Victims Feel Shame, Abusers Don’t

Why victims feel shame and abusers don’t.

Victims feel shame because there’s a perception/expectation that you are treated the way you deserve – that if you remain in a relationship (romantic, work, friends, family, any type)  that makes you feel bad; it’s because you must want to or deserve to be treated poorly.

Which is why things like The Secret make money, there’s a part of us that is primed by religion and magical thinking that what happens is directed, ordained, destined or that there’s some connecting or correcting mechanism in the universe to make things fair or right according to how we are in the world.

Things happen because things happen, it’s random and only influenced by the choice we make – with each choice limiting the range of options that follow. When people make the same choices over and over, then it is easy to predict the inevitable outcome – which to people who look at the pattern of events that lead to the outcome, seems like it’s behaviorally directed – but when you factor in all the unrelated events that occurred in the same time period – you can see a larger pattern of many forces and limitations on possible outcomes

However, that perception is wrong, since the abuser has no right or authority to be judge, jury and executioner of anyone.

It’s likely that the abuser may well be a victim in some other area of their life, but to my mind, that makes them the worst kind of abuser – knowingly inflicting pain that they are familiar with. As much as being abused in one area of your life may seem to balance abusing someone in another area, it doesn’t. It just contributes more pain than there needs to be in the world. Intentionally causing pain has to stop.

When an illness hits a defined portion of the population and that illness is diagnosable with a test for a viral or bacterial cause – it’s a real illness – but when Epstien-Barr was first talked about publically, it was primarily middle aged women – and there was no test – so the public attitude was women were whiny and making it up

When too many women and a few men had it, this became Chronic Fatigue and has been deemed a real illness.

Fibromyalgia is this decade’s Epstein-Barr – and it seems that it’s a continuance of the Chronic Fatigue

When you get overwhelmed – and as women juggle kids, ailing parents and more often than not a career – you get overwhelmed.

And you can’t do anything about it – you’re tired, you’re sore and your resilience is slowly lowered. Sort of a reverse frog in the slowly boiling water; you’re slowing running out of steam to operate on.

As such, those little normal aches and pains that you’d not notice or shrug off, begin to seem worse and more constant – because you are now paying attention to them – a physical pain is so much easier to manage than emotional and psychological pain – especially with all the possible medications available to numb everything.

Trauma Revelation

I ruined dinner last night – twice. I put the aluminum foil over the lasagna the wrong way, so it cooked at the edges and stayed frozen in the middle. I discovered that when I went to pull it out. So, I turned off the stove, checked the lasagna, threw the foil in the garbage and the food back in the oven. I reset the timer.

So, it was when I went to check the second time, that I realized that I hadn’t turned the oven back on.

I was so hungry as to be near insensible, a bad thing for a diabetic, because the emotional control weakens at high or low blood sugars.

I prepared a tide over snack of cheesey toast and headed to the dog room to watch more of Xena season four with The Spouse.

But I couldn’t face her. I felt so stupid for delaying dinner, for not paying attention. I was so distressed that I almost didn’t take a minute for inventory.

Inventory is a practice I’ve developed from trauma counseling.

I pay attention to my posture, breathing, any sensation anywhere. Breathe calm and just pay attention. What’s going on? What thoughts change it? Does it change as you make yourself calm.

I realized that I was not standing up straight, my head was bowed as where my shoulders. My breathing was distressed and my stomach was boiling acid. My knees were shaky, also bent.

My whole body wanted to supplicate itself on the floor and accept whatever punishment was going to be meted out for having delayed dinner to an unreasonable hour. I was beside myself.

The Spouse and I have never lifted a hand to strike the other. We’ve fought with raised voices and the occasional slammed door. But never violence.

I stood in the doorway, in a state of high anxiety for having dropped the dinner ball.

I realized that I expected to be punished and that whatever the punishment was, I deserved what ever I was going to get.

I took a deep breath. I had to dig, because this was crazy thinking, so outside of our relationship norm that I knew it had to be from somewhere else.

And it was.

My workplace conflict has Pavlovian trained me to expect punishment for anything that I do. It’s not rational, reasonable or acceptable.

The end result of the three years of being bullied by co-workers and bullied by management in their denial of the allegations against my co-workers and bullied by management in their attempts to shut down my grievances into being a quiet and obedient employee.

