Getting Sick to Be Well, Part Five: Flaunting One’s Sickness Is Healthier Than Hiding It … Gen X, Goths, Pacifiers, and The Hierarchy of Healing
Of Goths, Gen X, Anti-Abortionists, Pacifiers, and a Hierarchy of Healing … You Make It When You DON’T Fake It: Healing Crisis, Part 5
A Hierarchy of Healing?
This idea that those close to their unconscious conflicts are more likely to act them out blatantly goes completely against one of DeMause’s tenets. He wrote, “The higher the psychogenic mode of the psychoclass, the less it is necessary for it to act out its conflicts.” [Footnote 1]
However this is exactly the crux of my difference with his theory and is a central point I am making. For from my perspective, the higher the mode of child-caring equals the less the defenses. Hence, the more it is likely that that generation’s conflicts will be close to the surface, seeking resolution … like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory. We might want to call it a hierarchy of healing theory. [Footnote 2]
In other words, our observing the supposed “acting out” of an underlying trauma does not mean that the group or person in question is actually or, at least completely, “acting it out” and defending against it. It may be that that group is resolving, healing, or integrating it—taking it inward rather than acting it out…in the world, on others…whether to a small or great extent. Using the analogy of Pandora’s Jar, described earlier, they are opening the jar, at least a little. And I disagree with deMause in that I wish to stress that it is healthier by far to do that. Let me explain:
The difference between acting out and resolving is whether the actions are done in total dissociation from the unconscious dynamics, that is to say, in a trance state—as explained earlier in regard to the World War Two generation and the Tea Party—or whether there is at least a modicum of insight into it occurring as a result of things inside of oneself, not completely projected onto the outside.
The attitude that leads to total dissociation and acting out was expressed in a recent 2012 military movie, Act of Valor, which depicted Navy Seals engaged in anti-terrorism activity. At the end, the manner of dealing with pain recommended for these American soldiers and “men of valor” was to (paraphrasing) put all the pain in a box, shut it tight, press it down till it is smaller and smaller, and never, under any circumstances, let it out!
However, in non-acting-out—“acting inward” or taking back the projection—there is a tad of insight, as, for example, in the “overexamined life” of the “uncommitted” and the “self-analysis” of the young radicals of the Sixties generation. Similarly, the rock concert revivication of all current generations except the Fifties and WWII ones, as I’ve mentioned, is about personal experience and growth, and it is not about acting out on another; whereas an example of the extreme other end of that would be engaging, trance-like, in a mass killing against a perceived political enemy, as Loughner did, and as we do as nations in wars.
Another example of complete dissociation are the anti-abortion folks. They don’t have a clue of the connection between their own unconscious prenatal pain and the feelings they have about unborn others. They are not wrestling with their feelings, they are trying to change the world to conform to their defenses around those feelings—that is, they want the world to suppress that womb time out of existence like they have done to it in their own minds. The proof that it is acting out is that it is all about changing others’ behavior, and it involves imposing one’s inner pain on others forcefully and aggressively—which we have seen in its extreme form with the murders of physicians committed by anti-abortionists
Flaunting One’s Sickness Beats Hiding It—Generation X
The self-analysis of the Sixties Generation was followed by a different mode of struggling with perinatal pain by Generation X, which continues in abated form with the Millennial Generation. It was manifest rather strikingly with the Goth phenomenon and the vampire fascination that began in the Eighties, coincident with Gen X’s coming of age. Goth and vampirism show blatant perinatal dynamics that are not unfelt and completely repressed as in dissociation with its trance-state aggression against others. An example of Gen X perinatal acting out of these dynamics in total dissociation and trance state was given above in the anti-abortionists. But Goth and vampire culture show folks feeling and immersed consciously in these pushes and pulls and wrestling with them, trying to work them out as opposed to act them out.
Hey, It Was Tough!
