Friday, January 18, 2013

Regarding Anima and Animus "Possession"

Before I continue with my "Reflections on Projections" series, I feel motivated to provide something of a "homework assignment" for the weekend.  What follows is mostly a verbatim transcription of significant portions of Chapter 2 of Invisible Partners by John Sanford.  If you have not been inspired by my other writing to get a copy of Invisible Partners yourself, then my providing this material will save you the trouble, for now.  However, it is not a complete transcription and I may or may not continue with a complete review of the book in this blog, so you may still want to get a copy yourself at some point, if you're interested.

Nevertheless, from my point of view, what follows is really at the Heart of the "Problems" with the anima and animus.  Not that it is All Bad.  When related to properly, the anima and animus make up a very important part of our individual character; but they are, at the same time, just a Part of who we are.  When they become exaggerated in us due to a lack of inner relationship, if we are not fully conscious of them so that they become projected, or they take over, i.e. they "possess" our consciousness and we begin to think they actually are "who we are", that's when the "problems" arise.  Without ongoing awareness and understanding, in other words, if these characters remain invisible to us, then, in effect, there is "hell to pay", and as I have been alluding to, we will miss out on other potential opportunities of more direct, conscious, and loving relationships with one another.

Granted, this is a particular "framework" for understanding certain phenomena that many, if not most, human beings have experienced, to one degree or another.  I have found it particularly useful in my own life as a way to better understand myself and others; i.e. to understand why we act the way we do and say the things we say.  Maybe, more importantly, it has helped me to understand that, for the most part, people really do not want to hurt one another. I know I do not want to hurt the people I care about.  However, when the anima and animus get "triggered", for whatever reasons, then it seems to me at this point, pain and suffering in relationship are soon to follow; sometimes even very serious pain and suffering.  However, if one of the possible "goals" of being human is to become Fully Conscious, then it seems appropriate that there would be negative consequences for when we are not being Fully Conscious.

Furthermore, I have been wondering how anima or animus "possession" might relate to more violent expressions of mental illness. I would like to think if more people understood these "Invisible Partners" and could come into better conscious relationship with these parts of themselves, in fact, with all parts of themselves, then maybe future events like the recent catastrophe at Sandy Hook might be avoided. 

So towards the goal of Peace through better Understanding, I offer the following from Chapter 2 of Invisible Partners:

First of all, what happens when a man becomes "possessed" by his anima.  Sanford writes:

"In the case of the anima, it is she who lies behind a man's moods.  When a man is possessed by the anima he is drawn into a dark mood, and tends to become sulky, overly sensitive, and withdrawn. A poisonous atmosphere surrounds him, and it is as though he is immersed in a kind of psychological fog. He ceases to be objective or related, and his masculine stance is eroded by peevishness.  If a man argues or writes in this frame of mind, this peevishness and poison will certainly emerge.  In writing,  the influence of the anima can be seen in sarcasms, innuendos, irrelevancies, and poisonous jabs that reveal a subjective, personalistic bias and detract from the objective quality of the work.  A man in the grip of the anima acts for all the world like an inferior kind of woman who is upset about something and that, in fact, is exactly what he has within himself.

"Such a mood may fall on a man in an instant.  A seemingly chance remark from someone, a slight, an almost unnoticed disappointment, and suddenly a man may be in a mood.  Astonishingly enough, men almost invariably fail to note that something from within themselves has suddenly possessed them, that a mood has fallen on them and gripped them, and that the event has been quite autonomous.  Such moods may simply make the man a bit grouchy or out of sorts for a while, or they may become dangerously dark.  If the moods are chronic they may lead a man into alcoholism or severe depression.  Under certain circumstances, an intense anima mood may plunge a man into such a feeling of hopelessness that he commits suicide....

"If you can get to the bottom of a man's mood you will find that something has gone wrong, but the man may hardly realize what it is.  It may be that his inner woman does not like what the man is doing.  For instance she may not like his work because it drains her of life and energy, or it may keep her from her fulfillment in life.  It is as though the man's inner woman and the woman's inner man, also need to be fulfilled in life, but the only way they can be fulfilled is through the kind of life their outer man or outer woman leads.  Imagine a woman who is denied her proper scope in life, who is forced to endure a way of life that leaves her no room for her emotions or her own creative powers.  Such a woman would, naturally, become dissatisfied and her displeasure would be felt in the bad atmosphere she would create.  It is exactly this way with the anima if she does not have enough share in the man's life.

