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Narcissist’s Partner: Womb, Fetish (Schizoid Undead Reborn, Borderline, Codependent)

Uploaded 2/1/2021, approx. 43 minute read

Dear students, dear studentettes, I know it's Monday, we're all groggy, psychology is the last thing on our mind, but life has to go on.

Today's lecture is a unit in objects relations theory and so your reading assignment is Bawelby, Otto Rank, Spitz, Bawelby, Guntrip, Winnicott and Fairbairn.

The ego evolves. There is a big debate whether when the baby is born, the baby has an ego, or whether the baby develops an ego, evolves an ego, as he grows up. It's a big debate.

Freud says one thing, Melanie Klein says another.

The very concept of ego is very contentious and derided actually by modern psychology and modern psychiatry. It's no longer used in respectable circles and in universities, especially in the West where there's an emphasis on experimentation, laboratories, white coats and pretensions to science.

The ego evolves, it is molded, it is jump started via external object relations.

The baby forms the ego, develops it, begins to get in touch with it, senses it, emerging.

Only when the baby interacts with other people.

Now of course the first person is mommy, she's the primary object. The mother is the first to provide the baby with a sense of externality. There's something out there.

Initially the baby is immersed in this oceanic feeling. We are the world. He cannot make a distinction between himself and objects out there.

And mommy is the first who provides him with this external internal dichotomy which gives rise to the ego.

As life progresses within the formative years, especially by the critical age of two, the baby had encountered other people, had accepted and realised that these people are not within himself, they're not part of himself, they're not extensions of himself but they're autonomous independent entities with agency.

And this is a trauma of course but he overcomes it.

And ego is born or an ego evolves.

The ego derives strength and a sense of reality from these interactions with external objects.

Of course if the interactions are fraught with fear, with dread, with terror, with unpredictability, with absence, with rejection, with humiliation, with violence, regression, with negative emotionality and affectivity, if the external objects do not provide the baby, later the toddler, with what he needs emotionally, love, unconditional love, acceptance, warmth, receptivity, structure, order, justice, if the external objects are arbitrary, capricious, narcissistic, selfish, absent, dead mothers in Andre Green's term, if the external objects frustrate the child much more than they gratify the child.

The child has a problem with his or her ego, it's not evolved, it remains stunted, stilted, it remains primitive, it remains fragmented, it does not integrate.

Such a baby grows up, becomes an adolescent and then an adult without an ego.

And we call these kind of people narcissists or schizoids.

One of the strategies that such a baby develops is a fear reaction, a flight reaction. It's very frightening, it's very threatening to be in touch with a non-responsive parent, with a parent who refuses to allow the child to emerge and become an individual, to separate, to set boundaries, a parent who parentifies the child, a parent who objectifies the child and uses the child for a variety of reasons, instrumentalizes the child or a parent who abuses the child, classically, sexually, beats up the child, starves the child, etc.

Such a parent is an infinitely ominous figure.

The child's dependence on the parent is total and absolute. The child cannot survive without the parent and a bad parent is essentially a death sentence.

Now, healthy children who are born, luckily for them, to healthy parents, they seek pleasure. There is a pleasure in interacting with the parental figures and later with role models, peers, etc. by extension. There's a pleasure in interacting with external objects.

Freud called it the pleasure principle.

Not the pleasure principle, later is regulated via the reality principle, which each seat is in the ego. The ego embodies the reality principle and controls the pleasure principle, which is the id.

But such children would be pleasure seeking. Children who are born to dysfunctional, threatening, bad parents, such children will prefer safety to pleasure. They have a flight reaction.

And what's the only way open to them to be safe? Not being. They want to undo their being. They want to not be. They want to become absent. They want to become avoid and emptiness.

Because a mother can abuse a child who is there, a child who is present, a child who is with her. A mother can never abuse an absence, an emptiness, avoid, deep space.

How do you abuse a non-being, a non-entity?

You can't.

So by undoing one's being, by becoming an absence, one actually defends against the fear, defends against the abuse, the mistreatment, the dread, and the terror and horror of being at the mercy of a hater, being at the mercy of someone, at the total mercy of someone who doesn't love you.

So absence, emptiness, ironically, ego death, they are very common among narcissists and schizoids. Because they are common among both narcissists and schizoids, there's been a god-awful confusion at the very beginning between the two.

And in the 60s, narcissism was considered a schizoid manifestation, a subtype of schizoid phenomena or schizoid disorders. But narcissism is not a schizoid disorder. It's intimately connected with a schizoid disorder, intimately connected with a schizoid style, schizoid phenomena, schizoid lack of emotions, lack of access to emotions, with absence, schizoid withdrawal and avoidance. They're all supremely intimately connected with narcissism. They're twins, but they're not identical twins.

Narcissism is an attempt to avoid the schizoid solution.

Now to remind you, the baby is tormented, tortured, horrified, terrorized by bad parents, absent parents, selfish parents, abusive parents. And he feels that his life is in danger. It's a life-threatening situation.

