A Valentine’s Day Message For You (edited)

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It’s Valentine’s Day and what better way to say “I Love You!” than with sex, candy, and some Victoria Secret’s lingerie? I am deviating from my original page’s theme in celebration of this sexually themed holiday. I was going to write a block post about the origins of Valentine’s Day starting with St. Valentine………..BORING!!!! We all know the roots of most traditional holidays began with some Pagan holiday or festival. So, Valentine’s Day probably originated from some fertility fest found in one of these ancient cultures. Sex fests were a pretty common theme in ancient history as the people recognized early on in these ancientcandy-image cultures that without sex there could be no conception, and without conception there could be no offspring, and with no offspring there could be no continued existence. Fertility festivals vary in their different ancient cultural themes and although ritually different displays mark each unique culture‘s celebration, the message still pretty much stayed the same. Thank you god for my reproductive success! Sometimes an offering or gift was given to the fertility god in the temple or a generous donation made to the temple priest, who by the way has now been replaced by your local retail dealer or local Hallmark store. Anybody make a donation yet? Anyone born November 14th?

What better way to show your gratitude for the very organs that gave you life and helped to sustain that life? What better way to give thanks for our reproductive capabilities than to shine some tender love and care on your partner‘s genitalia? What better way to give thanks to the god who has granted us the ability to experience sexual ecstasy in this ultimate act of close intimate bonding? That reminds me, don’t forget to send a card to your parents too, they were your former gods who breathed the very life you own into you!

In life, is there anything better than that which is rooted in this life sustaining act? Anything more gratifying? Anything more pleasuring? So grab your guy or grab your girl, pull the shades, and dim the light. Enjoy this day of celebration with sex and romance and give thanks to your precious origins. A spark of creative culinary inspirations!  Boob Cakes! Nothing says I love you quite like being nurtured by the breast (or penis). After all, the life-sustaining act of breast feeding set in motion our very sexual energies and drives, or at least according to Freud it did. May all of you enjoy a very Happy Valentine’s Day with your spouse or significant other!

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Some Brief Notes On The Narcissistic Position

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“Rochlin concludes that aggression always issues as a result of damaged narcissism.”

In Freud’s paper (1914) entitled “On Narcissism,” he characterized it as a turning of one’s power for relating to the outside world with love (libido) back onto oneself. Spotnitz (1972) offers different interpretation. It will be recalled that the myth of Narcissus concerns a hunter who spurns the love of a wood nymph. The heartbroken nymph invokes the gods to punish cruel Narcissus by causing him to fall in love and have no love returned to him. The gods hear the nymph’s plea and punish Narcissus. One day, after a particularly fatiguing hunt, Narcissus rests on the shore of a beautiful lake. On gazing into the lake he sees his own reflection; but not knowing it is his own image, he presumes it to be a water nymph of surpassing beauty. He pleads with the nymph to allow him to embrace her, but each time he tries to grasp the lovely creature she disappears. Narcissus remains, transfixed by his elusive image, until he finally dies of starvation and thirst.

Spotnitz advances the interpretation that narcissus, rather than attack the frustrating image, turns his hatred upon himself. Narcissus mistakenly believes that he is unworthy and starves in the attempt to make amends to a cruel and unyielding object. This is where the idea of Winnicott’s the “Not Good Enough” mothering creates the feeling of “Not Good Enough” attitudes in mind of the child, thus creating a sense of false-self disorders. This interpretation, applied psychoanalytically, is essentially different from that of Freud, who saw narcissism as the turning of love away from the world and inward upon the self, in selfish modes of behavior. By contrast, Spotnitz believes that narcissism represents hatred for the outside world, or object, that is not permitted expression. The narcissist fears the consequences if that hate is ever permitted to be discharged outwardly, the roots of these fears lie in childrearing practices, social laws, and religious beliefs; that it will kill. The individual becomes incapable of relating to the outside world because of the hate that he fears will escape. Rather, he turns it inward upon the self and presents a confused and helpless image to the world. In the most extreme cases the narcissist attacks his own mind with such success that he render himself psychotic and nonfunctional.

