Comments on
Addiction and Projections

“You spot it, you’ve got it.” Ever heard that popular catchphrase? It means that the qualities you see in others – the ones that secretly drive you crazy – are the same ones that you have within yourself.

2 thoughts on “Addiction and Projections

  • February 1, 2018 at 3:54 pm

    I have been caught up in various abusive relationships in different kinds of situations. The worst was with my (hopefully) STBX who has more than one co-morbid Cluster B PDs.
    I really struggled to let go and give up on the relationship, mostly because of guilt and insecurity. This kind of argument was one of those that kept me caught up in the cycle of abuse and blame. Every time I wanted to address an issue, I was told that I was worse, or caused it. Nothing ever got resolved and I am now being smeared, while he is the ultimate victim.
    How do I reconsile your argument (and those of many other professionals) with my situation and self-image? Does that mean that if I (finally) see and accept abuse for what it is, that those same traits and behaviours belong to me? I am actually more prone to castigate myself!?

    • February 5, 2018 at 6:39 pm

      Charlie, so sorry to hear that you’ve dealt with this difficult situation. It sounds tough. Thanks for reading and being brave enough to comment.

      To answer your question on projections, here’s what I’d say: the abuse you endured wasn’t your fault. You don’t have control over another person’s behavior, and you didn’t cause them to mistreat you.

      Seeing and accepting that abuse happened to you need not lead to the belief that it was all your fault. Yet it can lead into questions such as: What led me to remain in a situation I now recognize as abusive? Why did I allow what I allowed at the time? There’s no judgment here, only inquiry into what was happening for you then.

      Byron Katie’s take on it in A Thousand Names for Joy is profound:

      “If your [partner] is abusive, question your thoughts about why you stay. As you enlighten yourself to what’s true, you may come to see that the only sane choice is to leave him. You may love him with all your heart and simply know not to [stay] …. Or, if you’re not ready to leave, you may stay in the [relationship], but with a greater awareness of how you’re abusing yourself by allowing him to abuse you. It’s like a yard with a big sign on the gate: THIS DOG BITES. If you walk into the yard once and are bitten, the dog has bitten you. If you walk into the yard a second time and are bitten, you have bitten you. This very awareness can change everything.”


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