Moving from shame to vulnerability

Uncategorized

‘Whether we know it, or not, most of us react to life as victims. Whenever we refuse to take responsibility for ourselves, we are unconsciously choosing to react as victim. This inevitably creates feelings of anger, fear, guilt or inadequacy and leaves us feeling betrayed, or taken advantage of by others.  I refer to the “Drama Triangle,” as the victim triangle. I’ve sometimes referred to the victim triangle as a “shame generator” because through it we unconsciously re-enact painful life themes that create shame. This has the effect of reinforcing old, painful beliefs that keep us stuck in a limited version of reality. I believe that every dysfunctional interaction, in relationship with other or self, takes place on the victim triangle. We move around the triangle as rapidly inside our own minds as we do out in the world.. inner drama of any kind perpetuates a vicious cycle of shame and self loathing. Moving around the triangle keeps the self-disparaging messages running.The victim triangle becomes our very own shame-making machine. It’s up to us to learn how to turn this noisy mental machine off.

Placing the three positions on a straight line with Victim in the middle, is a way of demonstrating that Persecutor and Rescuer are simply the two extremes, or shadow aspects, of victim-hood.

Persecutor —— VICTIM —— Rescuer’

Lynne Forrest

The drama triangle is a social model of human interaction – It was conceived by Stephen Karpman, a student studying under Eric Berne, the father of transactional analysis. Karpman, who had interests in acting and was a member of the Screen Actors Guild, chose the term “drama triangle” rather than the term “conflict triangle” as the Victim in his model is not intended to represent an actual victim, but rather someone feeling or acting like a victim. It defines the unconscious roles people take on (and can switch between) in stressful, emotional or high conflict situations. It is what it sounds like – creating drama, creating stress, conflict or rescuing people from their own responsibility of looking after themselves. Being in the drama triangle, can also prevent people from creating and leading their own lives (i.e. a life they love.)

So to sum up, for a simple concept, the Drama Triangle can get bloody confusing. Maybe this is because it is so easy to move around a Triangle when nobody can ever really be a winner. We’re all too busy blaming and shaming each other to notice that all of the roles available are distinctly unhealthy.

The Winner’s Triangle was published by Acey Choy in 1990 as a therapeutic model for showing people how to alter social transactions when entering a triangle at any of the three entry points.

The Power of TED, first published in 2009, recommends that the “victim” adopt the alternative role of creator, view the persecutor as a challenger, and enlist a coach instead of a rescuer

All of the positions in the Winner’s Triangle can be seen to be positive and valuable: Assertiveness is not about domination, abusing power, or being better than others; Caring is being supportive without discounting the attributes or abilities of the Vulnerable; and Vulnerability is not about being powerless or laying blame. Nobody steps on the other person, no one is one-down. The only way to move into this Triangle is to commit to positive change, self-responsibility, learning and growth; and leave behind those who refuse to do so. Now is the time to extract ourselves from the toxic drama and move into the Winner’s Triangle.

Victims

The role of Starting Gate Victim is also a shadow aspect. It is the wounded shadow of our inner child; that part of us that is innocent, vulnerable AND needy. This child-self does need support on occasion – that’s natural. It’s only when we become convinced that we can’t take care of ourselves, that we move into Victim. Believing that we are frail, powerless or defective keeps us needing rescue. This relegates us to a lifetime of crippling dependency on our primary relationships.

The very thing a Rescuer seeks (validation and appreciation) is the thing Victims most resent giving because it is a reminder to them of their own deficiencies. Instead they resent the help that is given. SGV’s eventually get tired of being in the one-down position and begin to find ways to feel equal. Unfortunately this usually involves some form of “getting even” and can quickly move to a persecutor. For a SGV, a move to persecutor on the triangle usually means sabotaging the efforts made to rescue them, often through passive-aggressive behaviour.

In terms of derailing resilience, victims have real difficulties making decisions, solving problems, finding much pleasure in life, or understanding their self-perpetuating behaviours.

