...or You Can Just Say It Outright

The most horrible violence that happens to a subject is usually not physical pain, but violence that destroys the subject’s identity, i.e. his or her self- perception. Psychoanalysis teaches us that this self-perception is structured like a fantasy. Fantasy here is not synonymous with illusion, but means a scenario that helps the subject to mask the lack, the so-called Lacanian real (…a trauma) which shatters the subject’s very being. The most horrible violence happens when the subject is touched in his or her inner being in such a way that the story that he or she tells him or herself no longer makes sense. When the subject’s fantasy has been ruined, he or she might consider him or herself as being just a pile of bones covered by flesh and skin. This subject has no identity anymore and is desperately trying to fashion a new story about him or herself that would also give meaning to the traumatic event.

Renata Salecl, (Per)Versions of Love and Hate, 168

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