This is rather clearly shown in looking at the “regression” in Europe, described by psychohistorians, which occurred in the Nineties. This behavior showed a bit of insight…and resolution happening…in that the baby song being hummed was about the very real hardships of being a baby. Therefore, an actual truth about their own lives was being faced there by those singing along with it. The song was not being used to deny or defend against those traumas.
One might suspect that as well in carrying around such blatant examples of regression as a pacifier. For someone in a more defended mode would be highly threatened by such an obvious symbol that they are really needy children inside. More defended folks would be terrified such overt behavior would make them look wussy or sissified—that is, look like that vulnerable, frightened baby that they really feel themselves to be but are doing their damnedest to hide from everyone. Imagine how those Navy Seals described above would feel walking around sucking on a pacifier, for example.
So in actually carrying around a pacifier these youth were not only displaying an insight into their feelings of sometimes being needy babies, on the inside, but are actually flaunting this awareness, as if to shame, or slap the face of, or be “in the face” of a generation of their parents—the Fifties Generation for the most part—who did not see their needs when they were babies—however effortfully and obviously they sought to demonstrate them. Thus the symbols needed to become more and more shocking and obvious.
Look at What You Did to Me!
For example: the jeans with requisite holes around the knees was screaming out, “You did not take care of me; you made me feel like a poor, orphaned, ragamuffin child.”
The piercing of mouths, nose, ears, and even tongues shouted,
“I am in pain, dammit! Can’t you see that when you stick needles in me as a little baby that I hurt? How can you be so insensitive? Can’t you see that when you refuse to breastfeed and thus nurture me orally that I am forever damaged there, ever painful there? What does it take, my sticking pins—safety pins make the point even more that it was when I was in diapers—in myself to make you see that I hurt there?”
And, of course, the black clothes, the hideous macabre makeup, and depressed, sullen expressions was exclaiming,
“Look, you might think we’re a wonderful family and everything is hunky-dory here; but I wish I were dead! I’ve felt so much pain, from in the womb, at birth, and right after birth, that I wish I’d never been born.
“Also, somehow in courting death, I have the feeling that I might somehow be reborn again into a good life, not like this place of torture and tears, right from the beginning, where my welcome into the world consisted of being drugged, handled like an object or piece of meat, blasted by bright lights, scrubbed by rough cloths, having needles and suctions stuck in me, blasted with noise, made to lie on cold stainless steel surfaces, and then bundled like a tamale so that I could not move…making me feel again like I was back in the hellish womb where in the later stages, for a time that felt like an eternity, I felt unable to move and was suffocating for lack of sufficient oxygen…and the only action that was possible was for me to scream my bloody head off for long periods of time or go into a stupor—which is what I did, alternating between them.
“Can’t you see that I’d rather be dead than live in such a world of insensitive zombies like you. Hell, in fact, to further drive the point home, I’ll even look and act like a zombie, I’ll try to appear as unfeeling and morose as you all seemed to me, especially at my birth. And I’ll go a step further and mirror yourselves back to you by becoming enamored of vampires….
“Can’t you see that you sucked my very life force, my blood, and turned me into an unfeeling vampire like you, by suffocating me in the womb, poisoning me with your toxic blood which you both sucked from me and then forced down my throat!”
1. Lloyd deMause, The Foundations of Psychohistory. New York: Creative Roots, 1982, p. 139. See also “Are Some ‘Sick’ People More Healthy Than Normals?”
