How infantile rage in an adult body can be deadly

by Benjamin Fry

Killer: Karl BurmanFall out from disappointing relationships can take many forms. The sudden and violent nature of their reversal is a surprising phenomena and yet the oldest narrative of human society. But what drives this terrible dysfunction?

A part of every relationship is an entry into fantasy. The more traumatized we have been in our earliest relationships, the more fantasy we invest in our adult ones; we are both frightened by relationships and desperate to find that long lost early ideal one. So we create an illusion so that we can survive and this is what is commonly known as ‘the honeymoon period’.

This will wear off as reality intervenes and at that point we all suffer. The more broken our relationships were as children, the more we will suffer the boomerang effect of having our fantasies reduced to the reality of normal human suffering and dysfunction in relationships. Thus the virgin becomes the whore overnight, and the rage that this can bring up is a reflection of the pain of the original separation, a disorganised attachment to the original care giver, usually the mother.

In this case Karl Burman probably had a fantasy that he now had that one person he needed to make his world work (a projection of his mother) but what she really wanted was a real child (and in this case two) and so the abandonment of his infancy was felt all over again, but this time the infantile rage came with an adult’s body. With deadly effect.

The path to healthy relationships lays in reducing the effect of past traumas, particularly from early childhood, and in learning to keep the adult experience in the present. An indispensable guide to this can be found in Pia Mellody’s book ‘The Intimacy Factor’.

Benjamin Fry works across a range of services and media using personal, professional and scientific expertise to help people to a baggage-free life. A published author, and a past columnist for The Times and Psychologies magazine, Benjamin is a social activist in mental health. He founded Get Stable in 2010 to get effective treatment paid for by the state and his great passion is to bring treatment, which works, to all levels of society and across all severities of conditions.

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