Transcript

Dr. Nina:
Hi and welcome to Dr. Nina Show here on LA Talk Radio. I am your host, Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin and I’m here to help you make peace with food for good. Stop counting calories, carbs and fat grams and get to a healthy weight, get on with your life because my wish for you is that you wake up and think about your day, not your diet. That is what it is all about. I want you to wake up and think about what you want to do, not what you are going to eat or not eat.

Today is a little bit of a different day here on my show. There is a quote from the Irish statesman and philosopher Edmund Burke. He said, and you’re probably familiar with this quote, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

And so, I thought about this and as I watched the presidential debates last night, I thought about the fact that I had a lot to say and I have had a lot to say. And I thought about whether I would share what I have to say with you. And ultimately, I decided that today after tonight, I really have to share some of my thoughts because I think it’s very important.

I cannot stand by and do nothing. I cannot stand by and say nothing. So, today, I want to read to you a book called Three Tropes on Trump: A Textbook on Applied Marxism, Semiotics, and Psychoanalysis. Very heady stuff, right? Well, in this book which is published by Peter Lang and the author is Arthur Asa Berger, I wrote a short essay as part of the psychoanalytic part, and it’s called What is the Matter with Donald Trump?

And I’ve had a lot of people asked me, “Well, what do you think? What’s going on with him?” And people have all kinds of ideas about him and there have been all kinds of thoughts about him. There also have been things said that psychoanalysts or psychotherapists, psychologists do not have the right to make observations about anyone’s mental capacity because we do not actually treat him. However, I take exception to this idea because we certainly see enough to be able to extrapolate and make some judgments and assessments about him.

So today, I would like to share with you some of what I wrote in my essay, What is the Matter with Donald Trump? This was written last year but I think it is still as relevant, if not more relevant than ever. And I know you may have some questions having to do with the topic that is usually on my show but a lot of people have anxiety about this election, anxiety about what is going to happen, anxiety about what’s going to happen in November, what’s going to happen in our country, what’s going to happen in our world.

And I want to share these thoughts with you because one thing you can do besides vote is educate other people. One thing you can do is say, “Hey, I have this to say, and this is why it’s important.” So, bear with me. I’m going to share some of my thoughts that I wrote in this book and then we’ll open it up to questions about whether it … to do with what is weighing on you because that is also important, of course.

So let me begin. What is the matter with Donald Trump? Well, you know what? I don’t have my proper contacts, so I need glasses to be able to read my own words. So here we go.

Donald Trump manifests a serious mental illness that renders him psychologically incapable of competently discharging the duties of the president of the United States. That is a duty to warn petitions signed by over 60,000 mental health professionals. He is a clownishly, incompetent and willfully ignorant buffoon. Andrew Bacevich, historian and political analyst, “He’s the best president we’ve ever had,” Trump supporter.

Some view him as a clownish figure with an over-the-top blustering style while others view him as a dangerous threat to our democratic institutions. Trump’s predilection for lashing out against perceived sleights, his vituperative and personal attacks on anyone who disagrees with him, his self-aggrandizing proclamations and inflated assessments of his accomplishments appear to fit all nine criteria of narcissistic personality disorder as presented in the DSM-5, which I will not go into. I do talk about it in here. If you want to look up narcissistic personality disorder, you can do so on Google.

Trump alternates grandiosity with disparaging and hateful rhetoric towards anyone who disagrees with him. Shortly after California Congressman Maxine Waters called for Trump to be impeached, he mocked her in a speech. He said, “She’s a low IQ individual, Maxine Waters. I said it the other day. I mean, honestly, she’s somewhere in the mid-60s, I believe that.”

When acclaimed actress Meryl Streep reacted to Trump’s mimicking a disabled reporter at a campaign rally, he shot back that she was one of the most overrated actresses in Hollywood. He frequently displays a lack of empathy or sensitivity and a surfeit of self-absorption. When deadly wildfires were destroying much of California in late 2018 and now, he blamed the Federal Management of Forest Fires as he is doing now and initially failed to address the victims of the fires or recognized their pain, loss or anxiety.

I should also say that I wrote this before COVID. So, had I wrote this recently, I would be mentioning COVID and his lack of response or empathy to the victims of COVID. After the mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, he brought up the subject of his hair to reporters, bemoaning the fact that his hair was ruined because he had to stand outside in the rain to answer questions about the shooting.

