Cacdac: Of love and defense mechanisms (nth version)

“SO this is love. Mmmmm, mmmmm. So this is love.”
“What is?
“So this is what makes life divine.”
“What does?
“I’m all aglow. Mmmmm.
“And now I know. The key to all heaven is mine.”
“After several misses, will we ever truly find out what love is?
“Truth is, I still don’t know if, indeed, the key to all heaven is now mine. Or if it will ever be."

THESE words, lyrics to Cinderella’s first dance with the Prince, I wrote for a reaction paper in one of my major subjects in Psychology (Developmental Psychology, I think). We were asked to react to an article written by a certain Twilight and published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer’s “Youngblood” section.

Twilight was lamenting her doomed relationship with a cadet from the Philippine Military Academy and our teacher asked us to identify the different defense mechanisms the author used to help her cope with her heartaches.

I aced that paper. It was too relatable at that time.
It still is.

No, I do not have feelings for him. Besides, he’s not even all that.

Denial right there. Denial is the most commonly used defense mechanism in my book.

And no, he doesn’t have feelings for you. To him, it is duty first.

Rationalization. The second most commonly used defense mechanism.

Take on a new hobby. It could be as tame as knitting or crocheting. Or maybe something more dangerous. Skydive! Scuba dive! Bungee jumping!

Displacement. Third on my list. Very dangerous if taken to the extreme.

Do not, as in, DO NOT text him! Delete him from your contacts. Unfriend him on Facebook. Do not, as in, DO NOT ask his friends for him. Do not. As in, DO NOT!

Reaction formation. For those not familiar with the concept, reaction formation is converting unwanted or dangerous thoughts, feelings or impulses into their opposites. Fourth on my list of most commonly used defense mechanisms.

I remember writing, “Yes, what must a girl do when she kisses a prince only to have him turn into a frog? But I guess it is still better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”

The instructor (who’s become a treasured friend since then) wrote back: “Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all? Ha! Believe me, there is always an optimum time for initiation. When you fall, and you will, there is no telling how you’re going to get back up or if you’re going to get back up at all. And when your Prince Charming finally comes to kiss you, it will be your turn and be a frog. It’s the circle of life.”

No, I am not a frog.

Which leads us back to my first most commonly used defense mechanism.
C’est la vie.

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