IAIP – Internacional Association of Individual Psychology



23th Congress of the International Association of Individual Psychology
MORMIN Anne-Marie Psychologue clinicienne, Centre Médico Psychopédagogique Analyste agréée de la Société Française de Psychanalyse Adlérienne Institut Sud ouest ” Chez maurin” 16290 MOULIDARS

e-mail : [email protected]

On the 9th of January 1993, Dr Jean Claude ROMAND killed his wife, his child, his parents and then tried unsuccessfully to kill himself. The investigation revealed that he wasn’t a doctor as he pretended. He had been lying for 18 years and he lies, as came discovered, were the entire fabric of his life. Close to discovery, he preferred to get rid of those whose ill regard he couldn’t stand. His family was based in the Jura, region of France, working in the forest industry for many generations “They form a clan, respecting the virtues of austerity and fearing and their word is their bond”. His mother, Anne-Marie is unassuming enough that people assume she is ill “she had bad health and worried a lot”. The couple is seen as stiff, finicky, scrupulous and withdrawn. Jean-Claude is born in 1954. two times afterward, Anne-Marie is taken to the hospital for ectopic pregnancies, which are hidden from jean-Claude, as well as a hysterectomy disguised as an appendectomy; this is because “what was happening belonged to the world of unclean and dangerous sexuality”; Each time jean-Claude though that his mother had died and no one wanted to tell him. He admires his father who doesn’t let his feeling show and tries to emulate him because showing his feeling and his childish fears would risk adding to his mother’s worries and possibly make her fragile health worse. He asks his parents why they don’t have other children and feels confused that his question seems to uncover a secret that provokes sadness. The sadness “was a word of his mother’s which carried a curious sense of reality, almost as if it was a real illness she suffered from. He knew that if he admitted to suffering from it as well, that he would only make his mother ‘s illness worse, and could kill her”. Jean-Claude is in fact a sad child, hiding his suffering by always smiling “I could take about it because my parents wouldn’t understood, would have been disappointed… I didn’t use to lie, but I never expressed the depths of my emotions, except to my dog… I was always smiling and my parents never suspected my sadness… I didn’t have anything else to hide but I used to hide this from them: this anguish, this sadness. They probably would have been willing to listen me… but I didn’t know how to talk about it… and when one is caught in the cycle of not wanting to disappoint, the first lie leads to another and that becomes your whole life”. Not lying is the absolute rule in the ROMAND family “a ROMAND never goes back on their word, a ROMAND is totally truthful. On the other hand, certain things mustn’t be said, even though they are true. One mustn’t cause grief, nor brag about one’s successes or virtues”. As a teen- ager, Jean – Claude is at boarding school in Lons le Saunier: a loner, he is frightened by the other boys who brag about flirting with young girls. He invents an imaginary fiancée that he names “Claude”. He doesn’t return at school after the vacation, citing hazing and recurring sinus infections. He locks himself away until the end of the academic year at his parents’ house. Jean-Claude will say later on that he changed his major regretfully, mentioning his love of the forest he inherited from his father. He enrols in the first year of medical school in LYON at the same time as his distant cousin Florence, to whom he feels he has been promised since he was 14. This new direction doesn’t relate at all to his calling or a desire to help others “the idea of caring for the sick, touching sick bodies are repugnant (…) He found it interesting to acquire knowledge of diseases”. Florence took an apartment with friends, Jean-Claude joins her group “no one had anything against it, but no one would think of calling him if he wasn’t there”. It’s maybe related to this feeling of not existing for anyone that he pretends to have been attacked while on a night out with these friends. He will tell the judge about having created this story in order to get attention “but after I didn’t know anymore if it was true or false. Of course I do not remember the actual attack, I know that he didn’t take place, but I don’t have the memory of faking it either, of having torn my shirt or having scratched myself. If I think about it, I tell myself that I must have done it, but I can’t remember it. And eventually believed that I had actually been attacked. Florence, on the pretext of year-end exams, moves away from Jean-Claude, which leads to an episode of depression for him. One morning, he misses a final exam in his second year. He could have taken the exam again in September to complete year, but he doesn’t not to do it, even though his is few point from passing. At the start of his third year, he locks himself in his studio, staying three months without answering to anyone, without visiting his parents. He had the feeling of having wasted his life and was waiting for the end. Before the Christmas holidays, one boy of the group, Luc, insisted that jean-Claude open his door; Jean-Claude can’t tell the truth and confesses having cancer “on saying the word he felt its magical power. He had found the solution”. Jean-Claude goes back to university, sees his friends and Florence again, with whom he will get engaged two years later. So, from 1975 to 1985, he enrols again in the second year, attends lessons, goes to university library, owns books and photocopies “he puts the same exact energy and zeal into it as he would have needed to actually do it”. He works with Florence, revises, and therefore