2. See also “Are Some ‘Sick’ People More Healthy Than Normals?” on the Primal Spirit site.
Continue with The Consciousness Revolution They Don’t Want You to Notice. It’s Inconvenient for Them, Initially Hard for Us, and Hopefully Not Too Late: Healing Crisis, Part 6
Return to Millennials and Their Opposites – Fifties Generation Tea Partyers … How OWS and Tea Party Movements Are Generationally and Perinatally Different: Healing Crisis, Part 4
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Kaleidoscope of Postmodern Life, Part Eighteen: Fetal Malnutrition and Racism/Culture War: Prenatal Roots of Bigotry, Vampirism, Anti-Semitism … Blood Libel
Hunger Games – Vampires and Culture Wars … Fetal Roots of Racism, Bigotry, Anti-Semitism … Blood Libel: 21st Century and Its Discontents, Part 18
We Needed “Fresh” Blood to Stay Alive, to Breathe
The driving force of this adult behavioral complex is the oxygen deprivation we experienced as prenates during late gestation. This lack involved feelings of desperate suffocation … oxygen starvation …panic … fear of imminent death. Our lives were dependent on getting enough rich blood—blood that was full of oxygen and nutrients…”rich” and “pure.”
So We Wish to Suck Blood (Vampirism), and We Fear Others Are Sucking Ours (Bigotry, Racism, Anti-Semitism)
There are two parts to this complex—wanting more for ourselves and fearing that others will take that which we have. In the previous post I discussed how we act out both sides of that politically and in the framework of class war, with one side wanting—indeed, needing—more (deprivation) and the other side “sucking” up all available resources out of fear of the other getting any of what they’re hoarding (greed, causing deprivation in others, class war). Let us deal with each of these in turn and see how they relate to ideas of racism, bigotry, vampirism, and blood libel.
Because of fetal malnutrition, humans feel they are lacking in air and room and are starving for oxygen and they desire “fresh blood.” More than that, we feel that this desire is connected with our survival: For it was: We needed “pure blood”…or blood with a least the minimal amount of oxygen…to stay alive as fetuses.
Because as prenates we are starved for oxygen and experience the blood we receive to be deficient in providing it, we crave “rich” blood—blood that is full with oxygen and nutrients.
Ideas of vampires and werewolves—beings that need to “suck” on the blood of others in order to live…who “crave” rich blood—come of such unconscious memories of deprivation.
Vampires and Dracula “suck” others blood and in doing so make the victims just like themselves—needing to feed on the blood of others forevermore. In this idea, are we not saying that we wish to suck the blood of the Other … the Mother … so that we might live? And even that we will live forever if we continue to do so, as no doubt the fetus feels it needs oxygen-rich blood to live…without which it will die…getting which it will continue living on (forever as far as a fetus feels/knows).
Notice other aspects of this vampirism symbology: Count Dracula lives in a coffin (womb symbol) and always in the dark, as was the case in the womb. Consider also that the vampire/ dracula will die if exposed to the light. Does not the fetus die to the womb state at the time of exposure to light…in other words, at birth? This shows how we remember our time of oxygen (blood) desperation coming to an end at birth: It is the end of living a hellish existence where one is fed by blood in the dark. Birth is a state where one lives in the light and breathes air in an environment where one can move freely, thus the other state is left behind or “dies” upon exposure to the light.
Vampires and werewolves will decompose and die if exposed to light, that is, if they are caught out in daylight: Backing up to political aspects of this, think of the greedy ones of society and their fear that if they are exposed…to the media…they will die. So they must suppress the media, at all costs; and they must keep the “light of day” from ever detecting them…the media “shining” its “light” on them. So, the greed in them has them “sucking others dry,” but they fear that if they do it “in broad daylight,” they will be caught “red-handed” (more blood), and it it will be “curtains” for them.
The Hunger Games—Bigotry, Racism
Greed Hunger Game
They’re Leeches. They’re Sapping Our “Life Blood”!
This feared Other is seen to be stealing jobs, benefits, and resources—“oxygen”—which we need ourselves…for “real” Americans, Germans…in other words “pure blooded” ones. We say immigrants are taking all the jobs (we have no money or fuel…nutrients to a fetus…to live, move freely), using up all our resources (oxygen and nutrients for the fetus), being a “burden” (pushing down on the arteries to the placenta which feed the fetus) on the system (cardiovascular one bringing oxygen to fetus). The Germans had similar feelings about Jews.
