February 24, 1997
3801 Connecticut Ave., NW #136
Washington, DC 20008-4530
Community Mental Health Center
Washington, DC 20007
Dear Dr. Singh:
At the last few consultations I offered several observations about my brother-in-law, and I attempted to place him within the context of my family dynamic. This letter is an elaboration and continuation of those comments. This letter attempts, in a systematic fashion, to offer a collection of anecdotes about my brother-in-law, from which a psychological pattern, structure, or profile, of him emerges.
It is important to understand aspects of my brother-in-law's psychology to understand more fully my own psychological development: how he may have made use of my normal developmental needs, my identity, my place in the nuclear configuration, and the psychological dynamics of my family to consolidate and support his own projective needs, narcissistic integrity, and identity; but, in so doing, how he may have corrupted or undermined environmental sources of ego strength that were essential for my own identity formation.
It is well to recognize--with respect to my identity formation--that my brother-in-law arrived on the scene in February 1965 when I was 11 years old 1/, a sixth grade student at a pre-adolescent stage of still "accruing ego identity." "[F]or," as Erikson writes, "it is of great relevance to the young individual's identity formation that he be responded to, and be given function and status as a person whose gradual growth and transformation make sense to those who begin to make sense to him. It has not been sufficiently recognized in psychoanalysis that such recognition provides an entirely indispensable support to the ego in the specific tasks of adolescing, which are: to maintain the most important ego defenses against the vastly growing intensity of impulses (now invested in a matured genital apparatus and a powerful muscle system); to learn to consolidate the most important 'conflict-free' achievements in line with work opportunities; and to resynthesize all childhood identifications in some unique way, and yet in concordance with the roles offered by some wider section of society--be that section the neighborhood block, an anticipated occupational field, an association of kindred minds, [etc.]." Erikson, E.H. Identity and the Life Cycle at 120 (1959; reprint, New York: W.W. Norton, 1980).
In the exposition that follows I refer to my brother-in-law as the "subject," to myself as the "patient," and to my sister as "the patient's sister."
1/ At that time I had two close (male) friends with whom I routinely socialized. I can recall an incident from the following year, the summer of 1966, when I was 12 years old. I told my sister that I was depressed all the time and that I saw no way out but to commit suicide. I had no insight into the source of my distress. It is interesting that my niece, the younger daughter of my sister and brother-in-law, entered psychoanalysis at age 12, in 1994. At that time she reported to me: "They treat me like I'm a monster child. I'm not a monster child. I'm never happy. I'm only happy when I ride my horses."
In her own nuclear configuration, this niece was the youngest daughter in a home in which all the other parties (mother, father, and older sister) were either older siblings or only child. In my nuclear configuration, my sister was the only individual who had the experience of being the oldest child (and, for the first six years of her life, an only child).
Anecdotes and Theoretical Observations:
The subject on occasion commented to the patient's sister that the patient was an "Indian giver." The subject would comment about the patient, "When he gives you something, he will later ask for it back."
It is interesting to observe that in later years the subject's livelihood was based on his playing, at least symbolically, the role of "Indian giver." Subject owned a second-mortgage business, which made loans to mortgage holders to be repaid (with interest) in due course to the subject.
Thus, the subject's conscious sense of self-esteem and masculinity (his livelihood and his success in the business world) was based on a dynamic that carried an element of shame for the subject: the act of "Indian giving." The subject worked hard at a lawful operation (the loan business) precisely, perhaps, because he was able to view (at some level) his conduct as, in some way, illicit.
The subject's unacknowledged perception of his business enterprise as in some way illicit may have allowed him to preserve his sense of masculinity by working hard in a lawful enterprise despite a morality that was based on a pre-conventional superego development that dictated that "only suckers work hard." Subject may have warded off the irrational shame of his conduct (making loans and taking the money back) by means of projection ("Your brother [the patient] is an Indian giver") and by discharge into psychosomatic distress (chronic gastrointestinal disturbance). Thus, the subject was able to maintain his narcissistic integrity by projecting an irrationally shame-endowed aspect of his conduct onto the patient.
