Donald Trump is committed to being a victim. He is always being misunderstood and subject to unfair treatment by the Democrats, media, and “deep state.” The psychological function of holding oneself out as a martyr is to reassure oneself and the world that one is not guilty or ashamed, that one is innocent. Secondarily, however, […]
Most people dislike the commercialization of Christmas. Impossibly unrealistic appetites are stimulated and happiness is equated with giving or receiving just the right commodity. There is also a more personal psychological dimension to this corruption. I explain how, since gifts are symbolically equated with love, the wish for perfect love is stimulated and then inevitably frustrated. This brings up trauma from childhood in which one’s wish to be special and perfectly understood and recognized was frustrated and, thus, feelings of being undeserving or abandoned are triggered.
In this podcast I show how many of psychological dynamics that I’ve been discussing this year—especially those involving the role of trauma in development—apply in my own personal life. I do so by reading an essay I wrote 10 years ago called “Saying Goodbye” for a collection called The Face In the Mirror: Writers Reflect on Their Dreams of Youth and the Reality of Age, edited by Victoria Zackheim. The essay is about saying goodbye to my terminally ill father for the last time. For the text of the podcast, please go to the source.
When someone feels aggrieved, that person is usually feeling betrayed and helpless and often responds with envy and anger. Trump voters often felt a sense of grievance about being left out and left behind – economically and culturally. This feeling generates envy and a need to blame others, in their case, liberals and people of color. It’s important to empathize with Americans who feel that the system has given them a raw deal and who identify, as a result, with similar messages they get from Trump.