Saturday, May 28, 2016

deutero Bellerophon complex

I've had a request for more clinical data on the Bellerophon complex.

Before I share a little from a former patient, let me emphasize that there is a difference between the proto and deutero versions.

The deutero version is non-universal and means that the individual feels an equality with the parental imago. He or she feel special and like the parental-substitute has a special interest in him or her, while the proto version feels the authority figure or love interest is more distant and 'unattainable adult.'

I've considered using the myth of Heracles (SE), Arachne (OE), Orpheus (OA), etc. to signify the proto complexes of the different libidinal positions. However, most psychoanalysts are used to just referring to the Oedipus complex to cover all triangular relationships (if they even talk about complexes at all). To introduce 8 new names seems too much, while introducing 4 and making a proto and deutero distinction between the two doesn't seem as intimidating. Moreover, there are also passive-altruistic and passive-egoistic versions, and how they play out in the ego or object drives.

In the passive-altruistic deutero version of the Bellerophon complex in the ego drives you have:

1. The OA initially idealizes his boss (parental-substitute).

2. He learns how to do his job and then feels like he knows how to do it better than his boss.

3. He sees faults in his boss and then begin to feel that he is disappointing and feels sorry for him.

4. He feels that he can start his own company and be more successful and that he isn't paid enough and/or doesn't receive enough gratitude for his help.

5. He doesn't assert himself to ask for a pay raise, or to express that he doesn't feel appreciated. It feels ungrateful or like it is the parental-substitute's prerogative to judge and reward these things.

6. His frustration grows but when you explore what would happen if he asks for a raise, for example, he believes that the parental-substitute won't be happy with him asking. The expectation is that the boss, even though he seems to need the OA, might tell him to leave.

7. When you explore what will happen to the boss if the OA leaves, he imagines the boss's company will suffer and he might go out of business.

8. The failure of the boss's company is tied to the boss feeling sad and can deepen to the idea that he might have a 'breakdown' and maybe even become suicidal.

9. The OA feels like he would be responsible for this and this is his impediment.

In ego and object drive parallelism, a similar feeling of being able to find a more desirable partner is experienced and a similar unconscious fear that one's partner would become sad, have a breakdown, or want to die is similarly the impediment.

Additionally, it's one thing to worry about the boss's image-ego, but the idea that he'd have a "breakdown," become depressed, or commit suicide shows that the relation extends into earlier levels of Being.

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