It may well be that a central conflict for the subject was that his sense of masculine identity was inextricably linked to a need to engage in behaviors that at some level he also viewed as--and needed to view as--shameful, or as transgressions that involved the evasion of authority. He may have needed to engage in certain types of behaviors (typically involving, or capable of being perceived as, "con jobs") to preserve his sense of masculinity (and ward off castration anxiety), but also needed objects on whom he could project the shame that necessarily accompanied his actual illicit behaviors or that accompanied behaviors he irrationally needed to construe as illicit. And it seems plausible that his chronic psychosomatic distress was bound up with this conflict.
Freud has described a derivative of, or form of resolution of, the Oedipus conflict that he termed "the injured third-party complex." In this structure, the male--as a condition of loving--needs to deprive, or believe that he is depriving, another male of a love object.
I will begin here with a description of [a] type of object-choice--which occurs in men--since it is characterized by a number of 'necessary conditions for loving' whose combination is unintelligible, and indeed bewildering, and since it admits of a simple explanation on psycho-analytic lines. . . .
The first of these preconditions for loving can be described as positively specific: wherever it is found, the presence of the other characteristics of this type may be looked for. It may be termed the precondition that there should be 'an injured third party'; it stipulates that the person in question shall never choose as his love-object a woman who is disengaged--that is, an unmarried girl or an unattached married woman--but only one to whom another man can claim right of possession as her husband, fiance or friend [or brother]. In some cases this precondition proves so cogent that a woman can be ignored, or even rejected, so long as she does not belong to any man, but becomes the object of passionate feelings immediately she comes into one of these relationships with another man. . . .
[This] precondition provides an opportunity for gratifying impulses of rivalry and hostility directed at the man from whom the loved woman is wrested[.] Freud, S. "A Special Type of Choice of Object Made By Men." In: The Freud Reader at 388, Peter Gay, ed. (1910; reprint, New York: W.W. Norton, 1989).
It is theoretically conceivable that in the injured third-party complex, erotic investment (and sense of heterosexual self-esteem) may be linked to feelings of shame. It may well be that a central sexual conflict for the subject was that his sense of masculine identity (heterosexual adjustment) was inextricably linked to a need to engage in a behavior that at some level he also viewed as--and needed to view as--shameful: namely, the act of depriving, or irrationally imagining that he was depriving, another male of a love object. The subject may have needed a type of erotic investment that allowed him to imagine, at some level, that he was depriving another male of a sexual object, but also needed objects on whom he could project the shame that necessarily accompanied his actual illicit behaviors or that accompanied behaviors he irrationally needed to construe as illicit. Thus, the subject may have required, as incidental to his injured third-party complex, an object on whom he could project homosexual anxiety in order to preserve narcissistic integrity: "Your brother is a homosexual who wants to deprive his father of a wife." In such a case, paradoxically, a seemingly good heterosexual adjustment would not lessen the subject's homosexual anxiety (and consequent need for projection), but would actually heighten homosexual anxiety and the need for projection: heterosexual investment would, in such a case, always carry with it the shame that one was engaging in a continuing Oedipal crime.
It may have been that for the subject one aspect of the mother imago was the view that the mother was a vulnerable and innocent dupe, a figure incapable of fending off the parasitical dependency needs of a son. One might speculate that the subject held the following (unacknowledged) viewpoint: "a son can dupe a mother, and to do so is no sign of strength, and indeed, is a sign of one's lack of masculinity."
It may have been that with respect to the father imago subject viewed the father as a punitive authority "who should, and does, know better" than to give in to the son's demands for gratification of his parasitical dependency needs (and erotic desires). One might speculate that subject viewed the ability to dupe the father in the Oedipal situation as a sign, or marker, of one's own masculinity, a view that might be encapsulated in the phrase "you have to be a smart fellow to dupe a father." Possible morality based on the injured third-party complex: seducing the mother is a marker of masculine daring and courage if it involves a clever dupe of the all-powerful, fear-inspiring father. In such a case, heterosexual investment would be ambivalent, involving, as it necessarily would, a perverse self-esteem derived from evading Oedipal punishment, but simultaneous shame (discharged projectively) at having seduced the mother.
