Part 10 of a continuing series, (see Part 1 here), documenting and reflecting on a set of states I mapped and moved in 2008. The set revolves around a deeply buried, internalized violence taken on in childhood and adolescence in response to experiences with my father.
This pretty well wraps up the reactive states in this set. I’ll share one more ancillary state here and go into a kind of “meta” state tomorrow before diving into moving each state to transform the set. For today I’d like to share a few images showing combinations of the states, to give you an opportunity to see a little further into how states typically interact. This is more of a visual exploration. See if you can “feel into” what these actual, inner experiences might have been for me, and whether you find yourself relating in some way, finding within yourself certain combinations of feeling states which tend to coexist and reinforce one another.
First I’d like to share that ancillary state I mentioned. This is a state called Small/Timid, and it is a second variation of Powerless, along with Hopeless Shame.
“I’m too small, don’t have the authority, expect to be cowed by a dominant authority which I don’t have the strength to stand up to. Choose to defer, facilitate others’ decisions, but not to assert my own or express assertions on behalf of others. This isn’t always there…
“Child-like, about three-feet tall, located in the back of my torso. Just watches. Stiffened body. It’s an energetic body, with some sense of substance more or less like flesh. Pale yellow, translucent. Cool temp. If you could see detail, it would have wide eyes and tiny hands. Energy is somewhere between a gas and flesh in consistency, more insubstantial than not. Weakness. Sound is slight whimpering, covered up to not be heard.
“I’m afraid of these people, these men. They don’t care about me. They don’t know I’m even here. What I want isn’t important to them. All they care about is themselves. They are dangerous, to me and to others. It is best to stay out of their way, to stay invisible if possible. They are blind, and clumsy, and stupid. I am not safe around them. There is no safe place anywhere, because they are everywhere. Something must be done about their stupidity. Someone must do something.”
This state was a variation of Powerless. It did not coexist with Powerless. Instead, Powerless could change into Small/Timid, and back to Powerless. In more intensive situations the Small/Timid could compress further and center itself in the heart to become Hopeless Shame. These were three expressions of the same part of me.
How did I determine this? First, I could not feel any two of these three at the same time. Second, when I moved them, they all arrived at the same ideal state. (We’ll get to that soon.)
Here is what the three states look like drawn together. Look at this drawing as a sequence, from Powerless, to Small/Timid, to Hopeless Shame.
Now let’s look at combinations of three states that coexist and reinforce one another in real time. First let’s look at a combination that includes Powerless, combining it with Fear and Contempt. In this group, the Fear of letting Vicious Enforcer out amplifies the projection of Contempt. I don’t want to feel the Fear, so I focus my attention outward to lock onto my target “others.” If at any time I actually get close to real others, the Powerless kicks in to make sure I don’t engage, maintaining the illusion of “other” and keeping Contempt fully fueled.
Next, let’s look at the combination of Angry at Myself, Confused Paralysis, and Grief/Sorrow. Keep in mind that deep inside of this is the seed of Vicious Enforcer ready to expand if at all possible. So Confused Paralysis keeps it in check, while Grief/Sorrow provides adequate distraction and Angry at Myself reinforces the Confused Paralysis if for some reason I accidentally express something that activates the Vicious Enforcer.
Finally, let me share an image capturing all nine states in combination. Because Vicious Enforcer is shown fairly active, I’ve shown the Hopeless Shame variation of Powerless in this composite. Now, in real life, they would rarely be fully experienced like this all at once. Usually two or three may occupy awareness at any one time. But the rest are acting behind the scenes beneath the threshold of consciousness, filtering perceptions, influencing decisions, selecting language. When a set like this is active, it influences everything we experience, whether we are aware of it or not.
That’s all for today. Tomorrow I’ll share something I refer to as a witness state. It’s a very interesting dimension of this work.