of Psychic Invasion or
Is it Co-Dependent Affinity?
sitting in the steam room. I usually just allow my
mind to drift aimlessly while I relax. On this
particular afternoon, however, I find myself getting
all worked about the dentist.
couple of months before, when I went to the dentist
for a checkup and to get my teeth cleaned, the
hygienist wanted me to gargle with a fluoride
solution after the cleaning. I hesitated, saying I
wasn't sure it was safe. She waved my objection
aside, and the dentist too assured me that it was
quite harmless and really important that I do it. So
I went along with it. A few weeks later, when I get
the bill, I see that they've raised their prices and
added ten bucks for the fluoride gargle. That ten
bucks was the real reason behind making sure I
gargled! I was upset about it and stewed about how
the dentist was really into finding ways of
increasing his revenues. I complained to my wife,
thought about finding a new dentist, then wrote out
thought I had forgotten about it until that
afternoon in the steam room. While sweating it out,
I found myself involved in a fantasy of
confrontation. In my fantasy, I even took my
complaint to the state board regulating dentists.
He's endangered my dental health, I say to the
board, by negligently letting our communication
deteriorate so that he no longer has the credibility
to get me to follow through on his medical advice.
He suggests I should have a crown, for example, but
I don't believe him, I'm not going to do it, because
I bet he's saying it just for the money, but what if
I really need a crown, then I would be out of luck,
my tooth could get worse. I figure it's his fault
that I don't trust him any more. Yeah! So let's get
him, lynch him! Let's teach him a lesson with a
very clever at coming up with a strategy, I believe,
that really gets him back, that really pins the
blame on him as it should be put, really nails him.
I've nailed him, but I realize I've also got myself
all steamed up while having this fantasy, it's got
me so upset I can't stay in the steam room any
longer. I have to get out sooner than I ordinarily
leave the spa, I'm pleased with my idea about how to
get the dentist but upset with myself for getting so
worked up. I didn't need the steam to get so heated,
just my own mental machinations were heating me up
enough. What a waste, I thought, of a good afternoon
in the steam room, for I didn't get to stay in there
very long because I had gotten overheated and worked
up thinking about the dentist.
can feel the tension in my body. I recognize the
emotional space of righteous indignation and behind
it a sense of mounting desperation that no matter
what I do, I will not be able to change the
dentist's treatment of me, no way to right the
injustice. Perhaps even wanting to cry because of a
frustration that just won't let up.
the whole thing seems odd. Why should I let the
dentist get to me so much, and right now, at this
moment, out of the blue? It's been over a month
since I paid the bill. I thought I'd forgotten it.
What reminded me of it, what got me into all those
feelings again, what got me all steamed up?
some reason, which I still cannot identify, I
wondered to myself if my mood was the result of some
one else. I think of Mr. T., who will be my first
counseling client that evening. I had not seen him
in several years and I didn't know why he had made
this appointment to come back into therapy. I didn't
know what shape he would be in. I wondered if he was
in a space where he was blaming others and feeling
victimized. I wondered if what I was feeling about
the dentist was truly only my own feelings or
feelings that were being fueled by Mr. T. When I
think this thought, the idea of it makes me feel
that afternoon I tell my wife about the dentist, and
I get all worked up again. She wonders aloud why I
was so worked up over this guy. She reminds me that
the dentist has always been a jerk. I'm reminded of
Mr. T. once again, and feel better.
Finally, it's time for Mr. T's appointment. It's
good to see him and I'm full of curiosity about what
brings him and we sit down and I listen. He tells me
about he and his wife getting mugged by some blacks,
women primarily, as they took back her bicycle from
a kid who had taken it, how his wife was upset with
him for not defending her better and has been on his
case ever since, how he's being sued by someone out
of his past for something having to do with his boat
and how his tenant is not paying rent and let some
fixture dump on Mr. T.'s head, causing cuts.
through this story telling, Mr. T. did not use a
single feeling word, yet he described each incident
in surprising detail. "Alexythymia" is a diagnostic
category for someone who seems incapable of giving
verbal expression to feeling. One of the symptoms of
this condition is that the person will describe in
infinite detail the situation that evoked the
feeling, what the other person did, what they did in
response, what each said, etc. The idea is that the
listener, on hearing all this, will just know what
the person is talking about, will know what the
speaker must have felt. I realized that Mr. T wasn't
in touch with what he felt. It was almost as if he
was telling me all the details of these incidents to
get me to know what he was feeling. He wants me to
be aware of his feelings, to be aware FOR HIM of his
feelings, to feel them for him.
Suddenly I was reminded of my dental fantasy in the
steam room. Of course, I knew how Mr. T. felt--just
like I did with regard to the dentist. I felt that I
was an innocent victim, and especially that I could
not get the aggrieving party-the dentist--to
recognize and acknowledge his negative impact on me.
