“Hate the Sin, Love the Sinner” (AKA Reaction Formation)
This is the term I’ve been searching all along and I finally found it. I’ve been saying right from the start that I believed that my infatuation with Luka began as a psychlogical protection mechanism of some sort. That the thought that someone like Luka could commit such a gruesome crime, and the implications that has that literally ANYONE I see anywhere could also be a killer, have caused me such anxiety that my mind subconsciously surpressed any negative emotions towards Luka by covering it up with “warm fuzzy” feelings. Like a psychological self-medication against extreme anxiety. An actual chemical reaction taking place in my brain to flood me with feel good brain chemicals.
In psychoanalytic theory, reaction formation is a defensive process in which anxiety-producing or unacceptable emotions and impulses are mastered by exaggeration of the directly opposing tendency….The concept of reaction formation has been used to explain responses to external threats as well as internal anxieties….The mechanism of reaction formation is often characteristic of obsessional neuroses….it can lead to obsessional behavior….When an individual cannot deal with the demands of desires and reality, anxiety follows. Freud believed that anxiety is an unpleasant inner state that people seek to avoid. In an attempt to protect ourselves from this anxiety, people employ reaction formation unconsciously in their daily lives. Reaction formation involves adopting opposite feelings, impulses or behavior.
I may be highly self-aware, but that still doesn’t mean I have the ability to control my feelings and obsessive thoughts; no one does. As unaffected as I thought I was by viewing the 1 lunatic 1 ice pick video, having been desensitized by way more graphic horror movies, I’m starting to think I was subconsciously highly affected. At first I’d told myself that I absolutely did not want to watch an actual murder and dismemberment on video, but my curiosity got the best of me. It started with me just reading the Best Gore comments. Then, for the heck of it, I did a quick search and there it was, way too easy to find! If it really had been restricted to the “deep web” I never would’ve watched it. But I did.
Then I suddenly, without knowing why, felt this undeniable urge to “know” Luka. I really needed to hear his voice, and that is when I found his Plastic Makes Perfect audition tape. I was mesmerized. How could this guy have possibly committed such a vile crime?!? He seemed so sweet, if not a little dysfunctional, but who’s not?!?! And so the disconnect began. The obsession took over and my infatuation with Luka began. It became not about the case and what he’d allegedly done, but more about him as a person. And I don’t deny that at that time, when I started this blog, it was the infatuation that I was mainly consumed by. I couldn’t get enough of Luka’s photos and fantasizing about meeting him. But it has evolved since then as discussed in yesterday’s post.
In a weird way I’m thankful for this “Reaction Formation” because without it I probably would not have given enough thought to Luka and what makes him tick to have developed the feelings of empathy and support I have for him now. This psychological process allowed me to open my mind and my heart to the other victim in all of this, the one who suffered and slowly destructed while society sat by and did nothing to help him, never reaching out to show him the good of humanity. It may be hard for a lot of people to see this (or to care) because they don’t relate to Luka, and the depravity of his alleged crimes makes them feel detached from him as a fellow human being, but the fact is that he IS a human being, he’s somebody’s child, grandson, brother, uncle, and if we turn our backs to the fact that he is not an inhuman monster, but a troubled boy overlooked and damaged by society, than this world will only continue to become a scarier and more dysfunctional place.
Luka Magnotta deserves the love and support he is now getting from so many, it’s just a shame that love and support were not provided sooner in his life to have prevented the downward spiral he took. He cried out for help through the internet because he had nowhere else to turn, and because of the impersonal nature of the internet, all he ever got was ridicule because no one could understand the many layers that made him so messed up inside. We feel for you now Luka, we really do, even if it is too late.
Until such a time that Luka comes out and says he committed those crimes just for the fun of it, or because of long-held murderous urges, I will continue to support him who I see as a victim of a messed up society who was pushed psychologically beyond his limits of holding it together anymore in a world that wanted no part of him, a fellow human being wandering this planet like the rest of us, in need of love, attention and more than anything, guidance.
Thank you “Reaction Formation” for giving me the chance to see all of this!
“Hate the sin, love the sinner” ~ Gandhi