I have had to deal with an extreme cognitive dissonance of knowing what I bring as an employee and being told that I am the problem, and not the people who’s conduct I reported as bullying, conduct management couldn’t or wouldn’t stop; combined with my raising awareness for the lack of work for the number of employees that we had and other management issues that were long overdue to be dealt with.

I wanted to do meaningful work that was a full day and at my pay grade, not below.

I wanted to streamline the inefficient work and not perform duplicate or by policy definition, unnecessary work.

Instead, I ended up with three grievances, a federal human rights complaint, a Canada Labour Code Part 2 refusal to work and a complaint to the BC Police Commission.

All because I wanted to work and wouldn’t be quiet about it.

My employer – between the co-worker abuse, management’s inability to curb the employees inappropriate behaviours, the lack of work, the amount of busy work, the amount of make work that wouldn’t have been needed  had the work been done properly or with any care from the start or over the past decade, that the program was winding down, with less work than ever in the program’s history, but for unclear reasons, with higher staffing levels.

These are the questions that I asked. For this, instead of being recognized for having identified a lot of cost savings, I am instead blamed for all the wrong doing and labeled as the problem.

Management then is able to continue forward on the basis of whatever understanding they have of the workplace, reality and evidence and facts had no bearing.

I live in an evidence based reality approach, I had no chance of safety being under the thumbs of people who did not consider evidence or likely probabilities, given the realities of the situation.

Management fell back on the tried and true – deny, delay and discipline.

Even one of the psychiatrists that I was sent to said “People like you end up back in the job.”

I never understood what he meant, but I can only think that what he meant was, People who can be broken.

I am bent at terrible angles, but I am not broken. I was an oak, now I’m a willow, and I can bend.

I realized last night that my employer had conditioned me to be unable to predict how people will react or respond and they had conditioned me to expect punishment, regardless of what I have done or said.

I stood in the doorway, looking at my spouse and cringing in terror of a beating that I felt I deserved – when there has never been anything approaching that kind of dynamic in our relationship.

But that’s what being bullied does – it isolates you from those you love the most. It takes you away from them and takes everything good away from you. Like a Dementor in the Potterverse, being bullied means you feel like you can never be or find happiness again.

To everyone who’s been bullied: You didn’t deserve it.

To all the bullies: If you could feel how you make your victims feel, you’d never bully anyone again, and as terrible a person as you are as a bully, I actually don’t wish these feelings on anyone.

Circle of Life doesn’t have to be abusive

My Dad explained to me, many years ago that the way life worked was:

Dad gets bullied at work, so comes home and beats up or yells at Mom, who passes the beating onto the oldest child, who sends the beating down the line in descending age order, the kids to the dog to the cat to the birds, who then poop on Dad’s car which starts the cycle over.

We are often told that people who abuse were abused, as if it absolves them or makes their abuses comprehensible. I tend to beleive that people who have been abused are less likely to abuse others, partly because they know what it feels like too well and partly because it’s harder to cast off that victim role. But, to any rule, there’s exceptions and while claiming childhood abuse is a boilerplate defense lawyer tactic, it will on occasion be true. But it’s still not a mitigating factor and should probably be considered an aggravating one.

It makes sense in the same counter intuitive way that men who are politically or religiously powerful are the ones who most likely seek out dominatrix’s to dominate them in the sexual arena or who are caught with regular sex workers or in adulterous and often gay affairs, financial scandals and other activities at odds with their powerful persona. Being powerful or righteous in public leads to submission and participation in what you are publically against in private.

So a person who seeks to bully others at work or school are likely powerless in their private life, at the mercy of another bigger bully; so being bullied on one arena in life results in a power balance restoration of being a bully in another arena of life.

So the real question is, why do some people who are bullied not become bullies in other arenas, and instead, stand up against the bully?

By refusing to allow the bully to diminish or undermine your sense of power, you do not need to seek compensation for its loss by bullying somewhere and someone else – you hold onto your power and face down the bully.

The education and understanding that we need to teach is that bullies should not be feared, if anything, they should be pitied – compassionately if at a young age and less so for adult bullies who have been able to refine their bully tactics for far too long and with much human wreckage in their wake.

Children are less capable actors than adults and being a threatening, intimidating and undermining people is something that any adult is capable of reasoning out is not acceptable behaviour and that they are not children who think they are the centre of the universe and above all mortals and mortal law.

Adults should know better than to feel entitled to impose their will over other people and should know that respect is earned not bestowed, and that the responsibility of any power is to not abuse the trust that comes with power. We have a reason to expect that people put in a position of power, will not use the power for their own ends, but for the group that they are leading.