According to Spotnitz, narcissism unconsciously intensifies when love objects are lost, and hatred for the outside world is not permitted expression due to fear of the consequences. Spotnitz’s theory of narcissism is similar to Freud’s first theory of masochism (1905-19), in which masochism was seen as a transformation of sadism. (Nagera, 1970). In the paper “Instincts and Their Vicissitudes,” Freud (1915) formulated that “masochism is actually sadism turned round upon the subject’s own ego.” Freud’s second formulations of masochism (1919-24) saw it as a regressive phenomenon deriving from an unconscious need for punishment. In the paper “A Child Is Being Beaten” (1919) , he describes this form of masochism: “It is not only a punishment for the forbidden genital relation, but also the regressive substitute for the relation, and from this latter source it derives the libidinal excitation which is from this time forward attached to it.” Freud’s third formulation of masochism (1924-37) was the theory of the death instinct. In this later conception, Freud also postulated primary as well as secondary masochism and distinguished the three forms of erotogentic, feminine, and moral masochism. Primary masochism is related to primary narcissism and is believed to develop during the first stage of Erikson’s developmental theory, birth to 18 months with its onset at about 4 months. Secondary narcissism develops during stage 5, puberty, and is where the fetish for sadomasochism in erotic sexualized behavior can begin as well, thus there are a few different ways in which primary and secondary narcissism can develop, and so too, elements of sadism and masochism which are both closely tied to this notion of narcissism.

Although Spotnitz’s formulation of narcissism is not identical with Freud’s first theory of masochism, it is similar enough to warrant useful differentiation from it. In both theories – Freud’s formulation of masochism and Spotnitz’s theory of narcissism – anger and aggression are turned inward on the self. For Freud, however, masochism is the passive form of an instinctual drive (aggression), which was originally cruelty to an external object, transformed into a “passive instinct of cruelty” turned on the subject’s own ego. For Spotnitz, the internalized hatred is also originally directed toward the outside world, but the hatred is turned against the self rather than the outside world not because of any transformation of instinctual energy but rather because the individual fears the consequences of discharging the aggression outwardly.

Rochlin’s (1973) conception of narcissism, while related to Spotnitz’s, seems more sophisticated. Whereas Freud’s second formulation of narcissism, noted above, sees egocentric aims as opposing the social condition and narcissism serving as the regressive substitute for forbidden genital relations, Rochlin sees social needs as always operating, even in instances where people appear to “thrive on isolation.” According to Rochlin, the injuries to self-esteem that occur due to loss of love objects can be repaired only through relational ships with another. The narcissistic state, therefore, is one in which loss of self-esteem occurs and, here is some measure agreeing with Spotnitz, Rochlin concludes that aggression always issues as a result of damaged narcissism. Either a conscious or unconscious narcissistic fear that cannot be introjected and thus remains unsublimated, lingers in the mind of the individual and causes psychic pain that remains, until action, either internalized or externalized, relieves the anxiety. The lowering of self-esteem which “mobilizes aggression” may result in aggression turned on the self, and as unrelieved aggression, further compromise self-esteem. This causes depression, a sense of self-defeat, and a “brittle indifference to others.” Increasing demands are made on relationships to the point where the relationship themselves may be broken off because of the verbalized aggression, causing neurotic conflict and aborting social relationships. Thus, these two modern theories both conclude that narcissism and aggression are related concepts.

With regard to the recent act of random violence which happened at the Fort Lauderdale Airport in Florida yesterday. Mitscherlich (1963) advances

“In the absence of direct and immediate instruction in practical life under the parental eye, and the consequent lack of dependable tradition in this respect, contemporaries orient themselves by each other. The peer group – that is to say, one’s contemporaries at school and place of residence and work – becomes the guiding line of behavior.” (p. 149)

Mitscherlich (1963) further advances that

“The collapse of paternal authority automatically sets in train a search for a new father on whom to rely…..The weakness of fallibility of the father has to be made good and wiped out by putting in his place a new one of still undiminished strength.” (pp. 300-301)

My own personal commentary for the struggles that continue to prevail me. I feel I am dealing with someone who has either a primary knowledge of, or an advanced knowledge of the fundamentals of Narcissism. Along with this knowledge they have the capability to manipulate human bodies, through advanced technological means of radio frequency, to make circumstances appear other than what they truly are. My question: “How does a malevolent psychopath, one that has a high degree of sadism in their narcissistic constellation make another personality whose narcissistic constellation is influenced by masochistic tendency make it look like the masochistic personality is committing slow suicide? Thus, the perfect illusion in the smoke and mirrors mind play of the psychopath?”  What was Freud’s position in his paper “A Child Is Being Beaten” (1919)?