Clearly, something is very wrong with this president. Among my colleagues in the mental health field, there is growing consensus that Trump’s psychopathology exceeds mere narcissism. He actually fits the profile of a malignant narcissist. This term was coined by social psychologist and psychoanalyst, Erich Fromm, who fled Nazi Germany in 1933 and later sought to understand why people fanatically supported the likes of Hitler, Mussolini, and other fascists.

He proposed the term malignant narcissism in 1964 to … exploitive selfishness evidenced by malignant narcissist. He called this personality type “the most severe pathology and the root of the most vicious destructiveness and inhumanity,” and considered it the quintessence of evil.

Psychoanalyst Otto Kernberg viewed malignant narcissist as sadistic psychopaths. He defined the condition as a combination of narcissism, anti-social personality disorder, impulsivity, aggression, paranoia and sadism. Projection is the hallmark of narcissism. Projection is a defense mechanism by which unpalatable characteristics or behaviors, things you don’t like about yourself are so horrible, you can’t see them in yourself. So you attribute them to other people.

For example, … nastiness. I did a perusal of his Twitter feed. You can actually look and see at every single tweet he has ever tweeted. And so, I actually took a look at that, and it showed this pattern of vindictiveness, impulsivity, pettiness and cruelty towards others.

Again, many, if not most of his attacks seem to reflect characteristics that he possesses yet projects on to other people. In March 22nd, 2018, he said, “Crazy Joe Biden is trying to act like a tough guy. Actually, he is weak both mentally and physically.” In June of 2018, he said, “Comey will not officially go down as the worst leader by far in the history of the FBI. I did a great service to the people in firing him. Good instincts.”

“Tom Steyer’s stumbling lunatic who should be running out of money pretty soon,” all things he said about other people that we can extrapolate actually have to do with him. He is trying to act like a tough guy. He is weak both mentally and physically. He will be the worst leader by far in the history of this country and he comes off as this crazed and stumbling lunatic who should be running out of money pretty soon.

It’s not actually in the essay. That’s my commentary on my essay. Trump remains popular with many Americans which is of psychological significance. Many voters overlook or minimize his personality traits or worse, actively and enthusiastically continue to support him despite rhetoric that is hateful, divisive and full of outright lies.

During the presidential campaign, Trump said of his loyal followers, “I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose any voters.” Sadly, this may not be hyperbole. Shortly, after he clinched the republication nomination in 2016, a colleague of mine shared her enthusiasm and she was enthusiastic. She shared her support of him.

=Given that her specialty is … Hold on, people … Her specialty is narcissism. She’s written extensively on the subject of narcissism. I said, “How could you support a candidate who was so clearly and vividly narcissistic?” She waved a dismissive hand. She said, “All presidents are narcissists.” I asked what she liked about Trump. “Well, he tells it like it is,” she said, echoing a popular opinion of the time. “And he’s a good businessman. He’ll whip this country into shape.”

When I questioned the assertion that Trump was a good businessman, given that the Trump corporation declared bankruptcy six times, she merely shrugged, “Oh, that’s part of doing business.” I persisted, “Should a person who has never held political office hold the highest office in the land?” She said,” It was time for a change.”

His misogynistic comments about grabbing women by parts of their intimate anatomy, she shrugged it away as locker room talk. Clearly, my colleague was filtering reality to maintain her positive position on Trump. And I was floored. It says an accomplished clinician and an author remained steadfastly in denial of his character.

And this was written two years into his presidency, I wrote this. She continues to support him despite his chauvinism, antagonism and outright just constant … It doesn’t matter, she supports him. What is the basis for this denial? So one explanation because people asked me this all the time, why do people still support him? Why? Why?

One explanation can be found in Sigmund Freud’s essay, The Future of an Illusion, in which he proposes that our society clings to the notion of the existence of a father as a way of fulfilling one of the oldest, strongest, and most urgent wishes of mankind. Freud views this societal need for God as a manifestation of a longing for a father. This is not about religion. This is not about the reality of whether there is a God or not, that people need to believe in a godlike figure.

So projecting an idealized parental figure onto Donald Trump is one way of rediscovering the hope of childhood which … and right. He is perceived as the penultimate good daddy, an omnipotent figure who can right their perceived wrongs. Furthermore, when individuals direct their wishes for a strong father onto Trump … And I’m hearing from my HD apparel that she says, “I needed this today. All of these relates to my past, present and future. This weighs on me in every way. Thank you for sharing this.”

