Monday, November 16, 2009

The Sweetest Revenge

“The best revenge is massive success.” ~ Frank Sinatra

Throughout the years, I’ve met many people; many of them have survived some kind of abuse. Interestingly enough, after they were no longer abused by others, they picked up where others left off, and violated themselves even worse than any of their oppressors ever did.

It is not uncommon for victims of abuse – physical, verbal or mental – to self-sabotage. Going into the trigger mechanisms of such a response would indeed require a much longer discussion than what can be afforded in a blog post, as would the analysis of each unique type of response, but we can safely assess that most individuals who have suffered an emotional trauma as a consequence of abuse tend to indulge in behaviors which validate the actions of the abusers rather than dispelling them.

Let’s assume, for example, that someone was repeatedly told they could not amount to anything in life, and they were led to believe that their actions were a ticket straight to hell. In many cases, they had probably felt incapable and smothered at every corner. Let’s say, now, that this individual is finally free – at least physically – from the person who abused them. The first thing they would probably do, the moment they are able to control their own lives, is to indulge in the very same behaviors their abuser used as ammunition to gain control over them.

By continuing the abuse that others had begun, we only validate the faulty perception they have of us. No matter what happened, we don’t need to let the abuse go any further, especially if we are now the ones in the driver’s seat. If someone never believed we could amount to anything, and we turn their vision into reality, we choose to give them more power than they were ever entitled to have. If, instead, we focus on cracking their assumption, and we direct our energies to shifting the sail toward a positive current, we have instantly broken the drama and won the battle.

Nobody ever said that revenge must walk a rocky trail. Skipping over the rocks that were placed on our path to make us fall is the best way to show the world that we are finally free from the chains of the past.

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