My Malleable Attachment In The Representational World

unconscious2.jpg
The unconscious is a very slippery thing and it is not known exactly what it is. Freud observed that consciousness is intensely related to speech and language. In addition, early in the early period, the relationship between the baby and the caregiver added that the caregiver did not only meet the baby’s physical needs, but also described the baby’s crying, meaning the baby’s different bodily movements, discomfort, satiety, and impulsiveness. The senses in the body that are experienced during infancy are confused by the traces of speech that have an effect on the spiritual device (psychic). Freud changes this idea in the course of time; as a system of representatives of ‘powerful bodily impulses aiming to reach saturation through’ willing nudity ‘from the outside.

“…the idea of a model in the brain is that it constitutes a toy that is yet a tool, an imitation world, which we can manipulate in the way that will suit us best, and so find out how to manipulate the real world, which it is supposed to represent.” ~J.Z. Young (quoted by David Wallin in Attachment in Psychotherapy)

In reading Attachment in Psychotherapy by David J. Wallin, I came across this statement which helped me to further understand the manifestation of hysteria as I experienced it following a tragic life event, the untimely death of my very young nephew. The quote reads:

“The avoidant infant…..actively snubs or ignores [his mother], restricting his attention to the toys – as if to distract himself from the anxiety provoked by the Strange Situation and the distress of wanting from mother the comfort he has learned not to expect. We can infer that he is hyper activating his exploratory system so as to inhibit an attachment system whose output has not been welcomed.”

This brief excerpt is discussing childhood attachment of a young child to his primary caregiver, usually a mother. But, it relates to my earlier personal experience with loss and separation during the formative years of development. Let me elaborate further. Because I needed to feel connected with, that is to say, I needed to feel wanted and loved by family during this tragic separation, it resulted in promoting my “active exploration of the real world through excessive exercise.” This is the dissociation we see in the “pretend mode” of modes of experience which I will outline further in this discussion.

Since feelings of inter-connectedness, that is to say, feelings of intimacy that are associated when one feels they are loved (securely attached), these moments arise when one spends intimate family moments with loved ones, it is also the intimate moments that harken back to our early childhood experiences with our primary caregiver/s. Since these feelings where not forth coming for me at this particular time it provoked my psychotic break from reality. It started with my dissociation from having to process the feelings that I was “not wanted“. So feelings of loss/separation/castration became even more amplified then they already were in my psychic mind because I felt separated by family, cut-off, castrated, not wanted. And the result was the manifestation of hysterical symptoms which was a defensive move (strategy) to ward off the metaphorical onslaught of the “furies,“ those symbolic figures we see in literary plays that are described in psychoanalytic terms as a decent into the mourning process which facilitates processing the loss/separation/castration we are experiencing. For me it was the very real loss of losing a loving family. Every child’s greatest fear.

“Mary Ainsworth identified, in a preliminary way, the kinds of parent-child interactions most likely to produce secure attachment, on the one hand, or the varieties of insecure attachment, on the other. The key to security or insecurity, she realized, was to be found in the patterns of communication between infant and caregiver.

In differentiating between security and the varieties of insecurity, Ainswoth discovered that in the attachment relationships it was the quality of communication between infant and caregiver that was of paramount importance. It isn’t so much in the actual words we use, as it is in the way we use words to evoke feelings in others. This is what Mary Ainsworth had discovered through her research with children. Please remember though, attachment is malleable.”

For a child there can be no greater anguish than to endure the knowledge that one has been cast aside by their primary caregiver/s. It is for this reason that avoidantly attached babies, although pleasures to care for when their parents are away, grow up to be most likely to victimize others. It is the knowledge that they were not wanted or loved that facilitates there disassociation. The most crucial part in understanding this topic in psychoanalysis is that the way we communicate our words through the symbolic meaning of our actions become representational phrases that will endure in a child‘s mind for life. For example, you can shun a person by ignoring them. You can shun a person by avoiding them or you can blankly stare at them, void of emotional content. Even though no words were spoken the active phrase implies, “You are not wanted.” or “You are not interesting.” A person may interpret this as “I am not loved” or “I am unlovable.”