The dentist was hurting me but didn't know it and
when I tried to tell him he shrugged it off, and I
felt pressured to get his attention in some fashion.
The temptation was to ignore the whole thing, it was
too much trouble, and maybe I was making too much
out of the situation, a mountain out of a molehill.
Yet I saw how worked up I could get.
realized that the reason I had the fantasy in the
steam room was because I was picking up on Mr. T.'s
situation and feeling his pain and victimization and
out rage, feelings he couldn't allow himself to
have. I had unfinished business with the dentist, I
had feelings myself that I had not fully
acknowledged and honored within me. These feelings
dwelt within me waiting for some thing to trigger
them. Mr. T.'s own situation was the trigger, that
and the fact that my unconscious mind had tuned into
him, awaiting his arrival for therapy that night,
wondering how he was doing.
shared my dentist story with Mr. T. He recognized my
feelings, and agreed that they were like the
feelings he had in his predicament. I explained that
my situation with the dentist and his story have
some points in common: there's a victim present, but
no one recognizes the person is there; the victim
has feelings and is stepped on but no one will
recognize it; the victim is unconsciously needing
recognition, but can not recognize his need on his
own, and certainly can not speak out and claim it;
and any claim that is made falls on deaf ears.
explained that I had the same trouble as he. I
wanted to overlook the way the dentist had treated
me. I made excuses for the dentist and his
assistant. Times are tough, they need the money,
etc. etc. I didn't want to go through the effort of
confronting the dentist, I didn't want to be a
problem patient, to seem petty. I complained, but I
hadn't really stopped and looked at my self, honored
my own feelings and needs. I certainly hadn't stood
up for myself. I was feeling righteously indignant
rather than effective.
needed to stand up for myself. First, I had to do it
within myself, saying to myself, "Yes, I recognize
that you are feeling betrayed, abused, and yes, I
care about that. I accept that you feel that way,
and if possible, we want to do some thing about it."
Just acknowledging those feelings inside me helped,
even if I would not be able to make the dentist hear
seemed really pleased that I had seemed to have
picked up on his feelings, and that I would have had
similar ones of my own. He could use my own
confession as a model on which to begin to get in
touch with his own feelings about his situation.
our session, I wondered some more about my
"co-dependent affinity" with Mr. T.. I realized that
beyond what we had discussed, there were still other
feelings that we had in common, feelings that could
have provided the telepathic bridge. I thought
especially about the feeling of being overwhelmed.
That day I had just written down a list of things to
do that probably would never get accomplished--a
list that produced a feeling of being overwhelmed. I
wondered if I would ever get my book written. I had
many things hanging over my head in life right then
and that type of overload was very similar to Mr. T.
He had this house he's been remodeling for years and
his wife has been after him to clean up the
construction site they live in, that he has trouble
getting the energy to work on the house after a hard
day's work, worried that he will never finish. He
keeps very busy, but accomplishes little.
a fascinating lesson to see how two minds could get
on the same wavelength, and one person's feelings
could resonate with another person's, making a
potential upset, a suppressed reaction, come out
into the open. One person's feelings fueled another
person's feelings, silently over the telepathic air
reality of ESP makes a direct attack on our notions
about boundaries. What kind of boundaries do we have
around our minds? Can your thoughts affect mine? Can
your feelings influence my feelings? Clearly Mr.
T.'s feelings had fanned the flames on my suppressed
of people say that they are very sensitive about
picking up on other people's feelings. Some report
they can walk into a room and immediately feel sick
or depressed, as if they sponge up the negative
feelings in the air. At least in that situation you
can see the people that are blasting you with your
energy. In the steam room, I wasn't aware that my
feelings were being fanned by some one miles away.
The psychic connection was operating invisibly.
being psychic mean being sensitive to a fault,
vulnerable to being overwhelmed by other people's
emotional turmoil? Does it mean that we'll often
experience other people's feelings as if they were
are own, yet we won't even be aware that this
psychic, empathic resonance is going on?
does boundary mean if your feelings can affect mine?
The reality of telepathy has made me think long and
hard about that question. I know that ESP can occur
between two people without either being the wiser.
Telepathy can be a silent link up, one person's
feelings coloring the other person without either
party knowing its going on. Psychic sensitivity can
make it only too easy for one's feelings to become
dependent upon how other people are feeling, to
being driven--compulsed, as it were--by other
Actually, that sounds kind of familiar...where how
someone else reacts to stuff affects how I feel, so
that I almost want to control how they react, just
to keep a handle on my feelings. Sound familiar to
There's a word going around a lot these
days-CO-DEPENDENCY. It started from the fact that a
person who is married to an alcoholic is usually a
collaborator in the social aspects of that disease.
The co-dependent person isn't addicted to alcohol,
but is into control, for example, and the
alcoholic's unpredictability serves the
co-dependent's need to worship being in control.