studies the full course but without taking the exams, or doing his rotations at the hospital. For the exams, he goes to the hall in order to be seen. Florence fails her second year and changes to pharmacy. Jean-Claude and Florence get married, pushed by her parents who adore their son-in -low. He becomes the head of research at INSERM in LYON, with the title “Master of Research”, attached to the WHO in Geneva. His has become a top researcher with ministers, he goes to international conferences, lives than suburb of Geneva, residence of high-ranking government officials who work in Switzerland. Jean-Claude is a loving and attentive father who looks after his children, Caroline and Antoine. He is unassuming, modest, never invites his colleagues home, and can’t be contacted at his place pf work. The couple’s life essentially revolves around the family and a small group of friends who admire jean-Claude. He takes his children to school each morning, then drives towards Geneva and parks his car at the WHO. With a visitor’s pass, he goes to the library, the conference room, the publication office. The meetings, conferences and seminars, he spends them in a hotel room, locked in for several days watching TV and studying the tourist guides in order not to make a mistake when telling others about the trips. To live, he has taken money out of his parents’ account, on the pretext of making investments for the good of the whole family; in this way, he invests the money of his uncle and his father-in-low, until the day when the latter wants it back urgently. A few weeks later, the father in-low has a deadly fall down the stairs of his house; Jean-Claude was the only person present. After the death of the father -in -low, his mother-in-low gives him the proceeds of the sale of her house. He becomes the head of the family, supporting his parents, his mother-in-low, and his grieving wife. They move to a farmhouse that was in greater accordance with their social status. Jean-Claude meets Corinne, goes to Paris to see her frequently. He invites her to the most prestigious restaurants and she is impressed by the scope of his career, his contacts, and his friends. “These weekly dinner meetings with Corinne have become the big thing in his life… He was alive, full of expectation, anxiety and hope. For the first time, he existed for someone else”. Corinne leaves him because she finds him to sad; he is desesperate, doesn’t go to work any more and spends his day in bed. He explains this to his friends by saying that his cancer has returned and that he is being looked after by a prestigious professor. Corinne has entrusted him entrusted 150000 € to be invested in Switzerland, but from that point he begins squandering the money, thinking only death will save him. His mother telephones him, she’s worrying about an overdraft of 6000€, Jean-Claude knows he is going to be discovered, he studies “Suicide, Mode d’emploi”, an others products of the pharmacy, discounting those that cause instant death. He buys a stun gun, two bottles of tear gas, a box of bullets and a silencer for his rifle. After the especially violent murder of his wife which he doesn’t remember, he he kills his child the following day after watching cartoons with them “I do not have any memories of this precise moment. I was still them but it couldn’t have been Caroline…it couldn’t have been Antoine”. He went afterwards to buy newspaper and then visited his parents; he killed his dad in the nursery then his mother in the lounge, face to face, then the dog. He lefts for Paris to meet Corinne whom he takes out to dinner at Kouchner’s house. He lost the way, stopped in the forest and attacked Corinne with tear gas and the stun gun; a struggle followed in which he had the impression that she was Corinne who attacked him. Corinne stated that the only reason she survived was that she stared at him during the attack. He got back home, sprayed the three bodies with petrol; he took sleeping pill layed next Florence after having set fire to the house. The garbage man spot the smoke, Jean-Claude is suffocating but he manages to drag himself to the window and faints. Jean-Claude ROMAND is sentenced to 22 years to life. “I’d like to you to understand that I’m not contacting you out of morbid curiosity or out of sensationalism. What you have done is not in my eyes the deed of an ordinary criminal, not the deed of madman, but the deed of a man pushed by forces beyond him and these terrible forces that I want to bring to light”. Letter from E.CARRERE, Journalist, to J.C ROMAND in 1993. The life force that lives in each human being from the moment of birth, postulated by SPINOZA : that life force is a pre-condition of being; DESCARTES ‘theory is “Know you yourself” and this is recurring question; it is the opposite for HEIDDEGER “everything is predetermined”. ADLER gives small place to determinism, relying on the conceptual framework of causality. The purpose of his work is to bring to light the motivations that sets the subject aim towards a fictitious goal, assuming that goal will bring them a feeling of worth. ADLER conceives a live of the psyche” formed by mobile forces, originating from a unique base and moving towards a unique goal”[1]. The inferiority complex is the compulsion that begins in infancy with the child’s desires that fixate on safety and superiority. The inferiority complex comes from the perceptions and the experience of the small child’s undeveloped body and mind and his complete dependence on his environment. The inferiority complex is the basis of object relation, questioning the capacity of the mother to function as a place of safety, a buffer, a link for and a link to the community and the ability for the child receive it. This complex is strength as long as it pushes the individual to use their creativity, to let go of