Every victim needs a persecutor. In the Drama Triangle, the bully is in this role and is the one who blames the victim, criticizes him or her and enables the behavior of the rescuer, who we’ll discuss in the next post.
It’s easy to see the persecutor is a tyrant warrior. His power is misplaced. He looks for a victim to pick on so he can feel his power and direct his repressed anger at someone. He may set up the victim to fail so he has the “dog to kick.” He is also a victim to this dysfunctional drama and to his misplaced power.
He – and others – can enjoy his power of serving as both the judge and executor. When others are afraid to speak, act or even just move, just a little provoking can get a persecutor to take action. This person is often on the lookout for a good fight.
Buried under the bully is a victim. In my work with men who present the persecutor, real healing is not the first layer of expressing more authentic anger – it is the feeling and owning the part of the man that was and still feels he is a victim. It can be difficult to see a man who has a large chest, a big presence and overt power as a victim. Until he has a sense of this vulnerable part, he risks jumping back to his default coping mechanism of the persecutor.
This villain becomes the challenger when his abilities to speak and act are used in a positive manner. The courage to speak up can be used to challenge what is not right. Carl Jung would say, the warrior should serve not himself but his King. The knights were not warriors for themselves, they were serving their King who served his Creator.