Don’t, bite the hand that feeds you, because you may end up licking the boot that kicks you.I have met a lot of people in my life and this blog is about one of them but it could just as easily be about any number of people. I am sure you will recognise someone like this in your life. In my previous blog http://tinyurl.com/Howisthegolf, I talked about man who seemed to be completely oblivious to his actions, seemingly incapable of change. In this post I am talking about people who are most likely aware of who they are and what they do but are so fearful of change that they continue to bury themselves in anger, sarcasm, self aggrandisement, they have twisted views of reality which they then construct into their version of the truth. Some of these people hide behind names such as personality disorders, substance abuse,abuse victim. They hold on to any excuse not to deal with the mess their life is in. they often operate in ever decreasing circles their lives becoming smaller and smaller.
In my previous work as a Social Worker I have come across these people as their actions have impacted on their children to the extent that it becomes abusive or neglectful. Invariably most of them (usually men but not always) focus their energy on fighting perceived injustice, they fight with any authority figure, they take offence at anything and everything, all so they don’t have to confront their issues. They will revert to violence, either physical or verbal to get their own way, fighting at times to the death to clear their name, or prove the truth. Admirable traits in some circumstances but not in this. They are often articulate but they accord knowledge to themselves that is out of whack with the truth.
All of this is harmless enough, there are many people who fall into this category or description, perhaps even some world leaders. However the problem lies when the impact of their behaviour falls onto other people. Adults mostly have choice over their lives and who they associate, choice does sometimes come with a significant cost however children don’t. They end up as victims, sometimes the state or families intervene but often it is too late, the patterns have been set, the learning done, the wounds are deep. For the victims of people of the lie there is still choice. Not for the younger ones, they have no choice, often from pillar to post, unwanted,unloved however others have better outcomes, they are cared and loved and have opportunities.
What is it when these young people then turn to bite the hand that feed them, mirroring the behaviour that they have learnt at an early age. They may present it at making their own way, being responsible invariably they are reverting to behaviour that they have seen that make them avoid consequences. Before they turn they will normally have exhibited traits such as;lying, theft,refusal or an unwillingness to apologise when in the wrong. They will blame others, they can be deceptively charming and at times they will be loving. Sometimes this is a reflection of a ying/yang internal battle because young people still like their parents have an inherent knowledge of the difference between right and wrong, they have not managed to subvert it to the same degree as others because they are yet to learn that skill.
How do we help these children and young people? It is a significant question, early intervention is one of the keys, you will find that people who display these traits will have had lots of support and intervention in family situations, what is lacking is a call it as it is and a firm time bound plan of action with clear consequences if the actions are not completed. The onus has to be on the parents to provide the evidence that they are fit and proper.
We have become a society that is way too tolerant, I was a part of that, I have gone to the ends of the earth with some people and yet they don’t change and when intervention finally means the loss of their children it appears that it is too late, their kids are destined to follow in their parents footsteps unless they have a moment, a time when society, their friends and families and acquaintances say enough now, no more, stop, go away, grow up, step up , man up, and stop all help, handouts, attention until they get the message.
The risk is that they don’t ever get the message they continue on as victims, replicating their parents experiences and in turn creating another cycle of dysfunctional families. There is an upside, in stopping contact and telling them how it is it enables us to put our energies, time and resources into people who care enough about themselves. It doesn’t mean we don’t love them… it just reflects that we love ourselves and our families enough to do what is right.
In doing so there often is a cost because these people will turn on you when they are cornered, they only know one response however it does become a matter of integrity.
Be brave, and stand true