Twighlight’s of Wisdom questions the omission of sadomasochism from the Diagnostic Statistical Manual for Mental Illness.

FAT PEOPLE: Deformation or Human Being? The Dysfunctional Psychology Behind Some People’s Views and Perceptions (Edited)

“How do you see yourself?”

How do you view the differences between these two photos? Both are erotic. Both possess erotic imagery, but who is perceived as psychologically more erotic in the minds of women? Funny that the more erotic sexualized image should hold less power and is perceived as less threatening in the social unconscious of the larger ethos especially when it comes to women. Perfectly symmetrical females or semi-symmetrically proportioned females seem to be the desire of most women, and it is what both men and women seek. The very large pronounced voluptuous breast and very small waist, with hips that are proportionately equal to breast size. Aren’t fat breasts an extension of what society perceives as mother? Or an image of impregnated mother? For men it is the broad well built upper body with its bulging pectorals, tiny waist with a slightly larger proportioned hip. For the male it may hint they are in touch with their inner space. Which brings me to my next topic.

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What if Alice and Wonderland is more than a childhood fairy tale? The odd connection between this tale with all its strange and eventful history, describing the distortions and delusions of one little girl’s adventure as she falls down a rabbit hold and enters Wonderland. It is suggested that these same distortions and delusions are experienced by us during the most early stages of our life, infancy. Disturbances in the stage of development reek havoc on a little child’s own personal sense of identity, which can create the same distortions and delusions that Lewis Carroll so vividly described to us.

“Aren’t fat breasts an extension of what society perceives as ‘mother?’ Or of an image of impregnated  ‘mother?'”

Excessive body manipulations, especially that of the female anatomy but is not limited to this specific gender, hints towards these early childhood distortions, delusions, and disturbances. A woman is so much more than what she appears, and so is man for that matter. More than their breasts. More than waist size. More than firm round buttocks. Yet, if it weren’t for the large sea of social unconscious, also known as the cultural ethos, which turns out to be mostly superficial in its delusion of desired attributes, little girls and men with the proper guidance, just might be able to achieve their fullest potential. Which leads me to the next topic to explore.

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Do you know the term for fat people? Monstras in excessu. Deformed beings with excessive features. Why are women with excessive breast tissue not seen as monstras in excessu? Why do women seek for these disproportionately sized shapes? The book Alice in Wonderland is a vividly creative expression of how one individual’s belief of how infants see us monstrously large huge humans during our early months of life. This is expressed in the creative imagery as seen in the disproportionately large and small size and distorted features of some of the characters. Alice, after drinking the potion shrinks down to a very small size which allowed her to fall down the rabbit hole and enter Wonderland and another potion allowed her to grow extremely large while she was in Wonderland. One perception in the book’s analysis hints to psychoanalytic theory that deal with the onset of mental illness inflicted during our early childhood months. Specifically that of identity and the Oedipal fantasies stemming from our Oedipal period of development.

eating cherry.jpgIt’s been forbidden. It’s branded taboo to speak about sex and our sexual experiences. Discussions about our Oedipal period make people feel uncomfortable. Yet, in large part, it is responsible for our own personalized sexual behavior as we find ourselves secretly searching for its titillations over the internet in the secluded private space which we call home and our personal identity. In this private virtual space, which turns out to be not all that private anymore, we seek the licentious, the lustful, the decadent, and darkest desires of human nature. Draw the shades, and pull the curtains, no one has to know our deepest darkest secrets! Maybe I’m out of the loop here. Last I heard at the beginning of the new millenium, “Anything goes today.” Girls can be boys. Boys can be girls. Hetero and homo males can dress in woman’s fashion. It seems as if society is trying to break free from our former changes of restricted consciousness. Why do I have to pretend to be a boy when all I really want to be is a girl? Why do I have to pretend to like you, when all you really are is my enemy? We may secretly tell ourselves, “I love her dress. I’m going to buy it, but not for my wife. I’m buying for myself. No one has to know.” And how about the secret voice in sadistic personalities that whisper, “I like hurting you, I find the possibility of inflicting pain titillating. No one has to know.” So if society says anything goes, why do we keep them secret? We keep them secret to protect ourselves. For if they did know these shadowy Truths, it might scare them and with it, destroy our most pristine projected self image of “normality.”