Thank you for saying that. I was uncertain whether I should share this but as I said earlier, I can’t not share it. I can’t not, especially after what we saw last night. Furthermore, when people direct their wishes for a strong father onto Trump, he reinforces those wishes with his grandiosity, which can be misinterpreted as strength and conviction.

He casts himself as a strong protector of the nation, and there are many people who don’t want to give up that sense of having a protector who will keep us safe from the boogeyman, so ironic. Again, this was written before COVID and people want to believe he’s protecting us from COVID, even now, even now when he has done nothing to protect us from COVID.

Nothing in contrast to every other country in the world who is actually, maybe not Brazil, who’s actually taking steps to protect their citizenship. Jenny says, “I was nauseated last night. I’m so glad you’re talking about this.” Thank you, Jenny.

A second reason for the continued enthusiastic support of Trump can be found in the psychological phenomenon of splitting. And this term has Freudian origins and was further developed by Melanie Klein, Ronald Fairbairn and Otto Kernberg and other psychoanalytic thinkers. It’s used by contemporary theorists to refer to the difficulty holding both positive and negative feelings towards other people.

One of the developmental tasks of childhood is to be able to integrate good and bad experiences, like when all goes well, a child comes to term with the idea that the parents he loves are also the parents who disappoint him or her. A rupture in this developmental process means there’s an inability to integrate polarized thoughts about other people. So people sort of split into either you’re good or you’re bad.

Salman Akhtar, my mentor and friend and all-around amazing guy and Jessica Byrne wrote a paper and what they note that the manifestations of splitting include an inability to experience ambivalence, oscillations of self-esteem, reckless decision-making and lack of impulse control. Sound familiar? Trump’s statements and behavior suggest an extensive use of splitting. Worse and infinitely more frightening, he also facilitates a societal regression into splitting for those who are vulnerable to this outlook.

Other people become bad, he and those who support him are good. And we see this, this is America and yet those blue states are getting hit by COVID. We’re Americans. We’re all Americans and yet, somehow it’s better if the blue people in the blue states die? People in the red states are going to be okay? This is splitting. This is craziness. This is scary.

Daniel Shaw, a psychoanalyst who specialized in helping cult survivors, points out the correlation between cult leaders and Donald Trump who may be considered the leader of a political cult. Shaw writes that cult leaders are out of touch with reality. He adds, “They exhibit more and more extreme behaviors as the pressures of living up to their delusion of perfection mount, and as they inevitably become exposed to scrutiny and criticism. All too often enraged by challenges to their fantasy of omnipotence, they lead their followers on to acts of violence.”

Think about that. Think about what you heard last night. He said, and stand down and stand by, not stop, not “I denounce this.” He is leading his followers to acts of violence. This is happening. This is happening, people. This is so important that we pay attention and we speak up and we speak out.

Back to my essay. Trump’s false allegations that President Obama is not a citizen of the United States, his assertions that he personally viewed Muslims cheering in the streets of Manhattan after 9/11, his warnings of the “very bad people” coming to the US from Mexico and other countries serve as a green light to those who feel aggression towards others who are different. He provides a target for their hatred, while splitting the country into good and bad.

Donald Trump is a dangerous person. He is a threat to our democratic institutions, the free press and our global standing. He sacrifices truth and civility in a personal quest for dominance and self-aggrandizement. Our country is now split between his supporters who reject reason as fake news, and who choose not to reflect or think for themselves and those of us who seek to uphold values of liberty, equality and justice for all.

Frederick Douglass wrote in 1876, “We ought to have our government so shaped that even when in the hands of bad people …” No, I misquote. That was a Freudian slip on my part, I think. Frederick Douglass wrote, “We ought to have our government so shaped so that even when in the hands of a bad man, we shall be safe.” Let us hope that he was right.

I had to share that with you. I had to talk about the evil that I see in front of me, not just in the embodiment of Donald Trump but in the senate, in those who support him, in people who refuse to see reality, people who don’t protect themselves or each other because they’re not wearing masks. This is no longer political. This is social. This is our culture. This is our society. We owe it to ourselves and to each other to do the right thing for ourselves and for each other. That is a democracy. That is a society.

We look out for each other. And that starts by looking out for ourselves, taking care of ourselves, being kind to ourselves. Don’t split yourself into good or bad, by the way. Be able to hold the things you like about yourself with the things you don’t like. Be kind to yourself. Be accepting of yourself. Be kind and accepting of others but do not accept lies, injustice and hatred. That is never, ever acceptable.