So he chooses to undo his own birth. He chooses to go back to the womb. He wants to go back to the womb. He wants to say, okay, I don't like this world. I don't like mommy. I don't like anyone here. They don't love me. They don't give me what I need. I'm terrified. I feel very frightened. I want to stop the world. I want to get off. I want to go back to mommy's tummy. I want to disappear. I want to go back to the womb.

That's a schizoid solution. I don't want to have emotions. I don't want to have relationships. I don't want to acknowledge the existence of external objects. If they do exist, I feel threatened. I feel suffocated. I feel like they can kill me. I feel like dying. I don't want anything to do with other people. And I don't want anything to do with my internal world as well. Both of them out.

So this is the schizoid solution.

Narcissism is an attempt to maintain object relations in the face of the schizoid solution.

It's an attempt to avoid the schizoid solution.

Because as you see, the schizoid solution is mental suicide. And no one wants to die really.

So narcissism is a kind of middle of the way home, kind of a compromise. We'll come to it in a minute and we'll come to your role in this compromise, your critical role as the narcissist's intimate partner.

And why the narcissist insists on having an intimate partner?

Because without an intimate partner, he cannot implement the narcissist's compromise.

So the narcissist is a child or an adolescent or an adult who feels threatened by the schizoid solution.

Because the schizoid solution is psychological suicide, is cutting yourself off from the world, is having nothing to do with people, is not experiencing any kind of emotion, is the undead, it's the living dead, it's to zombify yourself, mummify yourself.

So narcissism is an attempt to avoid this.

And how does the narcissist avoid the schizoid solution?

Via grandiose fantasies of invulnerability, omnipotence and omniscience.

Let me explain the logical sequence.

The baby says, I'm terrified. I'm terrorized. I feel my life is in danger. My parents, my mother is a dead mother. She's a bad mother. She hates me. She does or she doesn't love me. She doesn't hold me. She doesn't contain me. She doesn't support me. She doesn't allow me to separate or individuate. She objectifies me, instrumentalizes me, or intensifies me, horrible. I can't live like that anymore. It hurts. It hurts a lot. This abuse hurts a lot.

So I'm going to pretend that I am not vulnerable, that I cannot feel pain, that I'm omnipotent like God, that I'm omniscient like God. I'm going to pretend that I'm God. And you know, you cannot hurt God and you cannot intrude on God and you cannot force God to do anything and you cannot abuse God.

So the narcissistic child or the child in the process of becoming a narcissist converts himself into a divinity, a God-like figure.

It is a solution because if you are God-like, if you're a divinity, if you're an Olympian God, you're untouchable, you're invulnerable, and you experience no pain, no hurt and no abuse.

So there are two solutions now.

One is to go back to the womb, to un-born yourself, to un-born yourself, to become the undead, to become a zombie.

The second solution is to be born again.

So to become another entity, you were born as a vulnerable, fragile, small child, totally dependent and in need of these parental figures who had let you down and frustrated you.

So now you will be born again.

This time, as the exact opposite of this child, you will be born as God-like, omnipotent, omniscient, invulnerable, etc. You will be reborn as a God.

It's a metamorphosis, like Kafka's metamorphosis, but this time you're not born as a cockroach, you're reborn as a God.

So being reborn as a God is a solution, or being un-born and becoming undead is another solution.

And one solution is fighting the other.

Last is an attempt to suppress the schizoid solution, to somehow remain alive, to somehow remain in touch with reality, to somehow have relationships with external objects.

However thwarted, deformed and dysfunctional these relationships are, they're better than nothing. They're better than the schizoid solution, where there are zero, no relationships.

And this self-concocted, self-invented, invulnerability, omnipotence, omniscience, the locus of these is the false self.

The false self is a construct, but the false self, ironically, again, paradoxically even, represents a compromise. It's a compromise.

The child says to himself, I'm being abused, I'm being maltreated, I'm being mistreated, I'm being ignored, I'm being instrumentalized, I really feel bad, I'm really hurting, the pain is unbearable, intolerable, I'm overwhelmed, I have emotional dysregulation.

Right.

So how to solve this? I don't want to die, I don't want to become a schizoid, I don't want to cut off from the world, I want to have contact with people, I want to go out, I want to experience some emotions, I want to see flowers, I want to see sunshine, I don't want to die, I don't want to go back to the womb.

I know it's a solution, I know it's a perfect solution.

If I absent myself, if I convert myself into an emptiness, avoid, it's a solution, because no one can abuse torture and torment, avoid, or an emptiness, or an absence.

So schizoid solution is verifications, self-references.

But I don't want that, the child says, I still want to be, I still want to have a modicum of life, 10% life, 20% life, I want to stay alive as much as I can under the circumstances.

So the false self is a compromise, because the false self allows the child who had become a narcissist to maintain external object relations.

But the external object relations are not with a person, not with a narcissist. The external object relations are with the false self. The external object relations are maintained, but they are one step removed. And they take place with a decoy, with a facade, with a construct, with a piece of fiction, the false self.