“Normality – the condition of being normal, the state of being usual, typical, or expected, plain.”

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Yet with this unbounded social freedom there lies a sea of social dissonance. The uncomfortable feeling of having to face what man really is at the true core of his nature, his way of being. It seems that everything is safer when people aren’t really aware of how screwed-up everything really is. So we go about our lives fooling ourselves with our own personal belief systems, with misguided views influenced by the larger social unconscious, who happens to comprise a large portion of society’s dysfunction and with it the early childhood distortions and disturbances found in the fairy tale Alice in Wonderland. Believe it. It’s true, for homo ludens has told us so.

“Spoiler Alert! There is no difference between the psychology of the two females in boudoir photos (above), if the person in the first photo happens to be a nymphomaniac. Both nymphomania and overeating have its psychological roots in over stimulation.”

Next post; Anorexia; The Self-Inflicted Masochism Of The Death Instinct. (Know a skinny vegan? They may be anorexics hiding behind a screen of conscious dieting.)

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Exhibitionism And Masochism In The Formation Of Female Identity (edited)

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In contemplating what childbirth has meant and means to psychoanalysis, the topic of female exhibitionism must be explored. Traditional views of female body pleasure have precluded the concept of masochism. Masochism was especially championed by Helen Deutsch and seems to be the only way in classical drive theory to think about the possibility of female pleasure in the act of childbearing and giving birth. “It has recently been discovered that female masochism is a pathological variant in pleasure seeking, but analysts today lend towards examining such topics from angles that are not body-based, such as the object relational aspect of the pre-oedipal era, as in the wounded infantile narcissism.”

“A linkage between childbirth and masochism is largely ignored, and therefore the original meaning has not been worked through to the point of rejection.”

In regards psychoanalysis of females, the state of pregnancy can be viewed as “delivering of the goods.” It has been observed by some female psychoanalysists that when it comes to female-to-female competition topics regarding pregnancy and aspects of delivering the child are scrutinized most efficiently. Women view other women who can deliver rather quickly as possessing a type of “athletic prowess.” This athletic prowess is also seen as and extension of her possessing the added ability of exceptional fertility and this is scrutinized with regard to number of children she has delivered. Her exceptional fertility is viewed as a form of powerful sexuality, and thus, her ability to turn men on can exult her to the level of “goddess” and thus she is perceived as “Best Mommy and Wife.” Woman viewing the female presences as divine, that is, her numinosity, is at the very heart of a females perceived possessed spirituality which is that divine spirit presiding over her unconscious state of awareness. I am not only woman. I am sexual healer. I am muse. I am nurse. I am doctor. I am, thus, attendant to your very needs. It does not necessarily have to be factual that she actually is the “Best Mommy and Wife” only that these elements are perceived by other woman in labeling her worthy.

There was a case study involving a highly successful female professional executive. This woman was an Advertising Executive who gave PowerPoint presentations to try and “sell” her companies product. She would become sexually aroused during these presentations, exuding sexual energy and would fantasies about the sexual act of intercourse. At times, it would be so intense she would have to go into the bathroom to masturbate. She was very successful. She would win men over with her sexualized nature and that would eventually lead to sex and, at the same time, “winning” the contract.

