Honestly, how do we begin our lives from being born with a tabula rasa mind and die by popping in tablets due to all the baggage and burdens we bring on to ourselves?!
Yesterday, while I was lecturing my psychology students on what Theodor Adorno et al (1950) found to be the cause of authoritarian personalities, I could not help feeling blase about the awful thing we do to ourselves to get to the pill-popping stage –repression!
Yes, repression is a Freudian term and hence has had it’s very existence questioned and debated on.
What Adorno and his crew went on to find is that children brought up in harsh environments-i.e. less or no care, more or too-much punishment- psyche themselves, or motivate themselves, to forget about the abuse/violence/negligence/discarding of them by their parents or carers.
So, where do you think all this anguish and pain goes? Nowhere, of course. It just takes residence in the unconscious/subconscious realms of the mind.
But then we know that repression doesn’t just breed authoritarian personalities.
By not venting out, not expressing, not talking about what we truly think and feel means all this truth is shoved down our minds somewhere and weighs our minds down-so much so, that our minds will someday not bear the weight anymore and force the truth out- like bubbling lava erupting out of a volcano.
This is why we have anti-social behaviour, i.e. “Society doesn’t care about us, so we don’t care about society.”
This is why we have extremist behaviour, i.e. “We haven’t got what we believe to be our rights, so now it’s payback time…time to fight for our cause, no matter who dies or what gets destroyed!”
This is why we have egocentric behaviour, i.e. ”I’ll say or do what I like to get attention from people, and if they don’t like what I say or do, I don’t give a damn!” (psst… you do really, otherwise you wouldn’t behave in this way, but you won’t admit it!)
And this is why we have control-freak behaviour, i.e. “I barely was seen and never heard as a kid, so I’ll make sure everyone know’s who is boss now that I am all grown up!”
The aforementioned behaviours inflate our egos to the extreme, because our minds are flustered on what to think and our hearts are drained of any emotion there could be.
But none of this behaviour is fair or always tolerable by everyone else, which is why people with big egos may make it big in terms of success, but will never be happy, if they don’t get any support from people.