So anything bad that happens in external object relations, anything bad that happens in an intimate partnership, in a business transaction, with friends, anything bad that recreates the experience with the rejecting parental figures is not happening to the narcissist. It's happening to the false self.

The false self kind of attracts the fire. That's why I call it a decoy.

So the narcissist discarded the schizoid solution.

Narcissist says, I'm not going to become a schizoid. I'm not going to withdraw from the world. I am going to have relations with other people, external object relations. I'm going to experience emotions of some kind. I'm going to reach out to the world somehow.

But because I'm terrified, because I'm traumatized, because I had been abused, because I can't tolerate this pain, should it happen again, I will not survive.

What I'm going to do, I'm going to invent a piece of fiction. I'm going to invent a Wizard of Oz. I'm going to invent an artificial creation. And I'm going to tell people, please interact with that thing, with this entity, with this self, not with me. Don't interact with me.

Because if you interact with me directly, you will cause me pain. You will cause me pain that I will not survive.

Monomation. This is known as modification. I don't want to be modified. It's life threatening.

I wanted to interact with my false self. I had created the false self for you to interact with.

Please love the false self. Admire the false self. Adulate the false self. Serve the false self.

Do everything with the false self. Leave me alone. Leave me alone, because I'm fragile. I'm vulnerable. I can die. I don't have an immune system. I am immunocompromised. I cannot protect myself against the virus of love. Love is pain.

So please direct all this energy at the false self. He can take it. It can take it.

And so the false self is actually a combination, a compromise, because there is a facade, there is a firewall, there is an outward public facing kind of visage, mirage fantasy that maintains object relations, maintains touch with reality, however distorted. And behind this facade, behind this mirage, behind this stage set, there is a schizoid inner absence.

The narcissist's combination, internal schizoid state, external object relations, one step removed. External object relations are maintained in narcissism, but not with the narcissist. They are maintained with the work of art, with his creative effort, known as the false self.

And behind the false self, what the false self is shielding is a schizoid inner absence. It's an ego-less state. It's exactly like being unborn, where a real core should have been. There's nothing howling winds, empty corridors. It's an abandoned castle, and the fortifications are the false selfThe enemy is going to attack the fortifications. The castle is secure.

So the narcissism is a combination, schizoid state plus functional object relations, functional for the narcissist, dysfunctional for other people.

And in a way, narcissism is a fantasy defense, fetishizes you, converts the intimate partner into a fetish. The fetishistic part, coupled with the narcissistic fantasy mediated via the false self, they provide a fantasy defense against the schizoid state, which is essentially death while alive, being buried alive, becoming undead, becoming zombie.

We will discuss this, the fetishistic element in the solution a bit later.

When the narcissistic solution fails as well, you remember the narcissist rejects the schizoid solution, adopts the narcissistic solution, which is a compromise.

Okay, I will become a schizoid, but I will maintain object relations via a false self.

When this solution fails, there's mortification, and then the narcissist becomes 100% schizoid. He withdraws, he avoids, he vanishes, he upsends himself from himself.

If he experiences firsthand what it is to not be. It's not a feeling of safety, because for the narcissist, the schizoid state is threatening.

For the classic schizoid, the schizoid state is safe. It's not egosyntonic. The classic schizoid resents his schizoid incapacity, his schizoid disability, but he feels safe.

The narcissist doesn't have even this. He resents the schizoid core, the schizoid nucleus, the absence, the emptiness inside himself. He resents it, and it doesn't make him feel safe.

On the very contrary, it makes him feel like he's disappearing. Mortification is the sensation of vanishing, evaporating into molecules.

Like narcissism, paranoia and depression are also defenses against the schizoid state.

If external object relations are too threatening, if contact with other people is hurtful or potentially hurtful, and if there is zero tolerance for pain and hurt, there's hurt aversion, pain aversion, because the inner structures are fragmented, they're dysregulated, they're labile, there are numerous self-states.

The whole thing is a precarious house of cards, which is going to disintegrate. The whole edifice is going to crumble under the slightest pressure from an external object.

So, paranoia and depression are defenses against the schizoid state. The schizoid state is a defense against external object relations.

So, we have a defense against a defense. If external object relations are too threatening, you could choose to not have external object relations at all. That's, of course, possibly the psychotic state.

But there are compromises. Narcissism is one such compromise.

Paranoia and depression is another such compromise.

It's the next best thing. You can't have external object relations, but you can have internal object relations.

In schizoid state, there's no ego, there's no external object relations at all.

In the paranoid, depressive, narcissistic states, there is object relations. There is object relations with external objects, but they are internalized. They are converted into internal objects in order to maintain full control, avoid abandonment, avoid persecution in the case of the paranoid, or avoid guilt in the case of the depressive, to avoid negative emotionality.

So, let's sum it up.


