Freud takes the child’s inevitable exclusion from the sexuality of the parents – the first party we are not invited to – as the fundamental and founding developmental experience of the child’s life.
Everything depends on what we make of feeling left out.
The child’s life, in Freud’s account, is a ‘cumulative trauma’ of absences and exclusions and exiles: first separation from the mother, then exclusion from the parents’ sexual relationship, then being displaced by siblings and so on.
On top of this there are all the ordinary accidents and catastrophes and frustrations of childhood: being left out of the satisfactions one seeks, the safety one requires, the unmet needs, the unrecognised preoccupations that will inform the child’s entire life.
Oedipus Rex and Hamlet are relevant because the cumulative and ultimately tragic experiences of being and feeling left out are what their heroes suffer.
Πηγή: Απόσπασμα από το κείμενο On being left out Adam Phillips
Εικόνα: Andrei Slobtsov