Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The Shadow and the little child the Shadow ate.

It has possession of his mind, his house. Like any little child, he adores Big Daddy Demon, imitates Big Daddy Demon, and has an unsettled issue in trying to win Big Daddy Demon's approval. So, instead of kicking his tormentor out of his house, he abuses others to be like Big Daddy Demon and fool himself about what he is.

Like Big Daddy Demon, he abuses those most innocent and defenseless, those least deserving of the punishment for his Daddy's sins. That's what they exist for.

And so the curse of malignant narcissism is passed from generation to generation in families.

In the cases on which my work is based there has been what I call a true self hidden, protected by a false self. This false self is no doubt an aspect of the true self. It hides and protects it, and it reacts to the adaptation failures and develops a pattern corresponding to the pattern of environmental failure. In this way the true self is not involved in the reacting, and so preserves a continuity of being. However, this hidden true self suffers an impoverishment that derives from lack of experience.

— D. W. Winnicott, from "Clinical Varieties of Transference," 1955-56

What's in There?