"Give me space and get out of my face!". That's the motto of a very common creature nowadays -- the "Urban Hermit". They don't want to be bothered or bothered with other people's needs and self-manifestations. To them, it feels like they are being invaded. And though some of them work hard at coming across as a bristling porcupine, the reality is that they are in effect "rejecting first". They don't want any more pain from other people . . .
While their manner of functioning can vary all over the map in the way it appears, the underlying common denominator is that they are totally terrified of connectedness, and they have a deep distrust of the whole Universe. So they keep effectively to themselves as a protective measure. The interesting thing about this is that they are protecting not only themselves but also the world around them, as they experience it.
They have a rip-snorting conviction that EVERYONE will get hurt if they have anything to do with anyone on a voluntarily vulnerable involvement basis. So they erect all-but-impenetrable barriers to such intimacy and accessibility. They are, in effect, among us but not of us. They don't mean harm -- in fact, they are doing their trip to avoid causing harm above all other considerations.
The ironic thing about all this is that fundamentally, they are highly loving, committed and contributory individuals. They are deeply concerned that human, ecological and often cosmic needs are being met at all times. They even have a pronounced tendency to operate out of a "But not for me" serve-aholic pattern. And they have a warm glow about them that is highly attractive to others. But when others seek to make closer contact with them, they run into the "brick wall".
As is always the case, there is "method in the madness" here, in that what they are doing makes perfect sense in terms of what they have gone through, starting very early on, sometimes even intrauterine. It is to their "learning history" that we now turn to seek an understanding of these "prickly porcupines" and "growling grizzly bears" with big hearts inside.
HOW DID THEY GET THIS WAY?
The whole thing gets started in a situation where the individual is reacted to as if they were the cause of all their mother's ills and woes from the very beginning. This arises out of her having profound unmet dependency needs and an accompanying violent resentment of the child's having any needs or difficulty-impositions. She herself is a person who is intimacy-incompetent due to a "burnt child" reaction to "poisonous pedagogy" in her own childhood. And she is therefore profoundly needy and unconsciously expecting the child to be her source of unconditional and non-requiring nirvana-love.
And when the infant (or even the foetus) can't rise to these glorious anticipations, all the furies of hell are unleashed on them (as only an infuriated infant-mother can do). Then it spreads to the rest of the family, along with "sibling jealousies" and exploitation. This situation is greatly compounded if the child happens to be an individual whose soul and/or genetic equipment is of such a nature to lead to expectations of perfection or unlimitedness. What happens here is that they are continously punished for their assets and contributions -- in a "Cinderella" or "Cinderfella" syndrome. This is the "ultimate mind-fuck", in that they are being constantly attacked for being the superior and massively contributing being that they are.
The "attacking-rejecting mother" situation is also greatly intensified if the individual is very much like the mother in their soul and/or genetic qualities, which generates "projective identification" whereby she procedes to attack the child on the basis of all the things she hates in herself and upon which she blames her massive unmet dependency needs. A similar situation will develop when the child resembles her spouse (who is a re-run of her neglecting/rejecting parent(s) or if the individual is in any way like her most rejecting parent experience. And, of course, all the other family members respond in comparable manners.
Another way in which this whole process can start is if the child in some way is unacceptable to her and/or the environment due to inborn characteristics (blemishes, handicaps, and limitations). A related situation is where the spouse rejects the child on the grounds of its being hers, on the basis of some resemblance to someone he hates, and/or on the experience that the child is an insult or assault to him. Since the mother is so self-rejecting and desperately dependent upon outside approval and support, such a child will activate humongous humiliation in the mother and an accompanying monstrous hatred of the child. This reaction then spreads throughout the family, with varying embellishments.
Still another component in the situation that often occurs is that the family is in a situation where it needs a scapegoat for all the misery in their lives. They are seeking an accountability-avoiding "explanation" for their unhappiness, and they find their "cause of all their troubles" in this individual, and they proceed to do an "If it weren't for you!", "NOW look what you've gone and done!", and "Here's ANOTHER fine mess you've gotten us into!" litany on the kid upon whom they are in fact most dependent.
