Saturday, September 20, 2014

projective identification in the egoist, sexual difference in the volar stage.

Having to do intakes and go through the long, boring questions I've been struck by my experience of projective identification. A few egoistic patients with long criminal records have had the ability to make me feel impotent and anxious to ask them the variations of the same questions which I imagine the creators of the intake paperwork thought were clever ways to find inconsistencies. By expressing to the patients that I agreed with them that it was ridiculous and irritating they were able to elaborate on their common feelings of thinking there are "a lot of idiots in the world". The avowed that they were judgmental and had little patience with others who lacked "common sense". They were careful to say that this doesn't make them angry but and instead irritation and frustration were the key words.

Both patients caused an impressive feeling of their inaccessibility and completeness. They didn't seem to have any questions or ambivalences about life. Prison was bad and they needed to get out and when they got out they knew that they had to work and that's the end of the story.

One of them was very explicit that he has never had male friends and that he wanted to work with a woman.

I've posted about sexual difference at the phallic level that concerns, like social anxiety, the ideal of having an image-ego regarded as good by others (even if one has a double life or secretly breaks the mores). I've also mentioned that Reich, Stoller, and others have a sense of embodied sexual difference at the anal stage that references one's comportment. However, I've begun to wonder if it isn't possible that sexual difference isn't retroactively placed at the volar stage in the encounter with any other that isn't mediated through social hierarchy.  

I've posted about a female patient who was able to express the "disgust for anyone who isn't her" which seems to indicate that there is no sexual difference at the volar stage, but it's possible that there is a difference between the proto and deutero stages there.

It's also possible that this attitude is part of the anal stage.

Doing an intake isn't enough information, but I thought I'd share some of my thoughts anyway- even though no conclusions have been reached.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

a nascent notion: the drive to become both sexes and its inverse

There's been an unnerving trend I've noted in some of my patients lately.

As far as I can tell it's related to two existing concepts: the problems related to a passive father and something close to Kubie's 'the drive to become both sexes'.

I've been dealing with several patients in which a parent did, or does, everything and the other wasn't, or isn't, there.

The first salient aspects are that the parent who is everything undermines the other parent's attempts to contribute and do things around the house (ie. chores or child-rearing) and sometimes outside of the house too (i.e. work and contribute financially). The "nothing" parent has a bad conscience about not being able to do things and echoistically submitting in the volar stage, becomes nothing . In passive-aggressive fashion he or she can have depression or somato-psychic problems that give him or her indirect revenge against the double-sexed parent.

In some cases I've seen the double-sexed parent switch. The double-sexed parent becomes depressed or physically ill and the other parent does everything. However, it is unclear whether the 'nothing' parent leaps up to enjoy the double-sexed role as the other parent did.

I still have to think more about the drive to be both sexes...

What seems important to me is the volar ontology in which the most primitive form of the ego is involved. One can not want to exist individually, one can want to be both sexes, one can only love someone who is exactly like oneself, etc.

This is in the object drives of course, and this same relation is possible on the ego drive level so that we have something like the founders of movements who need to name old concepts in new jargon so that all the ideas somehow issues from themselves, people who have no ideas and are only saying what someone who was everything has said, and the requirement that others one associates identify with the same ideas as one does, etc.

It seems like a borderline condition. This means that the father is foreclosed but that the early auto-erotic (potentially earlier?) fixations aren't there for psychosis. The mother is definitely the figure of perfection for the person driven to be both sexes and not the father. The goal to be perfect is very much out in the open and spoken about. Like the Madonna the woman with this goal may be a single mother who gives the impression of a virgin birth. The man has both his job of prestige and collects art and wants to be admired for his judgement of beauty is another example.