Splitting as a Symptom of Internal Considering

Gaby

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This thread has been very useful and I have taken notes of most of it since it has clarified a lot of things I didn't understood before.

For me splitting was the equivalent of a fearful obsession: no insight or perspective would break through no matter how hard I tried or everyone else for that matter.

I find myself applying efforts to cultivate this observer part with an open mind, because it makes life easier in all senses. And when I'm in splitting mode, more often than not, I have found ways to gain perspective. It makes me feel like I am on a learning curve and as long as I have this attitude, I'm less afraid of "falling". I am feeling more blessed as opposed to feeling cursed.

As for recent examples, I dunno. Perhaps the story of this woman doctor who looks and acts like a bulldog and treats everybody like complete morons. Actually, she is probably right on this last one! But it is the kind of thing that will split me off. At the beginning I was just hoping I would not have to deal with her or that it will be over soon enough so things could go "back to normal". Sometimes I had to go to the toilet so I could gain some perspective alone like a dog with its tail tucked between his legs. Over time, as I dealt with her, I appeal to this observer part of me and try to keep things in perspective, that I'm consulting her because she knows better how to handle a certain situation and this is what I want to learn from her so I can do the same but with a more compassionate attitude towards the patient. Sometimes I would just make the effort to face her, look at her attentively despite the fear. She would then change her attitude towards me and be more available. Then, I would start noticing more of her and not only the bad things, that she is actually a funny available person and so forth. Yeah, often we can be our worst enemies.
 

truth seeker

The Living Force
Laura said:
Okay, so here's the deal: you HAVE to metabolize the emotions because it is clouding your thinking. But you want to do this with full awareness that your thinking is clouded! It's like grease burning in your oven, filling the room with acrid smoke, and you have to open open doors and windows to get the smoke out, but you KNOW that it is just smoke and what is causing it and you don't go calling the fire department, or get out a fire extinguisher and spray down your room and make a huge mess to clean up, or run screaming "the house is burning, the house is burning!"

Venting safely is "airing things out" getting the smoke out of the room. And then you have to work on getting the grease out of the oven so it doesn't happen again!

The only way I can explain it is that you have to KNOW that your brain is fogged when you think a certain way, feel a certain way, act a certain way, and that your system 1 is running the show and trying to force system 2 into service. And system 2 is usually very obliging.

Thing is, you can't get system 2 - thinking - to straighten out while the house is full of smoke, or using the other analogy, the horse is out of control. You have to get the smoke out, or run the horse safely until it is exhausted and THEN you can work on cleaning/training.

You can play "Ain't it Awful" with one very, VERY, important modification: you must know, and acknowledge throughout, that your brain is clouded with programmed emotions that are like old grease on the bottom of the oven. So, instead of being reasonable in your complaints, you MUST blow them out of proportion until they are ridiculous and you can see how ridiculous they are and laugh at yourself.
Okay, I've been giving this some thought (and have been putting this together with what others have said in this thread), if I understand correctly , the crux of the matter is changing the way I think about the horse/smoke. Knowing that the smoke isn't the end of the world/bad but rather just out of control empowers me to be able to Do something productive rather than devolving into a fight/flight response.

In a sense, I'm viewing the situation as an opportunity to grow if I can say "Oh, there's some smoke/my horse has lost it's cotton pickin' mind again, let me see how I can creatively diffuse the situation".

Utilizing play ('learning is fun'?), helps us to sidestep the fears we often feel towards certain emotions. After doing this enough times, one becomes less invested in the emotion and can see them more objectively. The horse/smoke becomes neither 'good' nor 'bad' but rather just 'is'. We become more accepting/loving of it and more able/willing to deal with/confront it as opposed to running away or fighting to suppress it.

Thanks for the vid, Gimpy. I think I'm going to view my horse as Animal from The Muppet Show! :D

edit: clarity
 

Laura

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truth seeker said:
Okay, I've been giving this some thought (and have been putting this together with what others have said in this thread), if I understand correctly , the crux of the matter is changing the way I think about the horse/smoke. Knowing that the smoke isn't the end of the world/bad but rather just out of control empowers me to be able to Do something productive rather than devolving into a fight/flight response.

In a sense, I'm viewing the situation as an opportunity to grow if I can say "Oh, there's some smoke/my horse has lost it's cotton pickin' mind again, let me see how I can creatively diffuse the situation".

Utilizing play ('learning is fun'?), helps us to sidestep the fears we often feel towards certain emotions. After doing this enough times, one becomes less invested in the emotion and can see them more objectively. The horse/smoke becomes neither 'good' nor 'bad' but rather just 'is'. We become more accepting/loving of it and more able/willing to deal with/confront it as opposed to running away or fighting to suppress it.