"But the negative anima mood may also be a function of a relationship.  For example, a man may get thrown into this mood when his feelings have been hurt.  Someone has ignored him, given him a nasty verbal thrust, or rejected him in some way and he is hurt and angry.  When the man is hurt, if he were to express his feelings directly he would be all right--he would not go into a mood.  If it is his wife who has hurt his feelings, for instance, and if he were to say to her, 'That really made me angry when you said that,' he would be himself and would not become possessed by the anima; he would not fall into a mood about it. But if the man does not express his feelings, they fall into the unconscious, and the anima gets them.  [As I have suggested previously, this is the equivalent of "pushing the balls under the water".]  The anger that the man did not express directly is taken over by the anima, who turns it into resentment; in fact, resentment in a man is always a sign of the anima at work.  In the hands of the anima this unexpressed and unresolved anger smolders, burns, and eats away at him, and is expressed indirectly by 'passive-aggressive' moods, and behavior.  It is always ready to erupt into flames; then the man does not have his anger,  it has him.  He is possessed by rage, and his anger is in constant danger of becoming a terrible affect, for it is as though the anima stands poised to drop her flaming match into the waiting can of gasoline, and the man will erupt in an engulfing and uncontrolled emotion.

"Jung noted that the anima can be seen to be at work wherever emotions and affects are at work in a man.  He wrote, 'She intensifies, exaggerates, falsifies, and mythologizes all emotional relationships with his work and with other people of both sexes.' (Jung, CW9, 1, p. 70.) The antidote for this, as has been mentioned, is for the man to know what he is feeling and become capable of expressing this in relationship. [This would be the equivalent of "keeping all the balls on the water".]  This keeps his emotion out of the clutches of the anima, and, moreover, satisfies her that the correct thing is being done with whatever it is that has wounded or aroused him.  The anima does not necessarily want to carry the man's emotional life for him, she gets it by default.  It is as though she says, 'Why don't you say something about that irritating thing that so-and-so has just done to you! If you don't do something about it, I will.'  We can say that if something has gone wrong in an emotionally significant relationship the anima will grouse about it until the man straightens it out, or comes to terms with his emotions in some proper way. 

[And that includes emotions that may have very deep roots in childhood experiences.  Something I will be discussing further, probably in my next blog.]

"Unfortunately, many men have difficulty expressing their feelings.  Men tend to like their relationships to be smooth, easy, and comfortable.  They are reluctant to get into emotionally toned discussions or difficult issues.  They want 'peace and quiet' and want their women to maintain a pleasant atmosphere and not bring up distressing matters.  But, as we have just seen, if matters of relationship are ignored they simply get worse, and when a man consistently denies his feelings, and fails to relate them to the people in his life, he becomes a chronically moody, resentful, anima-ridden man.  Then it is as though a witch has gotten him, for he has become identical with his moods.

"If a man becomes capable of expressing his feelings, not only does he keep emotional matters out of the clutches of the anima, he also becomes a much more developed person. A man who always avoids emotionally toned encounters with other people is contained within the Mother. One way for him to get out of his Mother complex is to express himself in relationship. If he fails to do so he remains emotionally a little boy who is afraid of women, who resents them if they don't keep him happy, and who is out of touch with his own masculine strength.

"Men are often reluctant to bring up unpleasant things that have happened in a relationship with a woman because they are afraid of her anger, or their own anger, or they are afraid they will be rejected, or they are afraid of pain....

"If a man is afraid of his woman's anger it often goes back to the little boy in him.  Watch a small boy when mother becomes angry at him!  See how unpleasant it is for him, and how many little boys will be terribly hurt, and want to do whatever they can to appease mother so things will be good again, or, if they are more robust, will spew out boyish defiance so as not to be overwhelmed by their own hurt feelings. A woman's acid anger and power of rejection have enormous influence on other people, men and boys especially, and if a man is to become capable of relationship with a woman he must overcome his fear of her anger and his anxiety about being rejected.  This may mean that he will have to find and help the little boy in himself.  By recognizing his hurt-little-boy side he is much less likely to become identical with it, and can remain more the man in relationship with the woman in his life.

