“Beneath the Surface” by Sonne; September 2013

There’s something within my mind, my soul, my Self, that’s been there for a long time, though I’m unsure how far/early into my childhood its existence reaches.  Back then, it was probably much less developed, maybe just a spark or small flame of vicious wildness mostly hidden in my mind and among my other instincts, emotions, and personality.  I’ve questioned and wondered for years and years if it’s really “there”, per se, as I keep intuitively feeling like it is—that it is actually remotely as wild, ‘dark’, and vicious as I’ve repeatedly thought it to be.  My more rational, analytic mindedness tells me that “no, you’re just being dramatic and drawing too much influence conceptually from horror/fantasy/scifi of ‘monstrous’ animal-humans”, which I know could still actually be the case, despite my lack of success in resolving the matter to a specific decision/answer yet.  Alternatively, I see that maybe that aspect of me isn’t just being wrongly perceived by me as being ‘monstrous’ (for a simple, even if perhaps inaccurate way to put it), that it isn’t just influence from certain media, but that there’s either a two-way situation to the matter (the ‘monstrous’ aspect being influenced to some extent by media/fiction and me being drawn to/influenced by the ‘monstrous’ aspect to watch/read/indulge in those particular fiction concepts), or it could be just the latter (the aspect affecting my interest in the fiction).

I get the impression this aspect is associated with that which is Shadow to/within me, and I’ve been slowly coming to terms with it over the past few years, especially since early 2012 when I acknowledged and came to accept myself as vampire’kin.  Its place as a shadow-aspect I think is related to a sense of fear I have regarding not keeping a short, firm ‘leash’ on it—that I’m afraid to ‘let it out’ much at all around anyone/anything and only let it out to some notable extent (not fully, if even close to that) when I’m alone (no other people/humans nor pets around me).  It has ties to my anger, irritability, and some anxiety, yet it isn’t wholly any of those things—it isn’t only an emotion wanting to get out into a behavior, although that is still part of it, nevertheless.  Instead, it is primal, feral, predatory, and driven by instinct that in part or largely conflicts with my human controlled beliefs, morals, and behaviors.

Granted, maybe it could ‘simply’ be that more primal part of our human minds that we don’t manage to integrate into our behaviors and beliefs and try to keep it rather locked up.  Though even if that is the case, I just get the distinct impression that mine is more non-human like—particularly more cat-like—and it’s not buried down or otherwise ‘managed’ as well as that primal-human-aspect is for many people, or so it seems.  Most humans have—largely due to social influence—taken to not seeing and accepting themselves as animals, as having parts of ourselves that are primal and very base-instinctive, and for some that leads to maladaptive manifestations of certain primal, aggressive, sexual, or predatory behaviors that the individual acts out, and for some the more primal, instinctive parts are integrated decently enough into other behaviors that are well functional in life and society while keeping the less functional ones hidden, buried, or otherwise in-check.

If anything, I suppose I sort of sit on a line in-between those, in that I have those more primal aspects decently well managed and integrated into my life and behaviors (including therianthropic-based ones) so that I’m relatively functional in society, but for a long time I’ve felt like there’s part of me that’s more “animal-like” and isn’t so well buried or hidden, at least from my own self/consciousness.  It seems to lurk beneath the surface, and it’s a part of me that I simultaneously want to let out and give into and also want to keep ‘caged’ or tethered away from the surface—just from different, conflicting parts of my mind and self.  Could it instead be a matter of just being subconsciously tired and sick of resisting it?  Maybe, and at the least that’s probably some part of it, I just don’t know if it’s the main factor of the situation.  This aspect both fascinates and scares me, and I’m thus both glad to have it and not.

I at times wonder what it would take, if anything, to trigger it to be released more fully and what that would be like for me and anyone else around me (if I wouldn’t happen to be alone).  Would it be ‘monstrous’ at all, per se, and if so, in what way or to what extent?  Would I be conscious during it or would it be a dysfunctional state of dissociation in which I can’t remember it after it ends?  Would or could I end up harming anyone or anything (living or not) during it?  Among other questions.  Suffice to say, those unknowns, those hypothetical “this *could* happen, however likely or unlikely” results keep me wanting to stray far away from ever really releasing this aspect of me.

