Here is a story of projection..
I worked for Frito Lay for nine years. I drove a route truck. I loved the job and I was very good at it as witnessed by the fact I was the number one salesperson in the state. I worked hard and as far as I knew I was an upstanding member of the community.
I lived in the country. I caused no one any problems of any kind. I donated money all over the place because I felt I had more than I needed. This went on for some years and then one day I decided to get married.
I drove to my first store… my biggest account and excitedly told the manager the news.
“I’m getting married!” I said enthusiastically.
He sneered. “Well it’s about time,” he said. I was twenty-six.
“Huh?” I asked.
“It’s about time you got married! Settle down and quit this job. Take care of your kids for a change!”
“Take care of your kids,” he said with this pure venom in his voice. “I said it’s about time you take care of those two boys of yours instead of coming out here leaving them home alone while you take a job a man ought to have!”
I almost burst into tears on the spot. “I don’t have two boys,” I said, shyly with tears threatening. “I have no children,” I said. Man, I was hurt. I am not someone who would neglect a child. How could someone think this of me?
“Yes you do! You have two boys and as far as I am concerned you ought to be home taking care of them.”
“I don’t have two boys,” I said. “I have two dogs. They’re cocker spaniels. Is that what you mean? I have a boy dog and a girl dog, and I do take care of them. Um… they’re happy and spoiled as hell.”
“Two dogs?” he waved his hand to dismiss my heinous lie. “I know you’ve got children. Someone told me you did…”
“Well I don’t.”
“Elsa, go to work. Get the chips, bring ’em in the store and put them on the rack.”
I nodded and took off, glad to get out of there before I burst into tears. And do you know I married and continued to work my route for three more years and this guy never looked at me again? Yeah. He hid in is office whenever the Frito Girl came around. No sense apologizing or anything like that.