“Every one carries a shadow,…”

the_colours_of_the_peacock     This is where the majority of my unresolved issues lie.  I want to talk about one particular aspect of my self.  I have worked so hard to construct a reality that was totally exterior oriented, so that I  was able suppress that part of me my shadow, which manifested itself in my inability to defend myself from authority figures behind my anger as far back as I can remember.  * I have tried to protect my Self with my intelligence and ego.  It was fine until about 5 or 6 years ago.
layers“…and the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is.” What happened for me growing up was that as my brother said once a while back,” There were two rules in our house.  One, you never tell the truth, and two, if anyone asks you say, “I am fine.'”  So I could not tell anyone what was truly going on for me.  I carried that into my adult life.  When I first got sober I worked on my “issues,” in therapy, in 12 step programs and thought I had worked through those “deep seated,…emotional conflicts,” that I carried.    What I didnt realize that it would necessitate a lifetime of work on them to keep them out to where I would not start to hide my weaknesses from “you.”
rope-ajaytao1“If an inferiority is conscious, one has always a chance to correct it.”  So what I did, since I could not show you my inferiority, I could not correct them, work through them and progress on the true path of individuation.  Since I could not keep them in my concsious I had to surpress them, or try to, as they began to  come up again over and over in response to stimulus that many times happened decades after the initial events that caused the inferiority complex.
“….if it is repressed and isolated from consciousness, it never gets corrected.” This is what I did.  The legal field is not necesarily the best place, well at least as a criminal defense attorney, to try to work through those issues that had been haunting me for my entire life, with a respite for the time period I was working on them for the first few years of sobriety.
blue-mask-matt-marquez“It is, moreover, liable to burst forth in a moment of unawareness.”  This is what happened.  I would burst out in anger at inappropriate times, many times in court in front of cruel and uncaring judges who delighted in exhibiting their  power over people’s lives.  As I wrote this, I can see that at many times, the judges may not have been as cruel as uncaring as I perceived them to be.   However there were a few judges who triggered that “mean fucking father,” complex I carry and probably always will.
” At all events, it forms an unconscious snag, blocking the most recent attempts.”  This is the really hard part of dealing with the shadow.  It denies it’s existence and then when it is not dealt with, when I buy that it does not exist, it continues to keep me from dealing with those issues that need to be addressed.
shamanThat is the part that confuses us the most.  We have problems with processing today’s stimulus as we continue to filter it through the filter of a collected experience, that is not in my conscious, that denies that  the stimulus is any different than the events that created the fight or flight sensations that happened to many of us during our childhood.
“If it comes to a neurosis, we have invariably to deal with a considerably intensified shadow.”  Mental illness, at least for me and I believe for most of us, is nothing more than what Jung said in this sentence.
123 RV, SA, JW, PA, JV, RW!
All quotes by Carl Jung.   *I didn’t know I was angry my whole life.  My dear friend from high school,  Renee, told me that she remembers me being angry as far as my junior year in high school.



3 thoughts on ““Every one carries a shadow,…”

  1. I had written a post earlier that got eaten. I have insomnia tonight, so I’ll try to re-write it…

    I am not sure if I knew you were a criminal defense attorney. Maybe I did, but forgot. I worked in the field of forensics for a time, and was an expert in forensic DNA analysis. I spent some time in the courtroom too, on the other side of the witness stand. It was very stressful work and I found myself having panic attacks with the sheer volume of cases on my desk, so I had to get out.

    “If an inferiority is conscious, one has always a chance to correct it.”

    Well, I’d really like to know how.

    I have a lot of people who do seem to connect with me and appreciate me, who like my writing and other forms of creativity, and I’m hurting inside by the one who doesn’t want to be around me right now. I am unable to let go of the fact that that one overshadows all the rest. I feel so much pain…still. I feel inferior to this person…and I should not feel inferior to anyone. I have a lot to be proud of. But there’s the voice inside that says you aren’t supposed to be proud of yourself, so there’s that.

    From what I gather, most people don’t remember a lot of the bad things that have happened to them. They may even say they had a happy childhood. I wish I could forget. I have remembered many incidents. The only ones I may have repressed would have been from the ages of 0-5, because my memories before age 5 are scant.

    I’d chosen the most analytical career I could get, so that I wouldn’t have to deal with emotional stuff. I’d also been much more comfortable with men as friends than women for the same reason. I preferred thinking to feeling emotions (feeling sensations were okay).

    I’d been in therapy for a few years. I was able to talk about just about everything that happened to me as a child. And I intellectualized it all away. I don’t think I emotionally processed much of anything of my childhood during sessions. All my processing occurred between sessions and sometimes I thought I would not make it to my next session. And when I got to my session, I didn’t remember to talk about what I’d experienced a day or two before, especially if it was an angry reaction.

    I had been a hurt, lost child…and a rebellious angry adolescent and family scapegoat. I grew up and calmed down. Until I married and after a few years into marriage, had to cope with some really hard stuff, like the binge-drinking of my husband and his depression. I spent a few nights a year comforting him when he had too much to drink and sometimes he would throw up and then he would cry and say, “how can you even love me, I’m such an f***-up”. The anger came a few years after trying to cope with him with compassion. Maybe that’s when we started having children too. I had so much on my hands with not knowing how to mother, that it was hard to take care of an 30 something year old child, too.

    I wasn’t just angry…I had some intense rage going on. I knew in some ways, I married someone just like my stepfather. I’d alternated between being functionally depressed (I couldn’t be fully depressed when there’s kids to take care of) and a raging lunatic (fortunately I was more depressed than raging). I had my childhood pain triggered by my adult pain. I knew these things were interrelated. I just didn’t know how to stop them. They are getting better, but I still don’t quite know how to avoid the reactions to some triggers. I have this bruise on my wrist from when I hit the wall the other day when my friend announced his temporary departure. It is not only about his leaving, but about his leaving me when I really need the support most. It points to chronic loss and abandonment of my childhood. Just when I needed the most help, I was turned away just like I was in childhood. I strive to be so self-sufficient but this isn’t working out so well. It gets difficult.

    Jim, I don’t know how we really can heal some of these wounds.

    Intellectually, I know there’s things I can do to accommodate and integrate these experiences. But, I am not feeling certain that they really do. I can mute the toxic voices, but I haven’t banished them all yet.

    I have moments when not any of what I’ve been through matters. And other moments when it’s hell just being present to my life. It isn’t a bad life. There are bright moments. But the masochistic/part of me just stubbornly clings to the thoughts that hurt me…and says I deserve to hurt because I can be so resistant.

    And, I also really don’t like it when people say, it won’t leave you if you choose to keep holding on, if you refuse to let go. But that’s not true. I want to let go. The ego won’t let me.

    I’m sick of being a prisoner of my ego.

    I know I’m the only one with the key to my jail cell…but I’m the judge and executioner too and I won’t let me out.

    I hope I can let go of what I need to.


    thank you for sharing this window into your personal history.

    here’s to hope and healing…

  2. I’ve always seemed angry as well, or sad. I recall someone in high school saying “I saw you in the hall yesterday and was going to say ‘Hi’ but didn’t because you seemed angry about something” Until she told me that, I never thought about my facial expression. Walking through the crowded hall was terrifying for me every period, everyone touching me and bumping into me. But it was then I learned added an extra layer to my fake exterior, I didn’t just say I was fine, I plastered on an acceptable neutral smile too.

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