Projection How does it work?

Old 06-05-2013, 08:44 PM
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Projection How does it work?

Can someone explain projection? is it always a negative?

Does anyone believe in Jung's shadow? If someone indulges in their shadow like an alcoholic may does that mean his shadow may be his more altruistic qualities?

Just curious. Thanks.
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Old 06-05-2013, 08:57 PM
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Yes, I do believe in Jung's shadow...have you read the book "The War of the God's in Addiction?"
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Old 06-05-2013, 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by helltoraise View Post
Can someone explain projection? is it always a negative?

Does anyone believe in Jung's shadow? If someone indulges in their shadow like an alcoholic may does that mean his shadow may be his more altruistic qualities?

Just curious. Thanks.
Projection

When we engage in projection, we are in a state of delusion. Projection is when we transfer or "project" our own defects onto someone else. We accuse others of the very qualities, behaviors and attitudes that we own ourselves. So when I'm screaming at someone, or judging them, or calling them names, or ripping them apart from every angle, I should be screaming in a mirror because I'm really just talking about myself. I tend to think that when we lash out angrily at others, most of what we say is projection. Addicts, narcissists and crazy people who can't assume one iota of responsibility for their words, thoughts and actions engage in pathological projection. I suppose it's a defense mechanism born of too much pride, shame, self-hatred and immaturity.
We who project are like children who never grew up. We become ever more damaged and now live in a deluded world of our own, broken from reality and shattered to the core.

Passion

Source: The Privileged Addict: Projection
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Old 06-05-2013, 09:38 PM
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Boon-No I haven't, but I am looking it up. Thanks.

Thank- you, passion....So if my ex who abuses alcohol and has bipolar yells at me for being controlling, jealous and/or needy he maybe talking about himself? Or if he seemed to not value me is it because he doesn't value himself?
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Old 06-05-2013, 10:24 PM
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Yep. My counselor explained it to me as I was his mirror - whatever he was throwing at me was a reflection of how he saw himself.

Not sure if it is always negative, but if they are projecting positive feelings about themselves, we probably wouldn't complain, right?
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Old 06-05-2013, 10:34 PM
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Originally Posted by helltoraise View Post
Boon-No I haven't, but I am looking it up. Thanks.

Thank- you, passion....So if my ex who abuses alcohol and has bipolar yells at me for being controlling, jealous and/or needy he maybe talking about himself? Or if he seemed to not value me is it because he doesn't value himself?
I think your on to something They spew out what is inside of them at you. If they are insecure, a liar, never can finish a project you can bet you will be verbally attacked and told you are those very things. It can really beat a person down until you find out about projection and then the light turns on and you realize just how sick he really is and you will find yourself grateful for your recovery

Least that is how it worked for me.

Passion
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Old 06-05-2013, 10:41 PM
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And that's how it felt to me with my exabf.
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Old 06-05-2013, 10:53 PM
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Thanks, Passion. During the last five months of our relationship he was all over the place. I don't know if he was in a mixed state or actually manic. We had one particular horrid conversation. I know it all doesn't fall under projection, but he was calling me a loser, saying I wasn't the right kind of fun. He saw women who he thought would be more fun in a bar. He thought we looked weird together on and on....much more painful hateful stuff I won't write here right now. My therapist said it was his illness spewing out. He also would say I was trying to trap him. I find it insulting that he saw sharing his life with me as a trap. There is a big difference in sharing and trapping. I have wondered if he felt he would be trapping me if he stayed knowing how ill he is....Maybe that is too much of a stretch and maybe he is just immature. It just really hurt because he was my best friend and supposedly I was his. I know people with bipolar who are not medicated can flip quickly in relationships, but it felt like he spit my love right back in my face.
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Old 06-05-2013, 11:07 PM
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Sorry you are going through this...my ex broke up with me about a month ago. Drama the last week...drinking, lying, and oh yea...cheated on me and is now dating this person who he met at work and introduced to me a year or so ago. Hurts like hell I know...glad you are getting support. Read what some of these other women have posted throughout this site that have stayed with their alcoholic husbands and the long term effects on the kids, themselves, etc even if and when they do get sober most of the time by that time so much damage has been done that a lot of resentment and bitterness is there. I know Al Anon says a lot about learning how to find serenity in this kind of relationship but honestly...it has to take it's toll.
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Old 06-06-2013, 05:44 PM
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Boon-I am sorry for your loss as well. Yes, it does take it's toll......Especially when he blamed me for so much. He left with the attitude that he had new found self esteem and happiness and I was the one dragging him down. I was the one who always encouraged him to be healthy! Even his parents thanked me for that.....Luckily, I found out he was drinking as much as ever or I would have been left with the impression that I was sucking the life out of him.
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Old 06-06-2013, 06:29 PM
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Sure. At various times I have been projected as . . .

Perfectionist
Verbal Abusive (when she screams at us)
Arrogant (because she knows more than all the AA folks)
and lately, Narcissistic,

I sure there were/are others and more to come.

For a while I even had an "eating disorder."

(shortly after she was back from rehab for . . . an eating disorder.)

All sort of funny if you think about it.

Kind of handy to know what crazy about themselves is going on their head.
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Old 06-06-2013, 06:40 PM
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Wow projecting an eating disorder......
My ex would say to me I'm done playing your games! I was trying to be in a relationship.

