Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Shadow Twin

Have you ever wondered how many personas live inside the mind of others you encounter? Can you say that the people you know are exactly who you think they are, or is there a possibility that many of them have other faces you have never encountered?
Criminal psychology shows that most sociopaths have multiple alter-egos; those who have had the opportunity to meet infamous serial killers such as Ted Bundy describe them as charming, socially brilliant, and seemingly abiding to societal rules.
It is quite hard to comprehend that a wonderful person and a monster can live within the same bodily confines; yet, it happens all the time. Writers and film producers have exploited this intriguing symbiosis through the symbolism of werewolves and vampires; the most successful attempt at explaining this phenomenon was achieved with the production of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
Although similar to developing multiple personalities as a defense mechanism, the Jekyll/Hyde syndrome is quite different. Individuals do not form extra personalities to absorb the blunt of painful experiences happening at that moment in their lives; rather, they are taught to be nice and socially apt, but feel entirely inadequate and alone. Thus, while maintaining a pleasant face in the eyes of society, they feel the periodical need to take the mask down and lash anger out.
Because these individuals feel like nobody can truly love their shadow-selves, they take extra care in polishing their social skills, and only vent their frustration and pain toward people they have no connections with, simply because that’s a viable way to be the person they are without being exposed. They thrive on negative attention, and get their fix out of triggering fear and anger in their targets. They tend a trap and wait for the target to fall, enjoying all along the extra energy that is being fed in their direction.
The human mind is a puzzle which science has only begun to identify the pieces of. We all have a shadow side we were taught to suppress; in some, it is more extreme than others, but if we could glimpse at the brains of those surrounding us we would probably be constantly surprised by the actual thoughts rushing through their minds.
What about you? Who is your shadow twin?

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