This female executive would speak of her own daughter and her similar coloring to her father. She touched on the idea that this child was in fantasy like a child of her oedipal longings that proved to her that she was at “the head of her class,” triumphing over mother and sisters. She came to an insight that her divorced husband and the other males were only “boys” because none of them could measure to dad. Being daddy’s girl had been greatly prized, but it was mother’s body that had been the richest source of envy and female-dominationadmiration and mystery for these girls who shared in this family. The 101%, the grade to beat, the clinched deal, and the big pay-off. The measure of success was to be as filled with the power that mother had, the power to get a male sexually interested and so to secure the best prize of all, one’s own baby. Each business “presentation” this female executive gave to her audience of men, was therefore a vehicle to show her wares, to compete unconsciously with her mother’s body especially in it procreative state. Her psyche had the fluidity of an artist in her ability to regress, fantasize, play out a past superimposed on a present, and still utilize the interconnections between the past and the present. Her animated past revealed a psychic reality that propelled a sublimated and adaptive present tense.

She recalled many different times of being called up to the podium to give a “PowerPoint” presentation. The phallic reference of the podium titillated her, but the associative tilt was to her own female “power point,” the vulva, clitoris, and opening to the vagina, her “cunt,”  “hot spot,” or “hot point” as she felt free to convey in intimate conversations with trusted women. She reported a fantasy of taking off her panties, lying down, opening her legs, and feeling erotic as she imagined showing her vulva, and as she said, “pink, pouting, slightly open, and damp”  to the male onlookers for whom she was showing off. The fantasy would occur when she was excited by clients “to attract their advertising business.”

There were pangs of the forbidden sometimes as she confessed that she would go afterwards to a nearby restroom to masturbate. In this fantasy, her excitement would culminate with the image of the head of a baby coming through her widely stretched perineum, to be followed by the rest of its slithery form. The sexual excitement that accumulated as she progressed in “floor show” seemed to “demand” this masturbatory action outlet. Needless to say she was a high producing advertising sales lady.

The highly sexually excited orgasmic fantasies about giving birth are not uncommon in Behave.jpgfemale psychoanalytic studies. The contents at times contain pleasurable components of fantasizing about anticipated relief after a widly exciting orgiastic explosive birth, the yield of a tantalizing prior build-up of tension of “will it, will it not happen? Now? No!….Yes…..yes!” Classic psychoanalysis suggest that anal fantasy is more closely related to these birthing scenarios than male phallic fantasy, as in the childhood fantasy of the rectally passing of great “gifts,” sometimes for onlookers such as mother, husband, midwife, or obstetrician. Such fantasies are woven into active female body autoeroticism, analogous perhaps to male masturbatory fantasies of pleasurable explosion in orgasm. In this particular case study the woman didn’t possess any tonalities of co-existing loss, or the anxiety about being inadequate or a fraud that have come to be associated with the vulva “damage” ideas that characterize true phallic castration fantasies and penis envy.

In this case study, the woman recalled being thrillingly sexually stimulated by the examining fingers of her obstetrician while she was in the lithotomic position during prenatal examinations. Her associations led to all kinds of feelings and sensations about giving birth; the “show” beforehand in the bursting of the waters, the stretching, pushing and “crowning” of the head. And, her main memories in this regard would return to her mother and other women’s “crowning glories,” their babies.

It’s important to note that this female executive lost her little brother at a very early age. She was 12 years old when he was struck by a car and killed. I personally found a connection to this case and found it rather interesting because there can be an association made between this particular case study and my own personal timeline of life events when I had been rejected by a boy in early adolescence and the lost my nephew in a tragic car accident when I was 35. My nephew was nineteen when he passed away. I had helped to care for him during his infancy and to whom his mother provided me a positive female pregnant body experience. This event was supposed  to be responsible for my “sexualized behavior” and had something to do with a wish “to repair the broken family” again through the “giving of gifts” namely a baby. This was simply not the case because the reasons for my regression laid in the “rejection” and “cutting off” or “castration” by family members who were in control over my nephews hospital visitations and death bed ritual. It may have appeared as if my thoughts were incestuous but, in fact, it was not my nephews actual death that caused the resurfacing of the “cutting off” and “rejection” that I felt. It was the isolation I felt from certain family members who sought to keep me away from my family during my nephews death bed ritual. This proved to fuel and drive my hysteria which took the form of aerobic dance for five hours a day. I made an associations between the “showing off at the podium of her wares” of particular interest because in this particular psychoanalytic case, it was perceived as a form of “sexualized behavior,” one that is compared to an erotic dancer. The after math of excessive exercise was inevitable weight loss. Some people in my family perceived my weight loss as a way of “showing of my wares” for the audience of men. In my opinion, from a psychoanalytic standpoint, this demonstrates a maladaptive response in certain individuals, one that touches on their own deep rooted psychological fears and anxieties of the expressed female body transformation. It demonstrated  and suggests a maladaptive response in early childhood development and has further implications for the establishment of mutual associations, especially when one goes from that of androgynous child state to “sexualized object.” This transformation can represent the licentious libidinal desires of female procreative form and the competitive aspect in attracting the opposite sex which can generate fear and anxieties among individual group members and peers. This rejection of the sexualized female body form, proved to me that certain family members may share in similar personality traits which my illicit a form of sexual anxiety or castrating fears of one’s own importance or ability during times of “body transformation,” of others, in particular the adolescent’s new budding form or other female transformations that take place like plastic surgeries and weight loss.