In psychology, people can experience psychotic breaks from reality when that reality becomes too painful to process. We see manifestations such as this all the time in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). When the physical and/or emotional assaults of the real world we live in becomes so overwhelming the mind develops defensive strategies to cope with new painful realities. Likewise, an adult can be a fully functioning adult but after having gone through a tragic loss or separation can manifest symptoms of psychosis. This is what happened when Andrew Cunanan, the serial killer who killed Johnny Versace, killed Jeff Trail. When there close friendship began to unravel there began a collapse in mutual recognition or reflective functioning on the part of Andrew Cunanan. Cunanan’s solution to the loss of mutual association was sought with a claw hammer to the head of Jeff Trail. It is believed that Andrew Cunanan went through periodic breaks in reality (ie: psychotic breaks otherwise known as psychosis) and was posthumously diagnosed as a Borderline Personality Disorder.

“Much of the psychopathology we encounter in our patients can be seen to reflect either an inhibition of mentalizing or a failure to develop it in the first place. Correspondingly, psychotherapy can be understood as an effort to restore or kindle the patient’s capacity to mentalize.”

In the theory of mind refers to the ways in which all of us, to varying degrees, make sense of our own and others’ behavior on the basis of underlying mental states – including beliefs, emotions, and desires. The idea here is that, beginning in childhood, we develop a “theory” that enables us to understand and, to some extent, predict what others will do in light of what we think is going on in their mind.

Peter Fonagy is a Hungarian-born British psychoanalyst and clinical psychologist whose clinical interests center on issues of borderline psychopathology, violence and early attachment relationships. Peter Fonagy describes three such subjective modes of psychic experience: psychic equivalence, pretense, and mentalizing.

In the mode of psychic equivalence, the internal world and external reality are simply equated. There is no differentiating here between beliefs and facts. What we think and feel seems tomorrow what occurs to us in the physical world, and vice versa. In this frame of mind, when we are treated badly, for example, we are likely to feel that we are bad – and feeling that we’re bad, we “know” that we will be treated badly. In such a closed system, the self as psychological agent tends to be submerged: there is no “I” that interprets or creates experience but only a “me” to whom experience happens.

In the “pretend” mode, the internal world is decoupled from the external one. Here we are unfettered by actualities: Whatever we imagine is felt to be real and whatever we ignore is rendered immaterial. Dissociation, denial, and extreme narcissistic grandiosity are all examples of the “pretend” mode. In this mode, like the one above, the self as interpreter or creator of experiences is constrained, because taking reality into account threatens what has been imagined and opens the door to what has been ignored.

In the mentalizing (or reflective) mode, we are able to recognize that the internal world is separate from, but also related to, external reality. Here we can reflect on the ways in which our thoughts, feelings, and fantasies both affect, and are affected by, what actually happens to us. In this mode, our subjective experience is felt to have interpretive depth and thus – because we can grasp the difference between events ad our reactions to them – we can enjoy a measure of internal freedom. Mentalizing reveals a world of self and others that is rich, complex, and ambiguous – and one in which we have the potential to revise our mental representations of external reality as our actual realities change.

According to Fonagy, these modes of experience unfold sequentially in the course of development. At first, infants and small children live inescapably in a world of psychic equivalence in which subjective experience is compellingly, and sometimes terrifyingly, real. Then, they find a kind of liberation through the mode of pretense in which subjective experience is decoupled from reality: In play, they can pretend that the constraints of reality simply do not exist. Finally, in normal development, beginning at age four or so, there comes about an integration of these two earlier modes. Now the internal world is neither equated with, nor completely severed from, the external one. With the emergence of the reflective mode comes a growing ability to consider, implicitly and explicitly, the relationship between internal and external reality (Fonagy, 2001; Allen & Fonagy, 2002; Fonagy et al., 2002).

Regarding my experience with the onslaught of electro-magnetic frequency (signals/waves), it is my belief the reason this technology is being used is because someone is trying to victimize me. Even though my later adult behavior was “avoidant” in terms of dealing with my external reality, I do not personally believe I was an avoidantly attached baby. There were simply far too many family members involved in caring for me (mother, father, two older brothers, and an older sister) and they all pitched in to help raise me. If anything I was probably disassociated or ambivalently attached. In any event, attachment is malleable. And as such, one can be “re-programmed.” Beneficial “re-programming” happens during the course of psychoanalysis, but “malevolent re-programming” can happen when we are victimized by others with malign purpose, such as when a religious leader of a cult, re-programs his followers by indoctrinating them into his own personal ideology. An ideology that facilitates his own personal agenda. This is what happened when David Koresh, the religious cult leader of the Branch Davidian, did when he mislead many of his followers in Waco, TX. His questionable moral ethics regarding sexual practices among the women and young girls, sparked community outrage and resulted in a deadly 51 day siege.

