Excerpt About Betrayal

The Question of Maternal Care

We have arrived at this understanding of the emptiness within the hungry self through a sustained inquiry into the nature and origins of the above object relations and a host of others. This inquiry takes the student back to his earliest experiences, especially with his mother. He finds himself dealing with his early life experiences, with the question of maternal care, with his real hunger and its frustrations, with his oral need for love, warmth, holding, and safety. He confronts the effects of early deprivation, physical and emotional abandonment, inattunement to his needs, and intrusiveness into his field of experience. He experiences the wounding, the betrayal, the rage, the hunger, and finally, the emptiness. It is a specific narcissistic emptiness, a gnawing and dry emptiness. Sometimes the student feels that his mouth is dry, his stomach empty, and his body stiff and lifeless. When he perseveres with this condition, he will begin feeling the specific empty shell of oral narcissism.This empty shell does not reveal itself until he goes deeper into understanding the hungry and empty self. Then he will experience himself as an empty bag, a flaccid, empty stomach sack. This empty bag, which is the self devoid of its living core, becomes a hungry, angry, and empty self when he reacts to the emptiness with orally-determined feelings. The state of the empty stomach is most clearly revealed when he can accept the emptiness and learns not to react to it with anger, frustration or hunger.

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