The Weiler Psi

Parapsychology Journalism: The People, The Theory, The Science, The Skeptics

My Two Faces: My Identity Struggle

Who the fuck am I?

Even at the age of fifty one I am still asking myself that question.  And I still don’t completely have an answer, although I’m quite a bit closer than I was twenty years ago.

It all started with being a very sensitive child and being very eager to please, as so many highly sensitive people are.  Somewhere along the way, I learned that pleasing people drew praise, while pushing for my own needs to be satisfied met with resistance.  The former became my focus while the latter became secondary.

Can any person though, really define themselves according to what they do for others?  In my case, the answer is no.  It’s actually very painful personally to do so.  Reflexively being focused on the needs of others has reduced my sense of self worth and most importantly, reduced my ability to follow my own passions and left me with less than my own full support of my own dreams.  In that position, no one can help me; it is impossible to help a person who cannot help themselves.

I can tell you upfront, that it is impossible to confront this reality when you are in the middle of it.  I know from personal experience that the pain of unfulfilled dreams can be very, very strong.  Strong enough, in fact, to be blotted out of the conscious mind and relegated to a small holding cell deep within the subconscious.  the pain resides tucked away where I don’t have to confront it.

The price of putting that pain away has been the creation of two faces.  One is the face that I put out to the world, and the other is the one I don’t look at.

The Face I Think the World Sees

The face that I put out is easy to describe because it is all ego; I’m propping myself up and trying to look good to the world so that I can be accepted.  I’ve put myself in a box that the world understands and can relate to.  It’s all egos interacting with each other while our real selves starve in a small corner of our minds, occasionally peeking out when conditions permit.

My ego face is of a self assured, self employed handyman who is great at his job, great with his customers and secretly better than other people.  (This is, of course, quite a pedestrian outlook.  Psychology studies have shown that this sort of thinking is the norm.)  My ego explains away the fact that I do not stand out from the crowd in any extraordinary way.  They just don’t know me . . . yet.  I project myself as tougher, smarter and more on the ball than most others despite the fact that this doesn’t quite jibe with reality.  I live in a very good neighborhood and I am constantly exposed to people who are better off than I am.

I cannot stand to look at the sheer ordinaryness of my life, yet there it is; I struggle to pay the bills each month, I write a blog that is doing pretty well, but not fantastic.  I have more than one book that I have not finished and a house that I have not finished either.  My yard is a mess.  Yet I still maintain the conceit that I am somehow special.  That is the power of the ego.

The Quiet Face

Then there is the internal face.  This comes along with the whole psychic ability package, I think.  It is the ability to know that there is a man behind the curtains, moving the levers and maintaining the illusion of power.  It is here that my real power lies and this is probably where I can have any claim to uniqueness.  I have always had the gift of clarity about myself; I am unable to maintain any sort of pretense about myself without eventually being aware that I’m doing it.  I am also aware of the energy I have to expend to maintain that facade, which is considerable.  I know that this is not an ordinary talent.

I see myself in my moments of frustration when I cannot “see” anything; I see myself when I know every step to take towards the right decision and I make every move with absolute certainty.  I see when I have made mistakes and then gotten myself caught up in the drama those mistakes caused; I know, for example, that my recent problems with my truck are an extension of how I’ve been feeling about myself.

Lately, I’ve seen that I don’t know who I am.  The ego face has been slipping and I don’t know the person who has to emerge from this.  I have never fully believed in my ego, having always had the ability to see it for what it is, but I have also never fully engaged the person behind it.  I am not the sensitive new age guy, nor am I the tough, but sensitive guy.  I am a leader, but I am not entirely a leader; I am creative, but not entirely creative; I am intellectual, but not entirely intellectual; I can be goofy and funny, but not entirely goofy and funny. The same goes for spirituality.

I just can’t get into any single slot and call it home because these definitions just don’t fit.  I have tried them all on for size at one time or another, and they sit uncomfortably on me.  In my personal life, the difficulty is that one door is closing; I’ve been a handyman for many years now and it seems that whatever I was getting out of this has come to a close and it is time to move on.  This struggle has carried over into truck problems, which have kept the most essential piece of equipment I own, out of my reach for the better part of a month.  There is a connection between how I am feeling and how my truck is feeling.  It started when the truck refused to start one morning.  I took it into the shop and they could find nothing wrong with it and gave it back to me.  I drove it away and drove it right back, barely making it before the engine died.

A Man and His Truck

Days later they finally discover part of the problem and fixed it.  I went to pick up the truck and the ignition wouldn’t work.  The lock tumbler had jammed and had to be replaced.  I came back the next working day and drove the truck away, only to drive it right back again.  The problem was only partially solved.  Then the owner went on vacation and nothing happened to my truck for a week.  Meanwhile, I had to beg and borrow to have transportation that would also take my tools.  I still don’t have my truck back yet and it’s been in the shop for the better part of a month.

We’ve been going to the same mechanic for years and this has never happened before.  This is an externalized demonstration of what is going on inside of me.  Problem not solved.  Eventually, this will work itself out, but for now, I’m left without an identity.

6 comments on “My Two Faces: My Identity Struggle

  1. Ray
    January 29, 2012


    Having recently discovered your blog, I’ve been browsing through here and there when I have spare time.