The functionally parasitic parent(s) do a dissatisfied-dependent rescue-expecting, rescue-coercing and simultaneously rejecting pattern on the individual. It arises from their having done a desperation settle-for connection and support-seeking attempt with each other. When they then run into each other's intimacy-incompetence, they turn to the child in a hoped for reprieve from their "life sentence". The child is not allowed to differentiate and individuate in this simultaneously disengaged and enmeshed situation. They expect the child to make them happy -- and they attack in great rage when the child is not able to do so. In effect, the parents have undifferentiated ego boundaries and the child pays desperately for it.
But then the child "betrays" their "desperate inner child" fantasied expectations, on top of which the kid demands what they don't have -- the capacity to connect, nurture, protect and enculturate their child -- because they can't do unto others what was not done unto them. And they react with furious guilt-induction and despair-deflecting "rejecting first" responses, along with blaming the child for all their misery.
The opposite sex parent parent usually also has a particular ax to grind with members of the individual's gender, and they really go after the individual with a persecuting, dependent/engulfing and attacking "You can do me no right!" pattern. And when this is also the mother, the effect on the individual is maximally devastating.
To make matters worse, since all of this usually takes place at the subterranean and subconscious level (which is transmitted at the rate of 16 interactions a second), the individual ends up experiencing that they are the constant cause of evil without any knowable process. They end up feeling "magically evil" and that they "caused World War II" and that if they aren't paranoically protective, they'll cause World War III. This becomes a particularly strong feeling in any area in which they feel incompetent.
One of the heaviest components of their role in their family is that of the "lightening rod". Because of who they are and who they have become for the family, they become the repository of everyone's fury. And since it is an irrational/irresponsible/non-accountable system and situation, there are no clear rules of prediction of disaster striking again. Any time anyone anywhere exhibits or transmits negativity, it gets attributed to the individual and/or they attack the individual. There are also usually selected individuals in the family who almost always do the attacking/attributing.
Yet at the same time all this is happening, there is another paradoxical effect going on. It arises from the engulfing enmeshment and extreme expectations phenomenon that lies at the base of the pattern. What happens is that these very expectations and "pedestalization effects" result in the individual's developing the hope of reprieve, pardon, and permission to join the human race. These hopes are greatly whetted by occasional small softnesses and relief-reinforcement experiences. They get caught up in the desperate attempt to "earn" the "God Housekeeping Seal of Approval" from their rejecting family.
Ironically, these latter effects greatly support the individual's "inner child" conviction/delusion that the parent(s) are right and that the individual is "unfit for human consumption" or closeness. To complicate the picture even further, when the individual has been expected/required to reverse roles and nurture/caretake the parent(s) from the beginning, any form of self-commitment, self-nurturance or self-need-meeting is tantamount to "familicide" (and suicide).
In effect, the child is told, "Well, you've really done it this time! Your only chance now is to try to please me (the God stand-in) -- if you can!". They then have to justify every move they make to super-hostile parents who are furious at them and hatefully resentful. The effect is that they experience that every single event and behavior they are involved in is WRONG . Nothing is right because they are not being a good enough "tit". Nothing they do is recognized, considered worthwhile, or regarded as sufficient to the cause, and they get the message that they are a despicable nobody who is the basis of everyone's woes. They also feel like they are cosmically helpless -- floating flotsam on God's oceanic fury and ferocious rejection.
WHERE ARE THEY COMING FROM?
As a result of all this, the "urban hermit" ends up a kind of "Lone Stranger", a "Han Solo" who is "burnt child" delusional conclusion convinced that to connect, to not remove oneself from close involvement, is to create mayhem around them and misery for themselves. They learn that anyone who is intimate with them will guilt-induce, punish, exploit, blame and reject them furiously. They become self-protectively insulated and isolated, with the result that they don't develop many "folkway skills" or much of a "cultural gloss" or sharing of values with the collective. They become a self-defining and self-determining maverick and an emotional recluse.
So they end up with the unshakable belief that they have to sustain themselves by dint of their own resources only. They become a self-creating, self-contained, self-sustaining "island unto themselves". Their basic feeling from their developmental experience and early imprinting is that "People who love me want to kill me!" and "I make everyone I'm close to miserable.". They are therefore terrified of opening their hearts for fear of the lions and of world-destruction. They end up with a lot of "survivor-sadness" from being so separate, unloved and "unlovable". They are just surviving and not really living or loving.
