Sometimes, if feelings of fear or anger are suppressed or repressed from conscious awareness because they are too utterly agonizing to face, the fear still exists in the unconscious, but it’s reason is obscured, therefore the unconscious seeks a reason to give to the conscious for the feelings of fear or anger. These, often fabricated, or overblown, causes are fed in to conscious awareness to distract conscious awareness from the true causes of the feelings. The unconscious defence mechanism thus employs imagination, distortions and forms of myopia in order to defend conscious awareness from unnameable and unfaceable feelings in an attempt to defend the psyche from elements in the mind that threaten to destroy the psyche. The threat is transferred from inside the mind, to an outside object or person. This effect can often be seen in people that seem hypersensitive to conspiracies and imagined or exaggerated threats. These people often appear to view the world in a somewhat paranoid light.

The Injured Inner Infant

When unnameable and unthinkable internal fears haunt the psyche. The defence mechanism creates phantasy fears. A consuming hunger arises for external stimuli to blame the inner state of terror on. The unconscious psyche searches for targets, almost indiscriminately, for the projection of, and deflection of the true cause of the unnameable dread. The slightest thing to fear is magnified and unconscious transference can occur in order to turn someone or something in to a threat. The unconscious invents its story and the hypersensitive awareness greedily consumes the phantasy.

This usually reflects a single or sequence of events causing trauma during infanthood, usually connected to parental love.

Daphne Lambert; a Jungian analyst practicing at Cambridge, sums up in her contribution to “Love and Hate: a psychoanalytic perspective” called “No one to hold the baby”:

“In this chapter I have wanted to demonstrate that when an early moving relationship between mother and her baby has not been established, defensive measures are set in motion by the agency of the self whose aim is to protect the vulnerable evolving ego/self from catastrophic pain. The negative side of defences of the self are that a part of the self becomes split off and unavailable to consciousness, forming a complex. This means that a damaged part of the ego/self has been incorporated in to a defensive system that resists any attempt to grow and move towards greater consciousness. Thus any efforts that the weakened ego makes to move towards a loving relationship with another are constantly subjected to internal smash ups filled with hate, replicating the patient’s inner world. In my experience with these patients I found that my task was to develop a capacity within myself to experience their hate and to gradually become able to process their internal murderous feelings rather in the way that a mother, under normal circumstances, holds a screaming baby through the states of deintegration. In this case, because of the original failure in maternal bonding, these states carried with them fearful memories of disintegration and madness. There had been no one to hold the baby. Therefore for the analyst there is the extra task of processing primitive feelings connected with a defensive system erected to protect a small baby in danger of psychic disintegration. The violent rage that results from this failure, in my view, needs to be transformed within the analyst’s psyche. It was necessary for me through my understanding of each patient’s story, to process their feelings of primitive hate and attack upon the love that resulted before I could begin to be able to experience feelings of love towards them. All these patients had suffered from a deprivation of love at an early point in their lives and were possessed by feelings of hate which violently attacked life itself .. ”

The people in the cases she discussed all possessed a violent and explosive rage. Anything that even remotely could be perceived as a threat or an attack was attacked with the full force of all the inner rage. Behind their inner rage was a protected self that was perceived as worthless and unlovable, with acute low esteem. The early part of therapy involved the therapist being perceived as an attacking object and having to endure being the target of the inner rage without allowing the transference and counter transference from destroying the therapy.

All the rage and hate towards life itself that is repressed or suppressed within the subconscious becomes aimed at anything that is perceived to threaten the fragile psychic construction of the self. The shell that contains the vulnerable infant, protected from the outside world by a defensive mechanism. A mechanism that also obstructs emotional and psychic growth because the infant remains disconnected from the outside world.

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