The following anecdote from August 1968 is noteworthy. The subject (age 21) and sister (age 20), not yet married, wanted to spend a week at Virginia Beach with friends (a married couple). The patient's mother was strongly opposed to the trip. Despite the repeated solicitations of the subject, the patient's mother continued to refuse her permission for the trip. The subject then said to the patient (age 14): "Can't you talk to your mother? Can't you get your mother to let your sister and me go to Virginia Beach?" Here, the subject assumes that the patient has some special power over his mother, and subject sees nothing wrong with exploiting that power for the subject's own purposes. Again: The subject views the mother as a vulnerable and innocent dupe, a figure incapable of fending off the parasitical dependency needs of the son ("a son can dupe a mother, and to do so is no sign of strength, and indeed, is a sign of one's lack of masculinity").
It is interesting that just a few months later, in December 1968, the patient's mother mentioned that the patient and a male friend were planning to take a one-day sight-seeing trip to New York City. The subject looked horrified. Subject probably said something along the following lines to the sister: "I can't believe your mother is giving your brother money to go to New York." [It is significant that on another occasion the patient overheard a telephone conversation in which the subject said to the sister concerning the patient's interaction with his male friend: "What do they do when they are alone together?" Note the symmetry between the subject's homosexual innuendo as it related to the patient's interaction with a male friend, and the subject's possible view of the sister as a mother-substitute, interaction with whom satisfied the subject's need to believe that he was engaging in an Oedipal crime (the "injured third-party complex")].
Issues of Parasitism and Dependency Vis-a-Vis the Mother:
During the period late 1965, when the patient was nearing 12 years of age, until 1970 when the patient was 16 years old, the patient's mother from time to time purchased phonograph recordings of classical music for the patient. The subject consistently viewed these purchases by the mother as signs of the patient's parasitical dependency on the mother. It is noted, incidentally, that in October 1969 (when the patient was 15 years old), the patient's father purchased for the patient a three-record album (a recording of the Wagner opera Das Rheingold). Subject's response was revealing; he stated to the patient's sister, "I can't believe your father bought him that." Thus, when the mother catered to the patient's needs, subject depicted the patient as parasitically dependent ("the mother is a vulnerable and innocent dupe, a figure incapable of fending off the parasitical dependency needs of a son--a son can dupe a mother, and to do so is no sign of strength, and indeed, it is a sign of one's lack of masculinity.") Yet when the father catered to the son's needs, it was the father who tended to be debased by the subject ("the father is a punitive authority who should, and does, know better than to give in to the son's demands for gratification of his parasitical dependency needs (and erotic desires)").
In about August 1966, patient's mother began to purchase for patient (then age 12) a series of books, sold weekly at the supermarket: a 16-volume set of books on world history, from ancient times to the present. When the subject saw that the mother was purchasing the entire set for the patient, subject noted to the sister disparagingly: "I told you she would buy him [the patient] the entire set." Again, the mother is depicted as weak and unable to fend off the demands of the child, a sign (in the subject's mind) of the child's parasitism and dependency (and lack of masculinity).
It is significant, therefore, that in his early twenties, subject earned extra cash by selling serialized books: first, correspondence law courses (in 1971), then, later, the World Book Encyclopaedia (1973). Subject's sense of masculinity was enhanced by his act of selling books to people, who, as purchasers, he must have viewed as idiots and dupes (dependent "suckers")--that is, people who were susceptible to being victimized by con jobs. Once again we see subject's sense of masculinity being derived by actions that require placing others in a position the subject viewed in debased fashion as parasitical, dependent, suckers.
When the patient's mother purchased phonograph records and books for the patient, subject probably identified with the seller (whose identity as an idealized con artist may have been enhanced by the subject's anti-intellectualism--"He must be a damn good con artist to be able to sell such worthless trash as serialized books and classical music records") and projected shame onto the gullible ("sucker") purchaser. Subject may have derived a sense of masculinity from either position: projecting shame onto the "gullible" purchaser or acting as a con artist who himself "cheats" the purchaser. I suspect that this has some erotic counterpart: that the subject's erotic investments also involved some sense of conning of the love object 2/ and projection of shame, though the precise dynamics are not clear.
