Monday, June 21, 2010

Psychotherapy Notes -- Late 1990s

father: attributions of shyness implicitly linked to an assertion that I did not separate from mother with the associated idea of improper closeness to mother (co-opting of morality) and Oedipal jealousy. Social isolation was depicted as an indicator of "badness" in that it signified failure to individuate, with the associated idea of Oedipal jealousy.

mother: "you were never close to your father." Jealousy of my relationship with father, and devaluation of relationship. She was herself was left fatherless at age 4. "Stanback" "Andes candies" Use of oral incorporation to compensate for loss of father.

sister: attributions of shyness linked to a reversal and projection of her own fears of abandonment. Shyness (a fear of approaching the object) is the polar opposite of fear of abandonment (fear of rejection by an object with which one is bonded). Attributions of extreme shyness can therefore defend against abandonment fears that may be aroused by a competitor (here, a younger sibling) and will at the foundation these attributions of shyness will be asociated with unacknowledged jealousy. Social isolation was depicted as indicator of "badness" in that it signified lack of individuation, which aroused feelings of sibling rivalry (jealousy) and fear of abandonment. "He never had any friends" translates as "I am jealous of him and I fear being abandoned because of him."

examples of sisers fear of abandonment: Christmas ornament incident in 1965; writing down of events to relate to brother-in-law.

Implications for the Work Environment: It will be precisely those persons who are most afraid of losing their jobs (abandonment fears) who emphasize the issue of shyness; also actual shunning behaviors can be used to abreact subjective fears of abandonment.

brother-in-law: emphasis on parasitism and dependency. Here, morality was co-opted to defend against feelings of jealousy. "He lives off his mother" translates as "I am jealous of what he receives from his mother." Common element with sister: association of pathological shyness with envy issues. Return from first year of law school -- Neil Sagot's house -- "Do you feel sick" and swimming pool. ("At least he swims.")

Second issue: makes opportunistic use of what he castigates. Urges me to live with them (to get room and board money) -- outweighs desire to see me independent and live on my own.

Parallels situation from high school. Used to say "Why don't you have any friends." Yet he capitalized on my social isolation by having my parents house all to himself.


Attributions of aggression against protected object (third party) can be used to discharge the narcissistic injury associated with envy (jealousy in relation to third party).

A dynamic in which a victim of an injury complains. The accused perpetrator defends on the grounds that the victim has aggressed against a protected party.

Middle Ages: Jew complains about acts of violence against him. Anti-Semite answers: These are the people who murdered our Lord.

Nazi Germany: Jew complains about anti-Semitism. Nazis respond: These people are destroying Germany (protected object; for Hitler, a derivative of the mother).

Freedman: Complains about aggression in the family directed against him. Sister and brother-in-law respond: He was a spoiled monster who murdered his mother.

One possible psychoanalytic interpretation is that the victimizer experiences the accusation as a narcissistic injury and transmutes that injury, or displaces the injury onto a protectd object. Thus:

"I feel injured by his accusation" transmuted into "He has injured the protected object."

In effect, the victimizer preserves narcissistic integrity by displacing the ego injury onto the protected object. What is interesting is that the act of projection is itself a defense against narcissistic injury: by means of projection the individual preserves his narcissistic integrity by displacing blame onto a third party. There is thus an insidious relationship between the act aggressive projection and the defense against the attribution of injurious projection.

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