Defense Mechanisms

Posted on 1 min read

Quarantine is so fucking predictable for me. Caught in a house with books and music I’m slipping deeper and deeper into mental introspection…

And so why fight it? Maybe that’s all getting older is. Not fighting so much. Because I still feel mostly the same things I did when I was younger. I just move through them a little different.  

Defense mechanisms get a bad wrap because they often mature into maladaptive adult behaviors. Things that kept you safe from pain eventually hold you back. If there’s any doubt if this is something I’ve struggled with, I wrote an entire novel (Gen Y) about the topic. So, yeah, no projection at all.

Years ago I tried to throw my defense mechanisms out wholesale. Be a new person. A better person. A ‘good person’.

And it drove me literally crazy.

It took a long time to realize that the baby had gone out with the bathwater. Because those behaviors didn’t happen in vacuum. Yeah, they were maladaptive. Yeah, they needed to stop. But they existed for a reason.

My defense mechanisms were manifestations of things I wanted that I didn’t know how to get. I wanted to connect with people. I wanted to love and to be loved. I wanted to be a part of a world that felt distant and confusing.  

Beneath the layers of misperception and fear there were truths in those old defense mechanisms.

What do you think?

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