oedipus-complex-medusa

Freud Was Right - the Horrendous Abuse of the Oedipus Complex

When Mother Abuse Their Sons 

James

Welcome back everybody to Jung to Live By, today we've got a fantastic show in store for yourself and we've got a comment that was very well thought out.

 

Obviously the individual involved disclosed a lot about themselves so we'd thought we'd do a video to do that comment justice.

 

So here it is:

 

I was raised by a narcissistic mother and only realised it after an ego death on entheogens at the age of 22, now I'm 24. This was the moment I realised my perspective on life was based on her manipulations. I am gay now and have the sensation that really I'm not and this happens because of my abuse and how she treated me.

 

She slept with me until my teen years, always shaming my father for his sexual desires, made comments about other mens' sexiness, get naked around me and so on. Now I'm trying to go no contact with her, but for sure I know my perspective on women has been deeply affected.

 

I have narcissistic traits; I've done shadow work and I can see how I've manipulated people (most in the same way my mother manipulated me). Now I'm at a very confusing time in my life, oscillating between a gay life and the task to fulfil my biological role. I also have BPD traits. I don't expect an answer to my problems, but any advice helps. Everybody is welcome to give an opinion here.

 

Thanks

 

Steve

Thank you for sharing that, it takes a lot of courage and you certainly have our respect.

 

Pauline

Yes

 

Steve

Well I guess this falls in with kind of a part 2 of the Slaying Your Mother Complex video we put out. It's unfortunately quite common that we're seeing more and more cases like this, I certainly remember one going back 30 years so it's not a new phenomenon.

 

It's perhaps just the volume of people coming forward with this type of problem that is increasing.

 

The elements are as I say, all too common, sadly and I really feel for this person and the fact he's got as much insight as he has, I don't personally accept at this stage that he really does have BPD or even narcissistic traits are innate to him as such.

 

They're both more likely to be a symptomatic expression of his distress and the degree to which he;s identifying with them - which means he's incorporating them into his self concept - that's important for him to get to grips with.

 

When we talk about an ego identified complex that's something incorporated within that shouldn't be there. It's not natural but we've absorbed it through conditioning of the environment and other people and that includes the kind of thing we've spoken about on other podcasts, such as how you may even take on another person's type, for example.

 

And after a while, we get into this confirmation bias situation where we look for evidence that supports why we feel the way we do or have the beliefs we have and we can even go so far as to get others to agree with that and confirm it within ourselves.

 

People will often seek out therapists and fall into that trap, as they agree with the presentation and symptoms, so for example if someone says they have specific systems such as "I have BPD or narcissistic traits", the therapist will agree with them and therefore confirm a complex, a pathogen incorporate into a person's self concept.

 

A person's self-concept is a specific part of the ego which itself is a complex, and within that, when you incorporate things in, you're basically building your internal mirror - the thing you refer to, to say "that's me".

 

If you've acquired a theory, or influence that suggests you have BPD as in this case, or narcissistic traits, you may then start to believe and act and tell other people you are that way.

 

Of course, deep down you will know that that's not the case, as in deep down you are suffering, but this has been incorporated and then you get the split which is what we're seeing now.

 

Someone with BPD may well boast about it and indeed they do.

 

But this is not a boast, this is a signal for help. This is not somebody boasting that they've got this particular trait which is negative and allows them to control others.

 

He's been exposed to narcissism through his mother, he's been exposed to personality disorder traits from his mother and it's part of the overall ambience he's developed within and he's selected certain things from here to incorporate into his self concept.

 

The fact that he is now gay, is porbably also a function - as he says himself - of his experience. That's not to say there's anythingn abnormal about being gay, but wtihin this context, he is saying that he blieves that has led to his sexual orientation at the moment.

 

It well be that when he's addressed this particular problem, he's still gay and perfectly happy, but what I will say is taht in many of the cases that I've experienced over the past four decades in my own clinical work, I've seen the same profile of distress emerging from people into the same sexual orientation, that they very often wouldn't have chosen for themselves had it not been for the influence upon them.

 

As in this case a mother whose boundaries were completely inappropriate.

 

So he's suffering terribly, very very badly, so the solution will be deep - because that's where the wound is, and that will be at the level of his instincts.

 

And how he;s guided to that will be very very important with respect to the outcome, otherwise he may stay on the surface where his distress is and become habituated to displaying the distress without solving it. It's what Freud called repetition compulsion - where we end up having to act out and repeat patterns of behaviour in an attempt to solve a problem but it doesn't actually solve it.