Too often, managers are hired for financial rather than people skills, and while it’s true that nothing united people like having a common enemy, it does not serve any interests for a workplace team to be united against the manager or any member of the team.

It only serves the individual interests of the one who sets the group against the other, to create a power struggle so they can feel powerful, when they have no power save from the position that they tenuously occupy and have clearly not deserved.

So, if we really want to end bullying in schools at work and in life generally, then each of us has to take the responsibility to stand against bullies and resist the harmonizing urge and become a bully elsewhere.

And, we have to stand against any bullying, whether directed at us or another person – for the hangman or bully can only do what bystanders allow them to do.

And the first thing that we must not allow them to do, is assert dominance and remove the sense of equality between the parties. Abuse has the effect of nullifying the equality between the parties because if people were meaningful equal, then neither has the right or even ability to smack down the other – especially without consequences and worse, to do so from within a systemic framework which protects the abusers rather than those that they abuse.

The abuser does not view their victims as equal to themselves and feels entitled to use whatever means necessary to assert dominance and the trauma of being or reduced – callous and even craven indifference – results in the victim’s being unable to re-assert equality status. Victims reach a point of being so exhausted by fending off, that they can no longer defend themselves, and merely maintaining takes all the effort previously needed for defense.

Which is why a “good defense is a strong offense” is a high cost option.

And that is the cost of fighting the good fight.

Otherwise, all we have is news of people who have taken their lives to escape the endless onslaught of bullies or who have returned to the school or workplace and taken out the bullies and bystanders before taking their own lives or suiciding by cop.

We need to stand together and say no more to bullies of any age and characteristics, no more victims of bullies, intolerance, discrimination, harrassment.

Because with all the legislation about equality and human rights, with all the workplace and school policies, we have only turned bullies into more sophisticated destroyers. Abusers already operate in ways that leave few traces of evidence and rarely occurs in sight of witnesses, so it’s not much harder for bullies to cover their reasons for bullying and making it that much harder for their victims to connect the behavior to discriminatory attitudes against women, gays, ethnicity, beliefs or other prohibited factors while leaving body size, appearance and many other factors not prohibited by human rights legislation.

I can’t help but think that bullying has gone far beyond the merely stronger vs the weaker, but has taken on a new dimension as a backlash against not being publically able to discriminate against groups of people, so intolerance becomes a one on one crusade, one victim at a time.

Bullies can only do what we collectively allow them to do and we have to stop them from driving children, teens and adults to ending their lives as the only means of escaping the bullies.

That’s the only way it can be better, we have to stop the bullies.

________________

Callout to Whereismyreallife for this related video share:

there be monsters, but who makes them?

Who makes the monsters?

Nature, nurture, nurture, nature?

What causes one person to become a monster and other people their victims?

It’s said that people who are bullies and abusers are either past victims of abuse/bullying or that they are currently victims in some sphere in their life – perhaps at home – so they harmonize or balance by being a bully elsewhere – at work or school.

Yet, many victims of bullies and abusers do not in turn become as their tormentor, not in other arenas of life nor later on.

Perhaps too, an adult who bullies does so not because they were bullied, but because a family member was and they resolved to never be bullied themselves – a sort of pre-emptive Scarlet O’Hara complex.

Perhaps too the adult bullies and abusers learned to bully from a parent or older sibling or school mate, being a toady apprentice to the bully – partly to avoid being the target, but also self preservation, conformity and strength in numbers.

What is it in the bully’s psyche that causes them to act out against less powerful people who did not harm them, rather than to stand up for themselves against their own bully?

It is just the sense of entitlement? Might makes right, so if I can push you around, then it is right to do so – I only do what you let me do, so stop making me hit you?

When you are the person being bullied, that bully doesn’t seem like a vulnerable person just trying to harmonize with the world, the bully seems very powerful, often overwhelmingly so – although at the core – it makes sense that there’s insecurity – that the bully is not confident or secure – otherwise there wouldn’t be the need to cause terror and distress in other people.

The problem of people feeling entitled to power or authority that they have not earned and do not possess. The difference between training and working with a horse against breaking it and molding it to your will.

Bullies do not like people who have a sense of value and have personal power arising from their self-esteem, abilities, talent and possessed self-identity. Bullies are insecure and they only gain a measure of esteem by knocking others off kilter, to reduce them to the bullies’ level of insecurity.