They're not connected to anyone or anything, and despair becomes a BIG experience for them -- it's the constant counterpoint of their existence. They are a "fringe person" doing a "culture of one" thing. They have an abiding distrust of the Universe, and their feeling is that "God must be Al Capone", to judge from their experience. After all, if we are made in His image and the only winners down here are Mafia dons . . . They also have a free-floating fear of the Universe as well, as their "inner child" is convinced that God is VERY angry at them, due to their early imprinting history. "I'll believe it when I see it!" is therefore a favorite phrase for them.
Ironically, they really bottom line feel that they have to "make it happen" for their parent and family stand-ins before they can be for themselves. They feel that they have to "serve to survive", so to speak. They can't be happy because they have to make everyone else happy -- and they are failing miserably! It would never occur to them to ask for or expect anything. Or they expect never to be satisfied due to their "misfit trip". In either case, happiness is not their thing, period. They believe that they exist to make others happy, and their experience of being the cause of everything gives them a paradoxical unconscious expectation that since they are that evilly powerful, they can be just as positively powerful if they try hard enough.
Unfortunately, however, they generally experience that all their human contacts beyond formal roles and casual conversations are fraught with pain and difficulty, if not danger, and their interpretation of this is that there is something basically missing, crippling or grievously evil in them. They fear-suspect that they shouldn't even be here. They see others' shortcomings and cultural crippling from their sidelines watching, assessing anthropologist position, and they also see that these others still somehow end up as "winners" in one form or another. That only greatly reinforces their sense of being some sort of "irreparably damaged goods".
The individual ends up believing all the accusative-attributive accountability attacks because of the "in loco Deity" thing in which kids put God's face on their parents till they're about three or four, and because of the ubiquitousness and universality of it all. They become terribly afraid of themselves in a "magical evil destructiveness" self-image. They also take any hassles that they have with handling the environment as total confirmation that they are a complete idiot. And they retreat into an "Above all, do no harm!" attitude that drives them to withdraw into themselves and to withdraw from the social scene.
They automatically assume that it IS all their fault, almost always. One effect of this is the "escalating disaster", where everything they do only makes a bad situation spiral into a total debacle. This process is run by self-talk "spin-outs" and "crash-dives". Another outcome is "system-paranoia", where the individual is convinced that any system will ultimately set out to destroy them on the assumption that the people in the system know that they are a moral monster and will act accordingly.
They are very prone to failure-blame and guilt-grab due to their profound sense of letting everyone down. It takes on the proportions of "survivor guilt" where those who make it through the concentration camp experience are supremely shameful because they see no reason why they did and not others. They got the message that they were to hold the whole ship together -- and they sank it, as they experience the situation. They are deathly afraid of setting off World War III.
Negative feedback leads to intense shame reactions along the lines of, "Give me a hole to fall into!". They have super-self-distrust of the "WW III" variety, and they will plunge into severe self-punishment if they think they've DONE it, in a "There I go AGAIN!" response. They feel responsible for everything -- including people's feelings. They are prone to feel terrible if people feel bad around them -- the "guilt-wilt". This also happens when they get "too much yum" in their eyes, and they are prone to go into an "atonement-freakout" free-for-all (self-)punishment orgy under such circumstances.
They have a peculiar kind of inverse inflated ego from all the "devil-accusation", and they feel like the "sewer of society". They feel that they don't deserve anything positive and they don't dare to release any anger for their dilemma, so they take it all out on themselves. They turn themselves into a self-sabotaging dumping ground doormat and toilet of the world. They set themselves up for stomping and shitting on constantly in a perennial persecution process.
However, they do get a certain "settle-for solace" out of at least having the power to cause World War II. Otherwise, they are a hopeless piece of flotsam. So what they will do is to operate out of "damage minimization motivation" in which they know they are in a losing battle in a sinking ship, but at least they can delay the end. They use the implication-freakout reaction as a basis for a sense of paradoxical control -- in the sense that if you change yourself or if you do enough to atone or if you can somehow head off the impending disaster, maybe it will work. So they are prone to turn to irrelevant perfectionism and rigid ritualism applied to themselves in a self-distrusting compensatory discipline process.
They are also systematically relationship-avoidant for fear of addiction to their "nemesis figures" and of their "breaking their heart for the last time" due to despair/disappointment-annihilation. They end up convinced that any needs met are the road to Hell and to rejection by God(zilla). They assume that they are such a moral monster that they have to atone to compensate constantly for all the horrors they've caused. They feel that they demonstrate the only value and worth they can have by tolerating pain and punishment, and they feel incomplete and agitatedly anxious without it. It's their "ace in the hole" hopelessness-avoidant strategy, and they are desperately afraid to "turn the last stone", to look into the possibility that joy just might lie under it, lest this last hope prove to be futile too and thereby seal their fate as permanently passionless and joyless. So they don't ever put their last hope on the table and they despair-monger over it rather than to take the chance of cashing it in and getting it refused.