A child who has been exposed to a bad, dead mother, bad, dead father, bad caregivers, a child who did not experience, as a baby and a toddler, did not experience proper, happy, loving object relations with external objects. Such a child would be terrified of having anything to do with other people or with the world.

So, such a child has several solutions available to him.

Number one, such a child can become schizoid. He can cut off the world. He can disengage from all humanity. He can lock himself, withdraw, abandon everything and everyone.

And this is actually to choose death, to become the undead, to become zombified, to go back to the womb, to be unborn.

Solution number two, he can become a narcissist. He can become a paranoid. He can become depressive.

These three solutions, what they have in common, is that object relations is maintained.

There is the inner schizoid core. There is the inner emptiness. There is the absence.

The person has been unborn. The person went back to the womb, is undead, is a zombie, but desperately tries to cling to the vestiges and remnants of a world. Desperately wants to be in touch with another human being, wants to feel loved, wants to experience intimacy. Somehow, even if it's a mild, pale version of the original, a pale imitation, so be it. He wants it desperately.

So, he rejects the total schizoid solution.

Narcissism, paranoia and depression is when the narcissist creates a false self, allows people to interact with the false self, to love the false self, to be intimate with the false self, to adulate the false self, everything with the false self, not with the narcissist.

And then, internalizes these external objects, who are interacting with the false self, internalizes them so that he can maintain full control over them, so that they don't betray him. They don't persecute him. They don't accuse him of anything. They don't cheat on him.

By internalizing the external object, the narcissist makes sure that this object, who used to be external and now is internal, will never abandon him, never betray him, never stab him in the back, never persecute him, will never hurt him, will never cause him pain, pain that he cannot tolerate, mortification.

So, these are the two mechanisms and they are common in paranoia and they are common in depression as well.

Internal objects can be persecutory, for example, the inner critical, the sadistic superego, but the narcissist experiences these persecutory objects as external.

Remember, the narcissist confuses internal with external. He internalizes external objects. He internalizes you, for example, but he still experiences you as an external object. Though you had become an internal object, though he is interacting exclusively with the internal object, his experience of this internal object is wrong, erroneous. He believes this internal object to be external.

Now, if the object is persecutory, it creates paranoia, because even though it's an internal object that is persecutory, it is projected, it's experienced as external, and this creates paranoia, and paranoia creates aggression, defensive aggression, similar with love, with emotions. The narcissist internalizes you, supposing you are his intimate partner, supposing he's attracted to you, saturated, wants you, wants you in his shared fantasy.

So, first of all, he redirects you to the false self, he redirects you to the false self. That's a decoy, that's a protection, that's a firewall, that's a shield, no pain, no hurt. One, two, he internalizes you, he takes a snapshot, internalizes you, and from that moment on, he continues to interact with the internal object, but he experiences you as external. He mistakes the internal object for an external object, and gradually you can become the persecutory object, in which case he will develop paranoia, and he will seek to destroy you. This will provoke aggression, which will be directed at you. Even though it was the internal object that had generated the persecution, he will punish you because he mistakes the internal object for you, and mistakes you for the internal object. He doesn't realize he has an internal object, he thinks it's you.

And when the internal object engages in any dynamic, he attributes this dynamic to you, he projects it onto you. If he's persecuted by the internal object, he says you are persecuting me. If he's accused by an internal object, if he feels guilty because he's accused by an accusatory internal object, he says you're accusing me, he attributes it to you. He says you're criticizing me all the time, you're accusing me all the time.

If he's loved by an internal object, he similarly would attribute it to you. If he's idealized by an internal object, he would also say you're idealizing. Whatever the internal object does within the narcissist, because he mistakes it for you, he will attribute to you via a process of projection.

The schizoid chooses the safety of withdrawing, of avoiding reality, of denying external access to external objects.

But the schizoid also has no access to internal objects. For example, the internal object representing his mother. And his only solution is what Gantt and Fairbairn and others called identification.

The other solution is incorporation. In other words, schizoids, because they don't have access to external objects, they cut all external object relations off, they are not in touch with people, they're solitary, they're lone wolves.

Okay, they also don't have access to internal objects.

So what they try to do, they try to merge, they try to fuse, they try to assimilate, they try to disappear, they already disappeared, their absence, their emptiness.

So they try to integrate, to become one with an existing object. They are an absence in search of a presence, non-entity in search of an entity.

And this is going back to the womb. Going back to the womb, for example, is assimilating the external object that his mother and the internal object that his mother, which are inaccessible.

By going back to the womb, the schizoid becomes one with these objects again. And going back to the womb is, of course, an allegory, a metaphor, by withdrawing into confined spaces.

This is the core function of the pathological narcissistic space. All confined spaces where the narcissist and the schizoid feel safe, they are womb substitutes.

We'll come in a minute to the codependent and the borderline, because they choose an identical solution, merger, fusion, assimilation, going back to the womb.

The narcissist chooses the pleasure, not the safety, but the pleasure of approach, because approach allows him to muster external objects via grandiosity, via exploitative entitlement, and via internalization.

