The analysis of a schizoid man showed how infant disturbance and a particular type of child-motherrelation led to the defensive formation, through idealizations, of a highly organized secretive ego ideal. In his total life he operated as four different types of characters: Mr. A, a meek diligent teacher; Mr. B, preoccupied with religious thoughts; Mr. C, the fantast of erotic daydreams and perverse practices; and Mr. D, the most jealously hidden one. Mr. D existed as a
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being with a terrible expectancy of annihilation. Yet, if this could be endured, he would become his ideal self, a creative human being to whom everything has been given. His constant attempts to control, arrange, and manipulate his experiences via these 'characters' disclosed an underlying excitement. He neither could absorb nor regulate this, but could only react to it. A coercive superego, hypochondriacal and psychosomatic symptoms were related to this excitement.
His primitive pleasure self and the maternal object had been dissociated and split off through the process of idealization. It was used to protect the self (infant) and the mother from the strains of disillusionment of childhood. This type of defensive idealization arose in the matrix of localized or episodic infantile satisfaction via the nursing mother. Specific affective crises were met, but continuity was not achieved. As Mr. D, the transference was one of fusion, good nursing experiences, and ideal maternal (nonverbal) response. The treatment generally was a matter of marking time until the 'ideal' session would happen and he would rediscover his ideal self and be reunited with it. There was a corresponding dread of annihilation and madness. The core of these dreads were those times of infantile quiet excitement and of infantile rage when mother's attention lapsed. The dread of madness was also a dread of abandonment and helplessness. The character of Mr. D, with its magical alliance of ego and ego ideal, denied dependency needs.
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(1967). Journal of the Hillside Hospital. XII, 1963. Psychoanal. Q., 36:136-137