The safety of objectivity
A representative in an individual’s recent exploration said “I feel like an object…. It’s safer to be an object.”
This got me thinking: if a child is objectified by his or her parents in the initial bonding phase (even pre-birth), then the child is not seen by the parents as an individual, as an ‘I’. On the contrary the parent(s) use the child for their own unconscious trauma survival purposes. For example, a mother who did not have a good early bonding with her mother may unconsciously look to her new child to give her what she couldn’t get from her mother. The child is required then to be the mother to the mother. The mother uses the child, making an object of the child for her own use. We know that this will be a Trauma of Love for the child in Franz Ruppert’s theory, as the child’s being is denied.
A person who is autonomous, and has been respected subjectively as a child, as an individual with rights, wants and views, has some power and authority. But within the tyranny of the traumatised (and therefore traumatising) system, it is never safe as a child to have wants or make demands. So within a family that is a perpetrator environment, it then becomes safer for the child to keep his head down, to suppress or obliterate his ‘wanting self’, to become an object.
Of course the child conceived, incubated and born into such a family has long lost his sense of self, his identity, his wanting self, perhaps even from the very beginning, so his sense of self is as an object. He never thinks of himself in terms of wants and needs. This seems normal to him or her. Any time he might try to express himself this is perceived as rebellion and dangerous to the perpetrator who immediately takes action to control the child. The child then, for want of some connection somewhere, aligns himself with the perpetrator for safety, objectifying himself and thereby becoming, in time, a perpetrator to himself and then to others.
Being objectified in such a family becomes, then, a survival strategy, and an internalised form of relationship with the self where the person behaves as if he were an object, a victim, himself. The perpetrator system cannot allow reality and truth to surface, and so the child must be controlled so the perpetrator does not become confronted with his own trauma.
This becomes played out in our social and political worlds, where objectification is the main form of non-connection, and allowing real connection is suppressed and controlled for fear of taking the lid off the collectively avoided personal traumas. It is too disturbing to see refugees, for example, as subjects, so we make them objects that we do not have to consider the needs of.