So the schizoid chooses to, because he has no access to objects, internal or external, he chooses to become the object.

If you have not access to objects, the next best strategy is to become the object.

Because anyhow, you don't exist. You have nothing to lose. You want to become the object.

So the schizoid wants to become his mother by going back to the womb.

The borderline and the codependent want to become the intimate partner.

Merger and fusion in codependency, borderline, schizoid states, assimilation, they are all second best solutions.

I can't have access to external objects because I'm terrified of what may happen. I'm afraid of the pain, abandonment. I'm afraid of abandonment in borderline personality.

So I don't want external objects. I don't want external objects. No, thank you. I don't have access to internal objects because everything there is disorganized, discombobulated, chaotic, fragmented. I don't have proper access to internal objects.

So what I will do instead, I will merge with an object. I will fuse with an object. I will become another object. I will become my intimate partner. I will become my mother.

And that way I will get to live. I will get to survive. And I will get to experience reality and even object relations safely, simply by vanishing and reappearing, born again.

The narcissist is reborn, born again, as the grandiose false self.

The borderline, the schizoid, the codependent are reborn, born again via the agency of another person, usually an intimate partner, a partner, frequently an intimate partner that stands in for a parental figure, mother or father.

All these solutions are regressive, of course. They're all infantile. They're all a child's solutions, but these people never grow up. All these people, narcissists, schizoids, borderlines, codependents, they never grow up. These are children coping with adult issues, with children's tools and instruments, with a child's capacity of comprehension, with a child's insights, almost non-existent.

So when you see these solutions, they are, of course, infantile and regressive. They are a child's solution.

Codependency and borderlines exactly like the narcissists. They are composites.

Remember, the narcissist's solution is, I'm going to be schizoid, I'm going to disappear, I'm going to become an absence.

But before I do that, I'm going to create a false self, and via the false self, by proxy, vicariously, secondhand, I'm going to experience reality, the world, and I'm going to experience external-object relations.

Borderlines and codependents have a similar compromise, a similar composite solution.

Merger and Fusion are actually a compromise. They are a composite solution because they allow the borderline and the codependent to feel both safe and pleasurable. They provide pleasure, and they provide safety. And this is accomplished via pseudocycosis. That's why Kernberg said that borderlines are borderline. They're on the border with psychosis.

In codependency, as well as in borderline, there's pseudocycosis, because they do exactly the opposite of the narcissist.

You see, all these three, actually all these five, the narcissist, the paranoid, the depressive, the borderline, the codependent, all five were faced with a grave life endangering threat, this schizoid state. All of them faced the possibility, the distinct possibility of self-inflicted extinction. Terrified, they all chose different solutions.

The narcissist solution was to internalize external objects and thereby control them. It's a solution. What you control cannot hurt you.

The borderline codependent shows exactly the opposite solution. They externalize internal objects.

The mother's womb, that the schizoid want to go back to, the codependent borderline externalize the mother and her womb. They externalize internal objects. And they mistake external objects for internal objects, exactly like the narcissist.

So it gives them a sense of safety and a sense of security and pleasure, because they are inflationary.

What the narcissist does, he takes the world and swallows it, like Cronus, you know, in great mythology. He swallows external objects and they become internal and he feels safe and he has the pleasure of interacting with external objects via the false self.

The borderline codependent expand themselves. Like the big bang, they go out. This is called hyper-reflexivity. It's common in psychotic disorders as well. They externalize internal objects and then they get confused. They think that their internal objects are actually external, exactly like the narcissist.

So one of them swallows and assimilates the world. One of them is assimilated in the world. One of them renders everything external, internal. That's the narcissist.

And the borderline and codependent render everything internal, external. They kind of disintegrate, evaporate and become one with the world. It's not the world, it's the intimate partner.

So the borderline and codependent solution is I'm going to disappear and reappear in my intimate partner's mind and body. I'm going to merge with my intimate partner. I'm going to fuse with my intimate partner. It's all very religious because there's a process of dying in resurrection. And this is probably the power of the biblical narrative, is dying in resurrection are the core principles of mental illness, at least in close to be personality disorders.

But I think in manydepression.

So attempting to cope with an impossible threatening environment, people, children come up with solutions that involve dying in one way to gratify the parent because the parent is rejecting the parent's messages. I want you dead. I want you to die. You're a nuisance. You're I don't know what you're disappointing. You're frustrating. I don't want you. I don't love you. I want you to die.

So the child says, okay, Mommy, I will die. I become schizoid. But I don't want to die. I want to be in touch with the world. I want to be in touch with.

So they come up with these composite solutions with these compromises. And they become the world or the world becomes them.

They confuse external and internal, all in desperate attempts to maintain hold on reality and interact with other people.

And in this sense, being abandoned, abandonment is the equivalent of birth.

Auto-rank suggested the concept of traumatic birth. And in the minds of these personalities, narcissistic, borderline codependent, being abandoned is the equivalent of being born.

But they don't want to be born. They want to be dead. They want to be the undead. They want to be dead, but in touch.

