Empathy and revenge

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Slim

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Empathy and revenge
« on: August 01, 2019, 10:05:47 AM »
Hi All
Am puzzled about wanting revenge when I recognise the damage that has been done, everything from childhood brain damage has a result of emotional trauma, to the longer lasting efffects.
However, I do not start feeling empathy for myself, I always resort to wanting revenge on others....any ideas to help me start empathising.

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LearnToLoveTheRide

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Re: Empathy and revenge
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2019, 07:44:11 AM »
Hi Slim

Empathizing with yourself is learning to understand and accept your own emotions. The human condition is an emotional condition - it is an integral aspect of being human. To accept and understand all your emotions is to develop empathy for yourself.

The need for revenge is a natural emotion. Understanding it and accepting it will assist you in healing yourself. Acting on feelings of revenge very seldom bring true healing.

Take care... LTLTR

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Three Roses

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Re: Empathy and revenge
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2019, 02:44:54 PM »
For me, seeing the loving and lonely little girl I was, and who still exists inside me somewhere, helps me immensely to feel empathy for myself.

I think of the things I went through, and how I would feel seeing a child that was not me go through those same things. I would be horrified.

I can conjure up an image of her, standing alone, looking around for someone to connect with. Someone who will be kind. I volunteer myself to her - I stand and let her notice me and then give her a mischievous, knowing smile filled with the promise of camaraderie. Kindred spirits, she and I. I wink and she smiles. I let her come to me, or not, just as she prefers.

If she comes to me, we can sit in silence, or she can unburden herself to me. I let her decide which. I never push her, I only try to be there for her in whatever way she seems to need at the time. And she knows from my smile and my body language that I'm even there to hold her as she cries, if she wants.

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Snowdrop

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Re: Empathy and revenge
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2019, 02:53:12 PM »
Three Roses, that's beautiful  :hug:

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Kizzie

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Re: Empathy and revenge
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2019, 05:08:40 PM »
Just a thought Slim but perhaps wanting revenge is your way of empathizing with your traumatized self?   :Idunno:  I'm not suggesting you actually take revenge, just that allowing yourself to think about it is acknowledging that you were wronged and that your perpetrator(s) should be help accountable.

Is there any opportunity for you to actually hold them accountable in real life, say in court directly or indirectly by speaking out publicly about trauma and what it's like to be a survivor?

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Scout

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Re: Empathy and revenge
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2019, 12:12:41 AM »
Revenge comes from anger. And anger is a reaction to injustice, or the epic wrong of being wronged.

When you get down to it, it's really about being hurt. Revenge is just the t-shirt the hurt is wearing, if you think of hurt as a body.

Offer yourself compassion. Lisa A. Romano has a good video about telling your story as if you were telling it to someone else--completely, not holding back. And then you reread your own story, as if it were someone else's, and that helps you not only have a witness, which we all needed and generally didn't get, but also to access compassion for the person in the story--which is you.

I feel the wish for revenge (how I see it, is justice) in waves. It is not a fair world, and I know they will not be punished for what they did to me. But the thing that actually helps is countering that with understanding and ceaseless compassion for yourself. Revenge, all that anger, does not help us in the end, because it is not productive. Compassion for ourselves is part of how we heal.

So feel that feeling--hoo boy, feel it--but then ask it what's really at the center. It will always be hurt. Tell yourself your story and find that compassion. Over time, as you practice, it grows.

You can also whack the crap out of a pillow or scream at the top of your lungs in a locked car. I'm a big fan of hard exercise because I can process that rage as output energy. But mostly, the compassion stuff.

(PS, I don't know if any of this is right for you, but it's all I can give you. I hope you find healing.)

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Jazzy

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Re: Empathy and revenge
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2019, 12:24:01 AM »
I think it is pretty natural to feel that way. You can acknowledge and accept your feelings as they are. If you don't like them, maybe you can try to retrain your reaction. Every time  you automatically think about what you don't want (revenge) just tell yourself you accept and understand it, but you choose to focus on empathy.  You want to make yourself feel better... and that is not being selfish, it is healthy, and it is okay.