I invite your thoughts. You can call me. If you’re watching this on Instagram, you can shoot me a comment or thought, and I invite you to call me if you want to talk about this or anything else. We have to speak out. We have to speak up. We can’t put our heads in the sand. We have to tell people the truth. We have to speak up. We have to speak up in however way we speak up whether it’s about what’s happening with Black Lives Matter, about whether it’s happening in this country.

Politically, it’s about our society. It’s about our world. It’s about our future. And I have a caller.

Kristina:
Hello.

Dr. Nina:
Hi, caller.

Kristina:
Hi, Dr. Nina. This is Kristina calling.

Dr. Nina:
Hi, Kristina.

Kristina:
How are you?

Dr. Nina:
How are you?

Kristina:
Hi. I’m struggling too and I just wanted to, first of all, say I wasn’t planning to call in. I, of course, listen to your show, but your topic today, I’m taking this so personally, the debate and just everything that you mentioned that’s going on right now. I just sort of feel like I’m being re-traumatized. I’m just going to just be totally honest. This is no laughing matter for me.

So I know that sometimes you’ve pointed out to me rightfully so that I will laugh during times that are not funny whatsoever. Yeah, this really just struck a chord with me. I take it so personally because in terms of feeling re-traumatized, my dad, I believed was a narcissistic personality disorder. This really brought me back and has for the past four years, but more so with Black Lives Matter and everything else going on.

It just reminds me of growing up in this house every day and listening to this kind of violence and racist and bigoted remarks and I’m just … It’s so rough. I’m here in LA, but I’m also from the south … my friend’s parents out there. And again, this isn’t to say that everyone in the south is like this but they are such Trump supporters and I just appreciate you mentioning your colleague who is on the side of Trump and how her specialty is narcissistic personality disorder and just for others out there, to be like sometimes with my mom or my brother, that’s what they know. And these are the men that they know and in some strange way, it’s almost like battered wife syndrome where they still will feel protected by these individuals.

And so, it took me actually moving out here to sort of question my core values. And now that my husband and I both are embracing different values and sort of opening our eyes, it’s just very heartbreaking. And I just wanted to thank you for your essay and … out there being a woman, being Mexican American. And I’m listening to this man and questioning, was I brought up correctly?

So they were really comments. I just wanted to share that with you and other people. And if you have any advice as to how to calm myself down at the same time I am trying to just allow myself to feel these feelings. Yeah, last night, I ate late at night when I wasn’t hungry. Not stuffing myself but I’m like, “Well, yeah, I wanted some comfort.”

There’s so much going on especially like from the racial and gender perspective and another comment I had was, “Boy, if you have women up there, I don’t think you’d be saying any of those crap.” But anyway, I just wanted to share that.

Dr. Nina:
Let’s just see how Kamala handles things next week, but … When you have had a parent, especially a father who is this kind of dominant, scary, self-absorbed, critical, controlling type of person and then you see it on a societal level, to your point, yes, a lot of people are very familiar with that and it feels safe and comfortable.

But for people who are traumatized by that, you have to recognize that you are being re-traumatized. When you see what he does, it’s like you’re back there feeling the helplessness and the powerlessness that you felt as a child with this scary dad. And with likely a mom who did not protect you.

So, to just again validate that and acknowledge that, yes, you are being re-traumatized and yet what is the difference? Now, you have to the power that you didn’t have as a child. You have the power to think your own thoughts, to live the life that you want to live, to be the person and to have the beliefs that you want to hold.

And you can live. You can’t live when you’re a kid and you’ve got parents like this. You’re stuck. But you can do something. You can vote and you can shut off the TV and you could talk to other people and you can do the things that you couldn’t do and bear the helplessness over this type of person in a different way.

The last time you called, you said how helplessness over certain areas, how it resonated when I talked about how helplessness in certain areas could be displaced into helplessness over food. And we do have a certain amount of powerlessness. We can’t, “I’ll storm the White House and create a change.” We can’t go into the senate and say, “Hey, this is … You’re colluding with the devil.” We can’t do that but we can vote and we can talk.

Kristina:
Right. And on the talking, I just want to share one other thing. So when I grew up in a household like this … My husband and I were talking and I said, “I feared for my life every day. So I learned to not say anything.” So, one of the things in terms of trying to take back power to feel a little bit less helpless is to start speaking up and speaking my mind on these issues.