So the borderline is dead inside. The codependent is dead inside.

But their solution is I will accept that I'm dead inside, but I will leave. I will leave outside.

And how will I do that? I will disappear and reappear, resurrect, be reborn as my intimate partner.

The narcissist solution is I'm dead inside. I accept it. It's painful, but I accept it. I'm going to reappear. I'm going to resurrect as the false self. That way I'll be in touch with reality.

But being abandoned, when these people are abandoned, the solution falls apart.

And it's like they went back to the womb. They did. They went back to the womb. And now they have to exit again. They have to be born. They have to be, they're forced into the world and into external object relations, not mediated via the solutions or compromises that they had come up with as children.

This is the process of mortification.

Abandonment causes mortification by eliminating the false self, by eliminating the persecutory object in paranoia, by eliminating the accusatory object in depression, by eliminating functional internal objects and replacing them with the same thing from recognizable external objects.

So in the case of the depressive, the accusations come from a real life person, not from his inner object. In the case of a paranoid, he's really persecuted by a real person conspired against, malice. In the case of the narcissist, he suffers narcissistic injury and humiliation at the end of a real life person.

So abandonment is when these defenses are shattered in a process called this decompensation. All the defenses shut down. And all the internal objects are demolished because they critically depend on the operation of these defenses. They are either demolished or inactivated.

At that moment, the narcissist, for example, cannot operate any grandiose defense. His false self is shut off, you know. So he has no grandiose defenses. He's not godlike anymore. He's a mere mortal, vulnerable, fragile.

So the narcissist has no grandiose defenses and can no longer control, manipulate his internal objects because they are equally shut off or even destroyed. So he's absolutely back to the first months of life or the first two years of life when he had been terrified by a rejecting, hateful, dead mother.

Because at that time, before he had come up with a narcissistic schizoid solution during these years before he had invented the false self, it was raw terror, raw horror.

An abandonment or any other crisis like being cheated on or bankruptcy or divorce or what they do, they disable the defenses and they deactivate or destroy the internal objects.

At that second, the narcissist feels that his world is spinning out of control. External objects are no longer internal. They cause him pain and he cannot master them, tell them what to do, control them. And he falls apart.

This is extreme anxietydecompensation, acting out.

And in many cases, there is a self state, the protector self state, usually a secondary or primary psychopath, psychopathic self state.

And this self state comes forward, comes forward, for example, the borderline, when the borderline is subjected to rejection, abandonment, humiliation, real, imagined or anticipated, the borderline brings forward a self state, a psychopathic self state. It's a secondary psychopath. It's a psychopath with access to empathy and emotions, but it's still a psychopath. It's impulsive, reckless, etc. De-sympathy.

So empathy is suspended. So the protector self state takes over in such a case in order to avoid mortification, but it usually doesn't work, actually. Mortification is only minimally delayed. A major object relations crisis, major crisis with an external object, such as abandonment, cheating and so on, is bound to bring mortification.

So what are you there for? What's your role as the narcissist's intimate partner?

You are there to facilitate this solution, the narcissistic solution. You are there to serve as the narcissist womb, as his mother's womb.


Now, the narcissist would deny this, because he is a schizoid. Remember, at core, the core of the narcissist, the non-existent core, is absence, schizoid absence.

So if you interrogate the narcissist, they would tell you, she's interchangeable. She's dispensable. She's disposable. She's like a bus. They come and go every 10 minutes.

But really, your function, your role in the narcissist's life, is regulatory and life sustaining. Let me put it this way. If you modify the narcissist, this is the closest that he comes to suicide, because he becomes effectively a borderline, dysregulated emotions and everything. All these defenses crumble. And we know that when these defenses crumble, narcissists develop borderline traits, as do victims of complex trauma, by the way.

So you are there in the narcissist's life within his shared fantasy. Shared fantasy is a controlled space, because the narcissist can't take chances with you. He can't have you improvise. He can't rely on your goodwill judgment or moods, affections, cognition. No way. He's not going to trust you with anything, ever. He's going to take you by the hand. He's going to convert you into an internal object, and he's going to embed you firmly in the ground of the shared fantasy. That way, he feels safe.

But within the shared fantasy, your main function is to be the womb of his mother, the place where he can go to when he is in the schizoid state. You are the womb. You are the found and source of the oceanic feeling of safety that he experiences when he is with you. Never mind how much he abuses you. Never mind how much he fights with you. Never mind how much he says he hates you, and he does.

Still, you are the womb. You are the safest, most holding, unconditionally accepting place where he can shed some of his narcissistic defenses and indulge in or experience fearlessly the schizoid state.

You have another function, of course, secondary narcissistic supply. Your function is to affirm the reality and the veracity of the false self. You tell the narcissist the false self is not false. It's true. It's real.

So you have two functions. The most important one, you are the safe zone. You're beyond the comfort zone. You're a safe zone. It's to you that he goes when he needs to let go and become a schizoid. You are his schizoid sanctuary.