Exactly! And very succinctly put, too! Thank you!

You have to see that this part of you is one of the workings of your MACHINE and that is why it is important to learn about your machine and how to "service" it.

Not metabolizing stuff is like driving a race car 30 mph all the time. It can ruin the engine with gunky build-up.

The problem is, the race car generally tends to take off and race like mad in the wrong places and the wrong times. Having a race car is great when you need the speed, but a disaster when you should be navigating slowly.

And some race cars are different from others. That has to be kept in mind, too. And some machines are just Model Ts.

2014-corvette-c7r-race-car-rendered_3.jpg


1908-Model-T.jpg
 

Joe

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Laura said:
And that is the problem with black and white thinking: a person gets categorized as either all bad or all good depending on how they make the categorizer FEEL. So, person one feels bad and therefore, person two has to be all bad. And then, person one will undertake to convince others of this with all the wiles of the crafty subconscious, all the while creating narratives in their conscious mind as to why this is necessary, rational, correct and so forth. The longer and more vehemently the categorizing person clings to their judgment, no matter what evidence comes along to show that they made an error, the deeper you can suspect their fundamental personality disorder to be. And I use the term "personality disorder" here as just a disordered personality, not in the technical, diagnostic sense.

I've been thinking about this and it seems to me that when a person has a strong negative emotional reaction in response to the 'emanations' of another person, it seems that there is some unconscious or 'natural' desire to translate the strong negative emotion into an 'objective' external 'reality' in the form of immediately describing to the self and others all of the 'evidence' that said person is 'pure evil'. This can include coming up with all sorts of distorted memories and new interpretations of the person's past behavior. The thing is, the strong negative emotions produced in response to the emanations of another CAN be, at least in part, the product of past experiences or wounds that are personal to the person having the reaction and therefore not fully reflective of the objective reality about the other person and what actually occurred.

Nevertheless, the default option seems to be to asap craft a narrative that presents the offender in a light that is negative enough to match the strength of the negative emotion and therefore give it some reality. But, as I said, in the case where part of the strength of the emotion is NOT related directly and only to the emanations of another but also to personal past experiences and wounds, it doesn't seem useful to continue to explain it as the person being 'evil' because it's also important to recognise the part played by, and the existence, of past wounds. Basically, these experiences of strong negative emotional reactions can be a useful learning tool about our 'machine' and how it has been wired to make the person we are today.
 
Perceval said:
I've been thinking about this and it seems to me that when a person has a strong negative emotional reaction in response to the 'emanations' of another person, it seems that there is some unconscious or 'natural' desire to translate the strong negative emotion into an 'objective' external 'reality' in the form of immediately describing to the self and others all of the 'evidence' that said person is 'pure evil'. This can include coming up with all sorts of distorted memories and new interpretations of the person's past behavior. The thing is, the strong negative emotions produced in response to the emanations of another CAN be, at least in part, the product of past experiences or wounds that are personal to the person having the reaction and therefore not fully reflective of the objective reality about the other person and what actually occurred.

Nevertheless, the default option seems to be to asap craft a narrative that presents the offender in a light that is negative enough to match the strength of the negative emotion and therefore give it some reality. But, as I said, in the case where part of the strength of the emotion is NOT related directly and only to the emanations of another but also to personal past experiences and wounds, it doesn't seem useful to continue to explain it as the person being 'evil' because it's also important to recognise the part played by, and the existence, of past wounds. Basically, these experiences of strong negative emotional reactions can be a useful learning tool about our 'machine' and how it has been wired to make the person we are today.

Guilty your honor. I agree with that for myself. I'm rational because I highly value being rational and objective, etc. But when I get negative-emotionally "inflamed" as it were, all that rationality becomes subjective and is used "to continue to explain it as the person being 'evil'." That is why I think I need a method that is natural for me to let out the emotional energy. Because once it is gone, I have found that I become more objectively rational and grudges, so to speak, dissipate greatly over most issues. Basically, I become more open-minded again. That being said, I may become more rational, forgiving, understanding, etc., but its not beneath me to still regard that person as a turd. Not to be mean-spirited or unforgiving, or anything. Its just that the way I see it, is that no matter how much you polish it (through understanding, forgiveness, etc.), a polished turd is still a piece of sh... well you get the picture. Maybe I should be above that kind of thinking, but I'm just not there in any practical sense. And the most practical thing that I think I can do is to release the emotional energy so that I can become more objective.
 

annp

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Thank you for posting this thread. The past week while reading through it, I have had some real eureka moments! It has brought so many things into awareness that it will take ages to work through –a lifetime probably.

