Here is the topic. I am of course wagged by tails, and to be wagged by a tail is to have the self-absorption of the neurotic. My tails include the idea that I am not self-critical enough, when in fact the opposite is true. My main tail involves the belief that I must mitigate the pain of my mother, if not heal her.
Part of my mother’s pain is that I am not like her. I would like an active, creative life and she believes in the passive life of enjoyment. It is a serious conflict. I saw the difference between the two models as I was reading Viktor Frankl and realized that was the root issue.
I fear it is over-dramatic of me, but I keep trying to figure out how camp inmates survive with mental health intact. I had forgotten that Frankl wrote a whole book on the topic, which I read as a child and which influenced me. One seeks meaning, not happiness or discipline, I learned from this book, and an active life may be more satisfying than a life of leisure.
I will reread the book and mark it up in light pencil. We even have a 2006 edition of it in the library. I am sure that Frankl’s model of the psyche and mind differ very greatly from that envisioned by Reeducation, which had a negative attitude toward life.