Healing From Complex Trauma & PTSD/CPTSD

A journey to healing from complex trauma.

Why people think revenge/payback/karma, are okay?

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I’ve never understood the attitude some people have – of wanting revenge, wanting abusive people abused back, wanting people to ‘get their karma’.

I don’t get that need and I know I never will. I have never had those thoughts or needs. Despite all the sick and heinous things done to me. In fact, if I read a news story about a sex offender getting raped in prison…. I don’t think that is good, okay, justified etc. I believe in prison, to stop offenders hurting more people and keeping society safer. And I believe in justice. I also believe in exposing conmen/abusers and those who harming people, so less  people will get conned/harmed/abused. But, I don’t believe in revenge, for the sake of harming someone back. I don’t take delight in knowing an offender is being abused back. I don’t understand that desire people have, of enjoying seeing people harmed. In any circumstances. Yet I see this attitude everywhere.

I don’t believe in, or need ‘karma’. I don’t do good things, to ‘get good back’. I do it, because it is the right, mature, empathic thing to do. And karma for many – means a more ‘socially acceptable’ way of saying people who harm others, will get back what they deserve. The immature ‘payback is a bitch’ attitude. I see quotes like ‘dear karma, I have a list of people you missed’. And karma does not even have a any rational basis to it. It all seems pretty childish to me.

It is quite bizarre to me, the belief systems people will cling onto with all their might, and the cognitive dissonance that occurs, when that belief system, is challenged.

I do not understand why people like seeing people hurt or embarrass themselves, and think it’s funny. It’s not funny to me.

I discussed this in counselling. It was explained to me, that the need people have for revenge/retaliation, or finding other people getting hurt – funny ….is a very primitive need – the person being stuck in emotional development at young child age.

So, when people have these attitudes that always feel so ‘childish’ to me, I am actually right. It is immature….. a very emotionally immature development level.

When people talk about ‘the best revenge is doing well’ & ‘the best revenge is being happy’ type attitudes, I just think… ‘why do you even need any revenge?’. I don’t. I don’t ‘need’ anyone to see I am doing well, knowing that will annoy/upset them.

I don’t believe revenge is justified, although I can understand thoughts of revenge due to intense anger when acts of abuse have recently occurred. But, I am referring in this blog post, of the ongoing, long term needs for revenge. The ongoing need people have for everyone to ‘get their karma’. This deeply embedded belief system, that payback, revenge, retaliation, karma…. are healthy. When this belief system, is not healthy.

I am always so glad to have the understanding I have, clarified by psychology and human development insight. It is helpful, to understand my thinking is actually healthy and that all the many people who seem to happy for people to ‘get what they deserve and be abused back’ or think finding other people hurt – funny …. are not mature, at all. And, is not me, with the problem.

I can feel appropriate anger, hurt, betrayed and every other emotion, to a really deep level – due to ongoing abuse and suffering caused to me . And yet still not have any thoughts of revenge, retaliation, or wanting any harm caused back.

And I don’t find people getting hurt or embarrassing themselves, funny. Yet I have known many people, who do think it’s funny. Interestingly, they are also very immature, in many other ways too.

So, bottom line, I have emotional intelligence and maturity. And now I understand more, why many people around me, and in my past, are very inappropriate and immature, in their thinking, behaviours, and needs.

And something I always realise…. is I always know this maturity stuff, without having being told about it, or reading about it. I just know it within me and then I find out the psychology reasoning behind it. But, it is something within me, that I already have and do not need to learn. It’s already there.

Here is an article about revenge and how it is like a child in third grade.

Why do We Seek Revenge?

And another about the psychology of revenge and how it does not have the desired affect many think it will.

The Psychology of Revenge

The long term effects of revenge….

We often believe that exacting revenge is a form of emotional release and that getting retribution will help us feel better. Movies often portray the act of revenge as a way of gaining closure after a wrong. But in fact, revenge has the opposite effect.

Even though the first few moments feel rewarding in the brain, psychological scientists have found that instead of quenching hostility, revenge prolongs the unpleasantness of the original offense.

Instead of delivering justice, revenge often creates only a cycle of retaliation.

“A man that studieth revenge, keeps his own wounds green, which otherwise would heal.” –Francis Bacon  “


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I discussed this issue further in counselling. I stated a ‘mental health professional’ had responded that revenge is okay and that in some circumstances, revenge is needed and appropriate. My counsellor responded, that is not considered to be healthy for anyone to believe is okay to act upon, let alone tell clients is ok to act upon. And a belief system of ‘karma’ ‘payback is good’ etc, is not healthy.

Author: Healing From Complex Trauma & PTSD/CPTSD

I am a survivor of complex and multiple trauma and abuse, who at the age of 40, began my healing journey. I am using my journey to recovery and healing, to help others, to help survivors feel less alone, validated, encouraged and to enable others to understand themselves more. Complex trauma, particularly from severe, prolonged childhood abuse, is profoundly life changing. Complex trauma produces complex adults. The journey to recovery is a painful, often lonely, emotional daily challenge and it is my aim to encourage others in their daily battle.

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