In conclusion, the compound effect of the tragic loss of life through catastrophic event can reveal some of  the most vehement underlying disturbances lurking in the unconscious psychic mind of all those involved. We can learn from them and discover for ourselves who we truly are, only of course, if one is willing to peer into the dark recesses of psychoanalytic study and pull back the curtain.

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“What lies behind your curtain? Are you willing to peer inside?”

 

The Mouth As Organ And An Aspect To The Female Form

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“Unlike the origins of electromagnetic energy, the origins of desire remain mysterious and controversial. There’s no consensus on which sexual interests are normal, abnormal, or pathological. Scientists can’t even agree on the purpose of female orgasm, whether there is such a thing as having too much sex, whether sexual fantasies are innocent or dangerous.” ~Ogi Ogas and Sai Gaddam, A Billion Wicked Thoughts 

In reflecting upon early adult sexual development the case of Dylan a woman who recalled for the first time the reasons for her “obsession with possessing the penis” and its connection to sexual fantasy, oral pleasures, and the formation of sexual identity. Part of the self discovery of a persons womanhood and identity can be revealed to us during pre-adolescence and/or the early stages of adult life through our individual sexual explorations. Dylan recalled a time when during the act of lovemaking with a male partner he expressed dissatisfaction with her sexual performance. She distinctly remembered his facial expressions and body language of her male partner and how it seemed to “threaten” her existence though its perceived rejection. Dylan was also experiencing a crisis in her early adult life which took the form of addiction in the use of drugs and alcohol. Because of her delinquent behavior and use of alcohol and illicit drugs her behavior demonstrated the threat of an onset of potential identity confusion. Dylan reported her family had grown increasingly dissatisfied with her because of her behavior and she was forced out of her home and fell into the shelter of a man who encouraged her delinquent behavior. The male companion’s home became her shelter for approximately one year‘s time.

Listening to her story it became apparent the dissatisfied voice of her male counterpart mirrored her family’s dissatisfaction with her. She then, naturally felt threatened that this experience might lead to her “exclusion,” “cutting her off” or her “excommunication” from her lover’s bed and home. She reported it was at this time she became aware of the need to “protect her existence” that she found she could insatiably satiate him through the use of oral pleasures. She reported this was when she first recalled feeling the “joyful pleasure” of knowing that she had satisfied him with her body and that through it she could garnish “safety.” The “safety” she speaks of is a form of repetition behavior which protects one from the death instinct, the metaphorical death of being “cut off” from something, in this case her beloved. It is a repetition we all seem to possess in some form. She states, “When I discovered my mouth was a sensual object, I became aware of a power I possessed as woman.” This discovery of her power in the oral organ of the mouth as sensual

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Rose Petal Abstraction

object, seemed to proved a sense of empowerment for her as a woman and proved to help her embody those aspects of the womanly form as sensual and desirable. It was in discovering this aspect of her womanhood and feminine form she became more confident. She was around the age of nineteen or twenty years of age. It is common, and in fact healthy, for woman to realize those elements of their being that give satisfaction and gratification to others. Much like the breasts and the vagina, the mouth too can provide an additional aspect to the embodiment of the feminine form. The mouth as an instrument of sexual gratifications, much like the vagina, has been epitomized in the imagery of the bodacious red lips. So it should come as no real surprise that red lips can be associated with the solicitation activity of the prostitute and have been, throughout history, stigmatized in many cultures as “bad” or “evil.” The red apple and the evil seductress are images that tempt man and causes his downfall. Some men actually possess a “delusion” of women in regard to this aspect of the female presence.

