I don’t know where to start with this post.. I’ve been having trouble opening my posts lately. It seems like I start in the middle of a thought and never finish it, leaving the entire thing hanging from a thread. Well, this post is a mixture of sorts, an update of a few things that have been going on in my life lately and the way it may affect my future. Where to start.
As anyone who reads these posts should know, I’ve spent a lot of time trying to fix a lot of psychological problems I have that are the result of childhood abuse. I’ve spent a lot of time in the grip of darkness, and over this last year I’ve spent a lot of time trying to communicate with my shadow in order to heal myself. It hasn’t been easy. I’ve had my ups and downs, mostly my downs, that is when I can actually feel anything at all. I’ve spent most of the past few months in a hazy post trauma, with no one and nothing else to turn to but myself and my propensity for escapism. At one point I did try becoming a ‘normal’ person, but that didn’t work. There were too many issues, and there still are. However, something amazing has happened to me lately, a miracle even.
I spend some time on a forum called personality-cafe, which is a place where people discuss personality theories such as MBTI, Enneagram, Socionics, and other systems. I like the forum because there are a congregation of like-minded people there, and I can be intellectual on that front without needing to worry about people thinking me to be arrogant. Sometimes I can be arrogant, but it’s all part of my character building I think. I mostly go there to learn about these systems and theorize over them and try to figure out how to integrate them into my life to make be a better person. The main personality theory that exists there and indeed anywhere else on the internet is MBTI, which is a variant of the Jungian theory of personality. The Jungian personality typing system was invented by a man named Carl Jung, a psychologist who also came up with the idea of the psychological shadow.
Now on this site I met a man there who also spends a lot of time with his shadow, something that I’d seen no one else do before even on that site where everyone there is well aware of Jung and his theories. We started talking and it turned out that we had much in common. Long story short he became my first ever serious completely monogamist boyfriend. (Amazing, right? I can’t believe it myself.) Anyway, he opened my eyes to a whole other world inside me, a world I never knew existed. One of these things I wanted to talk about today. There’s a part inside of every human called the Anima, or Animus depending on your gender. A man has a female Anima and a woman has a male Animus. Now I’m still not entirely sure what these do yet, but I’ve read that these psychological archetypes are the opposite half of our self and that acknowledgement and development of them can help to make us fully integrated and psychologically whole, as they contain many admirable qualities such as love, wisdom, ect; good qualities that we tend to reject. This part of our psyche tends to be projected mostly in members of the opposite sex, especially fantastical dreams of prince and princess charming’s.
Development of the Anima/Animus usually comes after development of the shadow, because if the shadow isn’t worked on first then the Anima/Animus can lose itself and become corrupt; too much of any good thing is always a bad thing. Usually the shadow and animus aren’t worked on until midlife or later, but due to my childhood abuse I’ve been plunged what feels like my whole life in my shadow, and so I’ve had to work on it faster than most people, as some of my previous posts can attest. So lately I’ve just been trying to sort my shadow out. I haven’t even been trying to work on my Animus. But then this amazing person appeared in my life and things started changing..
When I was about nine years old I day dreamed regularly of a perfect prince charming coming to rescue me, as does any nine year old. I also had a few sleeping dreams during that time where I met and fell in love with a wonderful romantic man. I lived for these dreams at that age. Now as anyone who studies this stuff knows, this is actually my psyche’s projection of my Animus. I didn’t know this at this age however. I stopped caring about fantasies and day dreams that I knew not to be part of the real world. I all but gave up. The dreams stopped after a year or two and I never had them again. Not until last night, eleven years later.
I was talking with my boyfriend yesterday about how talking to him makes me feel as if I’m nine years old again, with all those hopes and dreams. I feel so innocent and pure when we talk. It’s a weird feeling.. it feels good though. It makes me feel happy, a feeling I’m not particularly used to. But not just happy.. it’s a hard feeling to describe. This isn’t like being ‘in love’, it’s not infatuation.. it’s something so much deeper and purer than that. And apparently this has reawakened my Animus, that innocent part of me that I didn’t even know was long missing.
Last night I had a simple dream, and yet the implications of it are astounding. I dreamed that I saw a man, a man that I had known for a long time. When I walked past him I immediately noticed his negative mood. He was looking very snarky actually. He looked like he was severely depressed and he had a very passive-aggressive air about him. It should’ve been disconcerting, but I also immediately saw what the problem was. He was using that negative vibe as a cover for the things he was really feeling. Really he was just incredibly upset. He was all alone and had no one to talk to, and from the looks of things he’d been like this for a long time. So he protected himself the best way he knew how to – by being snarky.
I decided to go up to him and ask if he was okay. He ignored me and brushed me off at first but I realized that the act was half-hearted and that all he really needed was someone to talk to. So I put my hand on his shoulder and told him that it was okay for him to tell me. I told him I wasn’t going anywhere. And then all of a sudden he broke down crying. It was torrential and incredibly heart-breaking. Everything he was feeling flooded out as he held on to me for what seemed like his dear life. He was so incredibly upset. Then he started begging me not to leave, he wanted me to stay, he didn’t want to me to discard him. I wrapped my arms around him, tears streaming down my face at the emotion that was flooding through me and held on to him for my dear life. I told him I was to stay forever. I told him I would never leave. And at that point I felt such an incredible sense of wholeness and belonging it was unreal. This man was one of the reflections of my Animus.
My Animus is ultimately a part of me, and it just made me feel really sad that I’d been hiding and carrying around all this pain inside without even realizing it. I discarded half of myself away for ‘self protection’, and it was necessary at the time to do that with what I was going through, but now we’ve reconnected and I just feel so incredibly happy. I feel like this is the beginning of a new chapter in my life for me. A time where I can heal and move on and grow. And now for first time in my life I can see the way ahead of me. That way is a path of individuation, something that I’ve been striving for for a long time now but didn’t realize until now.
Individuation: the transformational process of integrating the conscious with the personal and collective unconscious. – (Jung, 1962, p. 301).
The personal unconscious being the shadow and the Animus/Anima, and the collective unconscious being everything that connects humans together, or ‘God’ if you like. Although I prefer to think of it as ‘the Source’. The Anima/Animus actually is part of both the personal AND collective unconscious, so you could say that now I have a link to God. How awesome is that?
This dream and some of the other dreams I’ve been having lately are so promising. Actually a couple of night’s before I had this dream I dreamed something which symbolized that my ties to my step-dad and the way he treated me are finally being cut, and that there are new opportunities now ahead of me. And then I met my Animus and everything just feels like it’s falling into place for once. I expect that I may have a few more of these dreams now where I’ll meet my Animus and talk to him. I have no idea how to meet him consciously, since all my conscious effort goes on my shadow. It maybe not even be possible since it’s partially hidden in the collective unconscious, but I will look it up. For now I just wanted to share all the amazing things that have been transforming inside me.
The future looks bright. I’m cutting old chains and moving forward. I am walking out of the dark and into the light. And despite my random bipolar moments I just feel so incredibly happy and whole for the first time in my life.