I'm exhausted today. Not actual fatigue but more of an emotional, psychological drain. I had an inexplicable conflict with an associate this week. Inexplicable to me because I have only deep respect and care for him. In return, while he enjoys me, he too often hears my words with needle jabbed barbs. It's the strangest damned thing. Of course I've read about projection in the psychological sense but it's still surprising when I experience it. I get caught off guard when someone isn't dealing with the reality of me but brings in another dimension to get defensive about.
In this case it's clearly a matter of trust. I must remind him of someone who was always out to get him. Undercut him. Hurt him. Because he hears my innocent questions as accusations. When we talk it through it's always fine. It's on initial contact (often via email) that my words trigger him.
It reminds me a bit of our crazy landlord in Fiji, although of course not as extreme. Sometimes when I started to talk to Andrew he'd crouch and raise his hands in front of his face as if to gesture, "Don't hit me!" It was disturbing to say the least. It was clearly about someone else, in another time, when he was smaller and defenseless.
So my friend I tried to talk it through. We tried to come up with new processes to defuse the knee jerk pain. But it was hard, because the effect of the baggage is real, even if the boogeyman doesn't exist.