Bigotry Hunger Game
We Fear Others Will “Suck Us Dry.”
We Feel We “Must Destroy Those Undeserving Ones Feeding off Our Hard-Earned Money!” (Blood)
We are forever feeling we can’t get enough resources (money) and that the lack of it means we are suffocated, cannot move freely, cannot breathe freely. We act out this fear in doing all we can to keep other folks from stealing or getting ours—our money…our “pure blood,” our pure children. We express our fear of failing this with the words that others will “suck us dry.”
Racism Hunger Game
Children Are Our “Blood Line.” We Fear We Must Protect It and Keep it “Pure.”
We see our children as extensions of our blood (line), so some of us fear that others might want to use them to “feed” on: whether they be “communists,” “Hollywood,” social agencies, or schools. We fear they will “suck” the goodness out of our otherwise “pure” children…our blood (lines).
Our children are also aspects of our social surround, our family. This is analogous to our placenta in the womb. This is another reason why we fear our children will have the blood sucked out of them by others.
For Men, Wives and Family Are the Placental Surround, Which We Feel Must Be Kept “Pure” at Any and All Costs.
If we are men, our wives are also part of that placental family entity and we fear other men might take their purity, their innocence, and such, through “impure” acts, “unclean” ones. We symbolize this sometimes with the fear of a vampire “sucking” on such a “pure” woman’s blood…after which they would be “tainted” and “impure”…a placenta lacking in pure blood.
The idea that this attack on our placenta / wife /social surround would come from another “blood line” /race abounds. Minds on fire with such fears will go to no end of murder and torture against the targets of such furious projections and deem it all justified in light of some higher honor and purity. It inspires the activities of the KKK; their seminal artistic production—the film “The Birth of a Nation”—is a robust and thoroughgoing depiction of such “heroic” depravity carried out within a crazed light of such “honor” and “nobility.”
The Hunger Games—Anti-Semitism, Blood Libel
Blood Libel Hunger Game
And this is an obvious reason that through history we have ideas of blood libel popping up…and being acted on in horrific ways. Blood libel is the idea Christians had that Jews wanted to abduct Christian children to be used as an ingredient in one of their foods…matzos, specifically. The idea was that Jews wanted the “purity” of Christian children to feast on, especially during one of their main holidays, Passover. When I first heard about this, I thought this a rather insignificant, isolated phenomenon until I found out how Jews had historically been put on trial and executed…or simply rounded up and murdered … based on this spurious … this insane … accusation.
Anti-Semitism Hunger Game
Blood libel displays to us how we have this idea that some demonized Other needs to take our “pure blood” — our jobs, benefits … nutrients, oxygen — and will do it in some hideous way. And for this reason these sorts need to be destroyed. Remember, we, as vampires, need to suck up all resources around us out of our prenatal oxygen hunger (deprivation). But in this aspect of that feeling constellation, we want to fight off any and all who might be capable of or thought to be capable of stopping, slowing down, or reducing our resources (blood supply). We act the first out of lack or deprivation, the second out of panic and fear.
Scary Sarah…An Aside
We should not leave this issue without pointing out what this says of Sarah Palin’s use of the term “blood libel” to defend herself from attacks. She is saying that she is a martyr with pure blood—a “real” American!—and that the rest of the country and the media want to feed on her purity for they lack such. It is chilling that this idea is popping up again, considering what it led to historically.
