Portrait of a Family: What Say You, Dr. Shengold?

The following description is totally fictional.  I just wonder if a psychiatrist or family therapist would say that the description is internally consistent and psychologically cognizable.  Is this a realistic description of a plausible dysfunctional family?

Patient grew up in a two-parent family with a six-years older sister. The family was dysfunctional in that in important but subtle ways the locus of power was not on the parents but in the mother’s older sister. The mother’s older sister was tyrannical; the parents were weak and dependent individuals with a poor level of autonomy. Both parents had never separated psychologically from their families of origin. This was especially true of the mother who was profoundly dependent on her older sister for emotional support. In important ways the mother’s sister infantilized the mother. Both parents acquiesced in mother’s sister’s arrogation of a parental role. The mother’s sister was childless and married to a man who showed a reaction formation against aggression; he ceded marital power to his tyrannical wife.

There was a lot of marital discord between the patient’s parents.   In the patient’s early years (up to age 12) there was serious and continual discord centering on the father’s inability to serve as an adequate provider and the fact that mother was a Catholic and father was Jewish. All of the family members showed extreme individual narcissism, especially the mother’s older sister who was flagrantly grandiose.  The mother’s sister once said to the patient: “I gave you everything you have.  If it had been up to your father you would have had shit!”

The father had a violent temper. He used to beat the patient with a belt or cat ‘o nine tails when the patient was a boy. On one occasion the father attempted to murder the mother by strangulation in front of the children.

At least as it related to the patient, the mother was a negligent caretaker.

The mother’s mother (patient’s grandmother) was a paranoid and dysfunctional individual who was intensely and obsessively anti-Semitic.  In the mother’s family of origin there was severe role reversal, with the mother’s older sister having to assume a maternal role in early childhood to compensate for the grandmother’s inadequacy.

There was a lot of parental favoritism in the patient’s family. The daughter, patient’s older sister, was assigned the role of good child. The patient was assigned the role of bad child, or scapegoat. The mother’s sister idealized patient’s sister but maintained a degrading and aggressive manner with the patient.  Mother’s sister was contemptuous of the father, often referring to the father as a “louse” in front of the patient. Because of the mother’s dependency on her older sister she was psychologically incapable of protecting her son from her sister’s aggression against him.

email Message to David Shapiro, Ph.D.

Dr. Shapiro:

On the MMPI I scored as a very disturbed person. The test disclosed a Personality Disorder (not otherwise specified) with prominent narcissistic, avoidant, schizoid and depressive traits. I also show extreme autonomy and rigidity in my personality. I know that’s an area of interest for you. Here are my MMPI results:

https://dailstrug.files.wordpress.com/2015/08/gf-caldwell.pdf

In reality I am a mild-mannered creative writer. Perhaps you might be interested to see how I have creatively transformed my psychopathology in an unusual novel I wrote. The text of the book is in the link below:

https://dailstrug.files.wordpress.com/2016/08/the-emerald-archive10.pdf

Best regards,
Gary Freedman
Washington, DC

email Message to Professor Richard E. Lucas

Professor Lucas,

On the MMPI I scored as a very disturbed person. The test disclosed a Personality Disorder (not otherwise specified) with prominent narcissistic, avoidant, schizoid and depressive traits. Here are my MMPI results:

https://dailstrug.files.wordpress.com/2015/08/gf-caldwell.pdf

In reality I am a mild-mannered creative writer. Perhaps you might be interested to see how I have creatively transformed my psychopathology in an unusual novel I wrote. The text of the book is in the link below:

https://dailstrug.files.wordpress.com/2016/08/the-emerald-archive10.pdf

Best regards,

Gary Freedman
Washington, DC

The Black Only Policy

The library bureaucracy insisted that all official documents be signed

in black ink.  Oscar Berg assiduously enforced the black-only rule

among his several subordinates.  There was the widespread perception in

the library central administration, right or wrong, that black was

simply the more professional ink color.   Oscar buried himself in

his office one hour every Friday afternoon to review his

branch’s official documents to ensure adherence to the library’s black

ink protocol.    Oscar knew that the supervising authorities at the

central administration would detect any deviation from the library’s policies.