Rescuers

The Rescuer might be described as a shadow aspect of the mother principle. Theirs is a misguided understanding of what it is to encourage, empower and protect. In terms of derailing resilience, rescuers are frequently harried, overworked, tired, caught in a martyr style while resentment festers underneath. A Starting Gate Rescuer is the classic, co-dependent. The SGR tends be enabling, overly protective – the one who wants to “fix it.” Rescuing is an addiction that comes from an unconscious need to feel valued. There’s no better way to feel important than to be a savior! Taking care of others may be the Rescuers best game plan for getting to feel worthwhile.

Persecutors

Like the other roles, the Starting Gate Persecutor is shame based. This role is most often taken on by someone who perceived mental and/or physical abuse during their childhood. As a result they are often secretly seething inside from a shame based wrath that ends up running their lives. SGP’s tend to adopt an attitude that says; “The world is hard and mean … only the ruthless survive. I’ll be one of those.” In other words, they become perpetrators. They “protect” themselves using authoritarian, controlling and downright punishing methods. Their greatest fear is powerlessness. Because they judge and deny their own inadequacy, fear and vulnerability, they will need some place else to project these disowned feelings. In other words, they need a victim. SGP’s also tend to compensate for inner feelings of worthlessness by putting on grandiose airs. Grandiosity inevitably comes from shame. It is a compensation and cover-up for deep inferiority. Superiority is the attempt to swing hard to the other side of “less than” in order to come across as “better than.”

Ironically, a main exit way off the triangle is through the persecutor position. This does not mean we become persecutors. It does mean however, that once we decide to get off the triangle, there most likely will be those who see us as persecutors. (”How can you do this to me?”) Once we decide to take self-responsibility and tell our truth, those still on the triangle are likely to accuse us of victimising them. “How dare you refuse to take care of me,” a Victim might cry. Or “What do you mean you don’t need my help?” a primary enabler storms when their victim decides to become accountable. In other words, to escape the victim grid, we must be willing to be perceived as the “bad guy.” This doesn’t make it so, but we must be willing to sit with the discomfort of being perceived as such.

These are the most extreme versions of these three roles, but we can encounter people playing milder versions of these roles on a pretty regular basis.

The Victim TriangleThe Winner’s TriangleSkills to learn
PersecutorAssertiveAssertiveness
RescuerCaringListening and self awareness
VictimVulnerableProblem solving and self awareness
Moving through from the Drama/Victim triangle to the Winner’s Triangle

Obviously, these three roles need each other.  If you function in one of these roles, you’ll try to draw someone into a corresponding role on the Drama Triangle.  Or if you’re not in one of these roles, you may find someone else is trying to pull you into one of them.

The Drama Triangle Creates Pain and Misery

Most people operate from one primary or habitual role when they’re involved in a Drama Triangle.  They typically embrace this role as their identity in life.

But we also move between roles.  For example, a victim can become a persecutor or a rescuer can move into the victim role.  You might even move between roles in a single conversation. 

When you interact from a position on the Drama Triangle, you re-enact and reinforce painful beliefs and patterns that keep you from living a conscious, authentic, and fulfilled life.  

So how do you move out of the Drama Triangle?  Let’s take a look at the Empowerment Dynamic.

How to Get Out of The Drama Triangle

The Empowerment Dynamic

The Empowerment Dynamic was developed by David Emerald to help people move out of the Drama Triangle.  It identifies three empowered roles:  Creator, Coach, and Challenger. 

Below are some of the actions you can take to move from a dysfunctional role in the Drama Triangle into an empowered one.  You’ll have to take these actions again and again to create new modes of healthy interaction.

Victim -> Creator

To move from victim to creator take these steps:

  • Take responsibility for your thoughts, feelings, and actions.
  • Think like a problem solver and use your creative imagination.
  • Take actions that will achieve your desires outcomes.
  • Instead of looking for someone to save you, learn to take care of yourself.
  • Focus on what you want instead of what you don’t want. 
  • Ask empowering questions like: “What do I want?” and “What steps can I take to get what I want?” 
  • Look at what’s going right in your life.  You can do this by practicing gratitude each day, reviewing your accomplishments often, and appreciating the goodness in life.