2/ In the movie The Godfather the young mafioso Michael Corleone falsely assures his wife, Kate, that he is not involved in his family's "business"--that his business activities are strictly legitimate. One might interpret Michael's marriage to a culturally-refined, "innocent American girl" as necessary to provide a deceptively reality-adequate outlet for the husband's unconscious erotic need to engage in a continuing fraud on the love object. One might also speculate that the patient's sister's reported conscious identification with the character Blanche DuBois in Tennessee Williams' Streetcar Named Desire may have served as a counterpart to her husband's possible unconscious need to believe he was engaged in a continuing deception of a naive innocent.
This same dynamic was repeated in other areas as well. Thus, during the patient's childhood (and even beyond) the subject would make disparaging and teasing remarks about clothing the patient's mother had bought for him ("Oh, is that a new banlon shirt?" "Did your mother buy you a new sweater? Another sweater?" A winter overcoat that the patient's mother purchased for the patient at age 15 (and which the patient continued to wear until about age 22) was the subject of continuing disparaging remarks: "Look at that coat. His mother buys him a nice coat and he doesn't even take care of it."). It is possibly significant that in the early 1970's, when the subject was in his early 20's, he got a part-time job in a men's clothing store to earn extra cash.
Until his mid-30's the subject worked as an elementary school teacher. It is interesting to observe, incidentally, that the teacher plays a role in which he repeatedly takes back (in the testing situation and in classroom interaction) what he initially gives the students (namely, knowledge): again, an "Indian giver" situation. Also, the subject, once again, may have felt comfortable as a purveyor of that which he disparaged as a consumer, that is, the knowledge imbibed by the student (a passive "sucker").
With respect to superego development, the above-elaborated dynamic may relate in some way to what Lawrence Kohlberg refers to as an "instrumental-hedonistic" superego (pre-conventional superego), in which the individual gives to others in contemplation of what he will, in turn, receive: a morality based on "you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours" or, as encapsulated in the phrase, "You owe me, buddy." Thus, the individual at an "instrumental-hedonistic" level of superego development may derive the following psychological satisfaction from teaching: "I gave you some knowledge, now you give it back to me." The individual at an "instrumental-hedonistic" level of superego development may derive the following psychological satisfaction from a loan business: "I gave you a loan, now you give it back"--quite literally, "you owe me, buddy."
[It is noted in passing that in the marital relationship, the individual at an "instrumental-hedonistic" level of superego development might in some way communicate to his wife that the purchase of a house is a "gift" that obliges the wife to reciprocate with increased devotion. In such a case, if an outsider were to criticize the husband for any reason, the wife's response that the critic is jealous of the husband ("He's just jealous of our new house") may be a defense against the reality that the house serves in part as a bribe aimed at silencing criticism of the husband.]
[Note that some of the patient's harassers in the work environment may also have been motivated by an "instrumental-hedonistic" superego: "If you harass him like I tell you to, I'll see to it that you get that transfer or promotion or office that you want."]
Subject's Sense of Masculinity Is Paradoxically Heightened By Dependency and Parasitism Where Conjoined With the "Con Job":
In mid-November 1977 subject had himself admitted to a hospital following a car accident, in order to fabricate evidence for a fraudulent lawsuit against the other driver. Subject had not been injured in any way in the accident. Subject was hospitalized for a few days.
In this situation the subject placed himself in the role of a parasitical and dependent individual and, paradoxically, may have derived a sense of masculinity from this behavior since the parasitism was itself bound up with a "con job." The subject's shame could be projected onto the patient, who, only one week earlier had been hospitalized following a serious suicide attempt: "Your brother is weak, dependent, and parasitical."
The subject's morality was such that it permitted him to behave in a parasitical and dependent (mother-fixated) manner so long as it was linked to conning behavior. Again, there may be an Oedipal parallel, as in the injured third-party complex: one is permitted to seduce the mother so long as the seduction involves the clever dupe of the father (or possibly the love object herself). But, as noted above, such an Oedipal resolution preserves narcissistic integrity at the expense of ever-present shame that must be discharged by projection or other means (such as psychosomatic distress).
