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indigobusiness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 10:32 AM
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The Secret Lives of Just About Everybody
January 11, 2005
The Secret Lives of Just About Everybody
By BENEDICT CAREY

ne mislaid credit card bill or a single dangling e-mail message on the home computer would have ended everything: the marriage, the big-time career, the reputation for decency he had built over a lifetime.

So for more than 10 years, he ruthlessly kept his two identities apart: one lived in a Westchester hamlet and worked in a New York office, and the other operated mainly in clubs, airport bars and brothels. One warmly greeted clients and waved to neighbors, sometimes only hours after the other had stumbled back from a "work" meeting with prostitutes or cocaine dealers.

In the end, it was a harmless computer pop-up advertisement for security software, claiming that his online life was being "continually monitored," that sent this New York real estate developer into a panic and to a therapist.

The man's double life is an extreme example of how mental anguish can cleave an identity into pieces, said his psychiatrist, Dr. Jay S. Kwawer, director of clinical education at the William Alanson White Institute in New York, who discussed the case at a recent conference.

But psychologists say that most normal adults are well equipped to start a secret life, if not to sustain it. The ability to hold a secret is fundamental to healthy social development, they say, and the desire to sample other identities - to reinvent oneself, to pretend - can last well into adulthood. And in recent years researchers have found that some of the same psychological skills that help many people avoid mental distress can also put them at heightened risk for prolonging covert activities.

snip

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/01/11/health/psychology/11s...
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indigobusiness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 10:34 AM
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1. So, absolute integrity
is absolutely ridiculous?
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MissBrooks Donating Member (614 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 10:57 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Absolute Integrity
Is mandatory in my world.
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indigobusiness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 11:07 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. It's mandatory as an ideal in my world...
though I admit to falling woefully short of the mark.

When shrinks start talking about duplicity or deceit being "healthy", in any form, it's time to close the doors on that dubious institution.
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Trillo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 11:31 AM
Response to Original message
4. About denial?
Edited on Tue Jan-11-05 11:32 AM by SimpleTrend
What is written about "repressors" reminds me of people who practice routine denial.

"In a famous paper on the subject of double lives, published in 1960, the English analyst Dr. Donald W. Winnicott argued that a false self emerged in particular households where children are raised to be so exquisitely tuned to the expectations of others that they become deaf to their own longings and needs."

Those who drank the KoolAid. I bet if one was raised in that kind of family, and didn't drink the KoolAid, one would be forced into "Losing Family."
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indigobusiness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 12:44 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. The peer pressure of a culture run amock
is the ticket to the fast-lane of denial.
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