They've extended the concept of co-dependency to
include spouses or family members related to any one
with any kind of sub stance abuse problem, and now
even ex tended it to mean anyone who places the
center of their being external to themselves, making
being in control a very important issue to them.
Being co-dependent means that one's feelings will
depend upon a coordinated response to events outside
oneself, to the feelings of other people.
Co-dependents can be rescuers, worried about other
people. They worry about and rescue other people as
a way of dealing with their own unrecognized
anxieties. If they read in the newspaper about an
accident, they lose sleep that night worrying about
how the relatives of the people in the accident will
cope with the disaster. The co-dependent thinks
little of oneself because their center is outside,
in the lives of others. They have no personal
boundaries, other people's troubles are their
troubles. It's not that they are do-gooders, in the
true sense of the word.
Co-dependents don't do good for others because of a
desire to help, although they would claim that they
do. Instead, they do good out of a compulsive need
to chase and quelch their own inner anxiety, as a
way of indirectly keeping in control over their own
unacknowledged needs and bad feelings.
this is more than simply a figure of speech when we
say that these people take on the troubles of the
world. It's especially more than a figure of speech
when these folks happen to be psychic, or have
active ESP ability. Imagine what would happen to
someone who feels a need to rescue the world if that
person be came psychic, could have telepathic labor
pains for all the struggling people in the world.
Such a person would really be in a plight.
think that there are many such people, more than we
can imagine. I suspect that co-dependency is
catching on so big because it affects so many of us.
Actually, co-dependency may be the development of
psychic ability that has not found its proper
context within a healthy perspective on the
appropriate needs of the self. We co-dependents tune
into to other people's needs as an indirect way of
learning about our own, we respond to other people's
needs as an indirect way of responding to our own.
If we have any psychic ability, the reach of our
minds for appropriate people to react to extends
Whether through direct contact, intuitive
functioning, or telepathic ESP, a co-dependent
experience will be based on an affinity between the
two parties, something that we have in common. The
commonality is what provides the link-up, even if
the linking is telepathic. It is hard, however, for
us to usually catch the linking affinity. For one
thing, we get too hooked into the other per s
situation to notice that we might also have a
similar situation. Also, it's to avoid tuning into
our own stuff, anyway, that motivates us to tune
into the other person's problem.
disturbing psychic experiences, the person is caught
in the disturbance because the psychic link-up is
serving the person's repression of their own inner
disturbance. The co-dependent is "possessed" by
another person's problems as a way of making sure
that the co-dependent never has to confront his or
her own stuff. That makes it almost impossible,
therefore, for the co-dependent to discover exactly
what is the affinity that makes for the bridge to
create the psychic contact.
could reverse that tendency, however, we would have
a lot to gain. If we could use instances of
spontaneous ESP, where we become troubled by someone
else's misfortune, to probe what was the hurt within
us that made us so sensitive to that issue, we could
heal that hurt. Then we could direct our
sensitivities in more constructive ways.
been searching for examples in real life that
demonstrate the action of affinity. It's Edgar Cayce
who speaks of the idea of affinity. It has to do
with why we attract to ourselves the type of psychic
experiences that we have...like attracts like. I can
find many people who have disturbing psychic
experiences, but they usually can find nothing in
those experiences that remind them of any issues
they are grappling with themselves. They have
trouble identifying the affinity, seeing into
themselves the hidden upsettness. As Freud would
say, the disturbing psychic experience is doing too
good a job disguising the origin of the pain to
motivate the person to look within...that's it's job
to suggest to the person with the disturbing psychic
experience that there's an affinity involved, well
that usually upsets the person...they think you're
saying it's their "fault," or that you're accusing
them of being "crazy," or "just imagining" the whole
thing. But that's not what it's about. It's about
introducing them to themselves, getting their needs
met and freeing their psychic sensitivity to explore
more creative outlets.
recent experience "getting steamed" is a good story
to demonstrate the affinity idea. It's kind of a
dinky experience. It's not like I woke up in the
middle of the night choking only to learn the next
day that someone living across town was choked on a
chicken bone and died. In that instance, I'm willing
to bet that the psychic who woke up in the middle of
the night tuned in on that particular accident
because it resonated with that person's own
stuffed-up feelings, of pushing back some hurt that
was choking the person. The chicken bone swallower's
trauma allowed the co-dependent psychic an outlet,
outside the psychic's own self, to experience the
choking sensation. If the co-dependent psychic were
to become aware of their own choked up feelings, and
do some thing to nurture them selves, it is doubtful
that they would ever again wake up choking when
someone else swallowed a chicken bone.
experience was mild, but I think it makes a good
point. What is perhaps most dramatic about it is
that we can see it as something that probably
happens to all of us without us ever being the
wiser. Perhaps my story of getting steamed will
stimulate you to recall a similar experience of your
own, or help you to be on the lookout (whatever made
me think it was Mr. T. in the first place, anyway?),
or wonder.... Mean while, I need to write a letter
to my dentist!