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Kirsteneklund7

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THE PERSONA AND THE SHADOW
« on: August 30, 2018
Like many of us as I went through life I had an alter ego that was really just me. "SHE"would push through when my resistance was low. If I was working into the night by myself I would find myself saying the words “ I want to be a woman” or “ I wish I was a girl” or “ I’m going to be a woman.”
Then I would think - why do I do that? I always knew deep down I wished I was female but I thought it was just a quirk like fantasizing about being rich & famous. I gave up cross-dressing at age 13 and put the focus into chasing girls and that worked for a long time. Unfortunately more than one girlfriend discovered I had a thing about wanting to be a woman.

  Eventually (in my forties)  “ SHE” was so insistent she pushed on through and had me on my knees - it was the end of my life as I knew it. Therapy and HRT and establishing a truce with “HER” started a new life.
  Like a lot of us I have read Freud and am familiar with the concepts. Carl Jung is a new thing for me and I find his concepts in popular literature everywhere. I came across the following in a great magazine I read called-“Womankind"(# 17 Unicorn)- a sister magazine to  “ New Philosopher”

(Quote)

                                      LEARNING TO LOVE YOUR SHADOW


Jung developed many psychological theories which have entered the cultural mainstream: complexes, introversion, synchronicity, the idea that the psyche seeks wholeness and that the subconscious speaks to us through mythological archetypes. One of his most useful ideas is the concept of the PERSONA AND THE SHADOW. Jung thought that adults in a civilized society have to learn to play a role and wear a mask. - he called this the PERSONA. Its how we would ideally like to be seen by other people. Behind the mask we bury those aspects of our psyche we deem ugly, weak, shameful, unacceptable or humiliating, which other people may judge or ridicule. Jung called this the SHADOW. The SHADOW is a “kind of hostile brother”, an “ adversary”, a “stranger”, bitterly opposed to our PERSONA with all its fake posturing and social ambitions. It behaves like a devil, “ and seems to delight in playing impish tricks”. We keep trying to bury it, but like a zombie, it keeps reappearing and demanding our attention.

  If the gap between the PERSONA and the SHADOW grows too big, if a person is playing a role that is simply too fake, then the energy to maintain this division becomes exhausting, and the person may have a breakdown. The SHADOW becomes demonic filled with resentful and vengeful energy, hating the ego’s false life and plotting to shatter it. The individual needs to find a truce, a way of reintegrating the SHADOW back into the psyche, rather than having it as a menacing adversary lurking in the window.

  The SHADOW is not entirely evil – it may be primitive, emotional, and socially awkward, it may play havoc with our ego’s plans for status and glory, but its also source of power, healing, vitality, and wholeness, if we have the courage and maturity to face it. Jung wrote that the SHADOW is not just” slime from the depths … this ‘slime’ contains not merely incompatible and rejected remnants of everyday life, or inconvenient and objectionable animal tendancies, but also germs of new life, and vital possibilities for the future”. The PERSONA by contrast, is a fake construction, without soul, without life.

(Unquote).


Please tell me if you found this in your own FTM or MTF journey.

  Big fat hugs everyone, Kirsten x.
 

OzGirl

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It runs a loose parallel to the way dysphoria forces you to conform with your brains gender identity. Dysphoria is my sworn enemy, but I now know I cannot defeat it. It is an evil entity, sometimes gently suggesting things to you and then making compulsions. If this doesn't work it brings in its partner depression to rob you of the desire to go on, unless you comply. You can slow it down somewhat by giving in in small stages, admitting you want to change gender, dressing as your desired gender, acting as your desired gender, just giving it little bits to satisfy your brains end goal. But it rarely holds out forever. As you get older, T drops and your brain realises it has limited time to realise its gender ID, so the ante goes up until you get with the program or die. Sadly, too many die. If we all knew that being trans meant we would have to transition some day, less people would fight it, and more would survive. I would have given in 15 years ago, and not faced the end like I did earlier this year.

Hugs,

Allie
 

Linde

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I do not detect anything of Jung's theory in me, but I am always weary with some theories, non scientists develop about clearly scientific - biological systems, like human beings.  That brings me down the line to the, now infamous, Prof. Dr. Blanchard, the "Saint" of the TERF's, who came up with his theory of autogeniphylia as a reason of wanting to become a trans woman.

Anyway, no, I don't think I am agreeing with this theory, but, an the other hand, I never had the desire to be a woman, because I always was one!  I wanted to be a real man, with a big black beard and big muscles!
 

Claire_

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I definitely came to my current understanding of myself by way of Jung and analysis of my shadow self (or the super ego in Freud's model).  The fact that many of us are coming to our acknowledgement and acceptance later in life definitely smell s like a repression which is definitely what I understand Jung to be attributing to the shadow. 

