How Do Victims Transform Themselves?

Fascinating stuff you have here on the site. But how does the scapegoat turn being a victim into transforming him/herself? You mention several places that scapegoats can become heros, heroines, Messiahs; that scapegoats actually often have creative power—but you don’t ever say how, specifically, they can get beyond being a victim. I suspect the answer is unique to each individual, but there must be specifics beyond “education” or “getting help.” — Ed

Dear Paul T.

I think the critical first step is for the “victim” to consider how he or she falls into the category of being a “positive scapegoat.” That is, what did the victim gain by being pushed out of the group. What was the specific characteristic that he or she had that the group couldn’t handle? Often, answering that question will reveal  a variety of strengths that made the group uncertain or nervous: competence, special abilities, or courage in the scapegoat may have threatened the group. Heroes, heroines, and messiahs all began as victims as defined by the group.

The secret of the transformation from negative to positive scapegoat is to discover what was the gift the scapegoat was given that will allow him or her to to redefine themselves in ways that never could have if they had remained a comfy group member.

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