There was this fat black bitch in a therapeutic living community I was residing at for some time. She had this tick … whenever she saw somebody in a uniform, she went haywire. She literally was getting into fights with cops and ticket inspectors. She knew all the local ticket inspectors by name. And the boss of those ticket inspectors – I think she called him Nicolini – he was like her nemesis, evil arch angel. She could ramble about what a basterd he was all day. It was like listening to some epic mythological saga.
Well, anyhow, one day it turned out that when she was a kid, her daddy was a police officer somewhere in Africa or something like that. Her house was under surveillance by lots of men with uniforms. And those men raped her best girl friend.
I found it a little silly back then, but the world being funny as it is, turns out I suffer from a similar affliction. I also developed kind of a strong hatred for police officers and people who think they have authority over me. At first, it was just unreflected rage. I did not know where it came from. But I’ve had time to introspect since and it turns out, when some cop barks at me, it triggers emotions in me of myself having been raped.
Of course, the cop is not the person who raped me. But the mind does not care. It is a defense mechanism. And if you think of it, it is a somewhat valid one.
When somebody traumatizes you, your mind creates this image of an “oppressor”. It may be some emotion that this person displayed while harming you. It may be something about his looks. Basically, the brain just goes haywire associating and trying to find a pattern. Why? To avoid it from happening again.
It is projection, of course. But then, consider this completely fictional analogy:
Your kid gets eaten by a lion. Your mind associates: Lion = Danger = Fight or Flight response.
Of course, any other lion you encounter is not the lion who actually ate your kid. And yet, you project that unprocessed memory on this lion and may feel like you need to kill or brutalize that lion to find some form of catharsis.
So when we say that somebody gets irrational about some minor insult, what do we really mean? We mean that the situation at hand hardly justifies that amount of vitriol. But it is not like they imagine the pain. They really feel it. Only that it is not the current situation that caused it. It is unprocessed pain from the past. And because technically, time does not exist, a trigger can bring that pain up so vividly as if it had been inflicted just now. Repressed emotions do not age. They stay exactly as they were when they first occurred.
So yeah, when a cop treats me badly, the amount of rage I feel about it is not really brought by by this very situation. In fact, a cop barking some orders at me would likely just annoy me a little if there was not the pain from the past. Why would I get so angry over some asshat who thinks he is super important? I wouldn’t.
But the emotions I feel are real.
What’s the great thing about this?
The great thing about it is that every time somebody triggers your painful emotions, that is an opportunity for you to love and accept those emotions and thus, transmute them into light. Or to let them go, if that sounds too fancy for you.
Why would you want to let go of it? Simple. The pattern recognition is a bit faulty, in that it associates things that have nothing to do with what happened to you with just that thing.
For instance, if your rapist was angry and mean, you may start associating angry and mean people with rapists. But anger and meanness is just a facet of human expression and when you associate it like that, you judge it, and then you deny it, and you not only judge people based on something that has nothing to do with them, but you also rob yourself of expressing these facets of human expression.
You think: My rapist was angry and mean.
Then you think: I am not a rapist. I am better than my rapist.
Then you think: I am never going to be mean or angry.
Of course, your associations may be more sophisticated than that, but still, wherever you hold on to judgment, you may be thinking that you are inflicting justice on the world, but you are also robbing yourself of being a whole and complete human that loves unconditionally. You rob yourself of the peace that you could have in presence of minor conflict.
Typically, you will also associate these things with the archetype of The Devil. The Shadow is that part of our psyche that we have rejected and denied. Such, it is natural that when you see somebody who in your mind resembles your attacker, you will feel a kind of black deadness come over you.
You will get thoughts like: The Devil is the master who manipulates through lust, anger, etc. But of course, your personal devil may vary and have different traits. The Devil is simply an accumulation of that which you reject.
I recall reading a book, it was a thriller. About a man who got involved into some spectacular whatever. But it had this twist. The development of the main character had a rape story that kept flashing up. He projected it onto the enemies he encountered in the book. It gripped him with terror. To him, it was the devil. An overwhelming black force that paralyzed him. As the plot unfolded, he started remembering how he got raped in front of a library as a little boy. Towards the end of the story, he less and less saw a devil. Instead, he started seeing just another miserable human being who hurt him. He started to accept and find peace.
To get to a place of peace, you must fully accept those terrible emotions first. And you don’t have to think of the past to do that, because emotions don’t age. When the emotion comes up, just try to love and accept it as best as you can. It’s damn hard and it will not always work. But even a little acceptance can transmute a little of the pain and there will be less of it next time. Every time is a new chance. And the law of attraction will make sure that those triggers keep coming – to remind you that there is unfinished business inside yourself.
The funny thing is, when you go deeper, you realize that it is hard to keep any association at all. There is no single trait that makes somebody a rapist or not. It is just a trait that your rapist used to have and that somebody else shares. And then, in the end, you may even accept what happend, accept that the intent to rape was in your rapist because of his or her own pain. That there is nothing “bad” about that person, that you are not better. That, I think, is the key of the saying that “we are all the same”.