As if there’s a tangible amount of self esteem and the bully is taking it like it’s lunch money.

It makes sense that a bully who has no personal power, because they have gotten by on strong arm tactics or other whiles – sex appeal perhaps – traded these intangibles to obtain a position that includes a measure of power – and they do not know how to wield it.

They demand respect but do not command respect, because the respect is for the position, not the person occupying it – and they lash out, clinging to the position like a badge and misuse and abuse the power to if not demand respect through fear, then to at least deflate everyone else’s personal power. As if the bully having none, so too is everyone else’s taken away.

No matter the causes, it is difficult to feel pity or sympathy for a bully, who sets about to make other people miserable, when they do not have to. If a person is a bully in one area because they are bullied in another, it is better to stand against their bully than become a bully to others. A society of bullies is not sustainable and not as productive as it could be; and certainly not as harmonious, tolerant and inclusive as it claims to be.

Because you can is not a rallying cry or justification for bad behavior, and it takes a person who understand morals to understand the difference between “what you can” and “what you should.” A person lacking a sense of morals does what they can and then resists corrective actions after the fact, and tries to deflect responsibility to their target victim and not accept responsibility for what they did. Compounding the bullying with denial and retribution.

This bully mentality is somewhat supported in western society by the puritanical streak, the mortal fear that someone, somewhere is having fun and a good time – which must be stomped out and austerity measures taken to assure nothing but grim acceptance of duty prevails. After all, it’s much easier to control a population when you’ve broken their spirit and they will willing cleave to the oppressive yolk as if it’s hope or promise of better things to come.

People gain monster qualities arising from the life experiences they had, the prejudices they acquire, the ideas they embrace but ultimately, they become monsters when they attain a level of power that they are not able to effectively or compassionately wield, and so it becomes a blunt instrument of torture and bullying in the hands of an unqualified, unskilled and unrepentant person. It is opportunity and access to power that turns the potential into a fully fledged monster.

People who seek to impose their insecurities and limited moral concepts onto the broader society or at least the local environment, rather than allow everyone the freedom to make their own choices, pursuit happiness, enjoy liberty. People who do not understand that their right to swing their arm ends where noses begin.

More often than not, owing to their own insecurities, their own inability to comprehend and make moral distinctions, these monsters appeal to the vague authority of tradition or a deity to justify their actions and to spin and label it as loving and caring and concern. It is very damaging to practice that kinky SMBD love without a safe word – which is funny how religionists are often against people who engage in kinky sex, which has a safe word to end the activities – when there is no such safe word for the kinky sadomasochistic bondage/discipline love that religionists practice.

I just to joke that we can’t eliminate bullying in the schools because the children won’t be prepared for the workplace – but I don’t anymore – we need to eliminate bullying, because we need to be better to each other at any age and in all circumstances.

Because people who are in power will never know when the population will no longer stand to be in a dictatorship while being told they are in a democracy where there’s only ever one name on the numbered ballot – and overthrow them.

Bullies never know when their targets, exhausted, demoralized and verging on breakdown, will find a fresh surge of energy and say that’s enough, and simply strike back because the corrective processes are often more psychologically damaging than the inciting incidents.

Years ago, I wrote an article for a local paper about battery in lesbian relationships. Police are not trained to deal with domestic disputes in same sex situations – when they attend at a home, they assume the abuser is the man and act accordingly (even this is not always the case – but society does not like to think of the woman as the aggressor, especially to a man and it cast aspirations on his manliness, undermining his ability to seek help and justice, male victims of female abusers are very disadvantaged), but when they attend at a home and it’s two men or two women – they will often just arrest the one who didn’t place the call to the police.

For lesbians who’ve been battered, the police are called as a last resort and usually by the long term batterer after their victim finally strikes them back – to the batterer, no longer able to assert control over their victim, calls the police and has their victim arrested – the police become a blunt trauma instrument to continue to undermine the battered woman from ever standing up for herself again – which to the police seems correct, she called and there’s the impact of the blow – but they are carting away the person who’s suffered for months, years and is now being carted away for finally standing up to the bully.

It’s overwhelming, you can’t strike back, you can’t have the corrective process correct anything, you can’t take continued, entrenched and escalating bullying. The injustice is paralyzing and the system fails the victims – reaffirms them as victims by re-victimizing them – on every front.

