Sunday, January 11, 2015

primal scene repetition in subject altruism

In earlier posts I discussed the primal scene in altruism in relation to both pseudo-stupidity (a reaction to not wanting to know the truth about the phallic mother's betrayal in subject altruism) and having one's head spinning, going around in a whirlpool, being "flushed down the toiler," as one patient put it (the reaction to betraying the phallic mother and fearing her punishment in object altruism). In SA the main myth I've looked at is Perseus and the rescue of Andromeda and for OA the myth of Ixion was looked at (the latter being much more precise).

For subject egoism I've talked about the actual prima scene repetition in the form of cuckoldry. The SE repeats the trauma of the phallic mother betraying him with the father in the object drives or the trauma of being found impotent at his chosen skill or field in the ego drives. I gave the example of Gordon Ramsay making a living at the primal scene repetition in projective identification (i.e. he assumes the place of the parental imago and humiliates chefs who have chosen this field, who represent his self imago).

There is a similar repetition with the SA of course.  After the encounter with the Medusa the next situation is the rescue of Andromeda after the slaying of the sea serpent. Perseus claims Andromeda for marriage but finds she is already engaged to her uncle who shows up at the wedding to fight for her. Of course, as a hero myth, Perseus is able to overcome her uncle by using Medusa’s head to turn him to stone but the ear marks of the primal scene loss are clear. 

This is, of course, the rescue fantasy and it is eminently related to subject altruism.  

The ego drive SA primal scene is observable in many children’s cartoons. For example, in Inspector Gadget the titular character has a niece, Penny, and a dog, Brain, that often ensure the inept Inspector survives and solves the case. However, the dim-witted cyborg detective retains his fame but without Penny or Brain getting any credit. To rescue the other’s fame (the object’s Prestige in a generation or class above one’s) is met with zero recognition or approval and this is a source of pain. Similarly, many people in the substance abuse groups I run talk about 'Sir-save-a-ho' in which a man may rescue a “fallen woman” with a bad reputation or in bad straits only to find her cheating on him/bad-talking him/or abusing his money or possessions. The object drive repetition often sees the person staying with the beloved and coming up with excuses for them: "she gets stupid when she gets drunk but she doesn't mean it".    

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