Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tuesday Archetype

Good morning....Tuesday...Another hot day...Maybe not AS hot and  humid, but still pretty miserable to me. Today will make a week that my office mate hasn't spoken to me. I'm not hurting anymore; actually I am finding it quite funny.  It amazes me the way some people think.  You get caught doing something you are not supposed to be doing, and you take it out on your office mate.  And then, you continue to come in late like you just don't care.  I don't get it.

Yesterday an acquaintance was asking me for information on how to get your degree online, and I was explaining to her how it worked.  Of course, as with any other degree, you have your core subjects to complete, but after that, the courses and where you take them is all up to you.  That leaves a lot of room to take some real fun courses.  A course I had the most fun with and could barely put down was about fairy tales...but not your typical 'read the fairy tale' course.  This was a course on deciphering the hidden symbols and archetypes of the characters. That was really right up my alley because of my love of fantasy and my love of Jung and his archetypes.

Archetypes are not individual, but are the part we share with all humanity.  They are an inherited part of being human; they connect us with our past. Archetypes are universal; we find the same archetypes in many different cultures. They are ancient themes which have been represented throughout the ages in our myths, fables and fairy tales, and sometimes we may become trapped.

For example, in the fairy tale, Cinderella, we find the heroine being mistreated by her wicked stepmother and her stepsisters; they are making her life a living hell. Then one magical night, our heroine finds herself rescued by a handsome prince, and all looks well with the world.  But then, the magic wears off, and the handsome prince turns into a frog; he may have a drinking problem or perhaps a gambler.  He may be a bit too free with his hands...or with his mouth.  In any event, our heroine finds herself once again in the archetype of the victim.  And, she sinks back into despair.  She gets stuck in the nightmare.  No one comes to rescue her, and she is too wounded to search out the glass slipper and claim it as her own.  "I am too wounded to have any power in my life."  I am too wounded to ever find happiness." 

The Victim Archetype leads us into situations where we feel bullied or put down...used and taken advantage of.  I chose to write of the Victim today because at one point in my life...no, in all honesty, for much of my life, I was trapped within that archetype.  What is going on with my office mate would have made me cower...and offer apologies for something I didn't do. My office mate is the Bully Archetype, the one who needs to show power over others.  This is never more evident than in our staff meetings where she contradicts what others say and knows it all.  She is always right.  The bully is needed for the victim to survive...and the victim needs a bully to survive. It's evident that this little game can go on for years.  

Then one day the victim decides they have had enough of feeling helpless, and they learn to speak out and make sure their needs are met.  They find that glass slipper (their power) and turn victim into victory.  Usually, the bully will move on to find another victim; it is just as hard to give up your power as it is to find it.  And so, I no longer ask "How high?"  when the bully tells me to "jump".  And you know what?  It feels good.  Finding my power wasn't easy; it took me many years, but the journey was, oh, so worth it. 

If you are a victim, reach out.  Validate your pain for validating your pain will help you to discover your strengths and to learn valuable lessons.  Remember...once you are no longer a victim, the bully loses its power.  And remember, the bully lives through you.  Take that away and the bully no longer seems so frightening.


  1. ~yeah for Victory...otherwise it is just a vicious circle of ugliness going round and round...i am glad you found your voice to speak out and you are able to see the light in this situation...people never cease to amaze me...how they try obliterate others...why i will never know...by the way...liken your new background! warm wishes and brightest blessings~

  2. Hear the message, BUT .........

    If discord beween two parties in an office setting was an issue where I once worked....
    one of us would be GONE.
    Doesn't make for a good working environment.
    We worked with the public & it would have been noticed.

  3. "...and my love of Jung and his archetypes. "

    And since Joseph Campbell loved Jung too...... My Joseph! :-)

    "Today will make a week that my office mate hasn't spoken to me."

    I'm so glad you aren't hurting!!! Because my first thought was; "HOORAY! The PITA isn't yacking at Mary!" As in, feeling relief for you. Not as in, hurting for you.

    Deny "Bullies" and "Trolls" their "oxygen." Meaning, pay no attention to them, and they'll lose the fun of their bullying-game! Hooray you!

    Lots and lots of gentle hugs...

  4. An added note... WATCH your back!

    Stymied bullies might be unstable. :-(

  5. Sounds like my first husband. Once I stopped saying "how high" and just ignored him, he deflated. Our marriage was over anyway, but I got my power back.

    More gentle hugs for you too!

  6. So glad that the hurt is gone. It's a real shame that an "adult" acts like a spoiled child. Wishing you a beautiful week!