Even something as straightforward as discrimination used to be is longer longer simple; as discrimination is well established as prohibited under the law, and the net effect is to cause people who would discriminate to do so in a manner that does not leave evidence of their discrimination or more sophisticatedly, does not make their prejudices obvious, even to their victim. Discrimination has been forced by legal precedent to be underground, but no less a force in society as when it was openly practiced as a matter of course.

It is the nature of abusers to isolate their victims, leaving no options to seek help because of a lack of witnesses and without a trail of evidence. Often the corrective processes are far worse than the events that triggered the processes, because the victim has to not only relive their abuse, but also try to validate it against an abuser who intimidates witnesses and conducts their abuses out of the sight of witnesses. Further, the treatment of the victim has a chilling effect on witnesses who do not come forward for fear of being treated as they see the victim being treated.

It leaves the victim off balance, unsure and unable to trust even their own experiences when no one else can see what they see, because they weren’t there and even when they were, they weren’t the focus of the comment, the look or the behavior – it simply does not impact witnesses the same way as it impacts victims.

Abuse has the effect of nullifying the sense of equality between the parties. The Abuser feels entitled, required even, to use whatever means necessary to assert dominance and the trauma of being so reduced results in the victims being unable to re-assert equality, unable to fend off or defend themselves.

Which is why, when a victim comes forward – believing them about the situation – is the one thing that they most need – validation of their interpretation of their experience, which is not easy, since those that would victimize have learned to not leave obvious bruises.

Supporting Your Support

“People Explode. Natural Causes.”
– Repo Man (1984)

If you haven’t seen Repo Man, the quote is from a scene where a person has literally exploded all over the road from exposure to an alien corpse and the line is said by a shadowy government official trying to cover up the alien’s existence.

But in real life people do explode, just not usually literally – well yes, if they are wearing a suicide belt. Then yes, they do literally explode.

But, the belt explosion tends to be the last of a series of many smaller and metaphorical explosions.

There’s a explosion hierarchy of the religious terrorist down to the workplace/school shooters to the lesser considered people who implode – this would include suicides and those who appear determined to self destruct their lives, often through drug/alcohol addiction.

The scenario has become too familiar: a person feels trapped in a situation where they not are being promoted or recognized for their work or other workplace unfairness, they feel demeaned or alienated in the workplace which often results in behavioral changes that are self-fulfilling in that colleagues do end up gossiping and shunning them. Often the harassment spreads and instead of being bullied by one person, the harassment is from many people. It’s called Mobbing in workplace HR/Workplace Health and Safety parlance.

I visualize it as your co-workers are sharks in a frenzy and you’re the chum.

This certainly affects the victim’s productivity and the conspiracy that they feel is against them actually does form, because they have isolated themselves and no one wants to give promotions or good work assignments to creepy, bitter, unproductive or ineffectual employees.

These things apply to students as well. It comes down to a person being in a situation where they feel unfairly trapped and do not see any way out.

While an animal in a leg hold trap will chew off it’s own leg for a chance to survive, people seem to tip over that edge of  “Don’t care if I live as long as I take out my tormentors.”

Maybe the animal understands that it’s better to thwart your captor and escape, since you’re dead either way. Maybe if the animal could reason and calculate that it could live long enough to take out the captor when the person came to check the trap, they would wait to take revenge.

The Gavin de Becker book, The Gift of Fear, reveals that while the person is consistently miserable, the workplace is sort of safe and if corrective actions are taken, the chain of events that leads to workplace violence can be broken without anyone being harmed.

But, that’s only if people recognize the symptoms and act – because it’s when the person is suddenly cheerful that you have to worry. They are cheerful because they have picked the day everything is going to stop, they’ve made a decision that’s going to change everything, make people take them seriously, make them stop being tormentors.

For people who self destruct, the pattern is the similar, that sense of unfairness, being thwarted in their plans, rising frustration and little resilience or perspective to help them get beyond the disappointment or series of disappointments.

The self destructors may simply commit suicide – and again, we see a common pattern of behaviors, that, if disrupted, can take that person off the terminal path.

Or they may slowly dismantle their life, change their behavior to mask their pain and inability to cope, using substances to dull the emotions, engage in risky activities and sports, quit their jobs, their friends and reduce family contact. And eventually wind up dead or possibly street involved.

The current thinking on being bullied and harassed in the workplace has the same symptoms as post traumatic stress disorder.

