OK not literally – although they are both only literary figures who've come to represent that shift in character and appearance that we've probably all seen in someone we thought we knew.
I'm not referring to the psychiatric diagnoses of Multiple Personality Disorder (also called Dissociative Identity Disorder), or any other psychotic ailment.
I'm thinking more of the change that we can see in someone that seemed to have come out of nowhere. It suddenly jolts us into a shocked and bemused state of detachment from them...often mixed with our curiosity (or maybe that's just an occupational hazard of mine to be curious about the origins of someone's behaviour!)
Have you ever met anyone who appeared to be one person then showed themselves to be someone quite different?
I've met lots of them over the years – and it has to be said they've usually been boyfriends, which probably accounts for my preference for remaining single for a long time! It has made me wonder what the heck was going on though.
What they saw as my strength then seemed to switch into them seeing me as a mother figure (and later a free therapist) – someone to seek solace from, or as someone to re-enact their prior mother-battles with.
The seemingly sensible and competent adult morphed into a child who was needy, clingy, incompetent, clumsy, destructive, moody, sulky, picking arguments, wild and wacky or having a melt-down tantrum.
It certainly left me thinking 'what was that all about?' and this was partly responsible for my professional path into psychotherapy 20 years ago – I wanted to know and understand why people behaved as they did, and how to change that for the better.
What have I learnt about Mr Hyde?
That he comes out when the conditions are right and safe enough for him to get his needs met one way or another.
Those needs might be to be taken care of physically, emotionally or sexually; to push the boundaries and see how far they can go before I walk away; to see if I cave in to threats, domination and manipulation; to test my love, resilience and courage.
Often times I have walked away because Mr Hyde became too frequent a visitor and it scared me. Other times because it cost me too much emotionally to stay and try to comfort and soothe the monster in the hope that 'normal service would be resumed.' My boundary between therapist and partner had to be very clear.
I've left so that I could keep my inner child safe from the overwhelming inner child needs of an unstable man.
That's the crux of it. My Hyde is just a big baby!!
He's the expression of the unmet needs of the child who still lives inside the man – who now feels safe enough to regress back to being the untamed toddler trying to get his own way. A toddler who fears both being out of control and of being controlled. A toddler who wants a cuddle and then wants to thump you (metaphorically or literally).
If you've ever met a Mr Hyde then you'll know how shocking it can be when he first shows up. You'll also know of the dilemma.... whether to stay and help him to grow up or to leave him behind smashing up his toys.
The question then remains – to what extent do we ladies morph into Ms Hyde when we (or rather our inner little girl) wants to get our own way too?
Hmmm, gentle men – over to you!
Maxine Harley (MSc Psychotherapy) MIND HEALER & MENTOR
www.maxineharley.com – where you'll find a full page of FREE RESOURCES to help you to understand the effects of your childhood emotions, and how they still impact your life; and how to S.E.L.E.C.T. Your Life – with Self-awareness – Education – Learning new skills – Emotional intelligence and balance – Control, clarity and choice – TRANSFORMATION!
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www.qpp.uk.com - changing the sub-conscious belief system and S.C.R.I.P.T. (c) Sub-Conscious-Rules-Influencing-Present-Time