Saturday, March 14, 2015

the echoist and "castration" anxiety and the deutero stage.

There are several patients I've had who have been unable to ask their boss for a raise, or to ask their boss when he was going to give them the raise he had promised.

These patients generally don't want to incur the disappointment of the father-substitute. He should be good and see that they work hard and want to foster them. Of course this is transferential and not based upon the actual boss they have, and when they they feel used or taken advantage of by him then that could lead to a relapse. He doesn't care about being good, so I don't care about it either.

At earlier levels, when it's not a phallic work-group and group leader relation, the "loss of love" or echoistic castration anxiety resembles anger more. The echoist is walking on egg shells and doesn't want to do something to make the parental-substitute angry. This can proceed all the way down to not wanting 'to be seen or heard' as if one's material existence is an affront to the parent (i.e. the auto-erotic).

In projective identification, Klein (1975) writes of an operation in which both the bad and hated parts of the self, as well as the good parts too, are projected into the object (p. 8). 

When the echoist has projectively identified with their boyfriend or girlfriend, he or she truly feels that there is no good in them. They are dead, not there, or absent. I think that Fairbairn's formulation of the schizoid being unable to give is based upon this operation.

The problem with psychoanalysis so far is that it either hasn't been psycho-dynamic enough or that it wanted to have just a single line of development...

As much as using the dialectic risks making my formulations look theoretical or artificial, I can't help trying to make sense of the qualitative differences I see.

So, when there is the egoist who is propelled by the drive for perfection this can be negated in projective identification with the parental imago so that the egoist becomes grandiose or feels that he is more important than he is and doesn't have to prove himself.

However, between the egoist and identification with the parental imago there is the deutero position in which the parental imago is split and the individual has confidence without having to compete for it. The deutero egoist merely has to approximate the mother's phallic image.

The proto-egoist has self-hate or contempt in failure to compete well.
In PI there is tangible grandiosity.
In the deutero stage there is an in-between in which the person has reactive inferiority feelings. Instead of PI in which the person feels he is the boss, the deutero egoist can reactively be pushed to do and learn more in order to approximate a parental-substitute.

 With the deutero altruist there is a similar construction of no longer having to focus on helping others but instead being close to the parental substitute and living vicariously through them. The deutero altruist, as long ago mentioned, can sacrifice her interests to work for the egoism of her romantic partner or he work-group leader.

As the egoist in PI has illusory superiority and the deutero egoist has reactive superiority, the altruist in PI has illusory pity that doesn't translate into action and the deutero altruist has reactive pity. The altruist isn't naive but can very perceptively see the failings of the parental substitute and can try to fill them. This has traditionally been seen as the castrated mother who the deutero altruist tries to raise back up, while the deutero egoist has the phallic mother.

The deutero egoist has superiority/inferiority as is well known and the deutero altruist has pity/self-pity in working to restore the father-substitute but not being appreciated and not getting to live for oneself and being susceptible to echoistic injuries of being used and taken advantage of.

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