I finished watching a movie called “CYRUS” directed and written by the Dupless brothers in 2010. I wanted to pen down some of my thoughts and analysis on the characters in the show. It seems to me that the mother-son relationship of Molly and Cyrus are in a very primitive symbiotic stage. Cyrus is enmeshed with his mom and vice versa. Molly parentfied Cyrus and as a result Cyrus becomes very narcissistic with an omnipotent grandiose self. He believes his mother and his mother’s boyfriend John are an extension of himself. His overly manipulating behavior of possessiveness and aggressiveness of his mom is integrated in is basic character. Mom feels that part of her is projected and identified in her son Cyrus. Thus her needs for intimacy and companionship are aimed onto Cyrus.Molly is very needy and dependent and therefore projects her own inner child into Cyrus and tries to reconnect with it via becoming “one” with Cyrus. Cyrus is trying to move from his symbiotic relationship towards separation-individuation “me, not -me” phase but hasn’t completed it. He fluctuates from child enmeshed with his mother to adulthood where he sees himself as a separate being and vice versa. John and Molly are totally incompatible on an intellectual and emotional level; however I will hypothesize that out of Molly desperation for relationship is why she is willing to have a mother/child relationship with John. Molly is using John as an child part object, not a reciprocal relationship. John is deficient in basic intellectual abilities and has poor emotional insight with very childish outlook and barely to no social skills.
Molly’s relationship with John is very subjective and in a part object manner.Subjective, meaning, she can’t relate to him in an equal reciprocal manner as he truly is rather she is using him temporarily as a security object or a transitional object to help her move from a false- self that is partly projected onto her son and partly onto John to her true whole self with a capacity to internalize the good and bad objects and develop the capacity to be alone and then be able to have a heath compatible companion. Only after internalizing a whole object will Molly be able to recognize and decide that John(her part child) is totally an inappropriate mate for her. Cyrus has never developed his true spontaneity self. He behaves very masculine and paternal to his own mother, through splitting off his childhood self and placing it into his mother. Cyrus becomes very narcissistic and borderline in his relationship with his mom and John. After externalized his child self onto his mother coupled with her agreement to identify with his child, can he control his internal self via controlling his mother and perhaps then being able to internalize the part self that is projected, and allows it to integrate with himself. Cyrus also projects onto John, his aggressive, violent, and bad part-object. This is evident in the way Cyrus perceives John as very persecutory, fearing he may steal his mother, which means, fearing that John may steal him, while in reality he is trying to destroy and persecute John from taking his mom. This leads Cyrus into the oedipal complex, that results in Cyrus hating John and hating part-mom-object. Cyrus hates John for interfering with his mother and robbing his self. Cyrus fluctuates from the paranoid – schizoid position to the depressive position.When leaving the home Cyrus begins entering the depressive position realizing and understanding that his mother is a whole object with her own needs and limitations, this can only begin after feeling held by John which D.W. Winnicott refers to as the Holding environment. However Cyrus fails to complete and to internalize the position of the whole object and as a result his fear of being a part object begins to mask itself in panicking. This cause his internal part self to return to his mother his other projected good part-self. His attacks are symbolizing and calling to his premature and undeveloped whole self, and is lacking what Winnicott calls the “Capacity to be Alone” and feels he is missing a part -objects that were left by his mother and needs to return home to reunite with the self.
John is also in a symbiotic stage with his ex and with Molly. It makes me wonder why his ex ever married him. His companionship with others is on a symbiotic primitive level not in touch with reality perhaps even a slight sence of psychosis or psycho-affective.
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