They have a real problem connecting with people and the culture because of their lack of "docking devices" for hooking up, not even of the type that allowed "Soyuz" and "Columbia" to exchange crews with each other in space. They find themselves to be distrusting and distantiated, deviant and detached, discerning and disturbing. They end up watching the world go by and analyzing it, like a "Martian anthropologist".
They feel like a person without relevant resources, and that they are consistently miscategorized, misunderstood and mishandled. They systematically seal themselves off from people emotionally, and they often become egocentrically eccentric as a result. Indeed, their eccentricity usually becomes a part of their self-sustaining system, in the form of being totally true to themselves and completely self-expressive, as a kind of "settle-for substitute" for connection and support. They become their own self-realizing support system.
Of course, ironically, this often has the effect of eliciting rejection and further misunderstanding. The situation is one in which when they try to connect and communicate, their idiosyncratic (self-made person) idiom and interventions activate incorrect inferences and implications in other people, who have no way of comprehending the experiential context out of which the individual's "peculiar" responses are coming.
As a result, the individual becomes pseudo-paranoid, in the sense of, "just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to reject me". They then seek to deflect guilt, blame, accusation and misattribution. But the processes they use have the effect of considerably increasing the impression of deviance and perhaps dastardliness, and the resulting escalation chain creates all kinds of "You don't under-STAND me!" self-fulfilling prophesy "validations" due to their desperate accusatory and frantic self-expressive efforts that lead to acceleratingly alienating altercations.
Not infrequently, they end up blowing out or blowing out of the situation, completely convinced that there's nothing out there for them. In the meantime, the other people end up convinced that the individual is dangerous, crazy, or at least weird and discomfort-inducing. And the individual ends up alone and alien again, burned once more for trying to connect. And their experience is, "ZAP! I lose again!".
So they become compulsively self-maintaining, self-entertaining, self-reinforcing, self-validating, and self-defining in an ever more eccentric pattern. They are effectively continuously alone in a crowd, and they live alone and love no one, least of all themselves. They are full of underlying self-contempt, and unfortunately, this tends to end up projected on the world, and they therefore tend to become misanthropically bitter and to have their negative world-view validated by their projected self-contempt.
After enough burns in their attempts to connect, they end up with a deep self-distrust about their connection choice attempts, and they become very reluctant to unleash that on people. They are deluded that any connection will become lethal to the recipient in one way or another, sooner or later. So they are rather paranoically intimacy-avoidant as a playout of this attitude.
They therefore feel that their only possible role is to become a "visiting assessor" everywhere they go, and they make everyone feel self-conscious, embarrassed, self-questioning, guilty and angry/fearful. The resulting expulsion/ostracism/avoidance/rejection intensely validates both the individual's self-rejection and despair on the one hand, and their disgusted distantiation on the other. This whole thing can become a spiraling phenomenon that can get to truly paranoid proportions.
This despite the fact that the whole thing could in some ways be characterized as a "germ that caught penicillin" situation. That is, they may have started out as superior in one form or another, and it has resulted in this outcome. But even if they didn't start out "ahead of the game", so to speak, their experiential history usually results in a situation where they are more or less free of the more blinding and crippling cultural gloss that handicaps others. Nevertheless, they end up with everyone rejecting them as "unfit for human consumption" -- just like they did at home.
There results a growing isolation, insularity and idiosyncraticness that eventually leads to a fiercely protected unique belief system. They then tend to become pseudo-misanthropic and seemingly bitter and morosely accusing. They end up standing out like a "sore thumb" "square peg in a round whole" to whom no one can relate. And for their part, they get paranoid about being expected to be like others, to do what they can't do.
They thus become an alienation-artist of the first magnitude, and they take the point of view of the lone man sitting at a table in a night club staring in disgust at the uproariousness of the people at the other table who are having an inebriated good time, saying, "The people at that table are all a bunch of idiots!". All the while ignoring the fact that the people at the other table all have the ribbons coming out of their ears tied together in a closed circle while his ribbons lie fallow on his table . . .
HOW DO THEY FUNCTION?