“Remember what your mother told you? It was all a lie. There’s nothing wrong with freaky and squicky. In fact, it’s quite normal.” ~Ogi Ogas and Sai Gaddam, A Billion Wicked Thoughts 

What Dylan realized was that much like her breasts that satiates the hungry infant through liquid nourishment, which for many woman may become solidified during nursing, her mouth possessed an aspect of parenting, one that holds the power of delivering contentment through delivering the nourishment of love and acquired acceptance of “other.” She believes that it was in realizing the power of the mouth as an erotic instrument that her expressed obsession with the penis began. Clearly her addictions hinted towards a disturbance in the oral stage of infantile development, as it has been theorized by Erikson. Her expressed sexual deviance, too, hints to some early childhood disturbance as well. But the “obsession” she developed for wanting to possess the penis hinted to a former an otherwise healthy childhood Oedipus complex.

The related forms of psychopathology as theorized by Erikson the ones that are rooted during the oral phase of infantile development, the first stage from birth to 18 months, and one in which the Trust vs. Mistrust of other. The pathologies that are linked to the first stage are; Psychosis; Addictions; Depression. It is during this time that the cosmic order of the child’s universe is established. One disturbance that should be mentioned and considered here occurred in her early childhood development when her parent’s decided she was too big for the bottle. The “taking away” of this most beloved favored oral possession; “the nipple”, she recalled, “left her longing for it.” She reported, “Its absence from my life was completely disappointing.” She found “the nipple” provided her comfort and contentment. Freud would postulate that she clearly did not repudiate the breast, ie; her mother. Some psychologist might suggest, however, that this is not where her need to satisfy and satiate her beloved partner originated. It originated in the rejection and loss she felt from her family, specifically of that of her parents, and the need to re-acquire it and thus the re-establishment of stability.

Consider the following:
“The infant’s development of basic trust in the world stems from its earliest experiences with its mother or primary caretaker. In Childhood and Society Erikson asserts that trust depends not on “absolute quantities of food or demonstrations of love, but rather on the quality of maternal relationship.” A baby whose mother can anticipate and respond to its needs in a consistent and timely manner despite its oral aggression will learn to tolerate the inevitable moments of frustration and deprivation. The defense mechanisms of introjection and projection provide the infant with the means to internalize pleasure and externalize pain such that “consistency, continuity, and sameness of experience provide a rudimentary sense of ego identity.” Trust will predominate over mistrust, and hope will crystallize. For Erikson, the elements of society corresponding to this stage of ego identity is religion, as both are founded on “trust born of care.”

One of the difficult challenges in evaluating individuals is obtaining a thorough and clear case history of their childhood development. Each development stage, as Erikson noted, is incumbent upon the next. That is to say, the successful completion of one stage, upon the next stage, and so forth as to allow for a full and complete proper development. It is only theorized that addiction is the result of a disturbance in the early childhood development. So it should go without saying that this should not be considered an absolute law in psychoanalysis. It isn’t. There could be other factors present in a patient’s clinical history like some other from of traumata, enforced militant discipline, domestic violence, and or sexual related abuses not necessarily present in the first stage of development. It would be imprudent to say otherwise. It is more important to discuss with the patient how such events made them “feel.” It is in discussing their feelings of childhood events that a clinician can formulate a complete and clear picture of a patient’s personality, identity and psychic state of mind.

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Peace!

