Unfortunately although my personality may feel it is concluded, (https://ta44.wordpress.com/2011/11/07/chuckys-back-part-2/) something deeper within me has other ideas. The consequence is that I slip into a mindless state during the evening and the next morning – the on-line casino, an extra chocolate allowance and finally a comfort movie – Lord of the Rings that I have watched numerous times and still love. It was not until past one the next day when I dragged myself out for a walk that I began to wake up. “Just what is going on?” I asked myself. And somehow the stunning scenery of fresh snow on the mountains and the fall colour whispered an answer. “You are not complete yet.” The dominos fell into place. Of course the mindlessness is always a sign of resistance to moving forwards; I feel aggravated that I am slow to catch on then recall Ralph Blum’s wise words, each humiliation becomes a test of character. I begin to reflect and realize that although I have defined the complex, “I get caught out, tell a lie then get mad”, I have not explored it. I surrender to the embarrassment and then attempt to recall previous occasions when this complex has been triggered. I can’t think of any, maybe I have blocked them all out. Then a memory of a similar embarrassment, I used to own a property near Whistler. It had a lot of rocks on it that I was pushing over a bank not realizing that they were gathering momentum and creating havoc below me. Suddenly there was a roar of a neighbour’s complaint. I concealed myself and later lied about it but I did not get mad. I guess because I got away with it. Nothing more came. I asked myself that if I had developed this abysmal coping mechanism as a result of some traumatic experience, what could it have been? Then a somewhat unpleasant memory interjected itself into my consciousness.
I grew up under a very authoritarian father, fundamentalist Christian and basically if you lived in his house, you followed his rules. As a teenager I ran a gauntlet between behaving like a chameleon to blend in and affecting the stance of a rebellious teenager. As I grew up my lack of observance of his petty dictatorial rules was not confronted as I avoided making my behaviour too obvious however it all came to a head one Sunday evening. My father had a very traditional attitude to Sunday– no work, no play, no fun. (As a child I had to go to church three times a Sunday.) At seventeen years old I surreptitiously ignored this but this particular Sunday after a visit to the movies he was waiting to accost me. “Where have you been?” he demanded. Rather than make up a lie I told him I had been to the cinema. His fury was unrestrained and the next thing I was lying on the kitchen floor, victim of a left hook worthy of Joe Frazier.
As I strolled I wondered why this memory had popped into my mind and what its association was to my recent behaviour. I hadn’t told a lie and I had not been reactive. Then a piece of the puzzle fell into place. Perhaps this had been the moment that my unconscious decided to develop a new coping mechanism. If telling the truth and being passive had me dumped unceremoniously on the kitchen floor, perhaps it was start of being more deceitful and aggressive. I can remember that I did feel caught out when he asked me where I had been because I knew he would not like it. Was this fifty-year-old memory the clue I was looking for?