Urban hermits effectively live in a world of their own creation. They do a "build from the ground up out of whole cloth" alternative system where they have control and their values determine the outcomes. Then they evolve away from what they have created, and they then repeat the process. They are trying to create a better outcome and world than the one they grew up in. They are also compensating with contribution for all the "World War II's" they think they have produced.
They are effectively engaged in a continuous depression-deflection strategy. In the process, they tend to take things to logical extremes and conclusions due to the absence of environmental involvement in their lives and processes. For instance, they have a pronounced propensity to blurt out the truth because they feel crazy and invalid, and they need external validation due to all the constant invalidation they got from their family. Another pattern is to become an "activity-addict" (where they have to be constantly "doing something") out of their desperate fear of their underlying despair and self-disgust. They also tend to be "trauma-drama addicts" as a means of "de-numbing" to feel alive. When they go for it, they tend to operate in a "the sky's the limit"/"no compromises" fashion. They are in effect hope-addicts and possibility-fanatics.
Yet at the same time, their overall attitude here is one of, "Why bother? It'll only all die anyway". And it is this utter despair that drives them into their desperate attempts to keep the sense of utter devastation and condemnation to a living death at bay. This reality of their dynamics leads to the paradoxical process in which they also do a real anticipatory "sour grapes" self-deflation and self-deflection process in which they self-demoralize to the point where they don't move off dead center in their life. There develops a kind of "dance macabre" in which they alternate between intense attempts to deflect depression and bouts of immobilization-despair.
They also tend to operate a "tight little island" type of lifestyle in which they avoid feedback like the plague. They intensely overreact to negative feedback because they are so paranoically panicked by the possibility of their causing "World War III". Validation of their self-paranoia will generate self-destruct patterns and feelings ("The awful truth about me has finally come out!"). So they fear openness and confrontation of and by intimates profoundly. They avoid it for their very life.
To make matters worse, they are super-success-avoidant, with annihilation-avoidance and world-destruction prevention as the motivation. Success is power, and they are not to have power "to destroy the world". In their experience, they can do no right, and they have no rights. The result is that they are superb alienation-artists and rejection-elicitors. They can only conceive of either self-containment or rescuing or victim tripping. They get worth-paranoid and they become despairing, seemingly overreactively bizarre, explosive and accusative when anyone starts to express positivity to them or to convey caring feedback. They expect to be hated and they push people into that role -- very successfully.
Even when they try to be positively involved with people, they have been programmed in such a way that they get constant negative experiences. For instance, their form of affection, connection and play is mischievousness and impishness, but it is often misperceived as irreverence, irrelevance or immorality. Male urban hermits are so self-disgusted that they have great difficulty taking sexual initiative, and they love it when such initiatives are taken by the woman, but then they are seen as a wimp. When they display their loving wisdom, it is usually so profound and intense that they get rejection and withdrawal for their efforts, and the message experienced is that they are evil.
The same thing happens when they do exercise their personal power. They are so fearful of setting off avalanches that they tend to hold in their needs, wants and frustrations, with the result that others run over them until they blow out and validate other people's distorted beliefs about them by so doing. And they are so hypersensitive to non-support from their intimates that they go into despair, self-doubt and capitulation when they encounter it -- and they are again undermined in their ability to be vulnerable.
Urban hermits often do a "reject first" strategy to avoid being burned again. It takes the form of the "The people at that table are all a bunch of idiots!" stance. Caring too much or the slightest hint of rejection activates this reaction. Sometimes they will even pair with some one they don't care about to avoid being hurt by them (to them) inevitable walkout. They also do a "Nobody's ever going to be there for me!" number by means of super-high expectations. They tend to get involved in a "Pygmalion complex" where they try to remake people -- with the result that the hostility from their parent(s) is transferred and the other person can never do anything well enough. This even shows up sexually, where their fantasies sustain them until they form a relationship -- but then they have the effect of impotencing or frigidifying them due to the inability of the real person to live up to their imaginal heights.
They also have a real love-tolerance limit due to parental set up -- slap-down devastation patterns, and they have a real phobia of merging due to early deprivation. It leads to an unconscious underlying fusion-fantasy that in turn leads to identity-loss panic. They are love-avoidant as a function of the "love is a poison apple" history that makes them afraid of being innocent and of being run over by the world. They have a particular problem opening up after they do so a number of times with nemesis figures, misplaced passions, futile choices, blind beliefs, etc. Too many burns lead to a super-allergic self-protective shutdown. "One more strike and I'm out!" is the feeling, and they are literally afraid of dying due to being hurt again. It is a broken heart prevention strategy.