Oscar needed to protect himself from censure by the authorities.

Maybe I’ll Finally Get the Help I Need — Yeah, Right!

I need to find a new therapist. My case manager asked me to tell her what I want to work on. These are my problems but my problems encompass so much more!

psychological-testing-2014

To my case manager:

You asked me to state what I want to work on in psychotherapy. Psychological testing showed that I have a Personality Disorder (Not Otherwise Specified) with prominent narcissistic, avoidant, schizoid and depressive tendencies. (The test results are in the attachment).

I would like to work on my social problems (problems of attachment) as explained in the following article:

https://dailstrug.files.wordpress.com/2016/11/161268661.pdf

Also I would like to work on the problems associated with my schizoid and narcissistic traits:

https://dailstrug.files.wordpress.com/2016/04/scanned-from-a-xerox-multifunction-device1.pdf

Gary Freedman

Significant Moments: The Emergence of the “Goldstein” Theme

He took . . .
Mark Twain, The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg.
. . . the paper . . .
David Evanier, The Man Who Refused to Watch the Academy Awards.
. . . out of his pocket, opened it, glanced at it, looked surprised and worried, and stood silent for a few moments. Then he waved his hand in a wandering and mechanical way, and made an effort or two to say something, then gave it up, despondently. Several voices cried out:
“Read it! read it! What is it?”
Mark Twain, The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg.
His listeners were all experts on the twisted byways of erotic life. The great Richard von Krafft-Ebing, who had made sexual psychopathology his own, was presiding. Freud’s lecture was a lively, highly skillful forensic performance. The student of hysteria, he said, is like an explorer discovering the remains of an abandoned city, with walls and columns and tablets covered with half-effaced inscriptions, he may dig them up and clean them, and then with luck the stones speak—saxa loquuntur. He expended all this rhetorical effort to persuade his incredulous listeners that they must seek the origin of hysteria in the sexual abuse of children. All eighteen cases he had treated, Freud noted, invited this conclusion. But his mixture of colorful eloquence and scientific sobriety was wasted.
Peter Gay, Freud: A Life For Our Time.
A dozen men got up now and began to protest.
Mark Twain, The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg.
The twelve men spake, and said . . .
Louis Ginzberg, The Legends of the Jews.
. . . that this farce was the work of some abandoned joker, and was an insult to the whole community.
Mark Twain, The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg.
I felt as if I were going to the scaffold.
Arthur Rubinstein, My Young Years.
Afterwards they stood about in groups chattering. I heard some say: ‘It starts just as if he were out to play a carnival joke on the public.’ Others were disappointed that there had not been more hissing.
Natalie Bauer-Lechner, Recollections of Gustav Mahler.
The seduction theory in all its uncompromising sweep seems inherently implausible, only a fantasist like Fliess could have accepted and applauded it.
Peter Gay, Freud: A Life For Our Time.

______________________________________

In Orwell’s novel 1984, Emmanual Goldstein  exposes the true nature of the fictional state Oceana, an autocratic regime.  He writes a book about Oceana and is thereafter branded an enemy of the state.  Goldstein is always the subject of the “Two Minutes Hate, a daily program beginning at 11:00 a.m. at which an image of Goldstein is shown on the Telescreen and subjected to extreme contempt.  Goldstein is a prototype of the intellectual explorer who discovers a truth, disseminates that truth, and is then subjected to contempt by the community.  Another literary example of such a figure is the character Dr. Stockmann in Ibsen’s Enemy of the People.

In the text above, Freud is seen as an intellectual explorer who has discovered a truth, presents that truth to the community and is subjected to contempt by the community.

This is an important personal myth for me.  Is it a mere coincidence that I experience severe problems in groups?

http://dailstrug.blogspot.com/2009/11/origins-of-my-delusions-about-akin-gump.html

Dr. Shengold writes about 1984 in Soul Murder.  He discusses the characters Winston Smith and O’Brien but omits any mention of Goldstein.  One wonders whether the character Goldstein is related to the issue of soul murder.  What is the psychological significance of a “Goldstein” identification?