Codependent Feature of Sister's and Subject's Superego Development:
The subject and sister began to date when both parties were aged 17 (high school seniors). It is plausible that final consolidation of the superego of the respective parties occurred in conjunction with the relationship, so that to a greater or lesser degree the respective superegos fused, resulting in a permanent codependent unit. To some extent the marriage between the subject and the patient's sister was more like a cult than a marriage, with the subject exercising a high degree of suggestibility on the patient's sister.
The couple's older child reported that she typically felt like an outsider vis-a-vis her parents' relationship, that her parents seemed to need only each other. The younger child entered three-session per week psychoanalysis at age 12. One assumes that the wife (the patient's sister) psychologically colluded with her husband (the subject), to the detriment of other parties, to maintain his narcissistic integrity, preserve his sense of masculinity and self-esteem, and ward off perceived threats and narcissistic injury. Because of the codependency, the sister would have perceived the need to maintain the subject's narcissistic integrity in order to preserve her own self-esteem. Any attack on the subject would have been perceived by the sister as an attack on herself. Also, the sister would have felt a need to actively join, acquiesce in, or refrain from criticizing, the subject's aggressive attacks on the patient; conversely, the sister may have engaged in shallow acts of solicitude toward the patient, at times, simply to express anger at the subject (the sister being aware that such solicitude aroused the subject's jealousy [sister: "I'm just calling to chat." patient: "So, why are you calling me at 10:30 at night just to chat." sister: "Well, Eddie just hollered at me."]).
The following anecdote provides just one example of the sister's collusion with the subject, aimed at preserving the subject's narcissistic integrity. In April 1969, a few weeks before the subject's marriage to the patient's sister, the family had arranged to go out together to rent formal wear for the wedding. The subject arrived at the house a little later than expected, and the patient's father chastised the subject. A few days later, the sister told the patient (then age 15) in private: "What did you think of the way Dad talked to Eddie? Eddie said to me: 'Your father is such a jerk. He is such a jerk!' He is a jerk! Don't you think Dad is a jerk?" Here, we see the subject's sensitivity to criticism, and the sister acting to preserve the subject's narcissistic integrity by devaluing the source of the presumed injury.
In conclusion, we are able to see that the subject had three important sources of narcissistic integrity: Acting as, or imagining that he was acting as, the con artist who dupes an innocent party; or projecting shame onto persons who had been "conned" (passive "suckers"); or projecting shame onto the child who had "taken advantage of" the mother's inability to fend off the child's "parasitical" needs. In the subject's mind, the child who receives the salutary, unqualified, and unfettered love of the mother is necessarily a dependent parasite or homosexual. (The relationship to "instrumental-hedonistic" superego development is clear: the mother who gives her unqualified love freely to the child is the mother who is not looking for "payback time.")
These needs appear to be a derivative of the Oedipal situation in that they are identical to the dynamics of the injured third-party complex in which the individual needs to imagine that he is denying another male of a love object, that is, that he is committing a continuing Oedipal crime.
Paradoxically, and devastatingly for the subject, intense feelings of shame (and an unavoidable need to discharge that shame by means of projection and psychosomatic distress) were a necessary incident to the preservation of the subject's narcissistic integrity and his sense of heterosexual adjustment.
Comparison of Subject's Injured Third-Party Complex with an Aspect of the Patient's Psychology:
The above discussion attempts to show that for the subject, every need gratification had to be supported by the belief, or illusion, that it was forbidden: that the need gratification had to involve at least the subjective illusion of a transgression and evasion of authority.