And the second thing is you uphold and buttress and support his grandiose false self, because it's the only way that he can have any relationship with you. You're an external object. He has relationships with external objects only via the false self. It's not safe to have a relationship directly with you. It needs to be mediated, filtered, firewalled, evaluated, assessed, accessed, reframed, whatever, via the false self and its grandiose fantasies.

Remember that the narcissist misperceives you as an external object when actually he had internalized you already.

In order to guarantee your functioning, in order to control you, manipulate you, prevent abandonment, the first thing the narcissist did was snapshot you, took a snapshot of you and internalized you. But he mistakes you for an external object.

There's a confusion in his mind. He thinks you're external when actually he's interacting exclusively with your representation in his mind.

But because you're external in his mind, because you're external in his mind, in his mind, because you're external in his mind, wrongly, you have the power to tell him, you have the power to report to him about reality. You are, in other words, the narcissist's reality testing. You're the gauge. He refers to you for reality testing.

And the most critical question in his mind, am I not, am I insane? Is the false self real?

And you are there to say, yes, dear, it is real. You are a genius. You are amazing. You sort of accumulate. You record past narcissistic glories and recount them to him.

Sikh transit and that's easy to smoothie. Sikh transit, Gloria, now it's easy. Put it this way. So you are, look how many critical functions you have. You are his safe refuge and sanctuary where he can be himself, where he can be, where he can be a non-entity, where he can be an absence.

He himself means not self because he has no ego. Where he can vanish knowing full well that he will re-materialize. It's like teleportation. You're the teleportation chamber. You are the one who confirms to him and assures him that the false self is not false, but real. You are his reality testing. Nothing is more important. You are the mother. You are the mother in this sense. You are the womb.

The narcissist internalizes all external objects. They say so. So if we take this principle, you begin to understand that your existence in the narcissist's mind is very, very bizarre and peculiar.

Take, for example, the famous Madonna Whore complex. The Madonna Whore complex is not a splitting defense directed at external objects because narcissists don't interact with external objects. They internalize them. They interact only with internal objects.

So it is meaningless to say that the narcissist regards some women as Madonnas and some women as whores. It's meaningless because it does not regard women. End of story. He regards representations of women. He interacts with internal objects that stands for women.

But these internal objects have very little to do with you. They go through a process of idealization. It's a mess. It's not you.

So what is the Madonna Whore complex? It's an internal splitting, not external splitting because there's no external object relations with the narcissist. There's no contact with external objects. So it must be an internal splitting.

As Gantri had observed, the self is split, the non-existent self. I mean, it's difficult to wrap your head around this.

The processes, psychodynamic processes, they're split. The narcissist splits himself to all body and all mind, all mental.

Reminiscent of somatic and cerebral.

Yes. So all body and all mental. The all body part interacts with whore-ish women. It doesn't have anything to do with judging these women. It's not that the narcissist says, well, I'm going to look for whore-ish women. It's that his body part interacts with women who are classified as whore-ish internal objects. And his mind part interacts with women who are classified as Madonna internal objects.

They're both internal objects. The narcissist is auto-erotic. He has sex. He loves, he's liberally invested, he's emotionally confected. All the processes are auto-directed, self-directed.

So he cannot have anything to do with women, even during sex. But he splits himself, internal splitting.

So that's an example of how bizarre the narcissist world is.


Now, I said that earlier, I said that you're a fetish.

To remind you, the sexual fetish is originally, the fetish is when the savage saw something as the embodiment of his God. So it could be an object.

And the savage said, well, God is in this object, and that's a fetish.

Freud discusses this in Three Contributions to the Theory of Sex, 1905. So when you have a propensity to regard or treat other people, caregivers, parents, intimate partners as objects to objectify them, that's fetishism.

When the narcissist converts you, objectifies you into an internal object. He's fetishizing you. He's treating you as a fetish.

Now, fetishism is an inevitable phase of personal development and growth during the formative years, six months to three years.

Psychoanalysis and object relations theories teach us that we outgrow the fetishistic, immature way of relating to external objects, to the human environment.

Instead, what replaces fetishism is empathy when we perceive others as human beings, full fledged human beings, not objects.

And yet some people, narcissists, for example, but not only narcissists, I mentioned paranoid. I mentioned border lights. I mentioned codependence. They're all the same.

These people remain fixated in the fetishistic phase. They do not progress into full fledged adulthood.

And arguably the most ostentatious manifestation of this retardation is sexual. There's a paraphilia called fetishism, but there is mental or psychological fetishism.

And it is equally rampant and equally egregious. In sexual fetishism, there are three types of fetishes, inanimate object, body part, or reified trait.

So classic fetishes, sexual fetishes, react to a specific object or specific body part or specific trait or quality of a person.

The narcissist is exactly the same. He transforms you into an object and then he reacts to your traits, to your body parts.