I think most people hear the phrase "shadow self" and think deplorable and detestable and dark secrets.  In fact the shadow is an aspect of yourself which you feel can/should not be openly expressed.  It can be something as simple as a new years resolution to not eat sweets.  Your craving for sweets would be repressed and become a part of your shadow for a time.  THe shadow can also be much more critical and core aspects such as an unexpected reaction to a situation with a friend or spouse which is predicated on a deep long-standing since of guilt/shame which has been repressed and forgotten.
My shadow work started from this deeper concept.  I found myself reacting to situations and people in ways that were not consistent with who I think I am.  As I started to work through the layers, it started with accepting the anger and allowing myself to feel the anger genuinely.  It also cam with accepting that my perception of the events leading to my anger were not wrong.  You see, a manipulative and passive-agressive spouse used deceit and emotional abuse to further her own agenda at the expense of allowing me (or really anyone else) to have a view that differed from hers.  My journey has been long and circuitous as I begin to develop a more holistic view of myself.  In a nutshell, learning to validate and accept the parts of me which are hidden (my shadow self) has brought me to acknowledge and understand that I view myself internally fundamentally as female.  Despite my current physical appearance and behavior of my life up to now, I do fundamentally see my inner self as female.  Now I just have to find a comfortable enough path for me and those around me to express that knowledge more genuinely.
 

Katie

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Hi, Kirsten, I enjoy your writing style and your topics are always very interesting.

I think Frued and Jung had some things wrong, I believe that Jung's shadow idea is important. My view is essentially the same as Claire's. Her and I have different life circumstances, but we have faced many of the same challenges.
 

Confused

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I found a neighbor in a pool of blood from suicide at about 8 or 9 years of age. Lots of nightmares and pills after that.

Up until a few months ago I thought all the "weird" thoughts running around in my brain were from that. Took me 65 years to figure out I was wrong.

I lean toward we have all been damaged somehow. Could be severe trama in life or probably just from something happening in the womb before our birth. We live in a fallen world. What is not right is how this is considered as something evil and everything else is normal! This is not a choice anymore than someone chooses to be Autistic or ADHD, etc.

HUGS

Confused
 

Jamie

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I know this topic is old, but the shadow self is something that has really fascinated me. I find a lot of Jungian and Freudian psychology a little outlandish, but interesting.

I seem to always be locked in battle with my shadow self. It comes out every now and then and wreaks havoc on my life. My shadow self isn’t just a little confused about it’s gender, it seems like a total psychopath. The more I ignore it and the crazy things it wants to do the more it acts out. And the more I give into it the more it demands. I’m getting better at controlling it these days, but it seems like it screams louder and louder in the back of my mind until I’m obsessing about sadistically mutilating people. I don’t know how to integrate that into my psyche in a healthy way.

The whole half beard thing is a less drastic attempt to appease it with a symbolic compromise. So is buying a motorcycle. And a drum set. And learning to skateboard. And BDSM. And the various other things I do to distract myself. It’s going to be a busy summer.
 

Julie G

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It runs a loose parallel to the way dysphoria forces you to conform with your brains gender identity. Dysphoria is my sworn enemy, but I now know I cannot defeat it. It is an evil entity, sometimes gently suggesting things to you and then making compulsions. If this doesn't work it brings in its partner depression to rob you of the desire to go on, unless you comply. You can slow it down somewhat by giving in in small stages, admitting you want to change gender, dressing as your desired gender, acting as your desired gender, just giving it little bits to satisfy your brains end goal. But it rarely holds out forever. As you get older, T drops and your brain realises it has limited time to realise its gender ID, so the ante goes up until you get with the program or die. Sadly, too many die. If we all knew that being trans meant we would have to transition some day, less people would fight it, and more would survive. I would have given in 15 years ago, and not faced the end like I did earlier this year.

Hugs,

Allie
I have read about dysphoria got ever. Everybody talks around the real symptoms. Is it physical pain? Is it depression? Is it stress inducing confusion? Thanks for your candor, everybody.
 

OzGirl

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I have read about dysphoria got ever. Everybody talks around the real symptoms. Is it physical pain? Is it depression? Is it stress inducing confusion? Thanks for your candor, everybody.
Julie, the part of your brain which has a hard wired Gender ID sends uncomfortable feelings to the thinking part of your brain if there is a difference in ID. This uncomfortable feeling is dysphoria. For many, it is just a background feeling they hardly notice, and don't recognise. It may just be something that reduces your ability to enjoy things, or just stops you finding full happiness, but it is still dysphoria. This is why so many people don't realise they are transgender until later in life. In some people it can be strong, making them noticeably unhappy, and then depressed, but in a few, like me, it can get much worse and cause physical sickness, and death.

It is common for late transitions to realise that the innocuous feelings they've had all their lives was actually dysphoria all along, and they simply never recognised it. So dysphoria can be an unrecognised minor feeling right up to a life threatening illness. I've experienced all of them!

Hugs,

Allie

P.S. Julie, it's great to see you going back through the older posts, you will be getting so much from this forum that way, and breathing new life into these older posts!!!

Allie
 
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Julie G

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Thank you. It sounds as if lifelong mild depression is a classic symptom. This explains so much. I was finally diagnosed it hit a few years ago, during a very stressful period. I’m wondering if this is the root to so much of my anxiety and insecurity issues. Good stuff to explore!
 

Confused

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Thank you. It sounds as if lifelong mild depression is a classic symptom. This explains so much. I was finally diagnosed it hit a few years ago, during a very stressful period. I’m wondering if this is the root to so much of my anxiety and insecurity issues. Good stuff to explore!

Hi Julie,

I am one of those Allie mentioned. I was 64 before I realized what was going on in my head since childhood. Then all the dots started connecting. Keep digging in this forum. There is a wealth of information here.

Hugs,
Mike
 
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