Their "shell" is in effect an "abandonment at an early age" reaction. They have a "They can't get to me!" feeling, and they have a pronounced propensity to get into a "I won't and you can't make me! Fuck you! I don't care!" attitude as an adjustment to having had to go it alone. They were told that they were "demanding" as they were being demanded of and wrong-made continuously. There's a huge rage underlying the self-protection response that dares not to be let out or it will make the situation all the worse. Self-respecting and self-protective power and anger were not allowed and it feels like they are STILL not allowed. The fear is that they'll abandon themselves in reaction to a rejecting or overwhelmed world, thereby losing "the only thing that's keeping me alive!" -- namely their self-sustenance system. So they forgo the whole thing.
They are massively emotionally withholding, and their eyes are drawn in, their body postures closed, their gaze avoidant, etc. They put out a "nobody's home" pattern and they in effect can't love. They have a real problem with not reaching out or reciprocating others' reaching out. They stand in the way of involvement on all levels, and that can even reach the point of preventing their destiny. They do a self-fulfilling prophesy behavioral-emotional-belief prison thing because they elicit with their silence and withdrawal the very aggressive behavior that instilled it in the first place.
When all their efforts have failed and they do end up in a relationship, they have been systematically trained to be a love-destroyer. The moment someone intimate whom they love loves them, they seize on whatever turns the person off or away and they become relentlessly possessed in doing it until the love dies and the loved one leaves. It is, of course, the old "Godzilla-pleasing" pattern. To make matters worse, they react to the love with a "World War II" guilt-wilt and they blow the relationship away on those grounds as well. In effect, the urban hermit will try to drive anyone who loves them away if they feel or find that they can't make them happy or if they feel they are making them unhappy -- and they usually do. It is a pattern of continuous atonement, a feeling that they are unfit for human consumption, and a fear that God will strike them dead for violating the moral order.
Still another effect of their formative history is that of never having resolved their hurt and resentment towards their rejecting and destructive parents who unconsciously wanted them destroyed. As a result, they enter atonement relationships involving more of the same "to make up for causing World War II". They end up feeling evil and wanting to destroy the "evil". They feel utterly worthless and guilty for existing. Their only value sense comes from slow emotional demise via continuous punishment/disparagement from their intimate. Pain is "caring" to them, and they feel their value comes from suffering-endurance.
One of the more insidious effects of the whole trip is that when they do become spousally involved with someone truly relevant, they lack support systems elsewhere, which leads to the spouse getting all their shit and little of their strengths. It becomes another self-fulfilling prophesy thing all the way. It becomes a living hell for the spouse, who all but inevitably leaves, often after putting in super-human efforts to make it work. They grow as a result of the frustration, self-examination and achievements that are involved -- and they outgrow the hermit.
As a substitute for the missing love in their lives, urban hermits often self-sustain with their accoutrements and through total self-expression and self-stroke self-maintenance. This is, of course, a response to their "vast wasteland" experiential history, and it serves as their sense of relevance, significance, meaning and validity that has consistently been missing in their interpersonal life. They use safe substitutes for strokes -- things, activities and detached sexuality. They live a solitary sanctuary lifestyle. Their experience is that there is no such thing as a relevant, real resource. As a result they end up closed, alienated, self-contained, self-sustaining, cynical, skeptical and sarcastic.
They often do a workaholic and/or a total withdrawal trip to keep themselves from inflicting damage and precipitating "World War III" as well. In their effort to minimize damage, they withdraw from the fray as a means of preventing "the destruction of the world". They are highly hypersensitive to causing damage, and they are compulsively ethical and self-inhibitingly disengaged.
All in all, they end up alone, alienated and alienating all their lives, and their attitude and ecological impact becomes that portrayed on the front of this paper . . .
THE "DISTRICT ATTORNEY" TRIP
Thus far, we have discussed the far more common type of urban hermit -- the "hair shirt self-accuser". However, there is a minority type -- the "accusatory District Attorney". They in effect do unto others what was done unto them. They are heavily into an "If it weren't for you . . ." and "If you would just . . ." accusatory approach. They have arrived at the conclusion that other people are not trustworthy as a function of all the accusations they have undergone. It is a despair and dread "Nobody can do anything right and everything is going to hell in a breadbasket!" reaction. It is really a projection of their terrified magical destructiveness feelings. It is also a "misery-sharing" strategy by a broken-hearted and disillusioned idealist.
