It has been awhile since I remember feeling this quite so intensely, but the other day I experienced the feeling of murderous rage towards a person I know who I perceive to show strong signs of a pathological disorder, in other words, a very sick woman. While at one moment she will sit slumped over in slumber, her body limp, (she claims to be diabetic), she will awaken as a person who cannot listen to what anyone says to her without interupting or ordering to stop, that she can’t listen because she is too tired and then in the next moment, trash the person sitting next to her who is trying to show some support for her with the energy of a zealot. Having this wanton urge to choke the life out of her or to wish her dead is not something I consider acceptable to feel, yet here I was feeling just that. I have taught and practice in my own shadow work that the place to look for my own shadow is by looking where I hold a charge for another, a charge that could be either of revulsion or attraction. Here I was, in a state of terrible sadness, one way I know I use to cover up my rage, feeling helpless with the realization that there might be as equal a possibility that either this woman was a psychopath or I was, and at that moment I knew that there was only one viable option, another being one with far more terrible consequences, that as I was the one who was even considering the possibility of my own madness, I chose simply to leave. Another person might simply call this an act of healthy disengagement and leave it at that, I see it as something more. While I consider myself a pacifist, I have often fantasized being the victim of a violent home invasion, and imaging having a cache of weapons at my command or the skill of a Black Belt to repulse the invasion like a Chuck Norris or a Teminator. I often slough off this fantasy quickly but here I am, this time and a day later, still feeling vulnerable and unable yet to shake my own feelings of rage and helplessness. This is the essense of shadow work, the entertaining of the possibility that what we see, we are, and it does not feel comfortable. And what of the woman? Does my realization of my shadow let her off the hook for her behavior. I think not, for whether her psychosis is real or imagined, the consequenses of her behavior are hers to account for, regardless of her intentions, as my reactions to her behavior are mine.