An old self-worth program that I thought had been “dealt with” reared its ugly head. It’s a childhood issue stemming from my mother’s constant belittling as well as general societal programming. Generally when it comes up I just tell myself, “OK there’s THAT program going again, so just get over it and get on with life”. However, I had a very shocking dream recently that let me know how little this technique has been working. In the dream, some seemingly trivial situation set this “feeling less-than” program off and I became so angry, that it woke me up and my body was totally charged. It took ages to get back to sleep – I could have run a marathon with all that energy. I was so surprised at how much anger I felt. The next day I exercised strenuously and then made an appt. for deep tissue massage to metabolize the energy. I will also be trying the other techniques listed here. Guess I will be working with this for the rest of my life, but am really happy to have had this come up in a dream instead of having some real life situation explode in my face because of having all this anger pushed down in my unconscious. It really underscores how little we really do know ourselves and that self-introspection doesn’t get to the root problem.

This thread has also helped me to understand how the black/white thinking manifests in my moods. When I feel really low it seems that everything is horrible, always has been and always will be. Sometimes criticism can send me into the depths and I end up on a dark treadmill for days, feeling that I am totally despicable, with no redeeming qualities. When I am feeling really “up”, I can easily ignore everything about myself that is contradictory. Hope that next time I find myself in one of these moods; I can remember to see it for what it is and break the chain more quickly.

One other thing about the black/white thinking was finally understanding why I have such a difficult problem dealing with my feelings about my mother. For years held her up as some misunderstood goddess, when in reality she is well...something quite different. It just stuns me to realize how much of her abuse I blocked out of my mind for so long. When I read the Big 5 psychology books, then remembered the many therapists that had tried to break my illusions, and then finally began to examine her behaviour - I felt like I was literally having to balance on a tightrope. In my mind she was either one thing or another and I could not manage to see her as all of these things at once. The physical sensation of discomfort over this was immense. Strangely - I don't have this problem with most other people, but then my relationship with my mother is much more complex - which is is a HUGE understatement. So - this is really helping to integrate the feelings.
 

Alana

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Perceval said:
Laura said:
And that is the problem with black and white thinking: a person gets categorized as either all bad or all good depending on how they make the categorizer FEEL. So, person one feels bad and therefore, person two has to be all bad. And then, person one will undertake to convince others of this with all the wiles of the crafty subconscious, all the while creating narratives in their conscious mind as to why this is necessary, rational, correct and so forth. The longer and more vehemently the categorizing person clings to their judgment, no matter what evidence comes along to show that they made an error, the deeper you can suspect their fundamental personality disorder to be. And I use the term "personality disorder" here as just a disordered personality, not in the technical, diagnostic sense.

I've been thinking about this and it seems to me that when a person has a strong negative emotional reaction in response to the 'emanations' of another person, it seems that there is some unconscious or 'natural' desire to translate the strong negative emotion into an 'objective' external 'reality' in the form of immediately describing to the self and others all of the 'evidence' that said person is 'pure evil'. This can include coming up with all sorts of distorted memories and new interpretations of the person's past behavior. The thing is, the strong negative emotions produced in response to the emanations of another CAN be, at least in part, the product of past experiences or wounds that are personal to the person having the reaction and therefore not fully reflective of the objective reality about the other person and what actually occurred.

Nevertheless, the default option seems to be to asap craft a narrative that presents the offender in a light that is negative enough to match the strength of the negative emotion and therefore give it some reality. But, as I said, in the case where part of the strength of the emotion is NOT related directly and only to the emanations of another but also to personal past experiences and wounds, it doesn't seem useful to continue to explain it as the person being 'evil' because it's also important to recognise the part played by, and the existence, of past wounds. Basically, these experiences of strong negative emotional reactions can be a useful learning tool about our 'machine' and how it has been wired to make the person we are today.

I think I understand what you are saying. It's kind of like:

A parent of ours had traits A, B, C. Some of these traits (say A & C) caused us to suffer a lot in childhood and suppress our anger towards that parent, because we were not supposed to be angry at our parent (even if no one ever said so explicitly, but we knew better). Later in life we meet a person with traits B, C, D, E. We don't understand consciously what is happening, but suddenly we feel this intense anger towards this person, and we forget all about traits B, D, E, because C is there, and our nervous system is fast to pick up the C "emanations" and scream "danger". Now this person is perceived as evil and all our stored anger comes out on them, because it is easier to be angry at ANY other person than our parents at any point in life. It feels safer. Even in adulthood we mostly want to feel that we are ok with our parents (osit).

