and a sense of personal power, but I’m not doing it in a healthy way. I need to figure out how to turn this story around to one of self empowerment.

Of course none of this has been entirely conscious. I’ve had the fucked up thoughts and feelings about him the last few weeks, but didn’t see what was really going on under the surface until now. I’ve just been conscious enough to know that I am in shadow and have taken the positive step of keeping it to myself as much as possible. I haven’t spoken to him since the staff party because I don’t want to communicate with him from a negative place. I have learned from previous mistakes of communicating from shadow.

Is it not time that our loving free us from ourselves, and that we, though trembling, endure. Rilke

And of course all of this brings me back to vulnerability and open-heartedness. The vulnerable thing is to face how I feel, to see myself fully and allow others to see me fully, to bring my shadow into the light and love it. The open-hearted thing to do is cultivate love toward Knight and compersion toward his relationships.

Another aspect of my evolution right now is learning to hold space for my own shadow rather than judging and shaming myself when I act from fear. This here, right now, is an opportunity to do that. Rather than be ashamed of my victim and her attempt to protect me these last few weeks, I am going to thank her for trying and ask her to work with me in a more empowering way. I am not powerless and do not need to seek power through attempting to diminish another. I am not unlovable because I am imperfect and act from fear at times.

Shiloh says that gratitude is the remedy for self-pity. I realize that I have stopped experiencing gratitude for Knight’s presence and impact on my life. I have stopped seeing the Divine Spark in him and the beauty of the relationship we shared. Our fear based choices don’t negate or diminish all of the love that we shared. I’ve blinded myself from his light, and the light of our relationship, with shadow. He is a bright light, he has tremendous love to share, there are so many things to be grateful for about that man. And it does not diminish me to say so, no matter the circumstances of our relationship’s end.

From Sacred Contracts by Myss: "The primary objective of the Victim archetype is to develop self-esteem and personal power...You have Contracts with people who are directly connected to the Victim archetype. Their primary role is to help you develop your self-esteem through acts of honesty, integrity, courage, endurance and self-respect."

Even now, Knight is a gift in my life, as I learn to develop a healthy relationship with my Victim archetype and find a deeper sense of my own empowerment and self esteem. While facing this truth in myself is not easy, I am incredibly grateful to have made a breakthrough and sense that I now have a direction to go in cultivating the response I desire to have to Knight and his lovers...which is pure love.

1 comment:

teresanamita said...

This is excellent, thank you for sharing!