Hindrances and Rage

When the intensity of emotions doesn’t match the cause…

A few examples:

(The mother’s Ego-References = to be on time) Lisa, a 6-year old, has to be at school on time (of course). Every day, over and over again, the mother has a hard time to make that work. [It isn’t obvious to me WHY that is so.]  One day, as they are on schedule to be on time, Lisa spills her glass of milk over her clothes at the very last minute before leaving. The mother flies into an unreasonable fit of anger and even throws her daughter roughly off her chair.

(Ego-Reference = I have to be a great musician) As a bassoonist I made my reeds for every concert depending on the skills that particular event required. Sometimes you had to be solid in the low notes; other times you needed to produce the notes in the higher range and the reeds needed to have specific characteristics to be able to produce these notes. One night, I had to play first bassoon in Stravinsky’s Sacre du Printemps. I had prepared my reed, and it was lying on the table. My dog came by and bit the reed to pieces. I almost strangled my dog.

(Ego-Reference = to get a feel-good-about-Self from the ‘family gathering’) The grandmother had prepared a nice salad for her daughter and the daughter’s young children. On top of the salad a few slices of egg were sitting. The young child of the family immediately took the eggs onto her plate. The grandmother went furious, threw down her fork, and walked out of the room, loudly and extensively blaming the daughter for so badly training her children. The action of the child was a stain on ‘the atmosphere being perfect’ (her Ego-Reference) therefore she couldn’t help herself but she blow up, already ’walking on eggshells’ around the elephant in the room of ‘keeping the atmosphere nice at all cost.’ Not having a quarrel was an Ego-Reference and the grandmother depended on the outcome of it for her SSoS. It is a matter of life and death. So the anger explodes.

The result of thwarted Ego-References is often quite intense: irritation, anger, rage or depression, panic, terror, violence, suicide, or murder, even WAR! The mildest results can include anxiety, stress, irritability, annoyance, or uneasiness.

That is a bold statement and I have to admit that with respect to war and murder, I can’t back it up by evidence. However, I vividly recall the intense experience of my own emotional distress, and my fits of rage about seemingly minor, unimportant things. Most fortunately, my husband did manage to deal with my unreasonable anger, my need to justify my requests, and my need for utter control. Even so, I did get thoughts of despair, wondering if life would be worth living any longer, with the continuous insomnia, among other distresses.

Having the best of intentions is not enough when you are not backed up by your own physical and emotional system . I vividly remember how everything supposedly “fun” used to be contaminated by my unconscious need to use every opportunity to fulfill an Ego-Reference: “I have to be normal,” or “I have to be in good shape,” or “I need to sleep otherwise I can’t get up early but I have to get up early.” You might think these are everyday conditions of everyday life. For some people, they are, but for me, something else was involved: my Substitute Sense of Self depended on it. I didn’t live my life, I “performed” it, and as such, I was actually skipping anything which could be called “my own life.”

As I pursued my introspection, recording, and writing over the years, I gradually became aware that there was such a thing as ‘my own life’ underneath my continuous acts of performance aimed at getting the (virtual) approval of my mother (and thus getting ‘access to the Castle of Enmeshment’ where part of my “spine” was being kept.) After a lifetime of Substitute Sense of Self-oriented living, I finally got the insight that there WAS a real me, that WAS being seen and heard and that didn’t have to fear being annihilated. That insight kept me from giving up.

It can’t be stressed enough: violence is an expression of ultimate powerlessness.  Given the nature of life, a person, when really present, might get angry  or very angry sometimes.  However, blind rage, leading to violence might, in many cases, be avoidable when the person becomes aware that the subconscious and false but perceived life-death threat of a thwarted Ego-Reference lies at the bottom of his behavior.

I so urge science to do research on Ego-References, Hidden AgendasIndirect Motivation, and Substitute Sense of Self – that is, on the Substitute Sense of Self-oriented System.  This system develops as compensation for the lack of a Natural Sense of Self. Research would help us come to terms with this human condition. It is my hope and belief that by adjusting therapies and court decisions based on this Model of Human Behavior, a tremendous positive contribution can be made to the world.

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