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Does the false self have empathy?

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Re: Does the false self have empathy?

Postby Philonoe » Sat Oct 03, 2020 2:36 pm

Akuma wrote:
Is that what they call "the depressive position"? So it would be necessary step to accept that other people exist


Its a general reading of it yea. You might have checked the definition of it, so Melanie Kleins original meaning is a bit more specific in regards to the development of toddlers / children. But in general, Kleinian psychoanalysts will be on the lookout for the presence of moments where the patient is either more in one or the other position and tune their interventions accordingly.

Akuma,from what you wrote, I saw it more like a step - which i find interesting :

From what i read about Melanie Klein, the depressive position happens in babies before age of one year old in general.
It's sort of step between omnipotence where the world seems magical and seems to obey you, and a world where there are other people.
It's a difficult step and needs some internal security to go through. You need to be convinced that the world is truthful then some day you sort of releases control.
It's difficult because you need to lose your preceeding imaginary world. It's sort of molt. Molts are moments of fragility.

I suppose not all babies are able to go through that, depending on how securizing their environment is.

So some people stay with fantasy of omnipotence and need for control.

So that would explain why some people - who didn't do that step - develop themselves with omnipotence and need for control, and possibly without really aknowledging other's existence.


That's sort of image people's development.


I suppose it's not so schematic and in a way, all of us have some fantasies of omnipotence and some need for control and selfcentered.

But it could explain some attitudes that i never understood before. If one never did the step and lives in that world, other's existence can be a threat.

It could explain some personnality i was in contact with - in job - and who under appearance of pleasant person - who claimed be empathetic - couldn't deal with people's existence and autonomy.
The person was in reality deeply destructive, and looked well while little by little people around were in burnout, left (like me) or were fired.
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Re: Does the false self have empathy?

Postby Akuma » Sat Oct 03, 2020 4:18 pm

I think its a bit like with the dichotomy between the borderline and neurotic - in the 70s this was still seen as sort of split (which si funny considering the topic), now its more seen like both can coexist in a human being, one can be much more prominent of course than the other, but neurotic (read self-image/oedipal) issues can appear in one moment and in the next, maybe considering another topic, that speaks to other areas of the persons mind, suddenly narcissistic / structural deficits can be seen. I guess its the same way with the PS<->D, which has later (f.e. Wilfred Bions writings), sounds much more like an oscillation. I find for example that in therapy the oscillation can be rather strong, too, so the therapist gives an interpretation and theres a PS<->D movement... or there is suddenly emptiness. Thats the most prominent in my case heh.
I think the hard part about it, if youre on the receiving end of projection, is that - especially in projective identification - it often grips you and drags you in, before you know it - it all happens unconsciously. So like with SelfSerfs implied question about if an emotional reaction is mature or immature, it can be looked at, and it can be structurally understood, but in the "heat of the moment" (and some of those moments can be rather prolonged) it can be very hard.
For the person who is more in PS position of course its troubling, too. Depending on their self-image they might need to uphold an inner vision of cleanliness, so everything dirty gets thrown out. Now the outside world, when it becomes too dirty, becomes a source of paranoia, suddenly there is evil people everywhere, who have to be either controlled, attacked or rescued. If those outside people dont let themselves be controlled, they are perceived as liars and cheaters. Etc. You can see there is D in this PS, too hehe.
dx: dissociative disorder + npd
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Re: Does the false self have empathy?

Postby Philonoe » Thu Oct 15, 2020 7:34 am

Akuma,

Do you mean that there is some oscillation and that you are learning to perceive it, through therapy?

You talk about what can happen to you internally. I was seeing things externally, which is in general less interesting and probably always simplistic.

I guess we have all a "dynamic" mind. What i was talking about i that some people grew in somehow comfortable environment, but - for some reason while their personality was building - didn't go through that terrible discover that they were small and related to an other existing person. So they built themselve sort of omnipotent world. Thus some bad experiences like separation, triggers in job, anything that make them look small is a very big trigger on their existence.

Probably we all have sort of omnipotent mind. But we somehow have conscience of some sorts of boundaries, which can be frustrating but do exist.
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Re: Does the false self have empathy?

Postby Akuma » Sun Oct 18, 2020 5:04 am

Philonoe wrote:Akuma,

Do you mean that there is some oscillation and that you are learning to perceive it, through therapy?


Im not sure if thats possible. I would actually have to ask my therapist about it. Personally I think that when we look at what the words imply, then both projective and splitting activity will make it at least very hard to perceive this state when being in it. My experience at least with people that are very projective, even if they might not be splitting that badly, is that that itself already makes it hard to get them to see what theyre doing... but then this is also true for general neurotics I guess.
No I think what therapy does is much more invisible, its more about gaining more inner stability, getting order into a lot of things that are never seen in the first place and over time lessening the necessity for regression overall.

I guess we have all a "dynamic" mind. What i was talking about i that some people grew in somehow comfortable environment, but - for some reason while their personality was building - didn't go through that terrible discover that they were small and related to an other existing person. So they built themselve sort of omnipotent world. Thus some bad experiences like separation, triggers in job, anything that make them look small is a very big trigger on their existence.


That also seems like an explanation of internal things to me, though. But its hard to say what is going on really, I personally would see omnipotence as a seperate entity, not necessarily being a part of a feeling of being merged with the object. Magical thinking for example can be a way of omnipotency to work, but it can try to work on objects that are constant for example, or trying to uphold that constancy. My grandmother for example had skin-cancer in her face and didnt get an operation because she was convinced that doing something about it would make it worse. So while that is clearly rather unlogical and according to my T thats a form of magical thinking, the ability to see something "getting worse" runs contrary to the PS position - imo - where an object does not become anything, its either present or absent. So getting triggered might not necessarily be an outcome of a sort of loss of the illusion of omnipotence, but of an unconscious perception of having been destroyed, as there is no inner sense of continuity, but a feeling of continuity rests on [possibly omnipotent] object which itself is not continuous.
Some people with more dissociative or lowlevel illnesses can actually still remember very early stuff and its a very weird world. Very chaotic and desorienting. I imagine people with psychosis experiencing the world sometimes in a similar fashion.
dx: dissociative disorder + npd
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