“… so that he is only too liable to confuse the two.” This has certainly been the case for me. No matter what any woman tried to do, I could not help but project my shadow onto her. I said something the other day. I was thinking about a dear friend, a female, and I said “I need to quit projecting my shadow onto her.” This statement “came out of the blue,” and yet a transformation took place for me that is subtle but powerful.
I cant really explain it in words. I think the best way for me to express it is that sense of ‘less,’ anxiety is happening for me surrounding this relationship. I believe that there is anxiety that underlies my depression. I see my friends who cant sit still, have to keep moving. I am not like that. I have to constantly be moving, but with my hands, my eyes and especially my thoughts. When I am afraid, I constantly look to change my reality…I cant stay in the present moment.
I remember when I quit smoking cigarettes at about two and a half years sober. I remember one day I was driving and a thought came into my mind and I immediately reached to change the channel.(Back then there was no digital tuners!!) I noticed then that I was doing something, change the channel, so I could distract myself from the negative thoughts I was having.
“Then, when he tries to repair this misunderstanding, he overvalues her and believes her the most desirable thing in the world.” The shame of being less than perfect and more importantly, exposing my shame to the woman who was in my life, caused me to over compensate. My guilt for projecting my shame onto her would cause me to feel so guilty that I would treat her in ways that I would not normally treat her. Why? Because I would not get the love I thought I needed!
Robert Bly wrote a book called “A Little Book on The Human Shadow.” His metaphor is that the man projects his “witch” onto his spouse. The same witch that he projected onto his mother. Why do I say project? I say it because men are not taught to express any anger towards their mothers, at least I wasn’t able to do that. Since I could not express towards my mother what I needed to express towards her, I had to suppress it. I remember one rule in my house was that if I got made at my mother, it was “wait until your father gets home.” My Dad couldn’t express his anger towards his mother, so he was not going to let me express my anger towards my Mom. In fact, it got worse when we expressed anger towards her.
So we get in this bind. We need to learn to express our anger towards those in our life, so we dont have to suppress it. But it is not allowed. So we depress it. We depress our anger towards the woman who creates how we treat those we run into later in life. Our wives or girlfriends or women who are our friends. They don’t stand a change if we don’t get to express our feelings of turbulence, which include anger, towards our mother.
Quotes by Carl Jung