Its purpose is to deflect guilt and accountability, to defend themselves and to avoid suicide (due to having caused "World War II"). They also often do it as a "hope-search" strategy. They are poking the environment to beat the bushes to flush out something to believe in. They are looking for a trustworthy resource. But perhaps the most important function is to test trustability before they open up. It's a means of checking safety and objectivity in a person to whom they are feeling vulnerable.
Unfortunately, their approach, being modeled on that which was done unto them, has the effect of appearing like anything but what its intentions are. They constrict answer options (such as "yes or no" or "When did you stop beating your wife?'), "cross-examine", accuse, invalidate an elicited observation, come from a skeptical and sardonic/sarcastic ironic stance, and in general do the "inquisition approach" to test credibility and to explore a domain you possess information and resources in. However, it's a judgmental and one-sided exchange. They demand/accuse/inquire and sit silently in judgement of the replies. Then they repeat the process. They are most apt to do this in super-threatening (to them) situations where they want absolute proof of trustability.
A classic example is the "crazy-making three-prong" (three fingers pointed in accusation). They find something that really matters to you but not to them. Then they needle and harass until you blow up or exit in a self-protective rage-deflection. Then they settle back or turn to witnesses and say, "See, s/he IS crazy, undependable, irrational and the cause of World War II".
They do it to deal with horrendous underlying accountability feelings that you set off, and they go into survival-defense mode. To them it is a counter-attack self-defense. Your experience is one of utter despair, rage, futility feelings and/or self-disgust. You end up staying away in droves, and they end up alone again, naturally -- their despair-nihilism and disparaging alienation totally validated once again. They feel so totally evil and accountable that they have to "prove" that they are accountable for nothing at all -- and that really YOU are the cause of "World War II". This whole pattern was caused by massive "three-prong crazy making" accusations all their child-hood and beyond -- creating layers upon layers of self-hatred, including about being utterly crazily irrational-explosive (in reaction to the "crazy-making three-prongs").
They develop their aggressive cross-examining style to defend against magical attribution behavior from the parent(s). It is activated by anyone who generates bonding impulses at the parental vulnerability level or who asserts authoritatively or who reminds them of the parent(s) or who elicits this reaction in other ways that are unique to their learning history. It of course arises from having been immersed in undifferentiated and untraceable accountability all of their lives.
The "district attorney urban hermit" is the most self-hating and nihilistically despairing of all, and they end up with massive "proof positive" of their cynical and hopeless point of view every day . . .
HOW CAN THEY BE HELPED?
The first rule in dealing with and healing an urban hermit, especially the "District Attorney" type, is to stay in your "observing ego" and your "neutral mind" as much as possible when they go into their "stuff" around you. Remember, they have been through "hell and high water", and they are bottom line thoroughly shaken in their trust of themselves and of the world. The more you get caught up in defending yourself or trying to answer the "charges" against you, the more you are feeding their profound freak-out. Better to be a "broken record" who returns caringly to the point and reality as much as they will allow.
The other thing to keep in mind is that they have to not be misunderstood or misrelated to. They require predictable, safe, trustworthy and unconditional commitment from people who comprehend who they are and what their experience is. When they do encounter true trustability, they go whole hog, just like they do everything else.
An ideal intervention with them involves an interconnected set of processes. In the first place, they need guilt-alleviating insight-induction and "magical misery tour"-lifting clarification and behavioral feedback that explains rather than blames. This is required in order for them to come off the "unfit for human consumption" delusional conclusion" of the "inner child". In order for this to happen effectively, they have to totally "turn it over" -- they have to go back to the original desire for death that developed when they were confronted with "Godzilla" instead of God, and they now have to make a new decision.
They also have to develop self-resect and self-commitment, and to trust themselves using their personal power. They have to own their power and their positivity, not their weakness and their destructiveness. They have to learn that it's really NOT their fault and to trust themselves.
One way to do this is for them to learn what the "hidden gift in the garbage" is in their programmed dysfunctional operations. For instance, in escalating disaster and self-checkmating situations, they were actually protecting themselves. Their "can do no right" history was designed on the cosmic level to teach them in ecological awareness and it gave them the "Martian anthropologist's" understanding of how everything is and needs to be. And their "slow learner" and "self-made person" processes have given them a unique perspective and repertoire that is invaluable in these desperate times. Their experiential history can be utilized as a set of learnings and strategies for making a highly original approach to the solution of important problems in the world.