Now, I feel more comfortable. I’m almost 50 speaking about my mind, having my identity and sharing that. The political and racial and gender issues, I just want to say it’s scary for me to actually speak my mind. Part of me feels like I’m really just going to get nailed verbally or I’m even putting my life in jeopardy. So, I just wanted to say I’m still doing it because I feel that I’m supporting all of the badness, so to speak, if I’m not speaking up. So that’s not being an advocate and an ally. But I’m still working on communication skills and verbal skills and sharing my thoughts.

And let me just tell you, it can be terrifying at times. It can be scary because some people, I don’t really consider safe. I never know what people’s reactions are going to be and I have to choose my words carefully and just calling and listening to you, and speaking up and speaking on a radio show for goodness sakes. I mean that’s a huge step, but I don’t know if other women out there feel it but it can be terrifying speaking up and speaking my mind.

Dr. Nina:
It is scary. It was scary, and it is scary. But when you have the courage of your conviction, you can do it, Kristina. You did it today. And what can people do to you? You fear for your life with your father, your literal life. Someone can disagree with you. They can yell at you. They can unfollow you. They can, whatever, but they can’t … No one is going to take away your life for speaking up. We are still not in that country. We are not in that country yet, and I will say that my entire … I’m going to cry. I’m going to cry on the air.

My entire family was wiped out by the Nazis, almost all of them. Very few of them came and make it in here. And you know what? Had people spoken out, had people done something, maybe they’d be alive. Maybe six million people would be alive. And not all of them who were killed were Jews. Catholics, gay people, anyone who wasn’t a white Aryan.

So, we have to speak out. My grandmother raised me, telling me, “You have to remember what happened to us.” She had a shoebox full of photographs of people who, as she euphemistically put it, were lost in the war. Lost means killed. And she said, “You have to remember what happened to them so it does not happen again.” And I’d say to her, “That’s ridiculous. That could never happen again. That’s not how people are. That was decades ago. People are not like that anymore. What are you talking about?” I thought she was crazy.

And now, it’s happening again … This is why it’s so important to speak up and speak out because that’s what’s at stake.

Kristina:
Right. And thank you for … First of all, I’m so sorry about your family. I did not know that, and you are doing wonderful, amazing good work because I don’t think had it been for you and even when I started going to your group, I was somebody who just did not speak up. And it’s baby steps for me and that’s fine. But I definitely agree with you and you’re right with this Black Lives Matter movement, it’s really brought to light. People are dying on the streets. And whether it’s racially motivated or whatever the case may be, I know and that is terrifying.

But I do, I just wanted to say thank you for helping me at least think about finding my voice and just going for it because the last thing I want to do is advocate for a repeat of World War II, of all of these things. And, yeah, we’re getting a taste of it. And I’ll be honest, civil war comes to mind as a possibility, I don’t know. I really hope it doesn’t go that route. But I just can’t be silent anymore and thank you so much for bringing up this topic. I really have a lot to think about and I just love you. And I love your show.

Dr. Nina:
Thank you, Kristina. And you are not finding your voice. You have found it because I heard you today.

Kristina:
Thank you.

Dr. Nina:
You have found it.

Kristina:
That makes me cry. Thank you. I really appreciate it. I will keep working on it, and thank you for motivating me to take some further actions.

Dr. Nina:
Thank you, Kristina.

Kristina:
Have a great rest of your show. Okay, I’ll keep listening. Thanks and take care.

Dr. Nina:
Bye.

Kristina:
Okay, bye.

Dr. Nina:
Okay, I hear that Jenny … Jenny, are you there? Ronan?

Jenny:
Hello?

Dr. Nina:
There’s Jenny. Hi, Jenny.

Jenny:
Hi, Dr. Nina. Can you hear me okay?

Dr. Nina:
I hear you perfectly.

Jenny:
Okay, great. I am so sorry to hear about your family. That is heartbreaking. And I’m glad you shared it because I think a lot of people can relate to that, especially during this time. I’m sorry and thank you.

Dr. Nina:
Thank you, Jenny.

Jenny:
You’re welcome. Also, I totally related with that last caller, oh, my God. Both of you almost made me cry, and maybe I will. Maybe this will be three times tears of shock.

Dr. Nina:
Crying is a sign that you’re human. No, there’s no shame at all.