their compensation mechanisms, in order to move through the inferiority complex and the related insecurities. Using fiction “as if”, or unreal abstract concepts and subjective space to bring order to a chaotic world and to elaborate logical sequences, functions as a tool with the aim of adapting to circumstances and the environment. The subject uses fiction in order to “insure” that one can get ride of the inferiority complex and to raise oneself to maximum self-regard. The aggressive impulse is archaic, a superior impulse which drives other impulses “Aggression is a vital impulse a facet of the psyche which pushes everyone to use all they have to reach their potential. It is a positive fundamental tendency influenced in us by lifestyle, which can be transformed into a brutal and destructive one”[2]. The quality of aggression, positive or destructive, is linked to the development of a sense of community: it is the capacity to tackle and overcome problem, and case faily it attacks others or the community. Social feelings regulate the aggressive impulse. The “Gemeinschaft” is innate, the mother’s function is to help it to develop; his the first experience of the other, when the affection exchange between mother and child prepares the child for his integration into the community. By helping the child to adjust to the demands of the world and to develop his abilities, to use them, she prepares the child to face life. The father symbolically represents Gesllschaft, the law, and his found in a more social dimension which allows the child to adapt to community demands, to inhibit his domination impulses. The social feeling is the reflection of self and cosmos, “it is the perception by the individual of the principles which regulate the relations of men amongst themselves”[3]. The means used by subject in his search for superiority, the intensity of his inferiority complex creates the mode and the degree of social feeling. What regulates the tendency toward superiority, what makes it not a destructive force, is the alliance of the ideal of the persona and the ideal of the community, and that is the degree of development of Gemeinschaftgefühl. The synthesis of Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft create the Gemeinschaftgefühl indicating the assumption of the identity of the subject, convinced of his feeling of belonging. It seems that the apperception schema of J.C ROMAND as a child was built around his perception of a melancholic mother and his paradoxical injunctions “don’t deceive, don’t lie, but also don’t say everything”. Not giving any grief to his mother, at the risk of killing her and conforming to the ROMAND ideal, is an impossible personality ideal to live up. Escaping the mother’s melancholy, he choose a manly path, masculine, but beyond the identification with the father, an insufficient model. Jean-Claude’s mother had a damaged identity, feminine and maternal, bearing a certain morbidity, a sick womb, incapable of receiving life. The body of the mother, for the child, is the first representation of the world. The body of Anne-Marie is a sick one, hiding secrets. Is the origin of the interest in research, of the need to understand the body but being oriented towards curing? The maternal anguish in which the child finds himself, gives him nothing but the impression of a hostile world. How does the child build himself up in the eyes of a melancholic mother? The anguish experienced by Jean-Claude from an early age, translates into his feelings of inferiority and insecurity in the face of his physical and social environment; the anxiety is “a stage of the aggressive force turned against oneself”[4]. The regard of one’s mother is a mirror in which the child sees himself as a worthy and loveable; it feeds basic narcissism and it also a window on the world. JC ROMAND only exists in the regard of Corinne, her survival was due to her staring at him; he kills his mother face to face. He only feels he exists in the regard of others in the position of stolen superiority. The lack of feeling he exists, the lack of identity, can have its origin at he moment of subjective awakening, where having a goal gives a child a feeling of superiority and self worth or in an increased feeling of inferiority o looking at the failing of Gemeinschaftgefühl. The feelings of inferiority, if not compensated for, turn into existential fear. The feeling of inferiority becomes the main ingredient of the personality and rebuilds the psychics life around itself; in that way becomes an inferiority complex, that it to say, “Permanent manifestation of the consequences of felling of inferiority”[5]. The development from feelings to complex marks the beginning of a pathological process “the dynamic psyche slows down, not managing to overcome its weakness.”[6] The subject, in order to save the appearance of worth, tries to captivate his close relations and engage in “a fight in the useless side of life”[7]. The episode at the first trimester of the preparatory class (explained by fear of others and the delusions of illness), the episode at the moment of the final exams at the end of the second year of medical school, the depression, the lack of coping skills, the incapacity to adapt to demands and constraints, the failing creativity and of compensation mechanism, but also the inability to make some choices and give up others all show the development of his complex. The feeling of inferiority don’t stimulate the subject but was interpreted as “loss”, in this way it is going to be determiner in the guiding fiction; the goal is no longer about establishing his superiority by creating himself, but to hide the feelings of worthlessness and establish his superiority inadequately. The impossibility to make choices and to give things up indicates that the subject is set in hermaphroditic