our lost opportunities for dealing with our feelings
to our inability to have empathy
for others and ourselves.
The defenses, which once protected us as children,
are now the barriers preventing us
from finding deeper fulfillment
and intimacy in our lives.
The child who paid the price
of shutting down the feelings of hurt and pain
is the adult who remains hostage
to the blackmail of his defense mechanisms.
The ransom is the damage
that our defenses do to others or ourselves.
For example, we may displace or project our feelings onto others,
or instead internalize our feelings
causing a depletion of confidence and energy for life.
Perhaps our unacknowledged feelings
manifest themselves in the form of
chronic irritability, depression, or a negative outlook.
The healing begins with therapy,
Countless clients have said,
"I am afraid if I let myself cry, I will never stop!"
Fear of being overwhelmed is the unavoidable demon
we must wrestle with as
we open the door to the
truth of our unacknowledged feelings.
Each time we express and release some of these painful feelings
we gain confidence in our ability
to regroup after a period of emotional work in therapy.
We can begin to realize how
in getting a glimpse of
greater feelings of aliveness and spontaneity can be,
we begin to feel the reward of
getting in touch with a truer experience of life.
The Wizard of Oz
and Other Narcissists