Thirdly, they need to let the light shine inward, to learn to love themselves. They are, after all, a remarkably aware and comprehensively comprehending understander of the human condition. It is one step from loving compassion for all that is happening to people to having the same approach and attitude towards themselves -- by the same process, namely seeing how it all came about, how it all works, and how it can be utilized to transform what is in the world.
Next, they have to come off the "force-field" connection-deflector, and to do so without resorting to withdrawal. They have to come off their "burnt child paranoia" and to learn to connect to those who care. This has to be done in self-paced doses, lest they become activated into their alienation-inducing pattern and the self-fulfilling prophecy process. They also need a "shark-repellant" support team or place while opening up their heart in order to prevent "vampiring" and "assassination" along the way to self-efficacy in this area.
Next, they need to develop passionate involvement and joyful vulnerability. You only get as much love as you can let in -- you get what you allow. So they have to get their passion back to connect and to manifest passion and compassion. One part of this is their developing spiritually based passions and total immersion and commitment in a sacred setting, so as to deal with the "God must be Al Capone" problem. And this has to be done again at their pace and in their way, not according to pre-set religious processes, practices and pressures.
One thing that sometimes happens as this process gets under way is that the urban hermit suddenly finds themselves intensely preoccupied with sexuality -- first towards "relevant" (often nemesis) figures, and then more and more universally. This is a process that is designed to deal with the engulfment-paranoia issue. It arises when they have been sexploited by the family along with everything else, so as they start re-connecting with their capacity to love, they re-experience the sexualization reaction. Its ultimate purpose is to develop etheric love capacity and the ability to allow themselves to bond while connecting.
One process that sometimes happens in order to develop both self-love and the ability to connect and be joyfully vulnerable is a "cosmic partner". This is a kind of Universal "boot in the butt" person to whom the urban hermit is inextricably drawn and who may also be an urban hermit needing the same lessons. In this case, it is called a "mirror" cosmic partner. The purpose is to connect the urban hermit with their passion while simultaneously transmuting it into the ability for spiritual-ethereal love that manifests in great creativity. The partner and the hermit need to avoid becoming over-connected or too bonded with each other, especially sexually, so as to sublimate the sexual energy into self-love, connection capacity and spiritual commitment. If there is a spouse involved, they need to be compassionate, strong, supportive and wise-aware in a neutral mind manner to the extent possible. The payoff is a real relationship with the hermit for the first time. After the learning has occurred, the passion diminishes, and the partners become "old slipper" lifelong friends when it all works properly.
Another function of the self-love induction process is to compensate for their addiction to the illusion of a pending pardon from the Universe some day. They also have to give up the delusion that they deserve a pardon in the first place and that they will die without one. They need to come to the gut awareness of the fact that they are not responsible for other people's (their family's) feelings. They have to learn that they are a separate entity independent of the family or family stand-ins that they tend to take on to try to "earn the God Housekeeping Seal of Approval" from. They have to be able to be themselves while at the same time being able to commit and connect.
They have to learn to make themselves happy, not others and they need to learn that others cannot make them happy. They have to develop at-one-ment, not "If other people would only . . . (be happy, make me happy)". They even have to learn to say, "Frankly, madam, I don't give a damn!" to their mother stand-ins and even their mother, if necessary. The idea is that they have to not care if a person chooses to leave them. They have to take the position, "Madam (Sir), I trust myself. Now it's your choice if you want to come along with me or not!".
Finally, they need training in the development of "docking devices" to fit in with other people, and in the "packaging" of their "Martian anthropological assessments" and their other unique perspective contributions in such a manner as to avoid either the "District Attorney" or the "You people are all a bunch of idiots!" patterns from occurring. They need a lot of "hand-holding" and gentle feedback/suggestions during this undertaking.
A set of affirmations for the "urban hermit" might go something like this:
I trust in all creation.
I have a doubt-free relationship with God.
I am no longer fearful of irreparable damage. The Universe is a safe and responsible environment.
I am receptive to what my heart wants for itself.
I am responsible for my contribution to the Universe.
I am now manifesting my unconditional destiny to love and be loved by others.
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