Sunday, July 16, 2017

When a lie is the truth and the truth is a lie


The Pessimistic Shrink sometimes can’t help but throw comments to the winds (of online news magazines). At Slate.com’s article, “Watch Fox News Anchor’s Exasperation at Trump Administration: ‘Why Is it Lie After Lie After Lie?’” –

Picture a six-year-old boy whose four-year-old sister pesters him unmercifully under the radar of their parents. She “borrows” his action figures, rips out pages of his comic books, calls him names. He yells at her, she runs to the parents, they reprimand him as the older one who should be more “mature,” dismissing his agony. One day it’s finally too much: In retribution he rips the head off Malibu Barbie. Four-year-old manipulative demon runs screaming to mother and father and they put the boy on the hot seat. He angrily denies he did it. Of course he denies it. He should deny it. He knows he will never get any justice in this family. To confess to one crime when dozens of unpunished crimes have been perpetrated on him would be worse than martyrdom. It would be injustice, self-sacrifice, humiliation. It would be to feed his soul to an uncaring monster. I think this is where the Republicans are when they lie and accept the Trump family’s lies above them. They’re the six-year-old boy and the Democrats are the four-year-old girl. Lying saves the dignity and the self of the mistreated child within.
Other blog posts have dealt with the imperative of a delusion, such as the Narcissist’s need to believe he is perfect, even the psychotic’s need to believe she is being watched and toyed with by strangers. Here I mean a different but related state of resolution: a deep felt need to redefine truth to mean personal justice. Each of us is alone, ultimately: We don’t, we can’t live for the social compact, accept the consensus against our sense of survival. Only the most damaged symbiote, the codependent victim, will give up her identity for a “greater cause.”

How is it that truth is redefinable like this? The boy in my example, if he could dissect his feeling, might describe this process: “What actually happened – something about some doll – doesn’t matter. Many things that happen don’t matter: a leaf may fall from a tree, a ceiling fan sends shadows across the wall. And if something doesn’t matter, its truth doesn’t deserve any standing; we may not care to invest belief in it. Especially if it’s used to defeat a greater truth.” These Republicans feel persecuted and harassed to confess to being bad people who are selling their country to Russia. There is no way they can allow themselves to be so degraded by judges, “parents” and bratty little sisters who feel superior. “You are not superior! Your facts are existential irrelevancies.”

Delusions and lying for self-preservation are bonded together in the survival of the ego. A psychotic goes insane in order to survive his insane world. Trump and his son may seem to lie for narcissism’s sake, but narcissism is the lie that protects a disintegrative ego. Dignity, pride, lies and justice may be unnecessary to a person whose child is intact.

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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.