The patients seen in psychotherapy often have trouble extricating themselves from the modes of psychic equivalence and/or pretense. In the first case, they are bullied by feelings and thoughts that demand to be acted on because they are equated with facts. In the second, they are kept aloft by wishful thoughts, but isolated in the process form their feelings and from the people who might matter to them.

For psychotherapists, parents and teachers, as well as researchers, the key question must be: What fosters the transition out of the experiential modes of psychic equivalence and pretense into a mentalizing mode? The Answer: An intersubjective relationship of attachment that provides first a full measure of affect regulation and then, not unimportantly, a modicum of play in the presence of a reflective other.

Sources:
Wallin, David J. Attachment In Psychotherapy. New York. The Guilford Press. (2007).

Other Sources To Consider:
Fonagy, P. (1991). Thinking about thinking: Some clinical and theoretical considerations in the treatment of a boderline patient. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 72, 639-656.

Fonagy, P. (2000). Attachment and borderline personality disorder. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 48(4), 1129-1147.

Fonagy, P. (2001). Attachment theory and psychoanalysis. New York: Other Press.

Fonagy, P., Gergeley, G., Jurist, E.J., & Target, M.I. (2002). Affect regulation, mentalization, and the development of the self. New York: Other Press.

Fonagy, P., Leigh, T., Steele, M., Steele, H., Kennedy, R., Mattoon, G., Target, M., & Gerber, A. (1996). The relation of attachment status, psychiatric classification, and response to psychotherapy. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 64, 22-31.

Fonagy, P., Steele, H., & Steele, M. (1991a). Maternal representations of attachment during pregnancy predict the organization of infant-mother attachment at one year of age. Child Development, 62, 891-905.

Fonagy, P., Steele, M., Steele, H., Moran, G.S., & Higgitt, A.C. (1991b). The capacity for understanding mental states: The reflective self in parent and child and its significance for security of attachment. Infant Mental Health Journal, 12, 201-218.

Fonagy, P., Steele, M., Steele, H., Leigh, T., Kennedy, R., Mattoon, G., et al. (1995). Attachment, the reflective self, and borderline states: The predictive specificity of the Adult Attachment Interview and pathological emotional development. In S. Goldberg, R. Muir, & J. Kerr (Eds.), Attachment theory: Social, developmental and clinical perspectives (pp. 233-278). Hillsdale, NJ: Analytic Press.

Fonagy, P., & Target, M. (1996). Playing with reality: I. Theory of mind and the normal development of psychic reality. International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 77, 217-233.

Fonagy, P., & Target, M. (2006). The mentalization focused approach of self pathology. Journal of Personality Disorders, 20(6), 544-576.

Fonagy, P., Target, M., Steele, H., & Steele, M. (1998). Reflective-functioning manual, version 5.0, for application to adult attachment interviews. London: University College London.

 

Advertisements

On Abortion (Edited)

القضاء-

Since Justice Kennedy’s retirement there has been a lot of concern regarding the Roe vs. Wade court case. In my opinion, I think women want to be recognized as independent thinkers in their own right and also as individuals with a right to their own bodies. Using terms of Martin Buber’s (1923/1970) “inter human” philosophy of dialogue; intersubjective relatedness makes for an “I – Thou” relationship marked by mutuality, dialogue, and the ability to experience others in their own terms. By contrast, intra-psychic relating confines us to an “I – It” relationship in which mutuality is absent, imposition supersedes negotiation, and pre-existing categories dominate our experience of others.

When it comes to pregnancy women have a few options and I thank god that abortion is one of those choices. My personal feeling is like that of most women when it comes to abortion. Abortion should be performed, if it’s going to be performed at all, with in the first trimester of pregnancy unless of course, a medical necessity presents itself and makes the procedure absolutely necessary later on in the second and third trimesters.

If the case of Roe vs. Wade is ever overturned, I fear we may see an increase in the return of the mentality from the fin-de-siécle culture where social Darwinism saw the uprising of the male white supremacist, “Man having evolved from a lower life form, the ape, has risen high above all other life forms, and included in this sub-human category is the female life form. Hence, the culture of femme fatal fantasy and woman as an other worldly evil.

