Like the main part of an iceberg, hidden from view under the dark icy water, our unconscious mind, hidden from consciousness by defenses like denial and repression, is the real bulwark behind our feelings and actions. Freud theorized that access to this powerful, yet unconscious force, can be reached through our dreams, slips of the tongue, symptoms like depression and anxiety, and subtle feelings and actions, that can give clues as to what’s really going on in our minds.
When Freud used psychoanalysis, a patient could let his mind wander and say whatever thoughts popped up in his head. One thing might lead to another and a patient would finally understand that his depression was triggered by an underlying anger toward a parent or a sibling that he was too ashamed or guilt-ridden to admit.
Trump’s lack of an editor, saying whatever he wants whenever he wants, is like watching someone on the psychoanalytic couch. We all watch him on national television lie, name-call, manipulate, bully, bribe, all with the purpose to gain enormous riches and more power.
Wouldn’t most of us want all that power?
Wouldn’t it be really cool to have a few billion dollars sitting in a hidden bank account and never having to disclose where the money came from? Maybe even Russia…
How about owning a bunch of hotels and mansions instead of always trying to negotiate a good rate at a hotel?
How about denying the truth and almost always getting away with it? I didn’t take the cookie! I paid all my taxes! Honest!
How about hiring someone to fix your house? If they don’t like not getting paid, too bad. They can sue!
And on and on…
The truth is that most of us still have feelings and desires that go all the way back to our childhood. BUT, as adults, these desires are tempered with a desire and a need to help others and be good people.
So what am I saying?
I’m saying that Trump’s impulsive, out-of-control behavior, and outlandish statements tap into our unconscious selfish feelings. By definition, unconscious means we don’t know what we’re feeling, so we react to Trump’s behavior with a bigger than life reaction.
Sadly, Trump is constrained by nothing!
He poops where he wants and listens to no one. A wild two-year-old is the leader of the free world. “I want what I want when I want it!”
Fourteen years ago, my grandson, then a two-year-old, was playing in the park with a bucketful of sand toys. Another little boy wanted to play with the toys, but my grandson made it clear that they were his toys and he didn’t want to share. I walked over to him and said, “How about sharing with this nice little boy?” My grandson, with a somewhat guilty expression, said, “Poppy. I’m sorry, but I’m not a good sharer.”
So, even a two-year-old can have feelings of guilt about not considering others. By the way, my grandson is now sixteen, and is one of the nicest most caring people you’d ever want to meet.
Maybe our president is emotionally just one-and-a-half years old…
If you enjoyed reading, Inside the Mind of a Psychiatrist, you might also enjoy Dr. Smukler’s novels, Chasing Backwards, a psychological murder mystery, Skin Dance, a mystery, and The Man with a Microphone in his Ear. All are available as paperbacks and eBooks.