ACoAs & HUMILIATION (Part 1)


humiliationI’VE BEEN DOWN SO LONG
I can’t imagine ever getting off the ground!

PREVIOUS: Anger T & F, #2

SITE:Humiliation” (Wikipedia)

QUOTE: “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

DEF: Being in a state of disgrace, a loss of prestige &/or self-respect
NOTE: Humiliation is not the same as humilityThe opposite of Humiliation is Appreciation

HUMILIATION originally comes from external sources – which then get internalized as part of the PP voice. For ACoAs it comes first & foremost from our family, & then often from school, church, neighborhood…. It’s ‘being shamed’ rather than feeling ashamed.

A lesser injury may cause us to “take offense” at something, which is cognitive, intellectual – about what or how we think. Humiliation is more demeaning & hurtful – visceral, existential – about who we are fundamentally.  In the present, usually ‘victims’ disagrees with the humiliation laid on them – don’t like it, know they don’t deserve it, the treatment is seen as unjust….but can’t always stop it from happening.

1.EXTERNAL Sources
Humiliation involves an event or ongoing situation that indicates unequal power in a relationship, where we are in a one-down position & unjustly diminished. Often the painful experience(s) is/are vividly remembered for a long time & can lead to anxiety, especially if the exposure was prolonged. It victim/perprequires:
1. a Perpetrator who is exercising negative power, possible in many different settings

2. a Victim who is truly powerless (child, minority, the poor….) or is re-enacting a long-held victim role, & so is vulnerable to being humiliated
3. one or more Witnesses to -or- observers of the event(s), such as family members, neighbors, teachers, the general public, peers, officials…. who usually do not object or help, sometimes even egging the perpetrator(s) on, as in bullying

➼ The following list was compiled by Leland R. Beaumont at Emotional Competency” & can be applied to children as well as adults. Add your own.

PHYSICAL / SEXUAL (most visible)
Being : • boundary invaded, trespassed on, privacy violated
• denied basic social amenities or needs
• forced to do or say something distasteful & self-shaming
• injured, assaulted (hit, spit on…), attacked
• isolated or physically abandoned
• molested, incested, raped
• often beaten, slapped, kicked, punched
• the loser in a dominance contest / cheated on
• exploited, suppressed, violated
Having :
• abilities diminished as a result of being disabled or immobilized
• basic personal freedoms lost (mobility, access, autonomy)elder abuse
• competence / confidence damaged – from being tricked, trapped, mislead, opposed, sabotaged, let down
• goals & plans constantly thwarted, over a long time
• resources diminished from being defrauded, robbed, cheated, evicted
• safety or security reduced by intimidation or threat
• to see / watch a loved ones sexually assaulted
• to watch a love interest flirt with another, causing intense jealousy

EMOTIONAL /PSYCHOLOGICAL
Being:
• blamed for things that have nothing to do with you
• blatantly rejected, treated unfairly, forced to back down
• betrayed, cheated, lied to, defrauded, suckered, duped
• denied basic personal & emotional needs
• deprived of privileges, rights or human dignity
• dependent (not by choice), especially on weaker people
• forced to swallow one’s pride
• laughed at, mocked, teased, ridiculed, given a dirty look
• lowered in ones own or another’s estimation, made to feel powerlessmade fun of
Being:
• made to look stupid or foolish
• manipulated, dominated, controlled, forced to submit
• taken for granted, use to fill a need in others
• denigrated for ones values & beliefs, made fun of
• snubbed, put down, disgraced, shamed (not the same as feeling ashamed)
• treated as an equal by someone of a lower-status
• treated like an object (it) or animal, rather than a person

MENTAL
Being:
• always held them at arm’s length (mate, child, ‘friend’)
• deliberately overlook or ignored
• falsely accused, or subject to slander, gossip, insinuations
• given the silent treatment, or treated as invisible
• made to wait for someone unnecessarily, habituallymental abuse
• threatened with abuse, including verbal (name calling…), physical, sexual, psychological

Having
• acknowledgement or recognition withheld
• having to agree with someone’s opinion or beliefs when they contradict your own
• the attention you get be a manipulation (how, when…)
• to apologize unfairly, when not guilty of anything
• your experience or information dismissed, discounted, silenced

SOCIAL / SEXUAL
Being:
• forced to defer to others who are less honorable, intelligent or less qualified
• poor, unemployed, foreclosed, homeless
• reduced in rank, responsibility, role, title, positional, power, authority
• publicly disrespected, downgraded, defeated, slighted
• shamed by bad investments, debt, bankruptcyignored
• subjected to punishment, social powerlessness, imprisonment
• shamed for heritage, race, gender, appearance, character
• the victim of a practical joke, prank, or confidence scheme

NOTE: Not all recipients of these experiences are innocent. While many people are true victims – some ‘earn’ one or more of these mistreatments by acting out, being abusive, disrespectful…. or by unconsciously setting themselves up – to be taught a lesson, be punished or get pay-back.
This is not too say that humiliation is a healthy way to treat anyone – but is often the way people retaliate on a perpetrator, or copy their original tormentor by inflict on others injuries previously done to them.

NEXT: Humiliation (Part 2)

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