You are the Orphan!
Goal: Regain safety
Response to Dragon/Problem: becomes victimized
Task: Process and feel pain fully
Gift: Interdependence, realism
Addictions: Powerlessness, worrying, consumerism
The Orphan is the disappointed idealist, the disillusioned Innocent. When the Oprhan is dominant in our lives, the world seems like a pretty hopeless place. The Orphan archetypes in each of us is activated by the experiences in which the child in us fells abandoned, betrayed, victimized, neglected, or disillusioned. To the degree that we do not acknowledge the Orphan inside us, that Orphan is abandoned by us as well as the world. The result is that this child is not only wounded, but very lonely. Orphans are often exiles or rebels. The task of the Oprhan is to band together with others and to both rebel against authority and nurture and care for one another. Orphans can often catalog the inadequacies of whatever institution or person you think might be able to help. In politics, the Orphan stage is the time we begin to develop the capacity to identify with the oppressed and seek solutions in unified, populist actions. Spiritually, it is the time of agnosticism.
Shadow Orphans are often subjects of self-orphaning. They betray their hopes and dreams because they see them as just the kind of innocence that is, in their minds, asking for disappointment, even though they often have highly developed skills. The Shadow Orphan may do something to provoke rejection simply to have a greater sense of control over life. We do not expect real happiness, so we settle for buying things. Orphans refuse traditional norms while conforming slavishly to outsider norms. Orphans are likely to develop a false persona to be safe from hurt. Any small failing is seen as a sign of their total inadequacy, and they collapse, berate themselves, or project the blame onto others. They have no knowledge that they could make a mistake and just keep going.
Eventually such a person might find a niche in life as a victim—excusing unskilled interactions and performance as a result of early trauma or societal injustice, and using incompetence and weakness as a means to gain attention and care. Orphans may choose to become victimizers, feeling that least victimizers have more power and control than victims, thus tapping into the shadow side of the warrior.
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