Rescuer -> Coach

To move from rescuer to coach, take these steps:

  • Be helpful and supportive by acting like a teacher or a coach instead of a rescuer or a fixer.
  • Help people learn to solve their own problems instead of solving problems for them.
  • Encourage self-responsibility rather than dependency.
  • Set boundaries on the amount of time you’ll listen and provide support.
  • Ask empowering questions like:  “What would you like to see happen in this situation?” or “What can you do to change this?”
  • Trust that the other person can solve their own problems.

Persecutor -> Challenger

To move from persecutor to challenger, take these steps:

  • Challenge people but don’t blame, criticize, or oppress them.
  • Be firm but fair in your interactions.
  • Ask for what you want, be clear but not punishing.
  • Address the consequences of their actions and set boundaries.
  • Ask questions like, “What do you think you react so strongly in this situation?” or “What would happen if you challenged the belief you can’t take care of yourself?”

Another empowered model, the Winner’s Triangle, was developed by Acey Choy in 1990.  It recommends alternative ways of being to counteract the roles on the Drama Triangle:  vulnerable and outcome oriented instead of victim, caring instead of rescuer, and assertive instead of persecutor.

Are You Ready To Get Out of the Drama Triangle?

There are characteristics of and consequences to being on the triangle that all three roles bear in common. Let’s talk about a few of them.

Lack of Personal Responsibility

Whenever we fail to take responsibility for ourselves, we end up on the triangle. Not even Rescuers, who pride themselves on being responsible, take responsibility for themselves. They take care of everyone else, but have no idea of how to do it for themselves. Not taking responsibility is a key identifying factor in recognizing when we are on the triangle. Persecutors shift responsibility by blaming others for their misery. Victims look for someone else to take responsibility for them. Not one of the three roles take responsibility for themselves.

As long as we chase ourselves and others around the triangle, we relegate ourselves to living in reaction. Rather than living spontaneously and free through self-responsibility and personal choice, we settle into dull and painful lives ruled by the agendas of others and our own unconscious beliefs. To experience a fulfilling life requires a conscious willingness to get off the triangle and extend grace to those still encumbered by their drama.

It’s not necessarily easy because we’ve practice and reinforced these patterns so many times.  You need to give it your all. Take time to study the Drama Triangle and the Empowerment Dynamic.  Journal about your reactions and and the role you see yourself playing.  Make your own program to practice the skills for your corresponding role in the Empowerment Dynamic, one at a time. 

Painful Beliefs Rule 

Sometimes we simply need to sit with an uncomfortable feeling – such as shame, without acting on it. Shame does not necessarily imply that we have behaved wrong or unethically. Shame is often a learned response.

Painful Feelings

Frequently we get on the triangle through the port of painful feelings. It seems that many of us tend to let painful feelings rule us. We think a thought and it triggers shame or fear, which prompts us to react in a way that puts us back on the triangle. Our reaction is usually a misguided attempt to control or get rid of the painful feeling so that we can “feel better.”

Difference Between Emotions and Feelings https://johnvoris.com/difference-between-emotions-and-feelings/

Denial

Anytime we deny our feelings we set ourselves up for a victim perspective. Feelings are real. They are “energy-in-motion.” When we discount or undermine our emotions we end up being overtaken by them, becoming impulsive reactors. We can’t take responsibility for ourselves when we refuse to acknowledge our feelings, which means that these disavowed “inner tyrants” will go on driving our behavior from behind the scenes.

Although it is true that our feelings are generated by what we believe, feelings are nonetheless important. They alert us when we are thinking unhappy thoughts; feeling “bad,” for instance, lets us know we are thinking a most unhappy, possibly distorted, belief. Instead of denying the feeling, we learn to follow the feeling in to the belief behind it. This is where true intervention is possible. The feeling dissipates once the belief behind it is made conscious and addressed. We learn to recognise that our feelings are what point us to the limiting beliefs that are keeping us stuck on the triangle. When suppressed, these denied emotions become secret pockets of shame within the psyche. They only serve to alienate us from others and sentence us to a life on the triangle.