This dynamic has a parallel with an important aspect of the patient's psychology. The patient in his autobiographical sketch proposes a dynamic, presumably operative in himself, in which every need gratification has to involve some type of pain or punishment. Footnote 1 of the autobiographical study (a copy of which is attached) describes a possible body ego prototype for this dynamic, a prototype that assumes an unavoidable and internal source of frustration of every attempt at oral gratification. The patient has proposed elsewhere that this model may serve as a prototype of a wide range of subsidiary issues: intense unconscious fear of starvation (defended against by means of, or sublimated in, verbal productions); fear of loss of erective potency (the erect penis becomes flaccid by, symbolically, being "frustrated" for blood, i.e., "food"); and a pathologically hyper-developed superego that inhibits instinctual impulses (but also strengthens reality testing) in that it requires (or allows) the individual to forego the gratification needs of the pleasure ego, etc.
The two models merit further comparison.
1. plans to get phoney (mail-order) masters degree to qualify for higher salary grade as teacher:
[Although subject did not carry through with plan, the scheme is analyzable as a wish or fantasy, or imagined way of manipulating reality.]
superego functioning: (mendacity); "I will manipulate the environment to comply in mendacious fashion with other peoples values (which have no meaning for me) in order to get the reward (money) I crave.
possibly overdetermined in sexual functioning: Pleases wife (satisfies her needs) only to the extent necessary to ensure that she continues to "put out" for him. (see cow metaphor, below)
narcissistic element: the use of a hollow image, or the creation of the appearance of reality, in order to gain a utilitarian advantage (money, love). Note the specific aim of the narcissism is a utilitarian reward, as distinguished from the person who gives the outward appearance of attaining an intellectual milestone with the ultimate aim of impressing others as having intellectual abilities.
possibly more than incidental relationship, or facial parallel, to my getting a (genuine) law degree which I render meaningless by failing to practice law.
note relationship with fraudulent lawsuit: Took on the identity of the sick person to obtain financial reward; here, takes on mere "identity" of educated person to obtain financial reward.
in both cases, he engages in a parody: the parody of a sick person, the parody of an educated person. (Possible sadistic mockery of the mother and the son's perceived image of the mother's desire for the son--to be dependent and intellectual. Note that he ridiculed both dependency and intellectual pursuits.).
2. an aspect of father's personality that was discharged in his work that may have had an effect on son's psychological development.
Father was self-employed; he had a car parts business. Taking apart cars (junkers) and selling the parts. Relationship to psychopaths (fantasies of dismemberment). See Lowen, A. Narcissism: Denial of the True Self. pp. 22-23. (Citing Alan Harrington, Psychopaths).
4. Mendacious affirmation of superego values with the intent to gain approval of authorties
a. 1969: saying to my aunt--"We saw the movie 'Boys in the Band.' The language was shocking. It was shocking to hear language like that.
mid-1980's Suzanne: "You should hear the way my dad talks. You should hear the dirty words my dad uses!"
b. early 1970's: saying to aunt at family dinner (Thanksgiving?) It's just terrible all the food that gets wasted in the world. So much food just gets thrown away.
late 1960's: Food fight with sister in kitchen of parents house--tomatoes and whipped cream all over the kitchen.
threw food in living room at my sister with father present. (also indicates lack of impulse control even with father present).
5. Fantasy Life: Identified my parents with the parents in the TV show "All in the Family."
Unacknowledged identification with fact that the son-in-law of the show ("Mike") was a parasitically-dependent person who lived with, and "off-of," his in-laws. SEXUAL ISSUES: wife as both sexual object (wife) and symbolic sister with whom the son-in-law lived in the (figurative) parents' home (incest boundary issues).
Note the fact that the wife was an only child, so that there was no symbolic representation of me. In fantasy brother-in-law dispensed with me; I was for him no more than a shadow object, a vehicle for the projection of the bad-self (parasitical, dependent, with powerful incest wishes), which, in rationalized form, was in fact himself as represented by the son-in-law on the show.
Useful to compare with my own fantasy life, specifically, my identification with the character Siegmund in Wagner's opera Die Walkure.
6. Alexithymic qualities: impoverished fantasy life (devalued fantasy). For him, I lived in a "fantasy world," a pejorative valuation. Did not recall dreams. Probably related to psychosomatic symptoms: unable to process distressing affect at a level of concious thought, but rather only at a somatic level.
