Mythology and neurosis have a common essence.
The myths are a symbolic expression of the unconscious universal dramas. As
such, they reveal many secrets into our psyche. Mythology is a projection of
the collective unconscious and these archetypes manifest even more strongly
when their awareness is limited.
The Oedipus complex is a concept of psychoanalytic theory from Freud. It is inspired by the Athenian tragedy, Oedipus the King, by Sophocles. Oedipus could not escape his fate of marrying his mother and killing his father. When expressed in a healthy way, the child’s hatred for the opposite-sex parent and unconscious sexual desire for the same-sex parent urge the young adult to leave his parents’ nest to start his own life, and look for a compatible mate to start a family. The son leaves his father’s home that has become too restrictive for his own development, and finds a woman that shares many attributes of his own mother in order to heal his own childhood traumas. The father represents what is being rejected while the mother represents what is desired.
While mothers are just as affected by parental
alienation as fathers, for the illustration of this article, I will refer the
mother as the alienator, and the father as the targeted parent. There are many
ways a case of parental alienation seems to evoke the Oedipus complex
When the father is alienated, the son is used as a weapon of war
by the mother to psychologically kill the father in the children’s mind
After the father has been eliminated from the family structure,
the son becomes the new de facto husband of the mother. The son is heavily
enmeshed and is asked to fill the void left by the father
Oedipus father, king Laius, attracted misfortune to him and his
family because of his dark previous deeds against Chrysippus. King Laius is
also the one ordering the killing of his own son Oedipus. The targeted parent’s
tragedy can always be traced to unresolved traumas of his own past and this is
what he needs to heal to change the alienation dynamics. He cannot see himself
only as a victim but needs to take responsibility for his part in the
Oedipus becomes obsessed in finding the killer of King Laius (before
he realized that was him) whom he replaced as the new king because the Oracle
said this unsolved murder is responsible for a plague in Thebes. In the same
way, the alienated child’s life is plagued by self-hatred as he was forced to
reject his father from his life. He does not realize that many of his
psychological and intimate problems are directly related to the alienation of
his own father.
In the Oedipus play, Jocasta eventually commits suicide after
realizing the horror of incest by marrying her own son, the killer of her
husband. Alienators are often very tormented as they eventually realize the
psychological damage they have done to their children out of revenge
When Oedipus eventually learns that he is his wife’s son, he
enters a fury and wants to cut his mother’s womb with a sword. This symbolizes
the rage of the alienated child towards his mother when he finally realizes how
he has been manipulated for so many years
When Oedipus becomes aware of the tragedy of his fate, he makes
himself blind by piercing his eyes with golden pins. The alienated son is also
torn by guilt about his own actions, in particular his harsh rejection of his
father and his blind enmeshment with his mother. Seeing the truth may be so
brutal that he may decide instead to shut down his conscience.
Oedipus’s sons Eteocles and Polynices end up fighting for power
and killing each other. His daughter Antigone commits suicide. The alienated
child carries with him the psychological damage coming from years of
alienation. As an adult, he is likely to experience similar unfortunate events
in his own family life because of transgenerational trauma
light of awareness has however the power to lift away the curse of parental
alienation. As they mature, the alienated children have the ability to see the
truth of their childhood, accept the limitations of their parents and start the
process of forgiving them. Then, they will be able to break the cycle of abuse
and abandonment to give their own children a life that is not plagued by
It has become clear to me that the events of the past couple of years were meant to get me to step into my authenticity. Most of us are suffering from attachment traumas because our caregivers were not able to give us the unconditional love, reflection, emotional support, attention and availability that we needed to develop into emotionally secure human being. Why? Simply because they suffered the same traumas, and what is not healed is passed on to the next generation. These attachment traumas convert into the belief that something is wrong with us and that we are not lovable (core shame). As a result, we create masks in order to get the love that we desperately need. I have seen this subconscious pattern clearly in my love relationships over a 20-year period. The enmeshment trauma with my mum combined with the absence of my dad has created the unconscious belief that I can only be loved for what I do, the role I play and not for who I am. In this configuration, to be needed is to be loved while too much neediness is putting my inner child in a panic as it reminds this immature self of the pressure it could not handle. So here is my pattern. I fall in love with a woman, and I seduce her by projecting the image of the type of man that she wants. One was in an abusive relationship, so I became her savior. Another one was in deep spiritual search, so I became a spiritual guide. Another one was in search of financial security and status so I became a provider, a successful executive or a vice-consul. Another one needed constant external emotional regulation so I became a full-time caretaker. The trick worked in getting the woman I fell for, but there are consequences. As time passes, my partner gets to see the other parts of me and feels duped. By that time, she is however attached and committed to make the relationship work, especially as she struggles with her own abandonment traumas. Frequent arguments and constant drama are the mark of such relationships as my partner is in love with someone she is incompatible with. Her whole focus becomes about fixing me to become the person I was when I was courting her. This triggers my shame and I respond by pointing her own flaws, which triggers in turn her own shame. In my attempts to get my love relationship to work, I developed impressive skills in holding a container for someone I am not compatible with. This is truly exhausting. Stepping into authenticity, being completely open about who I am with the belief that I am lovable the way I am, is the better alternative.
