Jul 15, 2016

Posted by in Repattern Your Life Articles

Healing the Victim-Perpetrator and Violence Cycles in Your Life

Violence Cycles have been on this planet through the ages, across continents, tribes, and generations. In the recent torrential violence both locally and globally, is this unrelenting reminder of personal, tribal and generational pain shadowing our daily lives through the violence cycles of perpetual persecutor and victim. Even if we shelter ourselves from the news, this cycle shows up in our personal lives, communities, countries and in planetary interpersonal and inter-species interactions through perpetrator and victim imbalance and disharmony.

Within each of us is a perpetrator and victim. Healing the imbalance and disharmony within this relationship has beneficial impact on your wellness and well-being.

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Each one of us has an inner critic. This inner critic can range from mildly putting your self down to self hate. Untreated, in its extreme, the perpetrator within can through anger toward self, continually blame one self without mercy, cycle into continual painful thoughts, continue negative life habits, addictions, or even lash out into violence toward others.

This arises from the position of victim. In the position of victim, there is a sense of fear and powerlessness without possibility for positive change on the horizon. Inner perpetration at its extreme could lead to self-victimization including self-mutilation, accidents, self-sabotage, and even suicide.

There is no victim without perpetrator. One exists because of the other. In fact, they appear on the scene at the same time. They each play a role in the violence cycle. We likely feel more comfortable in one position over the other, and might even reject one of these poles, yet through disengagement from the message of either of these poles, we lose sight of the meaning and lesson that each pole has to offer..

Oftentimes, in working with clients through Family Systems work, it becomes clear that a person out of love and loyalty to their Family System, is living through the lens of one of these poles: perpetrator or victim, as a direct unconscious result of feeling excluded, or in place of an excluded member or group within the history of that person’s family system. Other times, inner conflict is the result of an unresolved earlier experience that needs compassionate healing and integration.

Within each family system over generations there have been both perpetrators and victims. Sometimes, it might feel “easier” to identify with only one of these poles as it is painful to register the other pole. However, because this is only part of the story present within your consciousness, history continues playing out the same way until the message and meaning of the origin of this painful cycle is given equal value for both the perpetrator and/or victim.

It’s like opening a book and finding that a page is ripped out. Something is missing that is important to the entire story. Information is needed to complete and understand on that page to gain insight to apply meaning to the whole story.

An example would be a Jewish family in which several members died in concentration camps. The murdered Jews and the Nazis who killed them are both a part of the family system for both sides. All of them, perpetrators and victims, must be given an adequate place within the system to create wholeness. This does not mean that you invite perpetrators into your life. It means you invite the lesson and meaning of the perpetrator into your awareness.

You then give back the perpetrator their corresponding responsibility and fate, and stop carrying the internal conflict for them to give them a place in your Family System. You no longer are bonded with the perpetrator in the same way because you had not yet acknowledged their place. And, if the perpetrator is a family member, then that person then resumes their place by taking responsibility for their actions and their fate. This creates great freedom and returns “author-ity” to all involved.

When both the poles of victim and perpetrator are given an equal place, each cease having ALL of the power. Giving both a place without the labels of “good or bad” makes the space for equal strength and power. The perpetrator stops being the more powerful and strong character by taking responsibility for their actions and fate, and the victim recovers their power through letting go of their fear. It is only when you see both victims and perpetrators in their dignity, or as peers, that you can then give them their respective places in your family system, and stop representing one of them in your life. In this way, you become more free from violence cycles through acknowledging the lessons they both teach you instead of repressing the learning that can take place. With both the ability to respond to and take responsibility for your own life and empowerment to take action, you are then able to face life more fully.

A special “Thank you” to Bert Hellinger and Magui Block for their insight and contributions to healing through Family Systems work in itself and through Resonance Repatterning.

 

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