Roe vs. Wade protects a very fundamental right of women. That right encourages the reflective function in theory of mind, that is to say, it encourages mentalizing or mutual recognition. Mutual recognition is the capacity of an individual to see the other, in this case the female form, as something separate and apart from the male form. This sort of intersubjective relatedness exemplifies mutual recognition that is, the ability both to recognize and to be recognized by others.

Such recognition is fundamental to an “intersubjective” as against an “intrapsychic” experience of others. The first depends on our perceiving the other as a separate subject who primarily exists outside our mental field of operation. The second involves our responding to the other primarily through projection, identification, and other intrapsychic process – in which case the other is essentially an object in our representational world, to be idealized or devalued, perhaps but not experienced as a real person.

Women want to be experienced and recognized as something real, that is, a real person with her own human desires and wishes. If Roe vs. Wade is ever overturned, it will threaten the “inter-human” philosophy of dialogue that intersubjective relatedness permits for an “I-Thou” relationship. A relationship marked by mutuality and dialogue. If Roe vs. Wade is overturned it will render the female voice silent as non-subject when it comes to her body and the right she has to exercise her own power of free will over it when it comes to pregnancy.

Hence, our return to the mentality of the late 19th century male who saw himself superior over the weaker, and lesser life forms. It was precisely this mentalizing that gave power to Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany and provoked the Nazi interlude. What was Germany to do when blamed for World War I? What other avenues did it have to pursue but those most extreme in form?

To take it one step further, it is my opinion that this case will mark a keystone in jurisprudence and legal doctrine in combination with the fourth amendment privilege which provides that “[t]he right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” The legal mandate that protects a women’s rights to her body might be extended to all individuals (including males) when it comes to their right to keep their own bodies protected from the unfair invasion, assaults, and breach of personal boundaries known as bio-medical surveillance.

We live in a world where we are all being watched. Thanks to the U.S. government and the inception of the world wide web known as the internet, we can now be tracked by surveillance systems and programs. The internet has become such an integral tool to daily human communication and interaction, it will be virtually impossible in the coming years to function productively in the world without some type of established internet account and cellular activity. This allows our information to be bought and sold as a commodity, all one has to do is look at the Facebook scandal involving Donald Trump and Russia during the 2016 presidential election.

Now, imagine if you will your body can be outfitted with technology that measures weight loss, weight gain, blood pressure, respiration, pulse, body temperature, as well as many other bio-medical markers (including calories burned) which are needed to gain insight at assessing the quality of one’s health. How much do you think that information would be worth to the health insurance sector? How much do you think that information would be worth to employers? How could your medical professionals manipulate and exploit it? Where does an individual’s rights lie when it comes to their right in protecting this type of “data” against public exploitation?

I propose this will be the new legal issues of the future. Humans integrated with android type technology which will transmit via Wi-Fi or cell phone, personal medical information to the highest bidder. I believe they are already carrying out preliminary studies (trials) using advanced technology, computers, Wi-Fi, and the human body. China is genetically engineering monkeys with brain disorders because it’s unethical to carry out the types of experiments on humans. But what about when it comes to human trials using computer interfacing with biomedical implants? This new found relationship, interfacing with android technology, will mimic the intra-psychic relating which confine us to an “I – It” relationship in which mutuality is absent, imposition supersedes negotiation, and pre-existing categories dominate our experience of other people. Thus, a break down of mutual recognition and intersubjectivity. This is of such a paramount concern because we all face the very real prospect of being rendered as an object, that is non-subject. An object that is idealized and valued like currency. Like money which has a pulse but is not living. This will be the new millennial aged human commodity. Humans may very well be rendered non-subjects, with a pulse, to be used, exploited, and disposed of like the topics of newspaper headlines.

For a glimpse into our possible human future, please refer to the National Geographic Channel “Year Million” episode “The Role of A.I. in the future”

Attachment and Intersubjectivity

Primary Relationship

If the intersubjective system is driven by our need to know and be known by others and if attachment exists to foster felt security, and intersubjectivity exists to promote the experience of psychic intimacy and belonging, how can one rationally explain the reason for using electro-magnetic frequency on a subject to prohibit their exploration in the free world? There can be no rational explanation because it hinders one’s ability to experience fully the joy of living and it also hinders their ability to be fully expressive in their own self-identity. I say this because electro-magnetic stimulation can harnesses a person’s free-will, thereby demonstrating the perpetrator’s collapse of intersubjectivity in human relatedness.