Projection

We tend to deny feelings and beliefs that we have judged as negative or unacceptable. As previously mentioned, we rescue ourselves by pushing these unacceptable parts into the dark unconscious. They don’t necessarily stay there, however. Whatever thoughts and feelings we don’t own, i.e., take responsibility for, will end up being projected out into our world, usually on someone we “love.” As soon as we judge some thought or feeling within us as unacceptable, we will unconsciously look around and find someone who has these same traits and hate them for it. This is called projection and it is a propelling force on the triangle. Projection ensures that the victim dance continues.

Emotion: Expression vs. Projection Emotion: Expression vs. Projection

Chances are, you’ll return to and play out your former role in the Drama Triangle again and again.  But every time you act from an empowered place, you build your capacity to interact in healthier and happier ways.  Gradually, your relationships will feel more satisfying, you won’t feel so powerless, and you’ll be able to avoid toxic relationships that would only draw you back into the Drama Triangle.Your Turn:  Which role on the Drama Triangle feels most familiar to you?  What emotions come up when you see this?  How do you notice when you’re in a self-defeating role and how do you get out of it?

comments.https://www.lynneforrest.com/articles/2008/06/the-faces-of-victim/

https://medium.com/@ThackrayTinson/disappearing-into-the-brexit-triangle-253bfa07d26a

Politics, Art & Society

Psychology

Topics on:

The uses of Art, theories & the societal implications

by Thomas Moulson

Politics is the set of activities that are associated with the governance of a country, state or area. It involves making decisions that apply to groups of members[1] and achieving and exercising positions of governance—organized control over a human community.[2] The academic study of politics is referred to as political science. Politics is a multifaceted word. It has a set of fairly specific meanings that are descriptive and nonjudgmental (such as “the art or science of government” and “political principles”), but does often colloquially carry a negative connotation.[1][6][7] The word has been used negatively for many years: the British national anthem as published in 1745 calls on God to “Confound their politics”,[8] and the phrase “play politics”, for example, has been in use since at least 1853, when abolitionist Wendell Phillips declared: “We do not play politics; anti-slavery is no half-jest with us.”Prologue

Degenerate art (German: Entartete Kunst) was a term adopted in the 1920s by the Nazi Party in Germany to describe modern art. During the dictatorship of Adolf Hitler, German modernist art, including many works of internationally renowned artists, was removed from state-owned museums and banned in Nazi Germany on the grounds that such art was an “insult to German feeling”, un-German, Jewish, or Communist in nature. Those identified as degenerate artists were subjected to sanctions that included being dismissed from teaching positions, being forbidden to exhibit or to sell their art, and in some cases being forbidden to produce art.[1]

Degenerate Art also was the title of an exhibition, held by the Nazis in Munich in 1937, consisting of 650 modernist artworks chaotically hung and accompanied by text labels deriding the art. Designed to inflame public opinion against modernism, the exhibition subsequently traveled to several other cities in Germany and Austria.

While modern styles of art were prohibited, the Nazis promoted paintings and sculptures that were traditional in manner and that exalted the “blood and soil” values of racial purity, militarism, and obedience. Similar restrictions were placed upon music, which was expected to be tonal and free of any jazz influences; disapproved music was termed degenerate music. Films and plays were also censored.[2]

Under the Weimar government of the 1920s, Germany emerged as a leading center of the avant-garde. It was the birthplace of Expressionism in painting and sculpture, of the atonal musical compositions of Arnold Schoenberg, and the jazz-influenced work of Paul Hindemith and Kurt Weill. Films such as Robert Wiene‘s The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) and F. W. Murnau‘s Nosferatu (1922) brought Expressionism to cinema.