power. The search for an individual identity passes for the notion of choice, that is to say a giving up of this hermaphroditic power, locating oneself in a sexual identity and a sexual role. The pathological choice, the underlying insecurity, refers to the anthetical male: female schema, strength and weakness, the male characteristic being on the side of security and the male of protestation reinforcing the ideal personality. The masculine fiction brings with it an infantile insecurity. Criminal dispositions constitute the male manifestation, says ADLER; the male protestation gives the feeling of strength and domination, which are found in JC ROMAND: his prestigious professional situation, his domination by money and the politics of power are out of scale and eventually fail him. The leading fiction is therefore primarily something of an artifice, which is used by a child to get rid of his feeling of inferiority. The fiction triggers the compensation and is attached itself to security. The deeper and the more intense the inferiority feeling is, the stronger and more urgent the need for a guideline becomes, having security for its final goal and being itself clear cut; and on the other hand “the efficiency of psychic compensation is, in the same way as the efficiency of organic compensation, linked to an increase of work and provokes in the psyche new phenomena, astonishing and considerable value. Found amongst these phenomenon are psychoses and neuroses whose destination consists in insuring the feeling of personality”.[8] In order to raise his self-worth, the subject places his ideal very high, confuses it which his fiction, in an imaginary world: he avoid difficulties and strategies for getting closer to his self-ideal. The subject never behaves as if he wanted to be superior, but as if he was already. In this way the story is not used to tackle life and reality, but gets realist value, because the subject claims that he going to carry it out. “All the efforts of the subject are concentrated and directed towards a sole goal consisting in transforming the ideal in reality”.[9] Contrary to appearances, JC ROMAND is not serving his family; he puts the community to his service : the negation of the link between his goal and his community’s, the inability, the refusal to adapt to the demands of the community, locks him in a new law; a private logic conditioned by erroneous goal, factiously substituted. In the psychosis, the fiction is “producing the law, there is deification, the subject sees himself as all-powerful, and the gemeinschaftgefühl is denied.”[10] ADLER pointed out four essential conditions for the development of delusions: “- A strong feeling of insecurity and incompetence, in the face of a given problem; a very strong discouragement; a lack of cooperation. – The depreciation of reality and the engagement in abstractions in the way of mechanisms allowing one to violate logic, according to society. – Reinforcement of the dynamic leading to the fictions goal of superiority. Exaggerated ambition in case of failure. – Anticipation of the future, used as a guiding image.”[11] The inversion of the aggressive impulse can consist in the aggression turning on oneself, expressed in feelings of guilt or chronic depression. The ideas of death, of suicide are often present for JC ROMAND as the sole escape from his suffering, but also as a means to be discovered, to escape other’s judgement and the lack of self-worth. The depressive state, the episodes of melancholy often occur when the subject can’t demonstrate his superiority in another way. Then he puts together distancing strategies each time his cooperation is required. The depression constitutes a habit of avoiding difficult situations, a way to cope with the inferiority complex: “the raptus mélancolicus, the fits of anger, happen suddenly as a way of exteriorising a fanaticism of weakness and a sign of hidden psychic interior activity”.[12] J.C ROMAND behaves as the perfect husband, the perfect father, the ideal son in law and friend until the moment when his feeling of fullness is threatened. Suicide, ADLER tell us, represents a hostile manifestation against other persons, resulting from a missing social feeling. To fight against their impotence or inabilities, the subject releases aggression; The aggression toward another occurs when the subject thinks his regard is diminishing, thus the inferiority complex is activated. The exacerbated inferiority brings a feeling of insecurity where the subject fears his own annihilation. The aggression having been deviated from its initial function, the individual hides behind erroneous strategies. In this way the subject is pushed into attacking, aggression and murder. “The criminal dispositions appear as the products of male characteristics for people whose compensations strategies imply contempt for life, for health, for other people’s things. When their insecurities are aggravated, when their frustrations become too much, to the point of seriously threatening their self-concept, these people will try to get closer to their ideal by crime”.[13] The murder represents the desire of power brought to its peak, the subject, deified, gives himself the power of life and death over others, in accord with his guiding line formed around “all or nothing”. [1] A.ADLER “Connaissance de l’homme” [2] VIGUIER-MORMIN La théorie analytique adlérienne, p165 [3] ELLENBERGER Histoire de la découverte de la psychanalyse, p632 [4] ADLER Le sens de la vie, p 36 [5] ADLER ibidem, p 81 [6] ADLER Ibid p28 [7] ADLER, Ibid p28 [8] ADLER Le tempérament nerveux, p 57 [9] ADLER Le tempérament nerveux, p65 [10] MORMIN- VIGUIER ibidem, p 80. [11] ADLER Pratique et théorie de la PIC, p 259 [12] ADLER ibidem p 260

[13] ADLER Le tempérament nerveux, p 150


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