Like attachment, intersubjective experience confers an evolutionary survival advantage. Fore one thing, it facilitates the formation and effective functioning of groups. It also contributes to the formation and maintenance of self-identity. Attachment and intersubjectivity mutually enhance one another by allowing more depth to human understanding and individual differences.

People without intersubjectivity relatedness maybe attached but are individuals who will act out anti-socially to others without forethought and/or reservation (ie: autistic).

It is my belief that the individual or individuals involved in inflicting the pain and suffering of electro-magnetic stimulation through veiled and clandestine technology are individual(s) who were either one or both of two things: (a) They possessed avoidant attachment in early childhood (ie; psychopathy); or (b) They were attached but without intersubjective relatedness (ie: autistic).

The capability of mentalizing, demonstrates that one has manifested intersubjectivity in human relatedness. This means one can reason through their thought process and modulate impulsivity with awareness of the needs of others. For example, a married man who feels attracted to his secretary may modulate his sexual drive and refrain from an affair in order to prevent from hurting his wife. Here the man has thus demonstrated reflective functioning or mentalizing by using his imagination and past experience to predict future outcomes. However, he could hid his affair, always running the risk of getting caught, but this would make his marriage a deceitful lie, thereby failing the task of reflecting functioning.

Mentalizing, as the word’s connotation may suggest, is a process that allows us to understand and make meaningful sense of our own experience and that of others. Intersubjective relatedness, as the connotations of the phrase may suggest, has less to do with understanding and meaning than it does with resonance, alignment, and the “sharing of mental landscapes” between ourselves and others. It is the permeability or “interpenetrability” of personal boundaries that allows us to participate in the subjective experience of other people. In this light, the affect attunement that is a signature of intersubjectivity can be seen as a matter not just of communication but also “interpersonal communion” – that is, joining in, being with, or sharing the subjective experience of another person with not attempt to change it.

I personally wonder if the person who is responsible for my pain suffering through veiled electro-magnetic frequency stimulation has any personal knowledge of this interpersonal experience?

Source
Wallin, David J. Attachement In Psychotherapy. New York. The Guilford Press. (2007). Chapter 4 Fonagy anf Forward, Attachment, Mentalizing, and Intersubjectivity (p. 54).

The Adult Attachment Interview (AAI) For A Simple Interview

Anim_Psychology1-5a625b6f9e942700366bb7f0

Establishing An Adult Patient’s Attachment

Mary Main, a developmental psychologist, searched for representational artifacts in her adult patients that harked back in part to the style of linguistics used by the parents of her patients. Main reasoned that an individual’s working model of attachment would be revealed in characteristic patterns of narrative, discourse, and imagination, as well as behavior.

The AAI asks individuals to recollect and reflect upon the history of their relationships with their own parents, including experiences of loss, rejection, and separation. This semi clinical interview has proven to be a powerful tool for assessing attachment in infancy with adult patients.

The AAI cannot be conducted on the basis of this brief, modified précis of the protocol, which omits several questions as well as the critical follow-up probes. The full protocol, together with extensive directions for administration, can be obtained by writing to Professor Mary Main, Department of Psychology, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720. Rather this brief interview will help the therapist establish state of mind of the patient.

THE ADULT ATTACHMENT INTERVIEW

1. To begin with, could you just help me to get a little bit oriented to your family – for example, who was in your immediate family, and where and whom did you live?

2. Now I’d like you to try to describe your relationship with your parents as a young child, starting as far back as you can remember.

3 – 4. Could you give me five adjectives or phrases to describe your relationship with your mother/father during childhood? I’ll write them down, and when we have all five I’ll ask you to tell me what memories or experiences led you to choose each one.

5. To which parent did you feel closer, and why?

6. When you were upset as a child, what did you do, and what would happen? Could you give me some specific incidents when you were upset emotionally? Physically hurt? Ill?

7. Could you describe your first separation from your parents?

8. Did you ever feel rejected as a child? What did you do, and do you think your parents realized they were rejecting you?

9. Were your parents ever threatening toward you – for discipline, or jokingly?

10. How do you think your overall early experiences have affected your adult personality? Are there any aspects you consider a setback to your development?

