|Raoul Moat (left) with his brother|
Raoul lost his last chance at love when his girlfriend left and began a romance with someone else. That was the trigger. So instead of feeling, “I am not loved. There is no more chance of love; love me, please!,” he started shooting. He began shooting because he did not know that he was into old feelings of deprivation and he had no access to what he was feeling. He was acting out in deadly fashion. My guess is that, had he been able to feel at that moment, he might not have started his rampage. This is all theory now but it points to a current societal problem. Some lose love, go into despair and find God. They have been saved, saved by the idea of God, unless we really think she comes out of wherever she is and literally lends a hand. Others get into feeling and reach for the bottle. Still others, all too often, reach for the neck of the departing lover and strangle her. But what they all have in common that makes the act-out obligatory is the reawakening of early deprivation. Otherwise there is no violent act-out. But when a lover leaves and it reawakens mother leaving the family early on, there is a compounded feeling which has incredible strength. Without help, without knowing one is acting out a feeling, the only alternative is the act-out.
But if we discussed feelings in class at school, if we learned about the act-out and the necessity for access to our feelings, some of us would not be so helpless before rising feelings. At least we would know what feelings were and how they force us to do crazy things. Raoul had to die because he could not feel, “there is no more hope. It is the end of the line. I have acted-out my rage and there is nothing more I can do.” We kill and then we kill ourselves; such a classic denouement. We hate them for not loving us and treating us terribly and then we sense all is hopeless. His mother, not surprisingly, said he would be better off dead. How about, he would be better off being loved. He was reared by a stepfather with plenty of problems between them. A stepfather is never what a father means to a child.
Some of us choose act-outs that are not so deadly. We stalk the exiting lover. We call her all of the time and plead. Then after she says, “no” enough we get threatening. It follows the primal sequence, without the act-out. We are desperate and plead, then furious that they did not love us, then hopeless again as we feel the utter pain of it all.
Raoul needed to get help early on. And what that means is not a bunch of soporifics and rationales about his feelings. Not pills to push down his feelings. Not cognitive ideas to explain and change his feelings. He needed to feel all of his terrible deprivation; he needed to experience and feel his feelings; that is getting help.