I have no idea of what makes one person explode outwardly or implode, because  we do not all react the same to stressors; or even to the same stressors.

One person’s friendly banter is another’s sexual harassment.

It’s not always men who explode, there have been some women workplace shooters.

Men and women both suicide, although using different suicide methods. Men tend towards the more dramatic and violent means – using guns, hanging, car crashes; while women tend towards the pain avoidance methods of pills and gas ovens – unless they want to hurt or get back at someone by their death and then it’s the wrist slitting and hanging.

Medical Doctors are the best at suicide, since they know that any one method can fail so they will use 2 methods to ensure success. Plus, they have access to the best drugs.

As an aside, I often wonder about the ethics of discussing or of showing suicides in movies – on one hand you want to be realistic and on the other, not be a how to guide. Just as touchy as risking being a guide on how to commit murder and get away with it, I suppose.

Reading all about these events, thinking about people I have known who have self destructed – and thankfully don’t know anyone who has exploded outwardly.

Although I worked with a guy who was on that path – and when I alerted management to his high score on the de Becker checklist, I was told that I wasn’t an expert and that the at issue employee was “just a character”. Knowing that he considered me to be the bane of his work existence*, I knew that it was management who wasn’t the expert and I changed jobs.

What seems to start the person down either path is their sense of being treated unfairly.

We see this play out in society in non-violent means – litigation. How many people file civil lawsuits to right an injustice for the principle of it? Spending far more money to proceed with the lawsuit than they will ever recover at the end of it. Trying to achieve justice, a fancier word for fairness, we can do much damage to our lives and finances in that single minded pursuit.

And the second factor of what allows the person to travel down that path once “unfairness” puts them firmly on it, is the lack of a support system. Or an ineffective or inattentive or in denial one.

The person has no one to provide – or they reject – emotional support, perspective, a sounding board for solutions and options, they have no one to stay resilient and connected to reality for.

If the problem is in the workplace or school, then committing suicide to teach those people a lesson, ends up mostly hurting your family and friends and not your intended target(s). In fact, if you’re convinced that people intend you harm, then you suiciding is advancing their agenda and not harming them at all.

Another factor is losing your sense of self – replacing your idea and understanding of you and believing what you think other people think of you. This also impacts your resiliency, self-esteem and overall health.

Everyone experiences difficult times during their lives – the loss of pets, family or friends, moving homes or jobs or careers, starting or ending romantic relationships, and sometimes several of these stressful events at once. But you get through them, perhaps not the same as before; our experiences change us.

So, I return to the sense of unfairness as the thing that throws a person who could previously cope into not being able to cope. Unfairness seems to stymie our problem solving abilities, we don’t know how to rectify the situation, and it takes away our sense of power and ability to influence the situation.

We then go down the path of violence or destruction to others or ourselves – partly made okay by the social attitude of shoot now, ask questions later; if you can’t be famous, be infamous; and by the media coverage of the explosion events.

Perhaps the explosion people look at all the attention that other people have gotten for their workplace violence incidents; and then think  “I could do it bigger and better.”  Competitive copycats occur.

Maybe, the implosion people, convinced that nothing they do will matter, just destroy themselves, thinking themselves unworthy to take others with them.

So, if you find yourself in a situation where you feel trapped, treated unfairly and your sense of self and perspective is altering or rapidly skewed – talk to people.

Family, friends, strangers on the street if you have to. Find out if your workplace offers an employee assistance program. Especially talk to your doctor.

If you see someone floundering in that situation, offer support, an ear, an option that they can explore – maybe it’s filing a workplace grievance or changing jobs, maybe it’s reporting the school bully over and over and over for as long as it takes to get someone to listen.

Nothing can start to invigorate a person as much as having an option to get out of the trap. Especially taking the steps to regain control and alter the situation.

Remind them of past events that were difficult and they got through, help them get back their sense of self and resiliency; get them out of their collapsing worldview, increase their perspective and divert them to a better path towards positive action and change.

A last note about unfairness. Our brains can really rationalize being accepting of bad situations or events. Many will stay in a job that’s not a good fit or  that depresses them,  because of the benefits, pension or salary. But, these things don’t really help if it ruins your health, shortens your life and you never collect that pension.

People do explode through predictable and the sadly common social processes of bullying, discrimination and isolation – but what we all need to do is to make those processes uncommon and disrupt the processes in progress enough for ourselves or someone we know to escape the cycle of doom.

Remember, as they say, the life you save may be your own.