If we are lucky as babies (and most of us are – our parents might not have been perfect but were probably “good enough”) we will experience a period of “primary maternal preoccupation“.
This concept was identified by Donald Winnicott (other theories are available – see Wilfred Bion’s “maternal reverie”) and essentially refers to the mother’s state of mind for a few weeks before and after the birth of a child. In very basic terms this means the mother becomes obsessed by the baby, thinking almost entirely of his or her needs, wondering what the child is thinking, what different noises and expressions mean and generally trying to work out what is going on for the child.
OK…I want this blog to be as accessible and free from jargon and theory as reasonably possible. However, I do not want to sanitise it or patronise readers. So, before I say what I planned to talk about, I am going to briefly explain the Oedipus Complex:
I guess most people will have heard of it and most will know it is something to do with Freud. Some may have an idea that it is something to do with young boys wanting to have sex with their mum. (Some of you will know exactly what the Oedipus Complex is and may well understand it better than me. This section isn’t for you – feel free to scroll down.)
Sarah claims she has a”crush” on me (this is an on-going situation). It is not really that straightforward. To a large extent she see’s me as a paternal figure and, within certain parameters, this is healthy. Unfortunately, because of her past, her view of paternal figures is distorted and confused by sexual feelings and fantasy. Can I really care for her if I don’t want to have sex with her? Can she have a strong attachment to me and can she love me without it meaning she wants to have sex with me? These are the questions which confuse her.