    This entry resonated quite well with me, especially since I was born with a profound hearing loss so it’s like a double whammy of sorts in “propping” myself and having to constantly prove myself (externally and internally) to others.

    Being very sensitive I believe actually made my outer shell hardened to protect myself – so much so that I’d bury emotions deep down and chide myself for feeling anything that I felt was weak. Over the years it became quite toxic to have all these feelings and emotions suppressed for so long that I believe it’s one reason I became so ill for a couple years where I couldn’t even work. Later when I was told by a trusted psychic friend of mine with years of experience that I was an “empath” it made perfect sense to me because I would avoid getting too near to people and suppress feelings I’d get from them, not realizing how or why it was happening.

    As part of my awakening a year or so ago to all this, I’ve since learned to embrace who I am and not hold things in — to actually embrace and enjoy whatever emotions that I may experience even if it’s unpleasant… To just let it flow through while not clinging to it or burying it. It’s been quite liberating and cleansing to be able to do this. I do still subconsciously put my guard up in public when too close to others like in lines, etc. and I’m fine with that because it’s a natural defense mechanism – I don’t want to pick up all the energies out there or it’d be overwhelming. I still have to be a little careful of entering rooms with lots of people in them since I’d feel the energy all around and it could get a little overpowering.

    In going through all these things and also experiencing previously suppressed intuitions of all kinds unfolding once again like a flower blooming, it’s indeed been a bit overwhelming and does bring forth a lot of questions and “whys” as well as a bit of an identity crisis, i.e. what am I supposed to be doing with all this? What is the purpose? In many ways though, it’s a beautiful journey and I am enjoying it because I do feel like I am finally fulfilling what I’m supposed to be doing sooner or later, whatever it may be. I am also learning that sometimes the knowing is in the unknowing. 🙂

    Thanks for your sharing your journey with us, Craig.


    • craigweiler
      January 31, 2012

      Thank you for sharing that Ray. I’m glad I could help.

  2. Mari Caplan
    August 27, 2011

    Brilliant post Craig. I am you. And vice versa. You have articulated your struggle beautifully. I think I will print this out. Its like looking in a mirror.

    I suspect you do have an identity. You have just articulated the core of it quite clearly. What you are coming to terms with is the next level of acceptance how you exist in this body this go around. As you integrate this more completely the external stuckness signs will evaporate as well.



  3. Rachel
    August 22, 2011


    I can recognise Mr Salmon’s position about the inner monitor. I often feel that my intuition is pulling we away from some things in order to propel me subtely to more important things, that have nothing to do with material success.

    I have dropped so many things over the years that I now sympathise with Craig’s WTF syndrome. From what I’ve read, it seems that we are supposed to drop our egos in order to encounter our real ‘selves’.

    My own intuition has pushed me away from actually developing psychic abilities (probably because of the dangers of increasing ego) and has led me more on the religious type of spiritual path, which is a huge attack on the ego considering that I’m an atheist!

    I take my involuntary psychic experiences as Huxley’s gratuitous grace and go on from there.

    I am currently reading ‘Supernatural’ by Colin Wilson and from the many case studies, it seems to imply that we as uber-rational creatures should embrace mystery more and not get too absorbed in trying to understand things that can’t be understood by comparing phenomena with conventional rationality. From his book you are left with the feeling that people who do examine phenomena like ufos and crop circles, themselves spend their lives going around in circles. From this then I’d say that we should embrace part of our guiding selves and go with the flow – in a spirit of trust.

    Marie Anderson

  4. Monica
    August 20, 2011

    Hunh…always attributed that to my Assburger’s. :p But yeah, I really know the feeling–my self, my true self, is someone very different from my projected image. That true self is also someone I have met a rare handful of times…arrrgh.

  5. Don Salmon
    August 20, 2011

    I find that one of the most helpful things in dealing with the middle-aged male ego (“one” of which I possess too:>)) is to look at what extent my self-judgment is “real” – that is, something that comes from a deep sense of “rightness” – not moral rightness, but the sense that I am doing what I am “meant” to do (I don’t know if that makes much sense to readers of this blog, or to you Craig, – it certainly goes beyond what contemporary science thinks is “acceptable”).

    Most of the time, my self judgments about whether I’m making as much money, achieving as much as others, standing out, etc., come from my having subconsciously accepted cultural standards that deep down, i not only don’t share, but positively reject.

    For example, for me one of the biggest ones that comes up from time to time is the thought that I “should” have been an accomplished academic, with many published papers. As soon as the thought comes up, if I am mindful enough to see it calmly, the rather humorous realization immediately surfaces that there is hardly an occupation for which I would be more ill-suited than to be an academic. The self judgment doesn’t necessarily go away immediately, but the sting is gone.

    I suspect in your case, one of the biggest obstacles to separating yourself from your inner culturally conditioned critic is the enormously negative view that contemporary culture holds of people with psychic ability (or from the skeptic’s viewpoint, people who “claim” to have psychic ability). It takes a great deal of inner strength and fortitude, I think, to reject this judgment and take – not “pride” in the blown-up ego sense – but take “ownership” of one’s dharma, or in Christian terms, one’s calling – a sacred calling, in your case, I think – no matter what anybody else thinks of it.

    This is hard to do, though, without support from others, But it can be done, I think.

    keep doing your good work; it’s helpful:>)

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This entry was posted on August 20, 2011 by in Uncategorized.
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