Saturday, August 29, 2015

Beyond the emotional, the existential

In the ocean of a woman’s malaise and weakness, she may cling to her mother who is nothing other than a cement lifesaver.  Sometimes she’ll say: “Mom always made me think that every decision I’d make would be a reflection on her.”  Today we need to think of what this means, because one doesn’t need any more trauma than this to become the floating lost: to exist secondary to life, and as the fodder for someone else’s ego.

The same spell lives in these words: “You’re not good enough.”  Set aside the obvious shaming here – making a child feel he will never possess goodness.  Look instead at the existential gift.  The parent is really saying, “It is meaningless that you are you.  You have to be me.”  That is precisely what this statement means: “You are not living according to my sight, which I require.”

The parent who requires her child to be a virtuous “reflection” is beyond ill.  She is the religious zealot who murders his daughter because she “shames” him by not living his life.  The root cause of this disease is the complete absence of a capacity for, and awareness of, individuality.  The person who does not have a self, cannot see one in others, especially in one's children.

I existed in this phantom zone for much of my life, starting at the beginning: the void of self and the consequent angry mystification that another child could exert the power of initiative, make a decision, go against anyone.  Later, when a married man, it simply galled me, in disbelief, that my adopted daughters could have opinions of their own.  This body-mutilated logic is a symptom of a never-made person, and I guarantee you that such an anti-human instinct resides, though unspoken, in the bowels of any parent who needs his child to be “right.”

The girl who grows up being a reflection of her mother; the boy forced to be a role model for his younger brother, may not gain the feeling of a self.  Nothing will be for him.  All body-feeling will be poisoned: He will have been taken over by what seems to him a real person – the irony, because the parent is emptiest of all.  We wonder at all the depression, anxiety, lack of meaning, empty jobs, dependencies on people and substances in the world.  Does a person with an individual self assimilate others, become assimilated, drift here and there and nowhere?

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Comments are welcome, but I'd suggest you first read "Feeling-centered therapy" and "Ocean and boat" for a basic introduction to my kind of theory and therapy.