Continue with “Bad Blood” – Poisoned, Infected … Prenatal Roots of Paranoia, Sado-Masochism, Alien Mind Control, and the Evil Queen: 21st Century and Its Discontents, Part 19
Return to Hunger Games: Prenatal Oxygen Hunger and Its Political Imprints—Greed, Oppression, Sycophancy, and Revolution: 21st Century and Its Discontents, Part 17
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Kaleidoscope of Postmodern Life, Part Seventeen: Fetal Malnutrition and Politics: Prenatal Roots of Greed, Sycophancy, Class War, and Revolution
Hunger Games: Prenatal Oxygen Hunger and Its Political Imprints – Greed, Oppression, Sycophancy, Class War, Revolution: 21st Century and Its Discontents, Part 17
Prenatal Roots of War
In a previous section I mentioned how our human tendency to warring has its roots in the uncomfortable crowdedness we experience in the late stages of gestation—a pain and trauma that stays with us for life and drives us to act it out in trying to push back lines and make more room (womb) for ourselves in many areas of our lives, including politically. I said our psychological state preceding wars, in line with deMause’s work in this area, is akin to feeling stifled and wanting to “breathe free.”
Hunger Games – War and Aggression
So of course our aggressions against others are connected to the long period of difficult immovability in the womb, but we can already see it is related to the reduction of oxygen at that time as well.
Looking into the feelings of latent oxygen panic rooted in fetal oxygen hunger, we see it has many more political implications, even, than war and aggressions toward others over space…over lines and perimeters and rooted in the feelings of being hemmed in—that constellation of “crowded” feelings I’ve previously teased out.
In the “gasping” or oxygen deprivation trauma of late stage gestation, we can’t get enough oxygen, we feel suffocated…suppressed, stifled, repressed, oppressed. It is out of these feelings carried over and restimulated again and again as adults that we create class wars, revolution, and culture wars. For we feel there to be an oppressive force inhibiting our self-expression, keeping us from “breathing freely.”
Hunger Games—Greed and Oppression
But more: On the other side of those panicky feelings of suffocation we are driven to gobbling up more resources than we need—greed. We experienced oxygen poverty in the womb, so poverty and reductions in finances feel stifling and suffocating. It is less desirable to not have money, of course. My point is that this prospect drives us to overreact and build our lives around major act outs of it, as so:
Suppression, Oppression, “Sucking” From
(1) Being politically oppressed, we feel we can’t move freely (the crowded feeling), but, interestingly, we feel we can’t “breathe freely.” We act this out on both sides of class war and revolution: One side always feels this lack because it has roots in the unconscious and cannot be satisfied and so over overcompensates and in doing so “sucks” up all possible resources (oxygen) from those lower on the totem pole…it “suppresses” the “masses”…it “sucks from” the masses.
Liberals hearts may “bleed” but not conservatives. For releasing blood is losing oxygen and conservatives have a prenatal “knowing” that you need every smidgen you can get to survive. You may even go so far as to try to “squeeze blood from a stone” (the aging placenta).
Sycophancy, Conformity, “Sucking Up”
(2) From another side of this discomfort we have a prenatal sycophancy showing itself. Conforming underlings, in a country’s economic array, act out their prenatal oxygen panic by investing all their energy in “sucking up” to those above them … seeking to insure a steady supply of resources (money, oxygen) by sucking from the rich stream (blood stream) of money “circulating” among those on rungs above them on the economic ladder.
Suffocation, Starvation, Being “Sucked” From
(3) And the other component in this political triangle—those poor and working class directly opposed to the greedy forces “sucking up” from the masses—feels this suppression as suffocation, starvation, and stifling unto death. So it wants to “overthrow” or “throw off” the forces weighing down upon and suppressing/suffocating them.
Basically, if you’re not “sucking” resources (oxygen) from below, you are either “sucking up” to those above you or being “sucked from” and wanting to “overthrow” them to “breathe more freely.”