11. Why do you think your parents behaved as they did during your childhood?

12. Were there other adults who were close to you – like parents -as a child?

13. Did you experience the loss of a parent or other close loved one as a child, or in adulthood?

14. Were there many changes in your relationship with your parents between childhood and adulthood?

15. What is your relationship with your parents like for you currently?

The Concept of Metacognitive Knowledge And How It Relates To State of Mind

Metacognitive knowledge centrally involves the ability to grasp what cognitive scientists call the appearance-reality distinction, without which it is impossible to realize that our ideas and perceptions may be without validity, or that others may believe things that are not true. For example, a person’s belief that another person is “stupid.” The concept and capacity of metacognitive knowledge allows a person the capacity to reason that this sort of belief can sometimes simply be untrue. To the extent that our patients are unaware of the “fallible nature of knowledge” their desire as well as their ability to reflect on their experience tends to be limited. For example, a patient recently made an unequivocal assertion that seemed quite implausible. When the therapist expressed curiosity about his conviction, the patient said it simply felt true. Then added decisively, as if this should be the last word on the subject, “Aren’t feelings the ultimate facts?”

With a functioning capacity for metacognition, we may for the moment find ourselves in a particular state of mind; lacking such a capacity, it’s as if we simply are that state of mind.

As therapists, our own capacity for metacognitive understanding of both partners in the therapeutic couple is crucial in enabling our patients to change. For it is this kind of understanding that allows us to respond reflectively, rather than reflexively – that is, to be able to consider the complex meanings of feelings, beliefs, and wishes rather than take them, immediately and unquestioningly, at face value.

It is therefore crucial to establish the connection between language communication toward the child and that child’s attachment. “Knowing that language can conceal as much as it reveals – and that internal representations are largely unconscious, hence unverbalizable – Mary Main concentrated her attention on the particular ways the parents in her study used words, rather than the particular words they used: That is, she focused more on process and form than on content. It is specifically this approach to understanding the representational world – through attention primarily to how, rather than what, people communicate – that has made her work with the AAI invaluable to clinicians.”

Maya-Angelou-quotes-1

So when we use language as a tactical force to control our children we may be creating unconscious fantasies in the minds of these little children. When we make children feel “stupid” “unlovable” “unworthy” or we don’t give them the sense of validation they deserve, we are in effect creating a young adult who will grow-up harboring these same kinds of feelings, feelings of being inadequate and/or accepting less than what they truly deserve  (For example: tolerating abuse, neglect, and disrespectful behavior from others as well as themselves). They may repeat negative self-affirmations that are not true like “I am ugly.” These feelings are not part of a functional productive psyche and may hinder the adult child‘s successes. As children acquire anxieties about themselves in childhood and create representational ideas about themselves that remain in large part fixed in their unconscious minds, they may fall victim to a dark malignant force. The AAI is a tool clinicians use to help unravel the mysteries of their patient’s unconscious life.

Source:
Wallin, David J. Attachment In Psychotherapy. New York. Guilford Press. (2007)

Additional Contact Information:
Mary Main, Ph.D.
Department of Psychology
Room 3210, Tolman Hall #1650
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, CA 94720-1650
Phone: 510-642-5292
Fax: 510-642-5293
Email: psychadmin@berkeley.edu

The Book of Virtue; Chapter 72

lao-tzupic

“When the people do not respect authority,
as they might a demon holding a rod,
Then a greater authority will soon arrive reminiscent of
the days when women ruled the household. 

The people should not make light of where they dwell; 
Nor should they feel their lives restricted,
Listen, if they don’t feel their lives to be restricted,
They will not be restricted.

Therefore the sage
Knows himself well, but does not display himself;
Loves himself, but does not make much of himself.
Thus, in each case he takes firm hold of the first and avoids
the last.”

Source:
Tzu, Lao. Tao Te Ching An All-New Translation by William Scott Wilson. New York. Kodansha International (2010)

 

Eggless Tofu Scramble

scrambled-tofu_007-3

One of the things I like about this recipe is the variety of ways you can incorporate it in to your meal ideas. You can prepare this recipe for breakfast. You can prepare it as a healthy lunch or you can grab it as a quick light snack with some whole grain crackers. You can prepare this recipe on a quite Sunday evening in preparation for the week ahead or use it as a meatless meal substitute when you feel like eating a clean alternative to your regular diet. All you have to do is open your mind to possibilities. From breakfast to dinner or a light snack, it can be enjoyed almost anytime. It only needs five ingredients to make, making this recipe simple and affordable to prepare for almost anyone, AND it’s vegan.

