People don’t commit bad things because they are in pain, but because they are avoiding pain.
This is a bit like what C.G. Jung said about how fanatics are people who are trying to suppress an inner doubt.
People often know very well what lies they are trying to tell themselves.
Because this process, suppressing your own better knowledge, is nasty, many things can become a reminder of the truth, thus people who are suppressing pain have a habit, especially when reminded of it, to counteract in order to keep the self-lie up. A bit like when covering your ears and going “LALALALALA I can’t hear you”, but usually more active. Eventually this can turn into an offensive agenda of trying to spread your self-deception-based belief system in order to get external validation, to suppress inner doubt; to increase the likeliness of encountering people supportive of your lie and decrease the likeliness of encountering reminders of the suppressed pain. People who are doing that are becoming a slave to their inner demon, an agent, spreading the gospel of fear.
I had many encounters of this type. One I remember was at a house party where a couple with relationship problems had the tension over the husband’s neglection of the wife with child boil up. But I began helping them open up and understand each other’s grievances and pain, and just when it started to get somewhere healing, the girl whose home it was (whose personality was quite easy to read) invervened authoritatively and made sure that this open expression of feelings ended and that the wife got properly drunk instead. The way she herself quite obviously likes to deal with issues. (She at one point, during a discussion about the effects of alcohol, while drunk, dropped the hilarious self-parodizing sitcom-worthy line (with the intention of expressing her professional insights) that alcohol kills brain cells and that she knows because she works at a beverage market.)
It was saddening and frustrating, because since it was her home, there’s wasn’t much space for adversity over the matter without getting asked to leave.
And thus, long time later, from what I was told, the couple still struggled with the same issues. It was one of the many non-opportunities to cause positive change in my life. Outside of the setting of that house party, they wouldn’t have agreed to a private meeting anyway, due to their usual emotional state of avoidance. It was a chance ruined by an agent of pain; by someone who had willingly succumbed to weakness in the face of pain. And as usual, as long as there is no incentive to change, that person, too, couldn’t be helped.