 

The neuropsychoanalysts talk about it too, in the sense that a memory or a series of connected memories become so consolidated into long term memory that they are truly unconscious and it's very difficult for the person who suffers from trauma that's been turned into that long term memory, to deal with it. So in a therapeutic sense there is a way out for him, to resolve this but he would need careful support in accessing his own healing instincts and understanding his mother's instincts as well and how they may have gone wrong and led to this inappropriate behaviour.

 

But from his account he is a victim, no doubt.

 

Pauline

No doubt at all. The thing that struck me Steve, and you know he's been so open about his situation which is incredibly brave... it's almost as if - and I'm thinking instinctively now - as if he's been held in captivity by his mother's inappropriate instincts really, and we know what happens to people in situations where that happens, where people are held hostage for example, they;'re forced to adapt to the person that holds them captive - stockholm syndrome.

 

And it's no different really in the context of a family - a mother son, or a father son relationship - than it is where it's happening maybe with a stranger. Well why should it be? The dynamic is still the same and the instincts can be injured or be forced to adapt in a particular way accordingly.

 

ANd that was the thing that struck me that he's been so closely bound to her at an instinctive level that he probably doesn't see the way out because he's taking a psychological perspective rather than an instinctive one.

 

But instincts can be healed, they can be repaired but you do need to access them and you need to look at what instincts have been instincts and what instincts will liberate you from the situation.

 

Steve

Yes. He's put a lot of work in from what he's said. He's got a lot of insight, so all the preparation for the healing is in place, and that's the positive angle on this and it's real, it's a real angle. The way he's been able to paint the picture suggests that he has sufficient insight as well as the courage necessary to go where he needs to go to heal this. Obviously a trauma - and it's a long trauma - this is a continuously reaffirming trauma - has damaged his relationship probably to women. And how he's likely to see them and even feel repelled by them.

 

For example a classical freudian view would interpret it that way, in that the repulsion would be based on this obvious Oedipal style abuse of the mother toward the son and so any relationship he would have with another woman would be like incest and in that sense he would have to reject relating to women in an instinctual way because his mother had pushed that boundary too far. That's a classical Freudian perspective and I'm not suggesting any by that in terms of what may have actually gone on, but there is that instinctive level that needs to be looked at.

 

And I really wish him well, I really do, sincerely and from the heart.

 

James

Can I ask a question then as you said this sort of stuff was on the rise.

 

Steve

Yes.

 

James

So this might help to detach yourself from the situation and see it more broadly.

 

Is it on the rise in the population in terms of population density - in other words just because the population is rising or is it an innate pathology?

 

Steve

Well that's an interesting point.

 

When Freud frist uncovered sexual abuse in childhood it was of such a volume that he couldn't believe it. Him and Josef Breuer. But he had to accept it because of the volume of it, so he put it out and he was attacked immediately by all the institutions including the professional ones and he was forced to withdraw.

 

And now it seems he was probably right. Because what's come out over the last 20 years in terms of the sheer volume and the almost normality of sexual abuse of children in one form or another. So, it's robably a question of reporting and how many people are coming forward and now because of the internet it's harder and harder for the abusers to suppress the information so it's coming through.

 

Pauline

It is a problem because obviously people are encouraged to come forward about abuses, but very often they're approaching the very organizations that are rife with people who are abusing people themself shall we say. So in some circumstances and probably in many, it's actually impossible for people to get the help they need.

 

And without getting into detail we have some personal understanding in this area as well and this is very difficult because these people are so vulnerable... and if you have the courage to come out and say "this, this and this" happened to me, and then suddenly you find out that all the doors start to close on you and the people supposed to help you turn on you, and it does happen, what do you do?

 

People just fall back on themselves.

 

And that's very difficult because what else do you do or where do you go for help without going to society and culture for help. And as I say, if those organisations that apparently provide help are corrupted themselves - and I'm afraid to say my personal position on that is that they are - then it's very difficult to get the help that you need.

 

Steve

Yeh. You mentioned archetypes and how they form from instincts and that is important and we have discussed this a few times. It's important not to be distracted by them and not see them where they aren't there - and where you've just got social constructions.