Ingredients:image11
1 (16 oz) package medium firm tofu
1 small onion, chopped
1 medium red bell pepper or ½ large red bell pepper, chopped
1 teaspoon turmeric
2-3 tablespoons fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped

Press and drain your tofu:
Press and drain your tofu by placing it between two plates. Wrap your tofu in two paper towels and place between the plates. Place a heavy object on top of the top plate to help press out the excess liquid. Allow tofu to press while you prepare your veggies.

Preparing your veggies:
While the tofu is pressing prepare your veggies. Prepare your veggies by cleaning, peeling and chopping them into ½” diced squares.

Preparing your skillet:
Prepare a sauté pan for your Eggless Tofu Scramble. Spray your sautee pan with non-stick cooking spray. Place the pan over a burner and set burner to medium-high heat.

Preparing the tofu:
After your tofu has been pressed and drain, there should be a puddle of liquid on the plate, remove it from the liquid and the paper towels and place it in a large bowl. Using two forks shred the tofu into bit sized crumbles.

Preparing the eggless scramble:
Add your chopped veggies to the heated sauté pan and sauté until the onions turn translucent; about 5-6 minutes.

Add your tofu crumble and incorporate into the veggies stirring well. Add 1 teaspoon of turmeric and incorporate it into the scramble by mixing well. Turn off heat and remove pan to cold burner. Stir in your parsley. Season with salt and pepper.

COOK’S NOTE: For  breakfast idea, serve with fresh seasonal fruit and toast. For a lunchtime alternative, serve tofu scramble in a tortilla wrap lined with fresh green romaine lettuce or other salad greens of choice.

My Memorial Day Picnic Memoirs

920x920

My behavior and communication style toward my family, and when I say family I mean my sister and my brother-in-law, may be considered avoidant. This is because they use electro-magnetic frequency on me. For those of you who don’t believe it is possible, I am just going to assume you must be one of those who believes the Nazi interlude never happened and narcissistic personality disorders don’t exist.

The latest occurrence of electro-magnetic frequency being “turned on” in me, was at my sister’s and brother-in-law’s Memorial Day picnic. I wasn’t drinking and even declined alcohol when offered at which point the electro-magnetic frequency was turned on a few moments later. When it was turned on I began to have difficulty thinking and even inter-acting with the children. My relatives whose picnic it was, obviously hold the upper hand in dishing out punitive punishment towards me and they can be abusive. It only holds to reason that they are also probably treating my son in the same manner. They are his in-house present care-giving system on which he leans and because my son is my 1st born they consider him “screwed,” as they feel the same way about another relative‘s 1st born son. But let me say, my son is 23 and has just graduated college. They have manipulated these two boys, and are still manipulating these two individuals through the control of monetary influences; gifts and toys. It is fair to say that their communication style is rather not collaborative in style, more contingent on their demands at being obeyed / rewarded. Their training technique is much like that of a canine or other animal. There is no democracy or diplomacy. It’s an absolute monarch rule.

Psychoanalytically speaking, the symbolic representation of this hatred toward 1st born son goes back to the royal houses and royal dynasties where 1st born males were treasured. Thus, hurting, injuring, or killing anyone’s first born son was a direct attack against the family’s blood-line and a direct attack against the ruling authority whose son it was. Theories on matricide and the concept of “the dead mother” suggest a paranoid state as seen in the paranoid schizoid personality constellation. In addition, historically speaking, infanticide has been practiced through millennia. The biblical record of Herod killing all first born Jewish males after the birth of Christ is one account of which one can refer. This technique was used to protect the ruling authorities power, position, and wealth. This metaphor is important because control was of upmost importance when it came to lineage, who would be in direct line for inheriting the money and the political power of the family throne and still be in control of the political atmosphere of the times. Thus, the first born would have money and power transferred upon them in the event of the King’s death. I believe what these two individuals (my sister and her brother-in-law) are indirectly implying through their manipulative acts are, “WE ARE KING” “WE ARE #1” or maybe more to the point my brother-in-law is saying “I AM KING” or “I WANT TO BE KING AND DIRECT DECENTING HEIR TO ALL OF MOMMY’S AND DADDY‘S LOVE.” Thus, there flagrant use of power and control through abuse suggests a paranoid state like the paranoid schizoid personality.

