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The Monsters In You
Written By: Mark Smith

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One of my clients had a vivid dream this week about a terrifying monster being in the room, but when he woke up he realized that the monster in the room was actually inside him. He was capable of being a monster at times. He is far from being alone with this. We ALL have dark sides rooted in the richly fertilized soil of our unresolved childhood wounds. A monster can be an addiction, a dark secret, a compulsion, anything that we do that hurts the ones we love, being out of control, hurting ourselves, tormenting inner thoughts, acting in ways that we wish we didn't, etc. What are the monsters lurking under the surface of your calm, pleasant, socially acceptable exterior?

I have been fascinated by both the '60 Minutes' story about Steve Jobs and his biography, which was released this week. Talk about a man with monsters inside!!!

This great man who changed the world had a whole truckload of monsters spawned by his abandonment from his biological parents. He was very capable of being ruthless, cold, controlling, abandoning, raging, irrational, unteachable, stubborn, eccentric, bombastic, arrogant, insecure, rigid, insensitive, magical thinking, addictive and quite odd, to name of few. I love the book because it doesn't whitewash any of that. He was able to overcome all those destructive monsters to perform marketing, business and computing miracles. Without his monsters there would not have been an Apple Computer. They stoked his creative fire. You too can have a reasonably happy life and impact the world positively even though your monsters get in your way.

Any Dexter fans out there? It is a great show on Showtime about a serial killer who only kills other serial killers. He calls his hidden need to kill his 'dark passenger'. I ordered a t-shirt that reads "My dark passenger can beat up your dark passenger."

My dark passengers probably could whip yours. I suffer from a a fist full of destructive personal monsters due to my own early childhood abandonment and abuse. My monsters include rage, abandonment, voracious neediness, shame, fear, food addiction, arrogance, rescuing, obliviousness, control and workaholism.

Struggling with so many monsters hasn't made me a bad therapist, they are, in fact, the reason that I have been a pretty accomplished therapist. A great therapist is made on the therapy couch. You want to work with one who doesn't advertise so much being perfectly healthy and monster free as being able to hold his or her own against their monsters (for the most part). A good therapist gets to know the nature of monsters by grappling with their own.

I am not trying to be cute here due to it being Halloween. These are serious issues. Your monsters can kill you! Steve Jobs would probably still be alive if his magical thinking, arrogance, rigidness and stubbornness hadn't conspired to delay his cancer surgery for 9 months.

Your monsters can cause such a humiliating and painful mess of your life that you might despair of living. Your monsters can cause you to smoke, eat, drink or work yourself to death slowly. Your monsters certainly can be the death of your marriage and/or your career. Doing what you can to identify and begin healing the root causes of your particular monsters is a life and death proposition. I have personally watched hidden, secretive monsters kill 3 wonderful people in the last 3 months! I see untreated monsters destroy marriages and families each and every day.

I love the commercial that is out for the drug Abilify. It shows a woman's depression manifested by a dark cloud that follows her around. When she seeks help her little dark cloud goes with her to the doctor's office and he cutely grabs a clipboard to fill out his medical history.

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I wish that our issues were that funny and adorable. Your dark passengers will kill you, your loved ones, your marriage, your career, your finances, your reputation, your friendships, your health and/or your dreams if you don't deal with them directly and very aggressively. Seriously, what monsters lurk under your surface? Isn't about time that you get real with them? Isn't it about time for you to clean house? Bring your monsters in to a qualified monster fighting therapist's office this week. We have some special clipboards waiting here just for them. Get help before you get hurt!

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This article was authored by Family Tree Counseling Associates, a marriage, individual and family counseling center serving the Indianapolis, Carmel, Fishers, Westfield and Noblesville communities in Indiana. If you would like to contact us, please fill out a contact us form or call us at 317-844-2442.
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