The Nazis viewed the culture of the Weimar period with disgust. Their response stemmed partly from a conservative aesthetic taste and partly from their determination to use culture as a propaganda tool.[6]

On both counts, a painting such as Otto Dix‘s War Cripples (1920) was anathema to them. It unsparingly depicts four badly disfigured veterans of the First World War, then a familiar sight on Berlin‘s streets, rendered in

caricatured style. (In 1937, it would be displayed in the Degenerate Art exhibition next to a label accusing Dix—himself a volunteer in World War I[7]—of “an insult to the German heroes of the Great War”.)

After the war, Dix returned to Dresden and resumed his art practice. Taking inspiration from his wartime activities, he created a print series called “Der Krieg” (“The War”) (1924). The disturbing black-and-white imagery includes such grotesqueries as a skeleton soldier reclining against a cliff with a long rifle aimed at his face; a man with a bloodied brain, eye, and hand, whose tongue lolls out of his mouth; and stormtroopers with eerie masks reminiscent of horror-film villains. Starkness, despair, and inhumanity radiate from the series, which was consciously modeled on Francisco de Goya’s “The Disasters of War” prints (1810–20), which satirize a 19th-century Spanish conflict.

Roth was an atheist who once said, “When the whole world doesn’t believe in God, it’ll be a great place.”[29][30] He also said during an interview with The Guardian: “I’m exactly the opposite of religious, I’m anti-religious. I find religious people hideous. I hate the religious lies. It’s all a big lie,” and “It’s not a neurotic thing, but the miserable record of religion—I don’t even want to talk about it. It’s not interesting to talk about the sheep referred to as believers. When I write, I’m alone. It’s filled with fear and loneliness and anxiety—and I never needed religion to save me.”

About the Author

Society in Nazi Germany

The Nazis believed in war as the primary engine of human progress, and argued that the purpose of a country’s economy should be to enable that country to fight and win wars of expansion. During the 1930s, Nazi Germany increased its military spending faster than any other state in peacetime.

This was funded mainly through deficit financing before the war, and the Nazis expected to cover their debt by plundering the wealth of conquered nations during and after the war.[8] Such plunder did occur, but its results fell far short of Nazi expectations. The Nazi government developed a partnership with leading German business interests, who supported the goals of the regime and its war effort in exchange for advantageous contracts, subsidies, and the suppression of the trade union movement. Cartels and monopolies were encouraged at the expense of small businesses, even though the Nazis had received considerable electoral support from small business owners. Nazi Germany maintained a supply of slave labor, composed of prisoners and concentration camp inmates, which was greatly expanded after the beginning of World War II. In Poland alone, some 5 million citizens were used as slave labor throughout the war.[12] Among the slave laborers in the occupied territories, hundreds of thousands were used by leading German corporations including Thyssen, Krupp, IG Farben, Bosch, Blaupunkt, Daimler-Benz, Demag, Henschel, Junkers, Messerschmitt, Siemens, and Volkswagen, as well as Dutch corporation Philips.[13] By 1944, slave labor made up one quarter of Germany’s entire work force, and the majority of German factories had a contingent of prisoners.

9 causes of depression

Psychology, Spirituality

Johann Hari – Causes of Depression

9 factors causing depression (7 are psychosocial, and 2 are biological)
Psychological reasons and upsets give rise to the physical symptoms of depression.

Disconnection from work that gives meaning and purpose (little control or autonomy in your work).

Disconnection from people (feeling profoundly lonely). Not sharing any meaningful experience with any other people.

Disconnection from meaningful values. Focusing on materialism, and doing things purely for extrinsic rewards instead of intrinsic reward.

Disconnection caused by childhood trauma. For every traumatic experience, you go through as a child it significantly increases the likelihood of a later diagnosis of depression.

Disconnection from respect. Modern life cultivates the view that status, celebrity and wealth are what denote success and anxiety over the loss of financial security and status often are underlying constant stress in people.

Disconnection from the natural world. Faced with the vista of the natural world we feel ‘small’ not ‘big’, and we feel like we are part of something much bigger than ourselves. Animals in captivity rock, lose interest in sex (why they are so hard to breed in captivity) and show other compulsive and depressive behaviors they don’t exhibit in the wild. We are animals. We need to be outdoors. Rates of depression when exercising in the natural world, and spending time outdoors all reduce in comparison to time spent outside. We often feel ‘more alive’ when outdoors in nature. Grounded.