So for a bit, we are fine. We found a scapegoat on which we unloaded some of our repressed anger, we might file away in our mind that person as evil, take them out of our life and get on with ours. The problem is however, that since we haven't understood the root of our problem, we won't do anything about it and someday soon we will meet another person with A and C traits among their other traits, and the whole story will repeat again. Not only that, our repressed anger may even project traits A and C where they don't exist on a person, because it has to be expressed some way. Or so I simplistically understand it so far.

An embarrassing example from my recent life: we said with my husband that we will do something together the next day. He forgot about it and arranged to do something else. By the time he got home in my mind I had already filed for divorce because that's what he does all the time, he never remembers me, blah blah blah. So when he arrives and finds me in a "state" he has no idea what came upon him. After few minutes of me ranting on that he doesn't care about me, he realizes that he forgot our plan and apologizes. But I am already "on fire" and "firing" at him. And I was SO sure that I was in the right, until at some point when he said that it is not true that he never remembers me, and he had facts to prove it. That was my first clue that maybe I was overreacting. I too could remember that the facts he spoke about were indeed true. It was my father in reality who would forget what he promised us and disappear (sometimes for days) while we waited for him to remember, though knowing better than to remind him. And when my husband asked me, why didn't you remind me, I had no words. It was so simple and I instead ended up wasting about an hour of our lives and giving both us a lot of stress, for nothing basically :-[

truth seeker said:
Okay, I've been giving this some thought (and have been putting this together with what others have said in this thread), if I understand correctly , the crux of the matter is changing the way I think about the horse/smoke. Knowing that the smoke isn't the end of the world/bad but rather just out of control empowers me to be able to Do something productive rather than devolving into a fight/flight response.

In a sense, I'm viewing the situation as an opportunity to grow if I can say "Oh, there's some smoke/my horse has lost it's cotton pickin' mind again, let me see how I can creatively diffuse the situation".

Utilizing play ('learning is fun'?), helps us to sidestep the fears we often feel towards certain emotions. After doing this enough times, one becomes less invested in the emotion and can see them more objectively. The horse/smoke becomes neither 'good' nor 'bad' but rather just 'is'. We become more accepting/loving of it and more able/willing to deal with/confront it as opposed to running away or fighting to suppress it.

Amen. Because this is I think one of the things that prevents me personally to actually learn from situations like the example above. Afterwards, I feel so horrible about myself, so ashamed, that I feel that saying sorry is not enough, I have to punish me somehow for being such a horrible person. From one black and white thinking into another. I remember when I started reading a book about self-compassion once, and after a few pages I thought, this is a book for nice people, I have to be more strict with myself. Or when I started reading "Fear of the Abyss", I put that away too, because it also seemed (to me) like a book for good people, not for me. And I used to think that being so strict with myself was good discipline, but I also applied the same strictness to everybody else in my life. So I think I will be giving these books another try and practice metabolizing emotions in a healthy/fun way. The image I have sometimes when I am angry and I don't know what to do with my anger, is that I am wrestling face to face with a tiger :shock: so some physical action will help too. Beware pillows! :deadhorse:
 

obyvatel

The Living Force
Alana said:
A parent of ours had traits A, B, C. Some of these traits (say A & C) caused us to suffer a lot in childhood and suppress our anger towards that parent, because we were not supposed to be angry at our parent (even if no one ever said so explicitly, but we knew better). Later in life we meet a person with traits B, C, D, E. We don't understand consciously what is happening, but suddenly we feel this intense anger towards this person, and we forget all about traits B, D, E, because C is there, and our nervous system is fast to pick up the C "emanations" and scream "danger". Now this person is perceived as evil and all our stored anger comes out on them, because it is easier to be angry at ANY other person than our parents at any point in life. It feels safer. Even in adulthood we mostly want to feel that we are ok with our parents (osit).

So for a bit, we are fine. We found a scapegoat on which we unloaded some of our repressed anger, we might file away in our mind that person as evil, take them out of our life and get on with ours. The problem is however, that since we haven't understood the root of our problem, we won't do anything about it and someday soon we will meet another person with A and C traits among their other traits, and the whole story will repeat again. Not only that, our repressed anger may even project traits A and C where they don't exist on a person, because it has to be expressed some way. Or so I simplistically understand it so far.