The Case Of Kate And A Question Of Religion

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A short synopsis:  Kate married a closet homosexual straight out of high school at the tender age of nineteen. So when, during the course of her marriage, he left her “lacking” in the bedroom, her mind turned to thoughts of infidelity. To counteract this sinful state,  she started praying to god. Since Kate was brought up by very religious parents and a mother who wanted to control her behavior to conform to the norms and mores set forth in our society, she began praying five minutes every hour for spiritual help in order to eliminate these immoral sexual thoughts. When she couldn’t pray five minutes every hour while her husband was home, she condensed the prayer into a ritualized chant; as a way of praying more. So when her therapist met with her and started asking questions to try and reveal this hidden and forbidden secret to which she became so distraught, a secret she kept so guarded as unable to utter any sinful words, it threw her into a sobbing crying mess as she curled herself  up into a ball in the corner of the room. The reason for this outrageous display lay hidden in the fact that the therapist broke her ritualized chant, which in the mind of the patient, was the only thing keeping her in “clean” state of existence and thereby warded off  the complete and utter disobedient state of sin. Instantly she began repeating endlessly to herself, “I’m going to die! I‘m going to die!”

Because of Kate’s upbringing, infidelity in a marriage, otherwise known as adultery, was considered a sin in the eyes of the Catholic church and all sins are punishable by god. Kate found herself seven_deadly_sinshaving thoughts of masturbation often because of her husband’s lack of duty, masturbation is also considered a sin in the eyes of the Catholic church; another sin punishable by god. It was in Kate’s flawed and misguided belief in this “Monster-God” that sent her into a state of psychosis. When her therapist challenged her religious belief by posing the question, “What is a sin?” and inquired where that notion came from, did Kate start to fully realize that she was under the influence of someone else’s world view. Once gaining a background perspective of the individual, the next step in therapy is to ask questions like, “Where did your belief system originate?” Kate responded,“I guess the Catholic church sold me a bill of goods.”  At this point, a new phase of therapy was begun. For it was at this stage in  her therapy that she and her therapist began to explore and ask more questions: “How was it that this had happened? Why had she allowed herself to buy this bill of goods, lock, stock and barrel? How was it that she had not been able to think more for herself and had not until now challenged the church’s view point in any way?”  Kate Responded, “But Mother told me I should not question the church.” And so we began to work on Kate’s relationship with her parents.

Because Kate’s case is so typical and others like it are so commonly seen in practice, many psychiatrists, and psychotherapists perceive religion as the “enemy.” They may even think of religion as being itself a neurosis – a collection of inherently irrational ideas that serve to enchain peoples’ minds and oppress their instincts toward mental growth. Freud, a Freud.jpgrationalist and scientist par excellence, seemed to see things in roughly this light, and since he is the most influential figure in modern psychiatry, for many good reasons, his attitudes have contributed to the concept of religion as a neurosis. It is indeed tempting for psychiatrist to view themselves as knights of modern science locked in noble combat with the destructive forces of ancient religious superstition and, irrational but authoritarian, dogma. And the fact of the matter is this:  “Psychotherapists must spend enormous amounts of time and effort in the struggle to liberate their patients’ minds from outmoded religious ideas and concepts that are clearly destructive.” Religion does serve a purpose, especially in molding our young, however, religion is not the only way to instill values, ethics and mores. The branch of academic study known as philosophy can instill these same values if reading materials are appropriately selected for our children.

Kate eventually finished her therapy and evolved her mental state to a place where she no longer feared this “Monster-God” and was able to begin to take steps toward independence. When last she reported she was doing well, she had divorced her husband, and was looking for work. She stated that she was continuing to work on herself and continue to develop her assertiveness in leadership and gain new mastery over her own life affairs instead of placing it in the hands of an all powerful, all-knowing, deity.

Kate’s trauma is not all that uncommon in consideration to others who have chosen to seek psychoanalysis for problems faced at various stages in their lives. In fact, most, if not all of us have suffer some type of trauma or traumas in our early childhood, most likely at the hands of an all powerful caregiver. The important thing is not that we suffered, but that we seek help when a crisis arises in our lives. At some point in all our lives, most individuals will questioning something, just like Kate needed to start questioning her “God” and it is in this scientific mind set that we are able to come to terms with religion, in all of its facets, and to discover answers to questions regarding morality that we may come to find a solution for this enigma called Evil.

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PEACE!