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Baked Hawaii

Suppose there are two people, let’s call them A and B. Both and A and B have impossible-to-fulfill expectations of another human being. For example A wants to be shown love by being given what he wants without asking for it. The only way in which he can feel fulfilled and safe is if another human being magically anticipates his needs and fulfills them. This is obviously a fantasy of going back to a childlike state, an infantile state, in which the mother provides warmth, nourishment, and safety although the child has not the cognitive or linguistic wherewithall to say “I want warm. I want nourishment. I want safety.” But this leads to an impossible-to-fulfill need because once the adult does have the cognitive and linguistic competence to ask for what he wants he will. Or the other person will figure it out! And that means that at some point A will say “I want my needs to be fulfilled without my expressing them” and this puts A’s partner in an impossible position, because once having said that, what is B supposed to do? If he fulfills A’s need to have his needs fulfilled without asking, he is in fact violating the conditions of A’s desire, because he is giving him exactly what he asked for. But there are as many ways to be unhappy as there are people, and there are other ways to have impossible-to-fulfill needs. For example you can have B whose need is to find someone who will accept him for those parts of him that are most unacceptable. Because as long as he makes himself acceptable he worries that he will die because some residual remains, which he thinks is “the real him” and this part is unacceptable, and as long as this unacceptable part remains unaccepted, he feels unsafe. You get this way I think if your mother did not breastfeed you. As it happens this is, if you do the math, also an intrinsically unfulfillable desire, because the moment you say that I have parts of me that are so unacceptable that nobody will ever accept them, a decent loving, or at least codependent person will say “No problem. I get that. I accept you.” and those parts will then be accepted, when what B wants all along is that those parts of him (or her) that are precisely unacceptable be accepted.

So what happens when A and B get together, A being the one who wants to receive without asking, B being the one who wants to give what is unasked for?

Well a Baked Alaska is when something ice-cream that is inherently cold becomes a delicious dessert because it is baked together with something inherently hot.

When A and B get together what happens is almost precisely the opposite. That’s why I called it a Baked Hawaii.

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