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Psychoanal Rev. 1997 Dec;84(6):843-63.

Some roots of persistent homosexual fantasy and the quest for father's love: conflicted parental identifications in a male patient: fragment of an analysis.

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Cornell Medical School, USA.


This is a clinical paper, which includes material from sessions, presenting the process of the analysis of a young adult male whose narcissistic character patterns, related to and evolved from failed attempts to integrate conflicting parental identifications. These unintegrated mother and father identifications contributed to life-long latent homosexual fantasies. Rodney's analysis indicates that for a boy/man, even a mother who has the qualities of a good enough parent, is not good enough to enable him to reach a nonconflicted manhood. A mother cannot provide for the boy the male model he needs and is searching for, the male who would affirm him in his maleness. Rodney wanted a father on whose shoulders he could stand to become a man. Rodney's persistent homosexual fantasy life, his quest for father's love, and his search for a masculine object to identify with stem from a combination of several factors. Rodney's regression to the negative oedipal phase was probably stimulated when father left the family. Rodney was eleven at the time. He felt overwhelmed experiencing himself as the oedipal victor. Unconsciously, Rodney feared his exacerbated incestuous wishes. He projected them upon his mother and subsequently incorporated them in his fantasies. His regression to more infantile dependency feelings was defensive. Rodney's father was an unsuitable object for identification. He was disinterested in Rodney and emotionally unavailable. Rodney, however, sought his father, whose lack of loving acknowledgement resulted in a lack of affirmation of Rodney's masculinity. Mother provided for Rodney the loving acknowledgement he lacked in his relationship with father. She was emotionally sustaining, an energetic, vibrant personality, who was seen by Rodney as a "superior human being." Rodney consciously idealized his mother toward whom he unconsciously also had ambivalent feelings. Rodney's identification with mother was not counterbalanced by the presence of a strong, loving father figure whom he could have used as a suitable model. This led to the development in Rodney of a strong sense of effeminization. Rodney in his homosexual fantasies assumed the so-called "feminine victimized" role. The regression to the negative oedipal phase contributed to an exacerbation of erotic, father-directed feelings, intensified by the identification with mother. Rodney was fixated in his quest for father's love. In addition, Rodney's unconscious guilt related to father and mother directed incestuous impulses, and his intense aggressivesadistic feelings contributed to the masochistic cast of his masturbation fantasies. Rodney's narcissistic aims and the quality of his narcissism changed during the analysis. His grandiosity almost disappeared. Rodney's goals became realistic and he acquired the skills necessary to achieve them. Inhibitions related to the "fear of success" were worked through. This enabled Rodney to compete successfully. His healthy narcissism derives from the success of his many achievements. Though Rodney remained a basically narcissistic personality, he did derive great pleasure from being a giving person. This was one of the many ways in which he identified with his mother. At the present, Rodney's identifications are selective and do not evoke intrapsychic conflict.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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