7. Shengold material on victims of abuse and their uncanny ability to find spouses with similar backgrounds.
8. inference re: relationship with mother. Analogy. A farmer with a milk-cow who feeds the cow simply to keep the milk flowing. The interest is not empathy with the cow or the cow's needs per se, but simply to keep the animal happy so that it will produce the desired reward to the farmer. Also, this is a system of reciprocal rewards rather than a relationship of general give-and-take: a relationship of wide-ranging mutuality and wide-ranging needs gratification.
The farmer will assume (in mendacious fashion) whatever posture or identity the cow requires (such as a "masters degree") if this is what it will take to make the cow give milk. Object-relations characterized by mendacious pseudo-empathy and feeling masquerading as true empathy, but which is fundamentally self-oriented and goal-directed: forced into a chronic state of pseudo-identity, pseudo-feeling, or outright deception. (Constant refrain: "Eddie did such-and-such, but he didn't tell his mother. She overreacts.") Possible source of brother-in-law's negative valuation of me: "He bites the hand that feeds him." In reality, I fail to put on a masquerade to keep the milk flowing.
Object relations became complex and intertwined attempts at keeping the milk flowing from various sources (psychological equivalent of a "pyramid scheme"). Subject pleased wife to keep milk flowing from wife; proceeded to use milk from wife (the appearance of a happy wife and ideal marriage) to feed mother, to keep milk flowing from mother. Likely source of brother-in-law's negative valuation of me: "He was dating her only to please his mother." Note that in a loan business (at its most simplistic level), you take interest payments from one source to make a loan to a second party, who, in turn, repays with interest, which, in turn, is loaned to a third party, and so on.
(Dynamic possibly reflected in childhood: subject pleased mother to keep milk flowing from uncle. Perhaps, also, mother pleased son to keep milk flowing from her own brother; brother (subject's uncle) pleased son to keep milk flowing from his sister. A real "pyramid scheme!")
Relationship to superego functioning: Quantity of milk produced by the cow is a direct and ultimate measure of one's goodness as a human being. "Would she be producing all this milk if I weren't a good farmer?" But the sense of goodness was superficial; the underlying shame at the means employed to get the cow to produce cannot be mitigated. In fact, the more milk the cow produces is also, at an unconscious level, perceived as a measure of the farmer's badness, or mendacity.
9. Where a person's narcissism is overdetermined--with that narcissism the source of success in the business world, but that same trend a source of aggression in the family--the victim who complains will always be faced with accusations of jealousy that will be difficult to overcome.. "He only says these things because he's jealous of so-and-so's success."
"There are successful psychopaths according to Alan Harrington, who made a study of these personalities--'brillinat, remorseless people with icy intelligence, incapable of love or guilt, with aggressive designs on the rest of the world.' Such an individual may be an able lawyer, executive, or politician. 'Instead of murdering others,' Harrington comments, this person 'might become a corporate raider and murder companies, firing people instead of killing them, and chopping up their functions, rather than their bodies." Ironically, the key to this kind of 'success' is the person's lack of feeling--which is the key to all narcissistic disturbances." Lowen at 23.
Projection of homosexual anxiety from a person who:
1. Is afraid to join the army. Gets job as teacher to obtain military deferment.
2. But can't get a teaching job on his own and has his parents use family connections to get him a teaching job to keep him out of the army.
3. Can't get a job to support a family; has 60-year-old mother-in-law wallpaper 3 rooms in house -- can't afford to hire a paperhanger. "We were going to have her wallpaper our bedroom, but she died."
4. Can't get a job to support a family; files fraudulent law suit to "earn" extra money.
5. Goes to Florida with friends in 1965; returns with bleached hair.
6. Goes to Florida with family in 1982--has me call in sick for him every morning. But can't ask me to do him the favor. Has sister ask me to do it.
7. Has me (a former mental patient who attempted suicide two years earlier) to hand over ten thousand dollars just after my mother died. The mental patient's mother wanted her son to have the money because of his difficulties. Sister goes around saying "We wanted my mother to have a funeral just like her mother's. That was her wish, we wanted to honor her wishes." What about her wish that I keep the money that was intended for me?
Yes. I am a parasitical homosexual.