Often times we will unconsciously carry the same traits that were so abhorrent to us (A & C) within ourselves and we will be disproportionately agitated when we see the same traits expressed in others. So the traits A and C would have passed on from our parents to us. And we could also on occasion amplify these traits in others who may have these in latent or mild form through projective identification - i.e behaving in subtle ways to draw the traits out from them.
 

Alana

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obyvatel said:
Alana said:
A parent of ours had traits A, B, C. Some of these traits (say A & C) caused us to suffer a lot in childhood and suppress our anger towards that parent, because we were not supposed to be angry at our parent (even if no one ever said so explicitly, but we knew better). Later in life we meet a person with traits B, C, D, E. We don't understand consciously what is happening, but suddenly we feel this intense anger towards this person, and we forget all about traits B, D, E, because C is there, and our nervous system is fast to pick up the C "emanations" and scream "danger". Now this person is perceived as evil and all our stored anger comes out on them, because it is easier to be angry at ANY other person than our parents at any point in life. It feels safer. Even in adulthood we mostly want to feel that we are ok with our parents (osit).

So for a bit, we are fine. We found a scapegoat on which we unloaded some of our repressed anger, we might file away in our mind that person as evil, take them out of our life and get on with ours. The problem is however, that since we haven't understood the root of our problem, we won't do anything about it and someday soon we will meet another person with A and C traits among their other traits, and the whole story will repeat again. Not only that, our repressed anger may even project traits A and C where they don't exist on a person, because it has to be expressed some way. Or so I simplistically understand it so far.

Often times we will unconsciously carry the same traits that were so abhorrent to us (A & C) within ourselves and we will be disproportionately agitated when we see the same traits expressed in others. So the traits A and C would have passed on from our parents to us. And we could also on occasion amplify these traits in others who may have these in latent or mild form through projective identification - i.e behaving in subtle ways to draw the traits out from them.

That's very true. By trying to deny our own shadow to keep our good idea of ourselves intact, our projections become a self-fulfilling prophesy for the other person. It's horrible. This projective identification reminded me of Barbara Hort's "Unholy Hungers". My copy of her book is packed in a box somewhere right now, but I think she talked about these projections being a way to vampirize others, and she had some advice in the final chapters on how to own these projections and finally start seeing other people as who they are, if I remember correctly.
 

seek10

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Perceval said:
Laura said:
And that is the problem with black and white thinking: a person gets categorized as either all bad or all good depending on how they make the categorizer FEEL. So, person one feels bad and therefore, person two has to be all bad. And then, person one will undertake to convince others of this with all the wiles of the crafty subconscious, all the while creating narratives in their conscious mind as to why this is necessary, rational, correct and so forth. The longer and more vehemently the categorizing person clings to their judgment, no matter what evidence comes along to show that they made an error, the deeper you can suspect their fundamental personality disorder to be. And I use the term "personality disorder" here as just a disordered personality, not in the technical, diagnostic sense.

I've been thinking about this and it seems to me that when a person has a strong negative emotional reaction in response to the 'emanations' of another person, it seems that there is some unconscious or 'natural' desire to translate the strong negative emotion into an 'objective' external 'reality' in the form of immediately describing to the self and others all of the 'evidence' that said person is 'pure evil'. This can include coming up with all sorts of distorted memories and new interpretations of the person's past behavior. The thing is, the strong negative emotions produced in response to the emanations of another CAN be, at least in part, the product of past experiences or wounds that are personal to the person having the reaction and therefore not fully reflective of the objective reality about the other person and what actually occurred.

Nevertheless, the default option seems to be to asap craft a narrative that presents the offender in a light that is negative enough to match the strength of the negative emotion and therefore give it some reality. But, as I said, in the case where part of the strength of the emotion is NOT related directly and only to the emanations of another but also to personal past experiences and wounds, it doesn't seem useful to continue to explain it as the person being 'evil' because it's also important to recognise the part played by, and the existence, of past wounds. Basically, these experiences of strong negative emotional reactions can be a useful learning tool about our 'machine' and how it has been wired to make the person we are today.

I think these are good points to ponder and learn on how our machines work. Thank you .
 
Laura said:
Exactly! And very succinctly put, too! Thank you!

You have to see that this part of you is one of the workings of your MACHINE and that is why it is important to learn about your machine and how to "service" it.

Not metabolizing stuff is like driving a race car 30 mph all the time. It can ruin the engine with gunky build-up.

The problem is, the race car generally tends to take off and race like mad in the wrong places and the wrong times. Having a race car is great when you need the speed, but a disaster when you should be navigating slowly.

And some race cars are different from others. That has to be kept in mind, too. And some machines are just Model Ts.