Jenny:
I know, I know, I know. Yeah, I totally related with that last caller. I feel like … And we might have talked about this on calls before but I totally feel like I’ve been re-traumatized with the election of Trump and now the possible reelection of the Trump, oh, like the thought of it. But my issues this time around have been with my mother, a woman who raised a very independent daughter, me, and who was a longtime democrat and who is now contemplating voting for Trump and actually talking poorly of Biden versus talking poorly of Trump, which is so confusing.

And honestly, there’s nothing I can say to her, it’s interesting. The more she spews out Fox News rhetoric and the more I try to correct her with actual fact, not opinion, like actual fact … I will send her articles. And she doesn’t want to read them. She doesn’t believe me. She thinks I’m the stupid kid even though I’m 42. And my mind is so boggled, like I’m just curious what the mindset is of a person, a woman, a mother who’s previously a democrat, a longtime democrat who voted for Obama.

Who is she? How did this happen? Is this a mental illness? I mean, she is older now and she has been through a lot, sickness and such, but I don’t know how to even speak to her anymore because I don’t know who this woman is, this 78-year-old woman that raised me. It’s like talking about voting for Trump and talking about how Biden is this and that. It’s just, I don’t know. I just want to know what the mindset of a person like this is. If I had to deal with this with my mother, all the other people that I have to deal with that are … I don’t want to say republican because I know a lot of republicans that aren’t going to vote for Trump. But like a Trumper, a Trumper.

Dr. Nina:
It’s a cult.

Jenny:
How?

Dr. Nina:
Well, first of all, I can only imagine what it must be like how baffling and what emotional whiplash you must be having, having a mom who voted for Obama and is now extolling the virtues of Trump. That’s a pretty big shift.

And again, I go back to my essay where I talk about the appeal to him as a cult figure of the good daddy is going to make everything okay. And maybe there’s something about her generation or her own experience with her father that makes her vulnerable to needing to see him as this person that he absolutely isn’t. People want to see him as this strong, capable man who’s going to make everything okay despite evidence to the contrary. But their need to see him that way is stronger than their ability to take in reality. So, I’d be curious about … I would ask her questions, like what do you like about him? What do you like about him?

Jenny:
She does answer some of those questions. She thinks that financially like economy-wise, that he’s doing well as a president. But my family is not rich. In fact, they are lower middle class and they’re not making tons of money. I don’t understand that comment. It’s hard for her …

Dr. Nina:
Historically by the way, the economy has always done better under democratic presidents than under republican presidents. The stock market is different from the economy but that’s just a little aside people can go. There’s an article today about that in, I think, The New York Times.

What you’re saying is she’s really bought … She’s drank the Kool-Aid to reference another cult in which people drink Kool-Aid laced with, was it cyanide? Anyway, they thought that they … So they were literally following their leader to the death, thinking that they were going to go off to some other planet or whatever. I mean that shows like the power of the wish to believe, and the wish to belong.

You won’t change your mom’s mind because her mind is made for whatever reason. All you can do, Jenny, is cope with what it is like to confront this kind of intractability, this brick wall in your mom where she’s unreasonable and deal with that. I mean, you could continue-

Jenny:
How do you cope? I can continue to beat my head against the brick wall?

Dr. Nina:
You can, but you don’t …You would only hurt yourself.

Jenny:
I know. I’m finding it hard to cope, I guess. I don’t know how to cope. I get angry, and I don’t want to yell at an old lady. So, I’d get off the phone and I … Because my parents are on the East Coast, I can’t even see them. There is a pandemic, I can’t see my family and then I’d get on the phone with them and they start talking about, “The liberals are criminals, and they’re looting,” and in my brain, I just, “Oh, God, I just … To go on fire.” And then I’d get off the phone and it ruins my day or my week even. And I don’t know how to cope with it.

Dr. Nina:
Well, you’re describing-

Jenny:
I feel-

Dr. Nina:
You feel what?

Jenny:
I feel hurt. I feel hurt that my parents raising a woman, a daughter … money would vote for him, for someone like that who’s such an obvious misogynous. It just hurts my feelings but deeply.

Dr. Nina:
And that might be actually something to share because I felt your hurt, or I feel your hurt as you’re talking because if he demeans women, he demeans you, and then we share that. To support someone who’s demeaning and misogynistic to women and hateful is to support someone who would be demeaning to you as well as to her, but to you and how hurtful. It’s like she’s not protecting you from this creature.