Through my exploration of psychoanalysis I have learned that these unconscious fantasies are called primal scene fantasies and pathologies are born in individuals who suffered primal scene trauma during early childhood. Evidence supports that children who were avoidantly attached to their mothers are at high risk for psychopathology which can range from obsessional, narcissistic, and schizoid problems . These children are at high risk and are most likely to victimize others in their adult lives.

Avoidant Attachment – Child Doesn’t Cry

Secure Attachment – Child Cries When Left Alone

Ambivalent Attachment – Child Cries Inconsolably

The questions that arise in my psychoanalytic inquiry are these: What was my brother-in-law’s early dyadic representations like? What was his relationship with his parents like? What was his attachment to his mother like? Did he display avoidant attachment? What were the communication style of the parents? What was his relationship and attitude toward other siblings like in the family? Was there an older brother whom he must “bow” in honor to? Also, these enactments may be a representations of a dual-liason of pathogenic character traits representing unconscious wish fulfillment at being mommy and daddy’s number one and most beloved and treasured child. Thus it is my suspicion that this duo may harbor hatred toward each one of their individual family siblings, especially an older brother first born male or even female.

The relationship my sister has with my brother-in-law’s brother (let’s call him William I, as in William the first of England) influences and creates her aggressive unconscious wish fantasies. She does not like that her husband has to “bow” to William I in their business relationship. William I and his brother own their own company and work together and William I (“The Conqueror” remember him from history? He established the British ruling throne.) is clearly in charge. My sister wants her husband to be the dominant force in this relationship (in this two male sibling dyad between William “the Conqueror“ and his brother), but he isn’t the dominant power, he is the subordinate power and this drives my sister MAD! When pent-up hostility aggression has no avenue for discharge where does it go? It’s directed at other people. She clearly wants control. But does her husband really want it? Does he really want to be in control too? Does having to “bow” in subjugation to an older “conquering King” make him feel powerless or even worse, castrated?

In addition to these events, while my niece and her husband were in the pool with their children, my niece’s husband, let’s call him Lee Min-ho (the famous Korean actor), would make faces and expressions at me that would make me feel uncomfortable. His facial features would range from looking at me with a puzzled peculiar questioning look, to a expression of abhorrent sentiment (as if saying “Ewww!“). It was obvious my niece was directing Lee Min-ho’s behavior and I believe he was falling in subjection to her wish fulfillment, the conscious wish to hurt me.

I had gained a lot of weight and felt uncomfortable in my bathing suit. What they sought to do was promote and direct these very same emotional sentiments towards me, thereby amplifying my discomfort. My niece also had her sister-in-law, let‘s call her “Sparkplug“ because her comment ignited my fire, had made an innuendo a few years back when my niece’s twins were still infants. Sparkplug said to me (while one of the twins were crying and we were all around her trying to sooth her), “Whose that nasty girl?” It was a direct implication at me and my “overweight” body. What they didn’t know was I saw my niece direct Sparkplug to make the comment, thereby making Sparkplug accessory to anti-social behavior. What makes people engage in anti-social behavior, acts that defy normal social interaction? Are they that inept? I felt it was a retaliatory act because I had always felt my niece, due to her moody personality (and because she would display outright signs of rude, aggressive, nasty and vicious communication styles when dealing with me and others) had a “nasty“ personality. I had always considered my niece a nasty personality because of her tone of voice, body and facial expression, as well as her covert style of passive-aggressive behavior. I never told this to her directly, but I had mentioned it in passing to my mother, sister and brother-in-law. It must of got back to her because she has been acting out. I feel, and has always felt, that this behavior made her an “ugly” person.

As a result of this “strange situation” (of course making a reference to the social experiment conducted to determine attachment disorders in infants) I left the party very early.

Subnote: “Children with a history of secure attachment show substantially greater self-esteem, emotional health and ego resilience, positive affect, initiative, social competence, and concentration in play than do their insecure peers. In school, children secure in infancy are treated warmly and age appropriately by teachers, whereas the avoidant (often seen as sullen, arrogant, or oppositional) tend to elicit angrily controlling responses and the ambivalent (often seen as clingy and immature) tend to be indulged or infantilized. Avoidant children have frequently been shown to victimize others, while ambivalent children are often victimized; secure children are neither victims nor victimizers (Sroufe, 1993; Elicker, England, & Sroufe, 1992; Weinfeld, Sroufe, Egeland, & Carlson, 1999).”

Source:
Wallin, David J. Attachment in Psychotherapy. New York. Guilford Press. (2007)