There exists a deep ambivalence, above all toward the mother, whereby separation is being equated with crime, murder, and death. Modell (1984) speaks in a similar context about separation guilt: “The right to a separate life is perhaps invariably [with narcissistic patients] accompanied by an unconscious fantasy that separation will lead to the death or damage of the other…. They were possessed of a basic belief that they had no right to a better life” (pp. 56-57). Above all, every success may represent a symbolic separation, hence destruction of the other, and has to be prohibited or undone.
Loyalty is more than an ordinary bond, more than an “object relationship”: It sets up the other as a beloved authority over oneself toward whom one has to keep faith. It is a kind of superego relationship and superego bond. Contradictory loyalties tear apart one's innermost self as probably no other conflict does.
Wurmser, L. (1988). “The Sleeping Giant”: A Dissenting Comment About “Borderline Pathology”. Psychoanal. Inq., 8:373-397