In the previous post I talked about people using drugs dangerously and gave an example.
KYLady made some good comments on the possible defence mechanisms used by the case example below. I find that I got similar ones to her and a few different which I have listed below
Below is a statement by a 37 year old doctor who shared needles on this occasion.
“Never in wildest dreams did I EVER IMAGINE that I would share needles. Some of the details around these circumstances I can’t recall. I spose it was so traumatic, having a medical background and a deep moral code around sharing fits it still seems unbelievable.
I would ask the people who had used the fit before me if they had HIV or hepatitis and I chose to believe their response of no. Truth has no place in this world, if it shows up then is gets distorted, ignored or disproven because truth and drugs cannot be in the same room. The thought of not being able to get the drugs into me as quickly as possible especially when watching the others getting relief from their angst was something I could not take. This anxiety/fear far outweighs the fear for my own health and life. It was like trying to resist the sound of a newborn baby crying when you’re breast feeding.
I would disassociate from reality, time and space changed. I would wash the fit out with alcohol or bleech the whole time repeating a mantra of please God please God. I would think who cares anyway, you’re fucked and life is fucked and you’re all fucked. Self loathing and the fear of not getting that rush would fuel me on.
Then the ritual of mixing up would begin and my mind would start bargaining “you’re not really going to do it” “you’ll stop before you whack it” but there is no stopping by this stage you’re like a robot and this thing has you in its grasp. I would cry as I found a vein, wishing I could stop, jacking it back, holding in the sobs so I didn’t shake too much, then pushing it down the relief flooding over like a lover holding you in their arms no more aghhh and once again I’m cleaver and funny, all worries dissolve, I am a sex goddess and philosopher, brave and complete, all fears drift away.” (end quote)
1. Firstly she describes how she would ask others if they were carrying the HIV or hepatitis C virus. She knew the answer of ‘no’ could be considered quite unreliable. To proceed she must have used some mechanism like repression or denial to push the knowledge of unreliability out of her conscious.
2. Next she describes how she could dissociate which would allow her to decommission her Adult ego state temporarily which would allow her to proceed. This may have also assisted her discounting the unreliability of her peers reporting they were virus free.
3. Then she talks about repeating the mantra, “please God please God”. This could be the defence mechanism of magical thinking where the Child ego state can feel safer because she has ‘prayed’ and this will some how magically make her safe.
4. Next she moves to an angry position with her comment, “I would think who cares anyway, you’re fucked and life is fucked and you’re all fucked.” This may be the defence of minimisation. If she can convince herself that everything is bad then one little bit more of badness is not going to make any difference. It would allow her to minimise the importance of sharing needles.
5. Finally she talks about how her mind would start bargaining which may be a kind of rationalisation. Convincing herself that her preparations for drug taking were not wrong because she will pull out at the last minute.
Humans are very good at lying to themselves
If she had not been able to employ these defence mechanisms then she would not have been able to trick her Adult ego state and then she probably would have not engaged in sharing needles on that occasion. So you can begin to see the importance of what I am presenting here.