It is long established in psychology that many of our present-day beliefs are the playing out of various traumas that we experience in our lives.
Something happens to us, and we make a judgement about the world based on that. From there, we attract relationships and circumstances into our lives that support that belief. We sabotage any relationships and circumstances that undermine that belief — and the show goes on.
One real-world example of this is the Australian politician Pauline Hanson. Anyone from Australia needs no introduction, but for anyone else, Ms Hanson is one of those bricks and mortar working-class people with extreme views toward Muslims, refugees, aboriginals and pretty much anyone that isn’t a white Australian. Among her achievements, she has worn a burqa into parliament to try and prove some point that they should be banned in public. On that note, it is not unusual for insane politicians to do a show and tell in the Australian parliament. The current extreme Christian Prime Minister Scott Morrison brought in a piece of coal once to demonstrate…well…err — to confirm that he likes coal and that it is a real thing, I guess.
The intriguing thing about Pauline Hanson is that, like many racists, it seems that it began with a legacy that was passed down to her. Given the right-wing flavour, it seems appropriate to quote a news.com article here -
SHE was Pauline Hanson’s inspiration and beloved mother, and if you thought the One Nation Senator was outspoken on racism, you ought to hear it from Norah Seccombe.
Hard-boiled and feisty, Pauline Hanson’s mother was caught on video expressing what are described as some “old school” views about a certain type of immigrant.
Gathered with some of her seven children for scones and tea in Queensland some time before her death in the late 1990s, Mrs Seccombe appears in the video dishing out advice or a warning.
“I was always taught,” she says, “the yellow race will rule the world.
“And if we don’t do something now … I’m afraid, yes, the yellow race will rule the world.”
Fortunately for the world, such parental legacies are becoming weaker.
The maturation of the internet means that kids can fact check their parents and adopt their own views rather than relying on their parents for information about the world. What is truly impressive is that I know several situations where the kids are educating the parents instead of the other way around. It’s really quite something.
So Pauline began with these dark views about the world. From there, she attracted Walter Zagorski into her life — A Polish refugee. Zagorski and his Mother had escaped war-worn Poland and fled to Australia. Hanson met Zagorski and together they had two children. Sadly for Pauline, it turned out that Walter had been seeing many other women. Eventually around 1977 he left Hanson for another woman.
This is an exciting development in Pauline’s life (Not for her obviously). So she has these racist views yet ends up marrying a Polish refugee. One might wonder how Pauline’s Mother felt about Walter. One could even wonder if Pauline also shared her parents’ views at all. Perhaps on a subconscious level, she did. Maybe that is why she attracted Walter into her life, a refugee who would hold up the racist opinions and set the standard for her future persecution of refugees coming into Australia.
In addition to fear and anxiety, anger is a very common reaction to trauma. We might feel anger at the person or situation responsible for our trauma. We may be angry at ourselves if we blame ourselves for what happened. We might just be more irritable than usual, and have a hard time understanding why we’re snapping at our partners or less patient with our kids. Like all of these reactions, it’s perfectly normal to feel anger after a trauma.(Psychology Today)
Not surprisingly, Pauline’s second marriage was to a white Australian tradesman.
The rest, as they say, is history. It is tempting to look at this story and think that it is all too obvious to be true. But, as we said, it is long established that many of our lives patterns are rooted in trauma. People hurt because they are hurting. This and other patterns are what have led Pauline to come up with the ‘One Nation’ party as well as introducing bills such as ‘It’s OK to be White — The anti-white racism bill). Experience the madness below
I have a friend who for a while, continually attracted friends into her life that would end up being incredibly mean to her. When we sat down and talked, I found out that her friends had bullied her at school, and it was the source of grave trauma in her life. I am no psychologist, but I have a few tricks up my sleeve. I gave her a particular visualisation practice to do. Between that and a lot of other work, she is on the mend and appears to be attracting the right kind of friends instead.
So the point I am making is, when we see Pauline throwing her verbal dirt in the direction of anyone different from her, we should spare a thought for her. Particularly for the part of her that is frozen in time, back being tortured by her husband and making subconscious decisions to avoid the same trauma in future. Her confusion is our confusion. Until we can begin to see “horrible” people and understand the basis of their horrible acts, we will never be able to operate correctly in this world.
In understanding the effect of trauma and the subsequent mental patterns in others, it becomes easier to spot them in oneself.
In doing so, we can start to see that as humans, what we share is a common illness, the result of which is to destroy our own happiness systematically.
I would encourage anyone to try and see the sadness in Pauline and in the fight against her extreme views, to fight with kindness rather than hatred. Of course, you might also continue to fight her with hatred and that is ok, since the hatred in you, whether you know it or not, also comes from some kind of trauma.