[This, by the way,  intersects to some degree with my understanding that, for various reasons, people get "stuck" emotionally in earlier stages of development.  I will be considering this further in my next blog as it relates to Erich Fromm's ideas of "Mother Love" and "Father Love" and how these have differing effects on individual development.] 

"[A man] will also have to deal with the angry, rejecting side of his woman.  Why does she have to be that way? he may ask himself.  But just as the anima has a negative side that must be overcome if the positive side is to be realized, so every man must be capable of enduring the dark side of the woman in his life if he is going to find her tender and life-giving side.

"A man's fear that he will be rejected if he brings up difficult matters in the relationship is usually unfounded.  A woman who cares about a man, or is at all connected to her own instincts for relatedness, has a great capacity for confrontation and working things out...

"Related anger means that the issues that are brought up are concerned with what is going on between two people.  It is an honest expression of genuine feeling.  If a man expresses anger in an unrelated way to a woman, he will do it indirectly by creating a bad atmosphere or indulging in a personalistic attitude.  If he expresses anger in a related way, he will tell her just what it is that is upsetting him.  If a woman cares about a man she will not reject him if he expresses his anger at her in this way; to the contrary, she will welcome it, for it shows that their relationship is meaningful to him.  From a woman's point of view, if a man ignores matters of relationship it is the same as ignoring her, and that means to her that she and the relationship are not important to him.

"The important thing to remember, as will be seen more clearly later on, is that the correct position of the anima is inward, not outward.  She belongs as a function of relationship between a man's consciousness and the unconscious, not as a function of relationship between a man and other people.  When she intrudes into this outer sphere, there are difficulties.  Men are quite capable of doing their own relating and having their own feelings, and do not need the anima to provide this for them.

"The anima not only interferes with a man's emotional reactions, she can interfere with his thinking as well.  For instance, when a man is anima-possessed he may begin to give forth opinions instead of genuine thinking.  It is as though the anima begins to talk right through him, and she expresses herself as though she had an animus, which means she expresses opinions without regard to facts, relationship, or logic.  When a man is in this state of mind he begins to argue in a peevish way, and his masculine objectivity is quite lost in a sea of emotionally toned and irrational opinions that prove resistant to reasonable discussion...."

In summary, Sanford offers: "...[T]he anima can poison a man's consciousness and rob him of himself should he fall for her insinuations...a man can prevent the negative anima from having this destructive influence on making her conscious." (Pp. 35-43)

As for what happens when a woman becomes "animus possessed", Sanford offers the following:

"If the anima is the master of moods in a man, the animus is the master of opinions in a woman.  He typically expresses himself in judgments, generalizations, critical statements, and apodictic assertions that do not come from a woman's own process of thinking and feeling, but have been picked up from various authoritative sources, mother or father, books or articles, church or some other collective organization.  It is the animus who is behind the autonomous, critical, and opinionated thoughts that intrude into a woman's consciousness.  He thus represents inferior masculine logic, just as the anima represents inferior feminine emotionality.

"....If a woman becomes identified with such opinions within herself, which happens when the animus is not differentiated from her own ego psychology, we speak of animus possession.

"The opinions of the animus have an unpleasant and even destructive quality, and may be projected onto other people, or directed inwardly on the woman herself.  In the former case, other people cannot stand the woman because of the blunt and critical judgments she passes on them.  In the latter case, the woman cannot stand herself, for the effect of the judgments of the animus on her is to destroy her sense of her own value and worth.

"The animus is thus able to rob a woman of her creativity, even as the anima...can rob a man of his.  At the moment when a woman gets a creative idea, or her eros and tenderness begin to stir in her in a new way, the animus may intrude into her consciousness with thought that could prevent her from fulfilling herself.  He may say, 'You can't do that.' Or, 'Other people can do these things much better than you.' Or, 'You have nothing of value to offer.'  If the woman identifies with such thoughts, that is, mistakes them for her own thoughts and for the truth, the new creative possibility is taken away from her.