And when I stop to think about it, I figure it’s one of the various reasons I have for not wanting to do any kind of mind-altering drugs or to even be intoxicated by alcohol (yeah, I have other, even ethical/moral and health reasons for it, too)—I have a fear of the possible behaviors of mine and mindset I could have during such states (and that fear extends to a bit of a variety of possibilities, even ones that wouldn’t be potentially harmful to myself or others, and I figure my social anxiety works into that fear, as well), but particularly the risk (however unlikely) that I could trigger my ‘monstrous’ aspect to be released to any notable extent, let alone more than I’ve ever experienced it (alone).  So I wonder *if* that part could be released and someone else is around/with me, will they forgive me if I did something bad or harmful during that state (I imagine also depending on what that thing would be, and maybe depending on whether I was conscious during it or not—though what if I was conscious but my inhibitions and balancing morale were stripped away?)?

And thus comes my long-standing ‘connection’ to ‘monstrous’ animal-humans revealing themselves physically and behaviorally to another person, especially someone emotionally close to them, and what the reactions are of those people who end up seeing the “monster” part of them—reactions of fear, disgust, running or hiding away, defense, hate, or more positive ones like forgiveness, sympathy, empathy, caring, compassion, etc.  I’ve lived my life mostly as a good, moral and decently virtuous person as also being largely a pacifist (I haven’t been in a physical fight with someone, beyond some sibling physical quarrels when I was a little kid, and that was just me defending myself, usually by laying on my back and kicking to keep the other person away; I haven’t taken a position of offense or offense-like defending before).  Heck, I suppose one of the reasons why I made it a point and goal of mine to stay out of physical fights is because I was afraid of potentially letting myself “go” too much—with me, again, not knowing what could trigger that more vicious side of me, regardless of whether I’d actually even be capable of doing much of any harm to anyone in that ‘monstrous’ state of mind.

But I too often feel like those animal-humans who are perceived too much as “monsters”, with me having that hidden (from others) aspect wholly inside of me instead of an outside/physical part.  It leaves me feeling like maybe this more primal, ‘monstrous’ part of me shouldn’t have to be entirely hidden away from everyone—that at the very least, I should be able to reveal it to one other person and not feel scared or ashamed of that part of me, nor in how the other person responds to it.  That just maybe I wouldn’t have to fearfully keep it so restrained because of what might happen, and instead find out what it is really like, through and through—to understand it more fully and realize what it actually is at all likely or seemingly capable of doing rather than choking away its freedom and expression so much because of fearing the mindset and potential behaviors of something I don’t yet comprehend enough about myself.  And is that not one of the essences of doing symbolic Shadow-work?  To face that which you fear, hate, are disgusted by, or such similar emotions, about your own self, and learning from them—learning what they are really like and why, and from there reducing your negative/bad emotions and views about those aspects of yourself in order to be and live more balanced and healthier.

I already intuitively know this ‘monstrous’ aspect of me is not honestly what I consider to be a monster, even though my knowledge and experience of it is still rather short, but rather, I’ve chosen to (at least here) refer to it as ‘monstrous’ because I understand that’s probably how a lot of people would be apt to view it if only they could see it—see me as it—especially considering how much it would probably contrast to how so many others, even those very close to me, have known me to be.  To me, it is an animal, albeit a seemingly feral, vicious, and predatory one, yet it is not truly a monster in my perspective, and that’s all the more that I want to be seen and known about it by at least one other person—for them to see it ‘released’ and not view it at all as monstrous and to accept it as another, animalistic part of who I am as an individual.

There is something that lurks beneath the shallows of my mind and behaviors, and it frequently yearns for freedom and action, to be itself, as a predatory animal, and to not be restricted by internal or external fear, shame, or judgment, and to be loved and embraced as a beautiful part of a complex whole that is Self.  There is a hidden, primal animal that lives inside of me—that is a part of me—and it wants to be seen and understood as something that is not to be feared or hated; as something that is not monstrous.