To be authentic, we first have to know who we are. I am a Gemini man who is known to be the most complex sign of the zodiac. To make the matter harder, this is also a mutable sign. Now that I am in my 40s, I feel I can better define the core of who I am, and I am going to make my best attempt to describe it. I invite every one of you to do the same exercise.
Who am I?
I am curious, smart, adventurous, responsible, positive, high-energy, a free spirit, driven, loyal, flexible, resilient, complex, eccentric, daring, resourceful, spiritual, creative, perseverant, intense, self-reliant and introspective. I am a spiritual warrior, a magician, a lover and a leader. On the negative, I can be stubborn, willful and uncompromising when I have made up my mind. I am afraid of boredom. I have several splits: warm, loving and generous vs cold-hearted, kind & sweet vs insensitive, very social vs solitary, deeply intimate vs emotionally unavailable. I do not smoke, rarely drink, do not drink coffee, never take medication unless seriously sick, I am a vegetarian and believe in a healthy lifestyle. I value financial security and believe in living within your means. I believe in fairness, justice and reciprocity.
I love women and I am a sexual being. I love physical touch but I love connecting just as much through deep, introspective and interesting conversations. Sex is only appealing to me when it comes with a love connection. I love to love and to feel loved. I am very cuddly as I go to sleep and wake up in the morning but I will pull away in my sleep during the night. I love women who have embraced their darkness, sexuality and authenticity but can also be kind, motherly and protective. I love their purity of heart, spontaneity and sensitivity. I am into witches and artists. I am slightly love avoidant so I need someone who has the capacity to handle my coming and going with minimum anxiety. I am an alpha and I do not mind sharing the lead with a powerful woman as long as there is respect, reciprocity and no double standard. I enjoy nurturing from women tremendously. I like to be needed but not smothered. The times I have been the happiest in my life have been in an intimate relationship so love relationships are very important to me.
In friendship, I am loyal and I rely on my personal interactions with a person rather than other people’s opinions. I like people who are vulnerable, authentic and share their feelings openly. I prefer one-on-ones to group interactions, as I like to go deep. I like kind, complex and secure individuals where silence is just as comfortable as conversation. The security to care for each other in difficult times is important to me.
I love my teenage children, want to earn back their love to reconnect with them.
I am comfortable around crowds and I am expert at networking though I prefer more intimate gatherings.
I am an entrepreneur and a problem solver. I love starting new ventures from scratch. I need to use my mental capacities to make a difference in people’s lives. I enjoy financial independence through real estate or business. I like stretching myself and taking risk. I need an interesting career project that is outside my relationship. I like to have control over my own time. I love working from inspiration. I transform the suffering I went through, to help others going through the same ordeal using my life experience. I like philanthropic work especially for more difficult environments such as jail, hospice, orphanage, parental alienation and ritual abuse. I love that feeling to know I have made a difference in someone’s life. I want to be liked and respected in the community for my contribution. I need significance, not only vicariously by association but also for my own contribution. I like teaching, and having a leadership role.
My favorite sport is tennis and I like playing it competitively. I enjoy skiing, scuba diving, biking, hiking, camping, going to the gym and running. Though I love going to the beach, I enjoy the mountains even more. I like watching movies that are meaningful, documentaries and French movies. I like going out to restaurants and performances with my loved ones. My favorite music is transcendental, 80s pop, French and classical. I like a nice comfortable & beautiful home. I like community living for the emotional support, company, and convenience but I need to have enough one-on-one time with my beloved. I love traveling and exploring new exotic places. I like inviting people over for dinner and company. I enjoy cooking food for others as long as it is not everyday and an expectation. I like organizing weekend get-outs and vacation for my loved ones. I love the outdoors.
Meaning is important to me. I want the feeling that I have an impact and that my life is meaningful. I want a purposeful life that improves the quality of many lives. I want to live a heart-centered life. I want to awaken my subtle senses and feel so much more about life, people, animals and plants. I want to be healthy, be physically active and pain free. I like to do process work with people, to bring them to a space of new realizations and change their lives. I like process work too when I am able to get new release or understanding. I believe in balance, and in a life with eyes on the sky with feet planted solidly on the ground. I enjoy shamanic work, and accessing higher awareness to improve my life. I enjoy writing about my inner life and new understanding. My life is driven by the pursuit of happiness which is best achieved by living a heart-centered life that translates into sharing love and caring for each other, a deep connection with our Creator, simplicity, abundance and contemplation.
What a freedom and liberation to be open about who we truly are! No more need for manipulation. We stop sending mixed signals. People can decide on their own if we are the type of person they would like to know better. We prefer being alone (but not lonely) than to spend time with incompatible people. Despite all our personal flaws, we still believe we are lovable just the way we are. We create a life that feels good because it is full of the people and the things we love. We become trustworthy as we connect deeper to our core. We empower ourselves to attract into our life what we value most. Our inner peace is less disturbed by external situations, obstacles and tragedies.
Come play with me and take some time to share with the rest of us who you are too!