I was helping a student a few months ago with George Orwell’s Animal Farm. I recently went back over my notes and I realized I hadn’t finished the book so I did. Somehow we made it through most and I only had a few more pages left. I was grateful since I had never read the book before, though I intended to, and now I had.
I was intrigued by the use of power now that I’ve lived in a community where it is easy to have implicit and explicit power. The power shift last summer bit me in the ass. I ran off afraid of the dogs like Snowball does in the novel. Then, Snowball was blamed for everything. Snowball broke the windmill. Cracked the eggs. Spilled the milk. Snowball even ended up not planning the first revolt but was working on the other side – against them. Whatever story Napoleon wants to make up – he can and does. Snowball isn’t there to defend himself. He saved his life. He is the perfect scapegoat (Or pig) for Napoleon. The followers look for this bogey man instead of who really makes life hard for them on the Animal Farm.
That’s how I feel. The community has made up a story. In the story I did everything wrong ( I know there are two sides to every story and I take responsibility for what I did) however in their story, it was all me. And in the story they tell, my motivation was all my fault. I was triggered. Funny how I never mentioned being triggered by anything in that situation. I hear that a lot in cohousing – this person has some past trauma and they are triggered. Sounds like an excuse not to take care of whatever the “trigger” may be. People get triggered all the time, but we still try to prevent things like shootings so no one else is traumatized by it.
Whenever something goes wrong over there, I still feel the blame though I’ve been gone almost a year. I even saw it in an email – we are still reeling from xyz. I have a feeling that any time I try to bring up something there is an eye roll and a let’s blame her attitude. That’s just her being bitter.
So, I realized that I’m Snowball. If all eyes are on me, no one else has any responsibility. It was just this pig running in to ruin things. Group dynamics of power are fascinating. George Orwell saw it in the Communist Revolution. I saw it in the cohousing and got out. So I’m not in the hell I felt like while living there anymore. I”m a snowball OUT of hell.