Jenny:
Yeah.

Dr. Nina:
To share it on that level because it sounds like she’s just digging her heels in and watching a lot of Fox News and just kind of closed off. But when you share how hurt you are when you just share that, I could feel it deeply.

Jenny:
I’ve shared that with them for years since the initial election. They think I’m too sensitive. It’s very interesting. They think I’m too sensitive. They call me a child a lot, like a stupid child. But I’m 42 years old and I live across the country, I have a career. And I live alone and I take care of myself. I don’t know. Their mental illness keeps them so stunted that I’m stunted in their mind. There’s a lot of issues.

Dr. Nina:
Yes. Sometimes, and I don’t know if this is the case with your parents, but sometimes people need to see their adult children as children instead of adults because they need to feel some kind of an authority in their own lives. They need to feel-

Jenny:
I guess that could be it.

Dr. Nina:
And so, to see you as a grown woman with her own mind and her own ability to make her way through life and to outthink them even, is it might be a challenge to their own egos, in a sense. They need to feel superior to you possibly.

Jenny:
You hit the nail on the head. That’s exactly what it is. But that sickens me actually. It makes me sick to my stomach that they would feel like they need to belittle me to feel superior to a child that they brought into the world and was supposed to love unconditionally. It sickens me.

Dr. Nina:
Yeah, it is sickening. And so just allowing yourself to grieve, grieve the fact that there is a brick wall where there ought to be understanding and communication and the grieving process includes anger, bargaining, “Well, if I just say this …” So denial, you’re not in denial. Anger, bargaining is “Well, if I just give them this article, maybe they’re going to get it.” And then depression “Oh, my God, they’re never going to get it.” And then finally, you come to a place of acceptance which is “I can’t change them, and that is painful for me.”

Jenny:
Okay, I think I’m still in the anger stage. So, I have a lot of stages to go through before I get to accept them, unfortunately.

Dr. Nina:
And it’s not like, okay, check, anger, done. Next. Like you can do back and forth. But breathing is a way of coming to terms with they ain’t going to change, this is how they think, it’s terribly disappointing. It’s even worse that they supported Obama and now, they support Trump. Had they just been sort of republicans the whole way, that consistency would make sense. But to see them go from supporting President Obama to supporting Trump is so mystifying and strange and crazy. I can understand how it would be even worse for you.

Jenny:
Yeah. It’s really interesting. Well, thank you, Dr. Nina, for listening to me and letting me vent my frustrations.

Dr. Nina:
It’s important. We have a lot of frustrations and a lot of feelings. And we cannot eat them away, drink them away, positive think them away, yoga them away, work them away or do anything to get rid of them. We can only express them with words and feelings. So, thank you for finding your voice and using your voice to do so.

Jenny:
I’m glad there is a platform for us to do so. It’s very nice. I look forward to Wednesdays, so thank you.

Dr. Nina:
Oh, thank you, Jenny. Take good care of yourself. And when I talk about splitting earlier, we also [crosstalk 00:48:35] split ourselves. And that’s why I think it’s important for us to hold onto the things we, not that I’m hearing you say this but the things that we like about ourselves or the things that we’re struggling with, the things that you feel empowered about and the things that you … I mean this isn’t splitting but to hold both. Say, “Well, I have no power with my family. But I do have power in these areas.”

Jenny:
Yeah, okay. Well, thank you. Have a great week, and I will talk to you next week hopefully.

Dr. Nina:
I hope so. Thanks, Jenny. Thank you for calling.

Jenny:
Thanks, Dr. Nina. Bye-bye.

Dr. Nina:
Bye. And that is our show for today. Thank you so much for joining me here on The Dr. Nina Show on LA Talk Radio. I am here every Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. Pacific here on LA Talk Radio, and on Instagram. Or you can listen later on The Dr. Nina Show on LA Talk Radio on Apple Podcast or anywhere you get podcasts. Or you can also see the videos of these shows on my YouTube channel, Break Free From Binge Eating with Dr. Nina.

Dr. Nina:
If you’re interested, the book that I read my essay from, Three Tropes on Trump: A Textbook on Applied Marxism, Semiotics, and Psychoanalysis by Arthur Asa Berger, available on Amazon. Or you could just listen to this again.

Dr. Nina:
Take good care. Take care of yourselves. Take care of each other. Stay safe, stay healthy and I’ll see you next week. Bye for now.

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