Excerpt About Defending

Defending Against Separation and Individuation
There is another, more fundamental, reason why individuals usually revert to negative object relations, and especially negative merging, in order to defend against experiences of separation and individuation. To understand this reason we need to know specifically the nature of the primitive affect that characterizes negative merging. It has in it all the negative affects: anger, rage, hatred, pain, fear, anxiety and so on. But there is a specific affect that is always present, which characterizes negative merging and is independent from the other painful emotional states. This is the basic painful affect in the symbiotic phase, the feeling of frustration when the child's needs are not met adequately and immediately.

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