"The opinions of the animus have a peculiarly irritating effect on other people because, in spite of their seeming logic, they do not fit the actual situation.  Yet neither can they be reasoned with, for the animus has an absolutist attitude, and his opinions are not amenable to discussion or qualification.  Whenever the animus takes over, a woman is taken away from her own thinking and feeling, and she becomes identical with banal statements, sweeping judgments, or generalizations. Small wonder, when these judgmental opinions are directed from within against herself, that a woman tends to become depressed and is robbed of the colorfulness of life." (Pp. 43-45)

And as I referred the other day in my "In Defense" blog:

"The animus often keeps other people from reaching and experiencing the warm, feeling side of a woman because they cannot get through the animus and his opinions. Children with such a woman for a mother feel deprived of their mother's affection because they keep coming up against the animus.  She comes across to them as a hard disciplinarian, and the critical, judgmental attitudes of the animus effectively shut them out from her tenderness and affection.  (The situation is exacerbated when the father has relinquished the masculine role of disciplinarian and forced the mother to assume this role in the family.) It is not that the mother does not have warm feelings for her children; they are there, but the children do not receive them because the animus blocks them.  Such women may appear hard and steely, and other people may be leery of them, for their animus can wound; however, strangely enough, they themselves easily get their feelings hurt, and when this happens they are terribly injured and bewildered and do not understand why other people do not love them..." (Pp. 45-46)

"When the animus utters an opinion, it is said with an air of great authority. It is like a pronouncement, and pronouncements of course, are indisputable.  This air of authority, Emma Jung suggests in her monograph Anima and Animus*, is enhanced by our present culture, which tends to overvalue everything masculine and undervalue the feminine.  Masculine achievement, power, control, success, and logic are rewarded in our society by prestige, good grades in school, and generous paychecks.  The feminine principle, which tends to unite and synthesize, is undervalued culturally both in men and in women.  It is as though the animus were aware of this, and so his utterances are all the more authoritative, while, conversely, a woman is led to distrust her seemingly inferior and more vague feminine intuitions and feelings, even though it is these that have the truth of the matter.  This is a deplorable situation, for not only does our world need more of the healing influence and wisdom of the feminine, but the woman herself is all the more victimized by animus judgments that, if left unchallenged, nullify her own deepest psychological truth.

*Emma Jung, Anima and Animus (Zurich: Spring Publications, 1974).

"Since the anima and animus have these peculiarly irritating effects, it is not surprising that they are inclined to quarrel with each other. A typical anima/animus quarrel can start in many different ways.  A man may comes home in a dark mood.  He is possessed by this mood, that is, by the anima, and exudes an air of poison and gloom.  Now if the man were to tell his woman what his problem is, things could take a more positive direction, but the chances are that he will say nothing about his frame of mind, but will just inflict his mood on her.  Being in this mood, of course he is not related, and his woman senses this immediately, and cannot stand the lack of relationship.  She finds the psychological atmosphere, and the sense of isolation, increasingly intolerable, and also wonders if somehow she is being blamed for something, for a man in the grip of the anima has a way of being vaguely reproachful of others.  At this point, unless the woman is very careful, her animus may intrude.  It is as though he does not like that man's moody anima either, and so he will pick up his sword or club and take matters into his own hands.  This may be done with some kind of stinging remark, or a direct frontal assault on the man's objectionable moodiness.

"Stung by the attack, the anima of the man may retaliate.  Unless the man is quick to realize what is going on, and to make a conscious response to this situation, the anima will probably drop her match into the gasoline, and the result will be an eruption of affect.  The man will then become irrational and fight back in a sarcastic, affect-laden way, perhaps with a personalistic attack on his wife's character, that of her mother, and anything else that can be thought of to get revenge for the wound that has just been inflicted on him. The animus then comes back in kind, and the result is an angry quarrel.  It never occurs to the man, of course, that he has become possessed by a witch inside himself; to the contrary, he is quite convinced that his wife is to blame for all of this.

"Or perhaps it is the woman's animus that first delivers a stinging remark or irritating opinion.  The man is immediately affected by this, but unless he is quick to realize what is happening, it is his anima who reacts.  As Jung once wrote, " man can converse with an animus for five minutes without becoming the victim of his own anima...the animus draws his sword of power and the anima ejects her poison of illusion and seduction.'

"At this point projections occur again, but it is not the positive animus and anima who are projected onto the human partners, creating an air of fascination and magical attraction; it is the negative images, which have the effect of driving the man and the woman apart.  The man's wife now receives the projections of his inner witch, and is, accordingly, held responsible for his bad mood, while the woman projects onto her man all the infuriating qualities that, in fact, belong to the man inside herself.

