The Victim, on the other hand, is often seen as someone who is of a weaker status, someone who is harmed by the Villain. We often see Victims as vulnerable. We may even label them as naïve, innocent, sensitive, etc. We also often think of Victims as an individual who is inherently good as opposed to bad. They represent the white, of black and white thinking, yet are also often derided for perceived weakness. Thus, the right end of the horizontal axis is where the Victim role is and corresponds with the stressor response “flight”. When we feel threatened, we can react from the Victim role by creating extreme boundaries (walls) between us and the world due to our experience of a sense of terror. As we know, boundaries are useful and adaptive; however, as previously noted, anything in extreme can be problematic. Extreme boundaries can be confining, secluding, and disconnecting; sequestering us from relationships. When examining the Victim role, I often picture the film Pink Floyd, The Wall (Parker & Scarfe, 1983). The main character in the film goes through years of complex and traumatic relationships in which each encounter is described as “another brick in the wall.” The wall effectively separates him from intimacy in his relationships with others and himself. He becomes separated from his own sense of self by continually staying in complete darkness. We know that when an individual is isolated in either complete darkness or complete light, their sense of reality becomes distorted. Regardless of light or dark, isolation itself can be devastating to a person’s psyche. We only know ourselves in relationship when our personality is reflected by another (whether it be human, animal, or object). Extreme separation can lead to an experience of dissociation and a loss of connection to an individual’s own experience and physiological reactions (Schwarz, et.al, 2017).
In the film, when Pink is fully isolated by his wall, his entire personality and psyche dissolves into a chaotic state. The main character then becomes Villainous to the point of enacting atrocities stemming from a totalitarian mindset out of a sense of rage. This chain of events highlights the interaction between the Villain and the Victim and how the roles can be reversed (from Victim to Villain) if pushed to the extreme.