2014-corvette-c7r-race-car-rendered_3.jpg


1908-Model-T.jpg

I think the car analogy is a good one. I've thought about lately and I find it applicable. It makes sense.
 

Carl

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I'm making some headway with this whole splitting thing, what challenge!

I've been paying much more attention to my emotions these days, and it's quite astounding to see how sensitive my horses are; how careful I have to be to avoid falling into a negative state. I've mentioned my experiences with splitting in interpersonal relationships, as have others. With this I do seem to be actually making some progress. I'm becoming much more resistant when somebody doesn't live up to my ridiculous expectations, starting to spot how ridiculous some of my thoughts can be, and dealing with them like an adult. The predator has all of a sudden become very real. It's something that I only used to spot in brief moments of insight, but has now it is like an enemy that I can see working against me all the time, and the divide between Me (whoever me really is) and it is becoming clearer.

It's like a constant game of chess. He's still better than me, and can always think more moves ahead, but I'm catching up. And it's actually fun in a new kind of way.
I'm using the dramatization technique quite often. Laura is right, the more outrageous the better. Now I just need a soundproof room, or even better an emotional sparring partner.



The particular flavour of splitting that I'm still struggling with comes up when dealing with negative events. I swear to god, the minute something unexpected and "bad" happens, it's like my whole world is shattered. I've never had to deal with this much in the past, because my life was just a constant stream of Easy Part time job, Easy Uni work, fun volunteering, relaxing reading, other playful activities, and posting on the forum.

Now most of that is out the window since we started this business. Talk about being thrown in at the deep end. In two months we've had to go from happy-go-lucky students to responsible adults, with the responsibility of a retail property, doing everything off our own backs with no authority but ourselves. So now I feel it really acutely when something goes wrong, and it happens a whole lot more than I used to think! Like today, for instance, we broke a £130 LCD smartphone screen while removing the glass. Not the end of the world by any means, though this is the 4th costly mistake we've made in 2 months, which is seriously hurting our profits. Also a motherboard battery exploded in my hands today, maybe there is symbolism there.

Even with all the knowledge of the importance of faith in the universe, taking risks, and an adventurous attitude, whenever we're hit by even a most minor storm something inside me just screams "Everyone overboard, we're DOOOMED!!", and suddenly that dark, morbid filter descends upon the filter through which I view life and the Universe. It's breathtaking to see, and humbling to see how little power I actually have against it.

It's like I'm up for anything, adventure, learning, growth, as long as it doesn't hurt! The minute something doesn't go to plan, the horses just curl up and cry. I try to calm myself, relax for a bit, have a long smoke and Thinking (with a hammer) session, read some motivational quotes, and this gets me about 50% back to normal. I feel that this really needs to be dealt with, as an important step in growing up and becoming a good Obyvatel.

Obviously there's some serious wounding causing this that I haven't yet uncovered, combined with my sensitive temperament. The old programs that are being activated I can faintly trace back to my early childhood. I remember a few occasions, coming back from holidays and knowing that I have to go back to school, I would get the most unbearable sense of terror and dread. It needs to be brought to the surface and metabolized. Maybe then I can grill some bacon without filling the whole kitchen with smoke from old grease.

Thanks again for everyone's contributions.


Added: Just thought of this funny scene from the 3rd Lord of the Rings Film. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLpPAz0tz98
I guess I have a Denethor and a Gandalf inside me :)
 

SMM

The Living Force
seek10 said:
Perceval said:
Laura said:
And that is the problem with black and white thinking: a person gets categorized as either all bad or all good depending on how they make the categorizer FEEL. So, person one feels bad and therefore, person two has to be all bad. And then, person one will undertake to convince others of this with all the wiles of the crafty subconscious, all the while creating narratives in their conscious mind as to why this is necessary, rational, correct and so forth. The longer and more vehemently the categorizing person clings to their judgment, no matter what evidence comes along to show that they made an error, the deeper you can suspect their fundamental personality disorder to be. And I use the term "personality disorder" here as just a disordered personality, not in the technical, diagnostic sense.

I've been thinking about this and it seems to me that when a person has a strong negative emotional reaction in response to the 'emanations' of another person, it seems that there is some unconscious or 'natural' desire to translate the strong negative emotion into an 'objective' external 'reality' in the form of immediately describing to the self and others all of the 'evidence' that said person is 'pure evil'. This can include coming up with all sorts of distorted memories and new interpretations of the person's past behavior. The thing is, the strong negative emotions produced in response to the emanations of another CAN be, at least in part, the product of past experiences or wounds that are personal to the person having the reaction and therefore not fully reflective of the objective reality about the other person and what actually occurred.