Exhausting.
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Old 06-06-2013, 06:40 PM
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Well, my therapist told me last night that I project 'good things' onto my XA. Specifically, he said, "You know that all the 'good' qualities you speak of when you talk about C are things that YOU are projecting ONTO him, right? That they aren't really qualities that he has proven he possesses?" And although it sounds like a positive at first, because we're talking about 'good' qualities, it's still actually negative, because it's me giving him credit for being a better person than he actually is, which is detrimental to ME and the way I think about him. Not sure if I'm making sense, but just thought I'd share a different spin on it.
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Old 06-06-2013, 07:22 PM
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Yes Everhopeful....exactly.....I worried that I did the same! This is why a person's words and deeds must match. If a person can't show their love for us through affection and actions than how else can we know they love us. Just a thought......I mean I think some people probably feel the feelings but get in their own way in expressing it. I know I love certain people in my life but have a hard time expressing it. My mom for one.....
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Old 06-06-2013, 07:36 PM
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Agreed, HTR!! My XA's actions did not match his words. And I understand what you mean about not being able to express feelings, which I do think was the case with him sometimes, in the rare, intimate moments we shared when I truly believed he loved me. But more often than not, it wasn't a matter of him not being able to express his feelings, it was a matter of his actions being completely contrary to his words....and I think those were the times when he was numbed down from the drugs/alcohol and had absolutely no concern for me, my feelings, how he treated me - at those times, I was simply an object to be used for his own satisfaction, not a person. Unfortunately, by the end, it was almost ALL that and NONE of the intimate moments.....
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Old 06-06-2013, 08:08 PM
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Yes....Objectification is soul crushing. I am sorry for your loss. My ex did similar things especially in the end. Thank you for articulating it so well.
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Old 06-06-2013, 08:41 PM
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Originally Posted by helltoraise View Post
During the last five months of our relationship he was all over the place. I don't know if he was in a mixed state or actually manic. We had one particular horrid conversation. I know it all doesn't fall under projection, but he was calling me a loser, saying I wasn't the right kind of fun. He saw women who he thought would be more fun in a bar. He thought we looked weird together on and on....much more painful hateful stuff I won't write here right now. My therapist said it was his illness spewing out. He also would say I was trying to trap him. I find it insulting that he saw sharing his life with me as a trap. There is a big difference in sharing and trapping. I have wondered if he felt he would be trapping me if he stayed knowing how ill he is....Maybe that is too much of a stretch and maybe he is just immature. It just really hurt because he was my best friend and supposedly I was his. I know people with bipolar who are not medicated can flip quickly in relationships, but it felt like he spit my love right back in my face.
Thank you, HTR. And I'm sorry that you had to go through this^^^^^. It IS really so hurtful and so confusing to be treated like this by the one we love, especially when the behavior wasn't ALWAYS bad....but as most of us can attest to, it always got progressively worse by the end. Thank you for starting this thread - it's a very interesting topic.
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Old 06-07-2013, 07:46 AM
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Originally Posted by helltoraise View Post
Wow projecting an eating disorder......
My ex would say to me I'm done playing your games! I was trying to be in a relationship.

Exhausting.
Only if you try to stay in the play.

Did not even really mind the really goofy ones, they are just all kind of self-discounting. That a crazy person thinks you must be a Martian, hardly makes you from Mars.

As near as I can tell, this is all a close cousin of the Drama Triangle. (you all know what that is?) Part of the casting and directing by the would-be Drama Victim has to Project on the would-be actors as part of the show.

If you leave the stage, and go out and just sit in the audience, all that is left is for the director (as it were) to swing the projectors wildly out to you in the audience, and announce THERE! There is the Villain! (or person with an Eating Disorder!) or whatever nuttiness in going on their mind-play.

I just make sure the kids are out in the audience and not being dragged on the stage, make popcorn, and watch the show. It it gets too bad, we can always leave the theater.
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Old 06-07-2013, 10:48 AM
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I have never heard of Drama Triangle. What was exhausting is that when he became upset and as someone with bipolar anything could set him off. What set him off one day could have no effect the next. Anyway, if I tried to discuss something with him and he became upset suddenly I would have all these accusations thrown at me. It was hard not to take it personally.
I wish I had found a way to pull back emotionally with him. I was reading as much as I could, but I knew something was not up. It is upsetting because I never wanted this. I cannot stress enough how much I encouraged health our relationship and try to lead by example. Obviously, I know it is up to him and I left it up to him. He chose to continue drinking and not take responsibility for his illness. Yet, I still at times feel like I am being punished because I can't be in my best friend's life. We as people got along great. It was the pattern we were stuck in....To him I was keeping him from living his life. I'm the bad guy for wanting to live a fulfilling life and wanting him to be healthy and to keep it in his pants! My therapist says those are reasonable requests. Hypersexuality.....what a bitch.
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Old 06-07-2013, 10:39 PM
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Usually drawn as a triangle, with the point down and the "victim" on the bottom.

The top two corners are a Rescuer (or co-dependent / enabler), and the final corner a Prosecutor (or Villain).

When *we* do not enable or co-die or rescue the wantabe Victim Status for Life A/A, etc. they try to move us from the Rescue Role to the Villain Role in their fantasy.

You have seen this basic plot for years. Basis of the Disney Princess. Victim Princess at the bottom, Evil Witch / Villain trying to harm them. Prince Whatever there to Rescue. Basic Drama Triangle.

Same game the Alkie, Addict, Borderline, and the rest of the mess try to carry along and project from their Addict Mind.

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