"Clearly such anima/animus fights can be destructive.  The tragedy is that while the man and woman have their unproductive quarrel, and the atmosphere becomes darker and darker, neither realizes that the scene is being dominated by the Invisible Partners.  It is not John and Mary who are quarreling, but these archetypal figures within them.  For just as the anima and animus can fall in love, so they can quarrel, and the intensity of their attraction to each other is matched only by the intensity of their dislike.

"This destructive anima/animus fight is not to be confused with a genuine encounter between the actual man and woman.  When John and Mary confront each other to express their anger and work out their differences, something positive can emerge.  Such encounters between a man and a woman can have great psychological value and must not be avoided just because a person is too squeamish to get into emotionally difficult situations. But when John and Mary are eclipsed by their anima and animus, and these two begin to quarrel, the result is most unfortunate.

"The strange thing is, as suggested earlier, that the quarrel could be avoided if the man would just say what it is that he is feeling, and the woman would just say what it is that is troubling her.  If the man directly expresses his hurt, anger, or bewilderment, it is he who is talking.  If he does not, however, the anima gets hold of it and expresses his emotional reaction for him in the devious, destructive ways described.  She  exaggerates, as Jung said.  In her grasp, a relatively minor personal injury becomes magnified and a mountain is made of a molehill.  She falsifies.  Once the personal slight or hurt is in her grasp, the facts of the situation become distorted.  In the ensuing argument, what really happened becomes obscured by the emotionality of the anima.  She intensifies, so that the original emotion that man felt now becomes a powerful affect, and the small fire a large one. And she mythologizes.  When things are left in her hands, an ordinary human woman becomes a goddess or a witch and an ordinary human situation takes on a highly dramatic character.

"Similarly, when a woman who is troubled by something in a personal relationship says what she feels, it is she who is speaking, and the matter can be worked out.  But if she hides her true feelings, it is the animus who seizes the club or sword and tries to set matters straight.  The result is disastrous as far as the relationship is concerned, and is a defeat for the woman's ego, for the ego always experiences defeat when it becomes possessed by the anima or animus.  Club in hand, the animus will let the offending man have it by some form of direct attack that may have little perceivable relationship to the actual offense.  Taking his sword of seeming logic, the animus will bring up some argument that has little or nothing to do with the real emotional issue.  Irritated at such an irrational assault, and frustrated by its seeming unfairness, a man is all too likely to fall into the clutches of his anima at this point and then dark things happen.

"A woman can avoid this by saying something like, 'You seem to be upset about something.  Are you angry at me?'  If he is angry at her, he can say so and perhaps the matter can be resolved.  If not, the woman need not feel guilty or anxious, and can afford to let her man remain with his mood and work it out himself while she goes about her business.  For it is not her job to get him out of his mood; that is a task that every man must take on himself.  Of course the man may be dishonest.  He may snarl, 'No!' when he really means yes.  It is probably best, however, for the woman to take his words at face value and let him stew in his own juice, and say to herself, 'Okay, he said I was not to blame for his bad mood so I accept no guilt or responsibility for what he is feeling.' It goes without saying, of course, that if people persist in emotional dishonesty with each other, relationship is exceedingly difficult.

"A man who is confronted by a woman's animus can help the situation by keeping his cool and responding out of his own masculine strength.  If a man's masculinity is stronger than that of the animus, he can usually free the woman from possession; at least he can keep himself from falling into the clutches of his inner woman.  It usually helps to find out what the problem really is.  'What is really bothering you?' a man might ask if he realizes he has just been attacked by a woman's animus.  He may often find that what really is bothering her has nothing to do with the subject the animus has brought up.  (It isn't that she doesn't like the suit he has put on, which she has chosen to violently criticize, but that she is hurt because he ignored her at the party the night before.)

"One word of caution: In discussing their relationship a man and a woman do well to avoid the use of the terms anima and animus, or any psychological terms for that matter.  It is best to use ordinary language, for the use of psychological language is unnatural in relationships and tends to depersonalize them.  The value of being aware of the anima and animus is that we may know what is going on, and our heightened consciousness helps us in working out the relationship, but the use of psychological language as we do so is generally destructive.  So a woman who sees her man in a mood, instead of saying, 'Looks like you are gripped by your anima,' might say, 'You look upset; is something bothering you?' And a man, suspecting his woman's animus attacking him, can say, 'I have a feeling that you are angry at me about something,' instead of saying, 'Your animus is showing again.'