 

Instincts, yes, are incredibly important because if you access them then you find that your psyche produces a narrative for you that will bring you out of the problem and that's where the best therapy works. In that the engagement with the therapist will help you to produce a narrative that the instincts will agree with and will match the environment that you live in at the moment and also match the through line of your life and will sync all of that together. So that's a personal creation in the moment and it's why we use for example enactment which is a very powerful form of psychotherapy where you have a group of therapists involved with a single patient, with a chaperone, and things get worked through in a very dynamic and healing way, and that generates a mythic narrative in the moment. It's entirely natural because nothing is imposed on the psyche and the psyche literally directs the enactment.

 

And something of that intensity and of that power might be indicated for this person.

 

Or, perhaps something a little slower and a little more gradual, but some kind of therapeutic work. Given his insight I think he could work this through, I really do. I have nothing but respect for him.

 

Pauline

I know we're not necessarily talking about paedophilia here, because his mother has not abused him in that way though clearly it's inappropriate, but there are more female paedophiles out there than people realise. It's always levelled at men that they do the sexual abuse. But that's clearly not the case. Women are in the minority compared to men of those who get caught but we've known female paedophiles and i think like you've said before Steve, if you want to catch a lion go and stand with the zebras... a lot of them are female teachers or nursery workers, working in professions where they have access to children.

 

But it's something that's not talked about routinely, because it's nearly always levelled at men and it's as if women don't really do these things.

 

I'm saying that to redress the balance, because it's always men who do this and men who do that, and all the abuse is done by men and it's always levelled at men and women do these things too.

 

Maybe not to the same extent...

 

Steve

And in different ways, too. You've often pointed out that a lot of the abuse from mothers is through psychological control that will then sometimes bleed over into physical abuse, but they control so much of a child's life and how they adapt to the world.

 

Pauline

And they do. It's obvious if a man commits some kind of sex act, that you could descirbe as being abusive, for obvious reasons, but with women it's so much more subtle.

 

For example, we knew a female teacher who would - and she would put this out on Facebook - she would get together with her other female friends purely to bath their children as well as her own, and in particular male children and we've talked about libido in the past in that you know somebody from their libido and the direction in which it flows.

 

And you do see this with some of these women in that they put themselves in positions where they have access to children, other women's children and even if it's something like bathing them, that is part of the way in which the abuse takes place.

 

Steve

There was a male involved with that, too. Who would sit in on that, and also walk around naked in front of these children who were not his. Very often you'll get a couple who are abusers and they're psychopaths and they feed off one another. One of them's higher functioning one than the other usually.

 

Pauline

Yeh. I guess I'm thinking about it because of the comment about the narcissism because that can be a feature of paedophiles that there is this narcissistic element.

 

Steve

For sure it has to be there. Because you're not relating to children, as children, they're there for your own gratification.

 

Pauline

Yes exactly.

 

It's really - just to add that because it's something that's not talked about and it's commonly overlooked.

 

But no women do abuse and there's no doubt about it.

 

Steve

They do.

 

They shape the psyche and the early relating function, for both genders. Both biological genders to be clear.

 

Which is again to go back to basic Jung and also basic biology and neuropsychoanalysis, the imprinting by the mother for both sexes is important and that is the relating function for both a boy and a girl child, which is why a girl child's relationship to her father is different fundamentally.

 

Pauline

Why it feels so strange and alien.

 

Steve

It's an animus thing in Jungian terms because she has to extend the genderised relating aspect of her psyche, whereas boys don't. They relate to a female, and then they relate to other females, in that caring, nurturing way. Or not, depending on how they've been conditioned shall we say by their earlier experiences.

 

But it is different for girls. And they have to accommodate both sexes in a way that men generally don't, in that basic way.

 

James

Just want to bolster quickly what you were saying Pauline. It reminds me of the FBI crime statistics from 2014 or 2015.

 

If you include "made to penetrate", then women rape men 80% as much as men raping women.

 

To which everyone goes, "woah! What the hell is that?!".

 

I've had several friends who say this so nonchalantly - because that's the way it's treated - several friends who have been raped by women and it's like, what do you do about that?

 

What do you do?

 

It's one of those unspoken about things that perpetuates that cycle of abuse.

 

Pauline

Well that's right. And I guess underneath that we're into instincts, the desire for dominance and power and control, all those instincts will be at work in those situations whether they're for men or for women.

 

And there's no getting away from that. But I do feel it's important to address the balance, because - and forgive my language - so much shit is levelled at men and I think really we should have more of a humanistic approach to things in the sense that we look at ourselves as human beings first rather than men or women.

 

This is what people do, not what men do or women do, but what people do to one another and I think it should be understood in that way.