What is Schadenfreude?

Though I am intimately familiar with the energy and attitudes which I have always identified in the “serves you right- types”, I have only just now discovered the term Schadenfreude.   I find it fascinating that there is no English equivalent for:  pleasure derived by someone from another person’s misfortune. I will not lie, I have definitely had Schadenfreudey moments of my own, and am not yet equipped to effectively use this word in a sentence. But I find incredible relief and healing each time I learn language for things which previously defied articulation. 

My program of recovery has me frequently, if not obsessively checking my motives to see if I am being honest with myself about myself and my thinking.  I questioned if reporting the details of my story which shines, what I would consider to be an unfavorable light, upon the actions of my female sibling, is some version of Schadenfreude.  It is absolutely not.  If illuminating actions harmful to my children and family might help to reduce the occurrences, that is neither punitive nor pleasing, just sane self preservation– and is also not self-promotion.  If an image-obsessed person feels that their actions may judged unwholesome and harmful and worry about being perceived unfavorably, then- it makes good sense to share in this way.  This is a desperate attempt to stop the bleeding.

In a few of our final exchanges, about 4 years ago, my sister, immediately prior to her alignment with my ex, enjoyed reporting to me about her co-worker named Allison, whom she did not care for.  My sister proudly boasted knowing exactly how to get Allison G. to “quit or to cook her own goose”.  Within a few days, Allison gave notice and on her last day of work, she crashed into an ambulance while driving away.  My sister expressed how comical she found this in a text, using the LMAO emoji with a car behind an ambulance.  She was victorious.  I suspect that on some level my sibling was informing me of exactly how powerful (she thinks) she was/is.  My failure to find her impressive or intimidating was probably similar to Allison’s.  I often think about finding Allison, just so I could tell her how she did not deserve or imagine being treated badly.  It can feel traumatic and shameful to be diminished and disregarded, even while possessing the intellectual understanding that– other people’s behaviors and actions are NOT about us.

Seems as though entitled people feel that saying No to them or exercising a healthy and non-negotiable boundary is deserving of negative consequences and will go to great lengths to administer them (They will try hard to SERVE YOU RIGHT, if you fail to revere them). Dare to honor yourself- AND- when they get angry, double TF down.

Much Love,
Magda Gee

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