Wednesday, 5 June 2013

"Narcissistic Psychopathology" - Mother and Sons

Some mums were not mirrored when little tiny children, and to keep love, they were bound to mirror their mums, to keep her there, to have the framework around which t become "I".

Fragile, they need, in their turn, to have their children look after them too, in this way: "I'm a perfect mum, and my perfect child won't cry or be demanding, which would destroy my idea of myself."

All more or less sub-consciously.

From Terry Eagleton's LRB review of Peter Conrad's "Modern Times, Modern Places" (1998, which I don't intend to read):

"To judge, for Conrad, would presumably be to court the perils of political radicalism, which fondly imagines that things might have been different and cannot accept that the world is simply what ever is the case."

I wish we could grow up in an atmosphere where we can learn to form judgements without the fear of going mad, in the confidence that by paying attention to our feelings about things, we are developing ourselves and our ability to be compassionate. We make judgements all the time, choosing this over that. How can we learn to respect our wishes and act with commitment, be different from others even while we appreciate difference? It is a very mixed society.

A person with a self-esteem problem (who has not been mirrored) may come  to depend on continuity of self by always stimulating in others an "I need you", "I desire you", "I accept you" response. They have survived by tuning into others' needs in order to become needed and wanted by that other. They have not been allowed to be themselves. No platform has been given to their voices. To express oneself is fraught with enormous risk.

It is very important for babies and tiny children to be faithfully mirrored, acknowledged, given to understand that they are understood!

No comments:

Post a Comment