Disconnection from loss of hope for a better future.

The role of genes and biology in depression. Neuroplasticity means the brain is continually growing and changing and does not stay the same. This means the concept of a ‘broken’ brain that cannot be fixed is not supported by current scientific evidence. However, distress from the external world and brain changes occur together which lead to depression. Johann Hari in his book “Lost Connections” on page 146, says that these changes in the brain can then “acquire a momentum of their own that deepens the effects from the outside world.”
Scientists have discovered that for depression there is a 37% genetic inheritance, BUT for those who carry the gene and are born with it — the inherited gene HAS to be activated by your environment.
It is WHAT happens to you in life that determines if that gene for depression is switched on or not.
Biological factors can influence depression as it has been proven that suffering either glandular fever or underactive thyroid can significantly increase the rates of depression in people who are vulnerable.
Some forms of bipolar are seen by some (not all) scientists as having a greater biological component, but psychosocial factors are still seen as influencing and affecting all forms of depression.
When I studied psychology at university, I learned about the bio-psycho-social model about mental health. However, when I went to the doctors with acute symptoms, not one doctor has ever asked me:
“What happened to you?”
What has happened in your life?
What happened in your childhood?
What happened to you in the last year that has been a major trigger?
What support systems do you have in your life?
Do you have friends?
Do you have a family? Do you have a supportive family?
How is your marriage?
How are your children? What is happening to them?
How is your job? Are you fulfilled at work?
Not one.
A psychiatrist that I was referred to 20 years ago when I had attempted suicide asked me all these questions over the period I saw her. I do not think I would be alive today if it were not for her superb care and attention to help me create new meaning rebuilding my life.
But the doctor gave me a prescription for some pills, and I was out the door in 10 minutes. I was given a chemical solution.
None of them ever fully worked. I increased the dosages to the maximum each time.
I stayed on the medication for over five years the first time.
I lost my sex drive.
I put on weight.
I felt flat and numb.
But I felt I could not exist without the medication. At least I was alive. That is how I felt.
It felt like my emotional pain increased too much when I tried to come off the tablets.
I went back on medication nearly a year ago. This new antidepressant does not affect libido and is meant to have no side effects when you come off it (no withdrawal symptoms). I tried to go off it a few months ago and started to get panic attacks and so started it again.
I then started to see a therapist who does body somatic therapy based on the work of Dr. Peter Levine on healing people from complex PTSD.

I can feel huge changes within my body and my ways of thinking since I have been exploring this healing modality on a regular basis.
I was told by my doctor to stay on the antidepressant for a minimum of one year before I tried to come off it. So I am going to do that.
What do I make of all this research as put together and researched by Johann Hari?
It all makes complete sense to me.

The suppressed

Colonisation, Feminism, Indigenous culture, Psychology

This post is starting off as an information on ideas and themes of certain oppressed peoples in the modern world, from women to ethnic minorities. One initial interested is to make efforts to understand how psychological warfare is possibly the most potent and dangerous means of an oppressor. If this could be understood more then the down trodden would have the beginnings of reclaiming their own minds and self government.

“Our nation was born in genocide when it embraced the doctrine that the original American, the Indian, was an inferior race. Even before there were large numbers of Negroes on our shore, the scar of racial hatred had already disfigured colonial society. From the sixteenth century forward, blood flowed in battles over racial supremacy. We are perhaps the only nation which tried as a matter of national policy to wipe out its indigenous population. Moreover, we elevated that tragic experience into a noble crusade. Indeed, even today we have not permitted ourselves to reject or feel remorse for this shameful episode. Our literature, our films, our drama, our folklore all exalt it. Our children are still taught to respect the violence which reduced a red-skinned people of an earlier culture into a few fragmented groups herded into impoverished reservations.”
― John F. Kennedy

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Panther_Party