"[Regarding the anima and animus] It is always best to get the bad news first; besides it is usually the negative side that we experience first.  But the anima and animus also have a positive aspect, in fact, when they are in their correct place they have a great blessing to give to us.  However, in order to realize this blessing we must be able to overcome their negative effects...." (Pp.48-55)

Okay, I hope there are some lights going off for those of you who have persevered in this reading. And I must say, looking more closely at this again, as I have been typing it, and thinking about long distant and not so distant experiences, I know I still have work to do in terms of keeping my animus "in the correct place".

I think there are several important things to understand though: We are not alone in what we have experienced in our relationships.  This explanation, though certainly not absolute, does seem to give an approach to understanding that could be useful, and I suspect many of you saw things that were familiar to you, that you had experienced yourself, especially with "significant others".

For myself, personally, I have carried this "point of view" with me for many years now, but it is amazing to me how few men I've known have been willing to read this book.  Clearly, when both people involved in the relationship are aware of what could be going on, i.e. between their respective "anima" and "animus", there is a better chance they can help each other mediate their effects .  As they say, two heads are better than one, and, clearly, when it comes to our interpersonal relationships, even if just one person can keep from overreacting, if one person can stay Fully Conscoius, it is better than if each of them, in turn, becomes "possessed" by their anima or animus, and in effect "loses consciousness".

Finally, I would like to add that there are ways that we may end up alleviating some of the effects of "anima" and "animus" without really realizing it, without needing to be aware of the framework provided here to understand what is going on inside of us.  For instance, as I have already indicated in previous blogs, allowing one's emotions to remain "as balls on top of the water" instead of repressing them does a great deal to alleviate the  effects of the anima in men.  Not being judgmental of self and others helps to alleviate the effects of the animus in women.  (Of Note: Terry Gorski's "First Rule of Functional Relating" is to a) Be aware of your feelings, b) Put a label on your feelings and c) Be able to communicate those feelings effectively to another person, and d) Reciprocally, be able to listen to another person tell you how they feel without judging or condemning them).

Having reviewed this material again, I find it interesting that "masculine" character is more often associated with being rational, but it is the exaggeration of emotion carried out by the anima that subdues a man's capacity for logic.  On the other hand, it is the distortion of logic and judgment carried out by the animus that subdues a woman's more emotional and related nature.  And yet, when a man is struggling with his emotions, that is when he needs his woman's emotional nature the most. In other words, she must become a better woman than his anima. Likewise, when a woman is struggling with judgment, that is when she needs her man's rational nature the most; i.e. he has to become a better man than her animus.

I sincerely hope this material will be useful to all of you who are reading.  It is one more effort of mine to simply try to make the world a more peaceful place at this most up-close and personal level of relationship.

In my next blog, I'm going to take another look at our relationships with our parents and the profound influence of "mutual projection" between parents and their children.  This is a very recent, and actually, somewhat painful insight for me, but I think it is something else that needs to be considered and better understood if future generations of children are going to have a better chance of "Being Who They Are as Ordinary Human Beings" from a much earlier point in their lives, even "Day One".


  1. Wonderful. Wow, thank you. Does this blog have a facebook page? Wanted to follow it there. Feel free to explore my blog - thank you for your writings.

    1. 7saturdays... Thank you for your feedback. I have not set up a FaceBook page for this blog, however, I may consider doing so in the future.

  2. Lori - I did a search this morning on anima possession because it's becoming a bit more clear to me that when I get into one of my dark moods it's about being possessed. I went through a bunch of pages n Google before finding yours.. and finding it very helpful in understanding how this works and how to deal with it.

    1. Thank you for the feedback, Philip. Glad you found your way here and found the information useful. Glad to be of service.

  3. Hi Lori, I did a search on Anima Possession as one of my mentors said that I was Anima possessed. This has come up before. My name is Julia and in your blog it sounds like a woman gets Animus Possessed. Can you speak to a woman being Anima Possessed?

    1. Hi, Julia.

      I would say that your mentor mis-spoke as, according to Carl Jung, the "anima" is a Man's "inner feminine" and the "animus" is a Woman's "Inner Masculine."

      Without knowing more of the details, I would encourage you to read another of my blog posts here called In Defense. I go into some detail about my own experience of being "animus possessed" and why I feel that has been a tendency of mine throughout my life. Hopefully there will be something there that will "ring true" in your own case as well.