Evelyn Ryan, Yourlifelifter
Years ago my cousin Louisa told me that I had the natural ability to make people feel good. Well, I had to think about that for a moment. My first response was, “Well, I guess that is not so bad a quality to have.” It took me years of unnecessary pain, grief, and anger to understand the true value of what I now realize is a “gift” that I should not have taken for granted for a second. All that angst? For what?
Learning the Truth about Yourself
It also took me years to learn that this “gift” and my intelligence, compassion, and integrity made and continue to make me a target of bullies, scapegoaters, narcissists, and other emotional vampires. In short, it took years to learn the truth about myself. Does this story sound even a little bit familiar to the other folks out there? I would bet you a $100.00 it does and this is why.
We are human. We are fallible and we learn through our successful and our, well, not so successful, endeavors. This is how our characters and personalities and belief systems evolve and mature. This is how we learn what nourishes our soul.
It’s that simple. Learning how our minds work and what causes the invisible barriers such as fears, anger, angst, phobias we possess can set all of us on a pathway to understanding the truth about ourselves. Once you have clarity, you have freedom to choose and put in place the steps to deal with these invisible barriers. Once you do that, the pathway to happiness is cleared of the obstacles that prevented you from getting there all along. Look at anger, for example. Here is a quote from Dr. Lynne Namka’s book, How To Let Go of Your Mad Baggage.
“Life is full of multidimensional possibilities… Remember, you don’t have to keep on doing the same-o, same-o. Choices. Life is about choices. …One great thing about being a Human Being is that you do get choices. We can use our choices…to become gentle, loving people. What better option do you have to do with your lifetime? Choose wisely.”
I agree totally. We have the choice to break the cycles once we know the truth. Let’s discuss our upbringing for a moment and how it affected us. Do you have a history of being a victim of abuse, degradation, bullying, scapegoating? Then, most likely you were abused, degraded, bullied and scapegoated as a child. And most likely you are an empath since bullies target empaths.
We repeat the same patterns we were conditioned to accept and be familiar with as children and even become the abusers! Personally, I think anyone who was the target of abuse can achieve clarity by understanding the abuser and why you were you targeted to begin with. These truths can set you free to wise choices.
Is Abuse about the Abuser
The truth is that the abusers, shadowed their pain and inadequacies on others they perceive as a threat, a threat that is entirely in their mind. What a revelation, right Yes. They are the broken ones yet other innocent victims are made to suffer, the perfect definition of a scapegoat. I will discuss more “facts” about the innocent victims a little later.
According to http://www.bullyonline.org “Bullies are seething with resentment, bitterness, hatred and anger, and often have wide-ranging prejudices as a vehicle for dumping their anger onto others. Bullies are driven by jealousy and envy. Rejection (which cannot be assuaged) is another powerful motivator of bullying.” But why don’t bullies seek help? The answer is simple. They lack the abilities to do so. They are emotionally weak and fragile. They are the ones with abominably low levels of self-esteem who never seek or deal with the truth or make any efforts to improve because they do not have the abilities to self analyze or self sooth.
Since childhood, bullies learned to avoid the unpleasant consequences through denial, blame, and pretending victimhood. They are psychologically deficient and most likely personality disordered and are not able to see any fault in themselves. They also lack compassion and, frankly, do not think what they are doing is wrong. Frequently they are energy vampires and cannot generate their own energy. So they seek out and find targets from whom they can easily steal energy.
Bullies also gang up on victims. They like to recruit other broken ones, the proverbial “flying monkeys,” most like them and frequently make them the golden children or “favorites,” partners in crime of a sort. So now they, the other family bullies, and the golden children rally against the selected black sheep and collectively dump their emotional garbage to obtain psychological relief, what I refer to as “psychological burping.“ In a sense, the black sheep role keeps the dysfunctional family, that routinely violates family members’ personal boundaries, intact. The family “normalizes’ dysfunction and the children grow to repeat the family roles that were chosen for them in their families.
The black sheep then live pain-based lives they were conditioned to believe were their destiny, frequently ones of pain, drugs and alcohol abuse, emotional abuse, low self-esteem, and low sense of self-worth throughout their lives. They can go on to become the abusers and/or marry abusers or self-sacrifice for others and become codependents while neglecting their own needs.
Why are We Targeted?
Why are the “black sheep” targeted to begin with? Do they deserve this treatment? Do they taunt the abusers? Why are some folks bullied while others are not? This selection has really nothing to do with you personally. But it has lots to do with the type of person you are, your vulnerability, and your personality and character. Here is a list of qualities in people who are typically bullied or scapegoated and how they are perceived by the abuser:
Note: These are all characteristics of highly productive emotionally intelligent empathetic people with high integrity, qualities the bullies and scapegoaters do not possess and most likely never will. They also include characteristics that make us vulnerable.
- Uniqueness. Stand out in some way (Qualities the bully envies or can pick on)
- Independent and refuse to be subservient (Qualities that make it harder for the bullies to control so you are singled out as threat)
- Highly competent or talented (Bullies are jealous, can’t stand to share credit and view this as competition)
- Better liked and possess greater emotional intelligence (Bullies are jealous and perceive these as a threat)
- Possess a good sense of humor (Bullies are envious of attention you receive and perceive you as a threat)
- Ethical, generous, and honest with a desire to help, heal, teach, develop, and nurture others (Bullies are envious and they perceive this as submissiveness and a threat)
- Non-confrontational (Bullies interpret this as submissiveness).
- Empathetic; natural rescuers and healers with exaggerated compassion (Bullies interpret this as weakness and vulnerability)
Bullied individuals are frequently highly talented intelligent and people of the highest character. This list reflects the insipid and insidious nature of abuse, neglect, and scapegoating. The pain bullied individuals hold is the pain shadowed upon them by those who they trusted to love and protect them. The immeasurable damage is invisible and the patterns of destruction repeat themselves until, that is, you learn the truth, select other options, and break the cycles.
The point is, folks, that you have the free will to choose to parent yourself, treat yourself well, nourish your soul, and decide with whom you want to associate. You have the freedom and power to heal and replace the toxic beliefs and fears you are familiar and comfortable with with emotionally healthy ones founded on your personal truth, not lies you were conditioned to believe. You have the choice to remove toxic people from your life and surround yourself with loving people with whom you have reciprocal balanced mutually respectful relationships. You have the choice to live the life you choose and the one you deserve. You have the power to learn to monitor and manage boundaries and stop violating boundaries of others and stop others from violating yours. These choices and skills are all free for the taking once you take your power back and learn the truth about your real self-worth and the blessed person you truly are.
I explore these issues in much more detail in my book Take Your Power Back: Healing Lessons, Tips, and Tools for Abuse Survivors.