Monday, November 19, 2012

masochistic character: foreclosure of active-egoistic development

In an earlier post I drew attention to Reich's finding that the masochist character structure besides its fixations, potential deutero stages, failure to instinctually renounce impulses to form an ego ideal, its superego conscience reactions, etc. in its altruistic track of development, it is essential to this structure to see that it is marked by failing to develop a proto-phallic ego ideal on its egoistic track.

In my recent research I found that Klein seconds this finding (albeit without the precision of Reich).

Klein, M. (1928). Early Stages of the Oedipus Conflict

In the girl identification with the mother results directly from the Oedipus impulses: the whole struggle caused in the boy by his castration-anxiety is absent in her. In girls as well as boys this identification coincides with the anal-sadistic tendencies to rob and destroy the mother. If identification with the mother takes place at a stage at which the oral- and anal-sadistic tendencies predominate, dread of a primitive maternal super-ego will lead to the repression and fixation of this phase and interfere with further genital development. Dread of the mother, too, impels the little girl to give up identification with her, and identification with the father begins (p. 174)

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