the curse of projection
Sometimes when I am struggling with “self worth” or when I am struggling with connection to self, I tend to project those feelings out to other people around me making it seems as if “other people” feel about me how I feel about myself.
it’s called “projecting” and it can be quite self inflicting if you don’t grab a hold of it, or talk about it before it turns into a ball of disconnection.
This week in therapy I really projected my feelings about myself onto my therapist and that made it really hard for me to feel connected in our work this week, and when I didn’t feel a good connection, the projection got worse – like a rolling snow ball getting bigger and bigger.
I finally opened up and talked to my therapist about it today … In fact the moment I realized what I was doing internally I broke down and cried – not even 10 minutes into session and that is pretty big for me to show my emotions like that. I knew something was really bothering me inside and I am glad I could open up and talk to my therapist about what was going on.
I don’t normally struggle with projection, but sometimes when I feel so down about myself or I am going through a hard time, I tend to project how I feel out to other people making it seem like it’s “THEM” who feel bad about me, it’s “others” who have those bad feelings about me.
So why would I project my feelings about myself out to other people? …… I thought about it for a long time and really tried to figure out where it comes from and why ….
So I took some time to think about it tonight and did some reading and I came to realize where it comes from …. it comes from the young me, it comes from my past and the old messages around times when I needed support the most.
When I was young and going through anxiety or hard times, I was pushed away. When I felt sick or didn’t feel well, I felt neglected and because I WAS neglected I believed it was because I was not good enough, or that I was too much trouble.
When I was going through anxiety I was ignored. When I needed someone, I was not good enough to help. The sexual abuse done to me made me feel that is what I was worth. GROSS, DISGUSTING, SLIMY, TOUCHED, ABUSED, USED, MOLESTED, RAPED ..
Today when I am really struggling with something, if it hits those old old feelings, I start to project because it’s a reminding of how I was made to feel by those of my past. It doesn’t always happen, but if it hits on a certain part of my past, those emotions start to project, and once they start to project outward, it’s hard to pull it back in and see it for what is really going on inside.
The past couple of weeks have been VERY hard for me both physically and emotionally. I have been needing to lean on support more. I have had to rely on the strength of others to help me move through these hard moments I have been going through and sometimes that can trigger old feelings of fear.
My therapist and I have had to work VERY closely the past couple of weeks and that has made me feel dependent, and my fear of dependency is so big that sometimes it triggers a projection that I am too much work, or I am not good enough, when in fact it’s quite the opposite. But when I get stuck in that projection, it’s hard to jump out of it, because not only am I projecting my feelings about myself OUTWARD, but I am also feeling those feelings INWARD… it becomes a very hard catch 22.
SO, today in session I broke down and had big emotions and those emotions that I finally let out allowed me to “talk” about the projection and giving it a name, and when we name something it has less power over us. Me naming it and talking about it gave the projection less power AND it allowed my therapist to help me see what the REAL messages are, not the old messages from the past.
I am still in the projection a little, but I think naming it gave some of that control back to me, and now its about “how do I feel good about myself to reverse the projection”.
I need to be gentle with myself, because I am going through a REALLY hard time right now. Physically I am tied to a 30 day heart monitor that has wires all over my chest, I am in pain, I am uncomfortable, I am emotionally drained.. OF COURSE I feel bad about myself, of course I would have hard feelings … but how do I see it as “false messages” and see the ‘true messages” and that is what we are working on, That is a huge part of my healing.
This doesn’t happen often, I usually catch it before it goes into projection or self hate.. but today I named it, and I hope that by naming it and really talking about it gives me room to understand more of where it comes from, and now we can look at where it comes from and HEAL those old wounds that bring these feelings to life.
I not only projected my feelings onto my therapist in session, but I also did that with everyone in my life this week, and that was really hard for me to think that people who “DO” love and care about me don’t love and care about me.
I am loved, I am cared about.. the people in my life do love and care about me going through a hard time. My therapist cares so very much about me and wants to help when I am struggling – I don’t always have to be this strong amazing person who works hard.. I have to let it be okay that I will need to lean more when I am having a hard time and maybe just maybe that is OKAY.
My hope is that now I can catch it, talk about it, and have the emotions I need to have instead of projecting it to self hate on myself.