PART 1 - The Judger
(This piece of writing is being shared in three parts so you can reflect on each aspect and then consider the whole.)
Once upon a time there was a team. The team was created by association not by choice. The members varied in age, background and beliefs. You could not put together a more random group of people if you tried.
Whilst there were many in this team, there were a few characters that stood out.
The one that got the most attention was the one we will call the Judger. The Judger acted opinionated, always right and loud. The Judger liked to have the last word in every conversation. The Judger enjoyed provoking reactions in others with radically challenging, inappropriate, insensitive comments and unfounded extreme points of view. It was almost as if the Judger was from another place and time, not our current day, where diversity and acceptance of others prevails.
The Judger was used to having things go the way of the Judger. Usually this was through force. The force might be physical – yes there were victims of abuse in this Judger's personal inner circle. The force might be verbal – both through passively aggressive comments meant to get under the skin of another and direct accosting mean spirited statements. The attacks would quickly be buffered by a joke and / or a laugh. In fact the Judger probably could be called the Joker to those who were more on the side of the Judger or in collusion. Others who had to engage with the Judger, but not strong enough to stand up to the Judger, learned early on that it was easier to go along with the Judger’s antics than to challenge or fight for their rights. In a sense the Judger created a world of ‘yes people’ to validate the behaviour. The Judger had opportunities to grow and change yet unconsciously chose what seemed the safer option – revert to the old behaviour and the way the Judger learned to survive.
Victim and survivor
You see the Judger was a victim. The Judger was a survivor. The Judger had from what most reasonable people would say a very unloving life growing up. The role models and teachers in this person’s life showed the person not to trust. The Judger was a victim of real abuse – verbal and physical. The Judger knew what it felt like to be overpowered, bullied and stomped on. The Judger had been there. This Judger had to learn how to survive, get in first before others did. The very people that were entrusted to protect the Judger were in fact the ones creating a harmful and hurtful environment. There were addictions of all types – alcohol for one, affairs for another. The formative years of the Judger were spent learning how to turn away form seeing the painful consequences of addictions. The cost of the addictions were great including failed marriage and even death. The Judger survived through all of this.
Heart centred, but hidden
Yet despite all this pain, in the centre of the Judger is a big heart. A heart so big that if you could see it the world would light up and shine. Yet with so many tragedies and challenges the choice that the Judger made was to get angry and blame everyone else except self for the situations of the Judger’s life. The Judger buried and hid away any sign or indication that the Judger even had a heart. The Judger developed a thick defensive exterior, a barrier to all, a suit of armor for many to never penetrate. Except for a chosen few who somehow evoked kindness and generosity, there was no other way.
But as we all know even the bravest knights of them all have an Achilles heal. The Judger’s weakness was to take on the addictions the Judger had witnessed. The addiction served the Judger well. It dulled the pain, helped to hide the Judger’s heart and vulnerability from others. It also fueled and enabled the anger to rise up and be an active part of the Judger’s personality. People encountered the personality of the Judger not the part where the Judger’s heart resided all hidden away and covered up.
The consequence for the Judger in the choices made were many. Not only did the actions create pain emotionally for the Judger there was pain of all kinds inflicted on others. Some stood up to the Judger. This would mean banishment. For the Judger was always right. The Judger had to dominate the situation. These behaviours kept the Judger safe. Others would not see this. They would just see the destructive behaviour and incisive comments. Yet inside there was pain, layers and layers of pain, never healed, acknowledged nor released.
So it was no surprise that the Judger would have outbursts or acts of rage. The Judger would not be conscious of these outbursts, they happened. Triggers came from everywhere. Usually the triggers were from threats to the Judger’s power. The Judger felt safe when in control, when powerful. The aggression of the Judger was often met by submission of others. It was when the Judger encountered a person who was not submissive and stood up for self that challenges arose. No reason could be made. The Judger true to the personality formed over so many years, quickly formed conclusions and left no room to consider another’s perspective.
So in this team the Judger was the loudest of them all. And it was in this team that the Judger created tension. The Judger in fact thrived on the impact of this stirring of others.