Nevertheless, the default option seems to be to asap craft a narrative that presents the offender in a light that is negative enough to match the strength of the negative emotion and therefore give it some reality. But, as I said, in the case where part of the strength of the emotion is NOT related directly and only to the emanations of another but also to personal past experiences and wounds, it doesn't seem useful to continue to explain it as the person being 'evil' because it's also important to recognise the part played by, and the existence, of past wounds. Basically, these experiences of strong negative emotional reactions can be a useful learning tool about our 'machine' and how it has been wired to make the person we are today.

I think these are good points to ponder and learn on how our machines work. Thank you .

I second that, these are valid points. Thank you for sharing.
 

Psalehesost

The Living Force
I've done more journaling, drawing on observations and recent reading - including this thread - but there's still more to come to grips with before finishing off the post I've been working on. I still don't think I understand all the main aspects of splitting enough in myself, and they seem to be interlinked. For now, I'll write part of it - then I'll see what to do with the old draft. There are several things that all seem to tie into the same processes going on in me:

1. Splitting - and black and white thinking, as well as having several programs running in parallel with conflicting views. The conflicting simultaneous views - charged with black and white value-judgments - make for vacillation, doubt and indecision, and problems with cognitive performance in general.

2. Automatic self-hypnosis; a dissociative response/"coping" mechanism, and a way for System 1 to disable critical-minded input from System 2. It can be subtle and hard to know when it happens - the clue is in the flavor of mental activity and a lack of questioning. Suddenly, there is identification with subjective mental sensations - vague content connected to "intuitions" favoring certain decisions, focus or activities. Magical thinking enters and projection intensifies. It is possible to break out of it with some effort if I figure out what's happening. The degree varies widely. When it comes on strong, I may end up questioning it without completely breaking off the activity.

3. Subconscious selection and substitution of data - which is evidently far more extensive in my mind than I thought before. (But probably still much more so than I can see at present.) In relation to #1, it can be used in favor of one of several conflicting views - and then often soon in favor of another of the conflicting views. #2 (self-hypnosis) makes for both intensified inner conflict and intensified use of subsonscious selection and substitution as part of it. The contrast in the often shifting, conflicting views and the thoughts brought out to support them has one advantage, making it more obvious what's going on in observing it.

4. The mind, directed by System 1, often tries to "scare away" unwanted mental contents considered and force wanted mental contents to appear in the mind. The former occurs in connection with small inner bursts of resentment, anger, fear, disdain, etc. System 1 appears to "wield" those as a weapon to "bash" the unwanted content with, trying to "force it out". This can be observed and counteracted - and this often happens when coming to uncomfortable realizations and trying to accept them to make them sink in. Self-hypnosis is triggered to facilitate the latter thing, System 1 trying to put wanted mental contents in place - and this in turn makes struggle harder and more confused, though there can still be resistance to the former kind of lying to the self.

5. Projection is much more common in me than I thought - and can presently see. But apart from the projection of negative qualities onto specific persons, there is something that seems even more common; projection onto things, places and activities - and mental contents, ideas and concepts. Hopes, pleasant feelings; fears, and anxieties, are projected. As is shame and guilt - becoming fear of condemnation and rejection.


There has been some discussion of System 1 selecting and substituting data to reach more "pleasant" conclusions. But one thing I've noticed is that the "comfort zone" of System 1 does not only comprise - at any rate in my case - what is experienced as pleasant, or more pleasant than the alternative. Fears, anxiety, shame and guilt are also part of the comfort zone of my System 1. Which kind of feeling is the "goal" of System 1 depends on the program - the little "I" - of the moment. And there may be several at once with conflicting goals, causing, as mentioned, the mind to vacillate.

To summarize some background on the self-hypnosis and "intuitions" mentioned: For years - a bit over a decade, now - I've been caught up in an imaginary world of interpreting and responding to somewhat abstract "sensations". Lately a bit more on-and-off, and with increasing detachment. The experiences might be somewhat similar to synesthesia, with probably some contents of the adaptive unconscious becoming "translated" into something in-between visualization, tactile sensation, and sometimes smell. Black and white thinking and magical thinking turned this - which originally appeared when feeling began to become more repressed at age 11 or 12 - into a "guiding" system in life. Complete with a very large assortment of "beliefs" (habits of interpreting and responding to the "sensations"). In essence, System 1 leading me through life by the nose. Though quite rarely, some "deeper" intuition, or what it all was confused for - an "experiencing" and "evaluation" of "energies" - might actually be part of it by being picked up by whatever machinery feeds System 1 - but largely it has all turned out to be nonsense. This part of my inner world has been (and continues to be) a vast area of expression for splitting.


