13 November 2007

Dysfunctional Dyads

In the rich tapestry of human relations, some pairings seem to be a recurring pattern.

Someone abusive pairs with someone unassertive and vulnerable to abuse.
Someone irresponsible pairs with someone hyperresponsible and vulnerable to exploitation.
Someone controlling pairs with someone passive and indecisive.
Someone sadistic pairs with someone masochistic.
Someone with an addiction pairs with someone enabling.
Someone selfish pairs with someone generous.

These pairings are often nothing more than 'predator-prey' relationships... but only the predator knows it.

Then there are 'tag teams':

A bully pairs with a provocateur, to mug third parties: the provocateur provokes the target, and the bully attacks when the target responds to the provocation.

Con men team up like this; one plays the victim needing rescue and one plays the 'detached observer' so that the mark will loan the 'victim' money, or whatever is involved in the con game.

When multiple players are involved, you may find yourself dealing with a clique, which, when dysfunctional and destructive enough, becomes a gang. You'll find gangs in factories, schools, universities, hospitals, and offices all over the world, and people of all ages from 8 to 80 may belong to them.

It's a clique when they're just not interested in getting to know Mabel, because she isn't from the same neighborhood/has red hair/goes to a different church/weighs more [or less] and dresses less well [or more classily] than the rest of them... it's a gang when they use these minuscule differences as reasons to bully and hound and torment Mabel until she quits her job or attempts suicide.

The forces that draw people together, sadly, are often destructive. It's wise and protective to know this.

Especially because, if your Family Of Origin was set up around one of these pairings or groupings - and all too often, they were - then something very similar will feel just like home.

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Anonymous Jordie said...

My 12 yr old daughter has had to deal with a pair of bullies this year. One has Aspergers syndrome and is very aggressive because of her disorder (We have a son with AS so we know this is just because she has not been taught how to relate) and the other child is an extremely spoiled brat. I have suspicions that she is a narcissist in the making, she certainly behaves exactly like one and she is only 12. YIKES.

Anyway, they have made my daughter's life hell. THEN we tried to get the school (christian private school) to do something about it. Guess what? The school is run by corporate bullies. Apparently, our child doesn't have a bullying problem, we have a 'perception problem' because the principal 'doesn't think there is an issue'. Classic case of blame the victim/denial/passive aggression.

Some weeks ago I discovered why. THe parents of the bullies are first class sycophants at the school. They organise everything, they get together frequently, and their daughters were the stars in the primary school musical this year. WHAT a surprise!!!!!!

I can't tell you how unbelievably frustrating this has been for us. You can't win with these fiends. They will always have the system to back them up, we the poor suckers who pay their wages have nowhere to go. The school board is run by a boys club, and hell, they aren't going to discipline one of their own, so the problem perpetuates.

Sheesh!!!! I have to say that the bullyonline website is FANTASTIC. It is the only one I have found which seems to have any real sympathy for the victim.

PS We are leaving the school at the end of this term. We found another one which actually supports its families - what a novel concept.

15 November, 2007 16:19  
Blogger Stormchild said...

Jordie, that's awful! The only bright spot in that situation is that your daughter has seen her parents go to bat for her, she knows she has your support; she's also seen the System let her down, so she's learning early to discern, not just to accept authorities as 'good' and 'valid' because they are authorities. And she's seeing that you and your husband aren't throwing her to the wolves - no, you never would, but you know that's not true of all parents. She's seeing Mum and Dad pick up the marbles [or $AUS] and find a game that hasn't been rigged.

Might seem like dim consolation now, but she will have this modeling to fall back on later, and you know, NOTHING can take the place of being supported, believed, and upheld by your parents when the chips are down.

Have you seen Kathy Krajco's blog lately? - just yesterday she put up a post about school bullying that speaks directly to the same issue!


And I agree, Tim Field was one of a kind. How I wish he were still with us, to see awareness spreading, to know how much good he did and what an amazing force he unleashed. Simply by refusing to be silenced, simply by standing up.

15 November, 2007 23:50  

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