Defence Mechanism

The lady who stands on College Ave

Image from

Image from

In Regina, there's a senior lady with white hair who stands at the same spot on the same street every day and waves to people.  She's holding a big sign about something about women's equality.  According to this Reddit post, she's been doing this for at least two decades.  Once in my early twenties, I was riding the bus with her, and her sign was leaning up against her knees.  The ink on the sign was faded from the sun, and the tape on it was trailing off onto the floor of the bus, but she was smiling with her signature bright lipstick at nothing and nobody in particular anyway.  Even then, I don't think she was fully "there" anymore.  One Reddit commenter seems to confirm she has Schizophrenia.  I think she's a Four.  Why?  Fours cling to frustration instead of doing the more difficult work of healing and working through the rage, and doing something productive about it.  According to this same Redditor who seemed to know her,

When her husband past away, she wasn't properly compensated for [his] death because she was a women. Her memory is really the greatest anymore and her stories tend to change but she's protesting for women's rights.

By overidentifying with the shadow, Fours kind of wrap their way around a frustrating issue psychologically and cling tenaciously to it as part of their identity of someone who's lost something.  Beatrice Chestnut explains the defence mechanism of the Four- introjection-  and I THINK it's relevant here.  The example she gives is of a person, but hear me out.

Introjection... is a psychological defense through which Fours internalize painful feelings as a way to protect themselves.  As psychologist Nancy McWilliams explains, "Introjection is the process whereby what is outside is misunderstood as coming from inside." 

...  [It] operates as a defense mechanism by allowing an individual to identify with and "swallow" another person whole.  When you "introject" someone, you take the person inside you, and whatever that person represents to you becomes part of your identity.  Through introjection, you give yourself a feeling of being able to control that person and whatever they do or stand for.  For instance, if someone important criticizes you and you introject that person, you now experience that person's criticism as coming from inside yourself.  And while you are still being criticized, at least you have a sense of control- the illusion that you can do something about it- since the critic is now a part of you (Chestnut, 2013)

Anne Naysmith, once a promising pianist, was homeless for most of her life.   Image from

Anne Naysmith, once a promising pianist, was homeless for most of her life.  Image from

So what if, instead of introjecting a person's criticisms, she's introjected an inequality problem in society?  She's swallowed an insitution's statement of her lack of worth and demonstrates against it on the street by going back to the same pain day after day?  I don't know, I'm just going with a feeling that she's a Four, and trying to build a case around it.  I could be wrong. 

I also think the Car Lady of Chiswick is a Four- something terrible also happened to her- she was this bright, promising British pianist back in her day, but over time, started to lose her lustre, then she got evicted from her home, and for the rest of her life, she protested the unfairness of the eviction by living in her car in the same neighborhood.  She died just recently in 2015.  People say she held on to her sense of refinement despite being homeless till the very end.  That's a Four, am I right?