Regarding "types" of people who split, I think I know a few more things regarding myself: It seems that the kind of splitting which involves a focus on positive qualities and projection of such - idealization - often has the worst impact on my thinking. Self-hypnosis kicks in and blinds. Attempts to "think" may go along several lines: 1) I may be actively struggling with it, in which case thinking can increase or maintain clarity to some degree, though full clarity often only comes later. 2) I may be firmly in the grip of it, in which case "thinking" muddles up my mind and the convictions of the moment even more.

In general, remembering myself and holding in mind knowledge of what goes on, or is likely going on, allows thinking to maintain some degree of clarity. Without such awareness, it becomes "thinking" which makes everything worse. Splitting involving negative emotion may be a bit "easier" - there is less chance, with mild such reactions, of self-hypnosis kicking in - though it can happen. Strong negative emotion usually triggers it, but also a struggle - and this struggle can lead to varying degrees of increased clarity.

Inhibition and my general temperament and/or character makes for little acting-out in the grip of splitting involving negative emotions. Usually it is limited to withdrawal, hesitation (coupled with tons of internal considering), and/or a bit of passive-aggressiveness.

There is not usually, for me, a clear "decision" that a person is all-bad (nor all-good). Ideas of people usually remain fragmented. Different aspects are viewed as all-good or all-bad. There may be a narrower focus on one or a few aspects held in mind, and so on the corresponding judgments, in the moment, but usually there is a great hesitation to come to any over-arching judgment. Too much conflict, perhaps.


Laura said:
One thing I notice about people is whether they are creative or not and whether that creativity is linked in some way to a strong spirit of generosity that bubbles over no matter what, even if they have all kinds of fears and other tendencies. Some people can be just racked by these internal conflicts, but the instant they see someone else suffering, they forget about themselves. That is, concern for others supersedes everything else, even their own programs.

Others, however, seem to offer to do things because, as you mentioned above, they have "unrealistic dreams of this or that endeavor serving as a means of "saving myself" and achieving a "perfect" destiny." Over time, you can begin to get a picture of whether a person is doing something because they think it might save them or because of their natural, overflowing, generous nature.

I would say that the person with the creative/generous nature has a better chance of overcoming Internal Considering than a person who does not.

It is also not so simple as people having strictly one or the other kind of motivation. Both tendencies can exist in a person and motivations can get mixed up. What begins as care or generosity can slide over as wishful tendencies take over. Then there is another false motivation that can work in the same ways, which I also know from experience: Taking narcissistic pride in imagined perfection. If you do something and you either like it a lot, think it "perfect", and/or others appreciate it (or you think they would), it may be seen as "all-good". And that, for a moment, may make for feeling "all-good".

That's some simple ways in which creativity can become diverted. Whatever creativity one has might be sucked up by obsession, whether in turn linked to unrealistic dreams or to simple self-praise.

Inner conflict - of the plain, neurotic kind - is another issue. Splitting that divides attitude may make things more complicated; a reaction of e.g. pride may be disliked and seen as "all-bad". Sometimes, I've simultaneously perceived that something would be giving and also found motivation through the obsessive means flaring up, prompting inner conflict, because the latter are seen as "all-bad". When this happens, then in fearing being selfish and manipulative (magical thinking can give the idea that anything selfish is automatically damaging to others), as a result I might stop. And so, less is given.

So an important - and recent - realization is that it doesn't matter how selfish and "wrong" my inner attitude is if I actually get something done that is useful; worrying about such things to the point of giving less is the worse selfishness. The main concern becomes monitoring what is done with a view to its actual consequences, trying to see this objectively. This is something I need to practice.
 

LQB

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Carlise said:
Even with all the knowledge of the importance of faith in the universe, taking risks, and an adventurous attitude, whenever we're hit by even a most minor storm something inside me just screams "Everyone overboard, we're DOOOMED!!", and suddenly that dark, morbid filter descends upon the filter through which I view life and the Universe. It's breathtaking to see, and humbling to see how little power I actually have against it.

If you're not exaggerating a bit here Carlise, you might consider a related condition that Martha Stout refers to as "crisis-addicted". As Laura pointed to earlier, the addiction is to the brain chemical rush - it doesn't bring on "crises", but the reaction to these events is the same (and way out of proportion). Obviously the events are not really crisis events but the reaction and rush are similar and can produce a pretty severe jolt to those around you. Just another view that may help - fwiw.
 
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