Hunger Games—Freedom and Revolutionaries
Injustice, Inequity, Struggle – Throwing Off
This does not mean that revolutionary forces are act outs of early trauma and not real. It does not mean that oppression does not actually exist; it does not mean that struggles for economic justice are overcompensations. No. It is no more true that these are unreal than that struggles to save the environment are act outs. For we must remember that the prenatal forces drive us to actually manifest conditions that re-create our womb states. And just as we are driven to despoil our air and waters as act outs of our fetal malnutrition, so also our fetal oxygen panic causes us to create situations of dire inequity by pushing unnecessary greedy acts creating gross economic injustice. And these greedy forces are aided in their suppression by their sycophantic underlings, driven by their underlying panic of resource loss. Between the two, they are able to create human societies of economic inequality, suppression, and oppression which mirror the conditions of resource lack in the womb for the majority of folks throughout history and virtually everyone on the planet in these strange days.
Free Speech – Stifled, Inspire, Expire, Express…To Breathe Free
Interesting aspects of this oppression-revolution dynamic rooted in the fetal dynamic is the focus on free speech: The one side wants to suppress expression (expiration—release of air) of inspiration (to inspire—to take in air), thus directly slowing down the masses’ political equivalent of breathing, “stifling” its expression (its ability to “breathe out”). The revolutionary side of this wants the opposite: Folks want freedom of speech. They want to be able to speak freely (breathe freely), to be inspired (take in air or spirit), and to express this uninhibitedly (expire, let air out). These same dynamics apply to freedom of religion as well.
The oppressed masses feel they are deprived, can’t get enough of what they need (oxygen), want to “breathe freely,” and so need to assert self-expression, to expire (express) one’s inspiration freely as part of that “struggle.”
Hunger Games—Sycophancy and Conservatism
Reactionary and Conservative Thinking = Prenatal Conformity – Don’t Move Too Much, Don’t Stand Out, Maybe You’ll Get More (Oxygen)
But the basic dynamic is about resources: One side out of oxygen panic wants to suck up resources from everywhere around and wants to keep those resources from others. And the other side wants to take theirs back. And that third part is the conforming fetus hoping to get more resources from “above”…to “suck up”…by not moving too much, by staying compliant with outside forces, by not being too obvious or “standing out,” and if moving to do so only in ways remembered as safe…strictly prescribed, ritualistic ways.
For our prenatal memory tells us that doing so is the way of getting a little more in the way of resources (oxygen). We experienced that by not struggling, by not moving around too much…and further complicating and constricting the blood flow through the arteries to the placenta (the bank)…more oxygen (money) seemed to flow. Also, by not moving too much, by “conserving” our energy, “holding our breath” as it were, we might be able to survive…that being too “radical” and free risked death.
Hunger Games—Culture War
Oppressors Orchestrate a Panicked Population for Their Profits
One final aspect to this prenatal dynamic acted out politically is the culture war that comes of it: The greedy forces manipulate the latent panic of the masses in order to suck more resources by telling each segment of the masses that another sector of the population is actually the part that is sucking all their resources, stealing all their benefits and money (oxygen). So we have the creation of minorities and scapegoats out of this interplay. But the reason it happens unerringly in societies is because it works so well. And it works so well because the forces of manipulation are orchestrating powerful drives and forces within the masses—tendencies of people born of desperation and panic, which have roots in the earliest months of one’s individual existence.
Next: Hunger Games—Human Rights and Racism
More Mass Manipulation Around Bigotry and Anti-Semitism … Vampires and Blood Libel, Too
In the next section we look more deeply into this manipulation of the masses, this scapegoating of minorities. We see how racism, bigotry, and anti-Semitism are themselves constructed out of prenatal pushes and pulls. We find out why we look at others the way we do, so that our errant ideas can be further used against us by the greedy ones. And we stumble upon the underpinnings of some of the most curious of human concoctions of thought—as in the ideas of vampires and blood libel.
Continue with Hunger Games – Vampires and Culture Wars … Fetal Roots of Racism, Bigotry, Anti-Semitism … Blood Libel: 21st Century and Its Discontents, Part 18
Return to How We Look to the Gods and Prometheus Redux … Building More Nukes and Drilling More Holes – Icarus Keeps Flapping and the Gods Can’t Stop Laughing: 21st Century and Its Discontents, Part 16
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