Anyone who has ever had sex with a narcissist will note the narcissist inordinate focus on specific body parts, you know, feet, breasts. The narcissist reduces his intimate partner, his female intimate partner or his intimate partner into an assemblage of organs, assemblage of body parts.

And then he chooses some of these body parts as erotic, erogenous zones. And he is aroused by these body parts actually, not by the totality.

This sense is a fetishist. That is of course sexual fetishism.

We have objective fetishes. These are people who fetishize objects. We have somatic fetishes, who fetishize body parts and we have abstract fetishes, who fetishize a personality trait or a body trait.

The same with psychological fetishes. The narcissist fetishizes your body parts, fetishizes you as an object and fetishizes certain traits.

This process of fetishizing the traits is what is called idealization. It's when you invest emotionally, and according to Freud and many others, right, there's no difference between emotional energy and sexual energy. When you invest emotionally in a specific set of traits, this is idealization. When you elevate them emotionally to a privileged position, that's idealization.

So people who prefer autoerotic, partialist, anonymous sex, they are also fetishists with the fetish being their own bodies or the organs of their sex partners.

So the narcissist behaves this way in sex is focused on his gratification, his body. He uses your body parts. He masturbates with your body in effect.

But also outside the bedroom, he uses you for gratification. He reduces you. He reduces you to a set of traits, one to three traits, four traits, and you are these traits. And he can do this because he is not interacting with you. He's interacting with an internal object and he can design and redesign this internal object as he sees fit. He's in total control.

So this is a pathological attachment to a fetish, but this is an internalized fetish because the narcissist is autoerotic. Even his fetishism is directed inwards, not outwards.

Normal fetishes direct their arousal, their sex drive outwards. Narcissistic fetishes direct everything inwards.

So they're going to fetishize an internal object and the idealized traits of this internal object, and it's going to carry over to the sex as well.

And so in the absence of the fetish, most fetishes are sexually dysfunctional. Same with the narcissist. In the absence of the fetishized, idealized, internal object, he becomes dysfunctional.

And the circumstances surrounding the fetishistic sexual encounter are not very material. And similarly, anyone can serve as an intimate partner or a source of supply. It's a kind of tunnel vision. It's very similar to autism spectrum disorder, schizophrenia, somatoform disorders. It indicates an underlying mental health problem or trauma or process.


Okay. The narcissist fetishizes you. He internalizes you. He reduces you to set of traits and so on. And then he uses you. He uses you to uphold his false self, to establish reality testing, and to become the safe zone where he can be himself, him non-self, a schism.

And this is actually your role. When you abandon the narcissist or threaten to abandon him, and when you cheat on him, when you betray him as he sees it, and so on, everything falls apart and he is mortified.

Same process in borderline. Same process in codependency.

We can ask, okay, if it's the same process in all three, aren't these three one and the same? No, of course not. Massive differences.

I suggest that you watch relevant videos.

But this particular process, these defenses against the schizoid state exist in all three disorders.

But remember, the narcissist's solution is the exact opposite, the diametrical opposite to the borderline codependent solution.

All three fetishize the intimate partner. All three idealize the intimate partner.

But the narcissist chooses to assimilate her, to swallow her, to convert her into an internal object.

The borderline codependent want the intimate partner to do it to them. They want to become an internal object in the intimate, inside the intimate partner. They want to go back to the womb, but to a specific womb, a functional womb, a womb which will provide external object relations.

The narcissist wants to go back to the womb, but again, a specific womb, a womb that will uphold his view of himself, the false self, grandiosity.

So they all want to go back to the womb because they are driven by the schizoid engine. They're driven by the schizoid core, but they resist this drive. They strike a compromise with the schizoid state.

They say, please, we will become absent. We will disappear. We promise. We will not exist anymore. But please let us experience objects, relationships with objects, with other people, please. And we will do it in a way that will satisfy you because we will disappear in the process of having a relationship with an external object. We will disappear by becoming the false self. We will disappear by merging and fusing with an intimate partner. And we will disappear by developing extreme dependence on an intimate partner.

The disappearing act is the schizoid part. It's the sacrifice, the human sacrifice to the schizoid God, schizoid idol.

What's left are the dysfunctional solutions that these children had found in desperate attempts to not disappear, to somehow remain rooted or planted in reality, to keep one foot in reality, to somehow, somewhere with someone, have a fleeting ephemeral touch of contact like a butterfly, simulated external relationships.

These people crave, crave intimacy and love, crave other people. They just can't. They feel threatened. And they had become schizoids early on.

And the borderline veneer, codependency veneer, narcissism veneer, these are all camouflages. They're all compromises struck with the schizoid core, allowing the person, the non-person, the non-entity to pretend in a make-belief world that she or he is in touch with other people, is loved, is held knowing deep inside that it's a doomed effort, a doomed effort because ultimately the schizoid wins.

All narcissists end life, all narcissists end life alone, decomposing, decaying, ruminating and brooding on past glories, pathetically trying to recapture them and recreate them. All narcissists, all borderlines, all codependents end up losing the battle and becoming full-fledged schizoids.

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