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The Beheaded Goddess: Daughters of Narcissistic Fathers [Kindle Edition]

Selma Nemer PhD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Book Description

"The Beheaded Goddess: Daughters of Narcissistic Fathers" is an archetypal, mythological, and transferential analysis of the loss of healthy aggression in an adolescent daughter. The specific family researched consists of a narcissistic father, an emotionally unavailable mother, and an adolescent daughter.
Paternal narcissism consists of entitlement, grandiosity, and a lack of empathy. Its characterological defensive structure wavers between insecure poles of inflation and deflation in the father, and simultaneous elevation and devaluation of the daughter. The emotionally unavailable mother's mind is disavowed, and her power given over to enthrone the male. Involuntarily participating in the abuse, she acts in accordance with the paternal myth believing men superior to women.
The daughter observes the inequality, resenting the mother for allowing the debasement. She learns that to be female is to be mindless while maleness is to have and be a-head. The daughter aligns with the father. It is a double betrayal: we lose our mothers and our internal trust of the feminine.
The Beheaded Goddess is an ancient but until now unnamed archetype. Her powerful image appears in Neolithic cave paintings, Renaissance art, medieval or early Christian legend, and contemporary women's dreams. What is her story? Why is she beheaded and by whom? This work explicates a specific type of beheading, a narcissistic father decapitating his daughter when she becomes sexual.
It is an incest motif, whereby the narcissistic father devours the loving body or mind of the daughter to fill his own emptiness. The abuse begins in childhood, but this work will explore the reappearance of the incest motif during the daughter's adolescence.
The etiology of abuse symptoms, severance of the head from the body, and repetitive consequences to the daughter are examined, as well as the reclamation of her head, including vision, voice, and action. The transformation of the Beheaded Goddess is a therapeutic journey of depth. The daughter circumambulates through the labyrinth of her soul until she comes to the core of her complex, the face of her own aggression. Without this work, she remains victim to externalizing forces and the persecutory inner animus--she beheads the inner negative father to free her own mind, voice, and power.

Product Details

  • File Size: 513 KB
  • Print Length: 189 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: BookBaby; 1 edition (March 30, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007Y9L8Z6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #192,142 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This author inspired me to finally read Jung September 19, 2013
By J R
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I struggled to rate this book. She hints at very real things that happen between father/daughters, things not mentioned elsewhere, like the impact of a father's unawareness of his own intense attachment. She supports her insights by examining myths, tales, and her own visionary experience. Also, the book overflows with scholarship and references, which makes it more credible.

However, I felt like I needed a PhD to understand this book. So I don't feel that I can understand her insights, without studying decades of Jungian theorists. Seriously, almost paragraph has words like containment, contrasexual, animus, self-reference, recapitulate... It's not just the wording, it's the assumption that I understand a lot of psychological theory. I quit this book halfway thru.

So, I decided to give the book 4 stars, because I've always wanted a better understanding of Jung's theories. This book motivated me to find a good primer (Murray Stein's "Jung's Map of the Soul", and dig in. I'm reading "The Invisible Partners", and probably "Ego and Archetypes" and other wildly acclaimed books that explain Jung in more everyday language. I'm glad I'm finally doing this, so kudos to this book. Plus I'll try reading "Beheaded Goddess" again after learning more Jung background.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ground Breaking Insights April 24, 2013
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My wife downloaded this book after reading some other reviews. She found the book deeply insightful as a tool for naming some of the more abstracted aspects of dealing with a narcissistic father. As I have noted, one of the hardest things to do is to accept someone's behavior as aberrant if you don't have a concrete way to quantify what they are doing to you. Obviously, that is part of the abuse pattern, the throwing up of a smokescreen of emotions that block you form seeing what is often right in front of you. Nemer's book provides the labels, the definitions, and the dominant metaphor that pulls the cowl off the emotional vampires known as narcissists. In that regard, her book provides so many fresh ways to express the evil of the malicious narcissist, dispelling the myth that they are merely an ego run amok. As a Christian, I want to encourage other Christians to read the book with an open mind. Don't get hung up on what is said about God seeming to be a narcissist. Realize that she is using "god" not "God" because the "god" of the narcissist isn't the God of Scripture. So, don't be put off by how she expresses. It's not theological! If you find you can't read the book without cringing, may I recommend Jeff Van Vonderen's work "The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse in the Church" as an alternative. Again, this book is insightful and if you see metaphors as metaphors and don't try to concretize them, you will gain tremendous insight. If you are new to reading a doctoral level book dealing with such emotionally heavy themes, you may want to start with some other books. The language though, in this book, is not over the average reader's head but is down to earth and there is enough repetition throughout it that you will begin to gain a full understanding. Read more ›
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars this is an eye opening book, very good! July 9, 2013
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Being a daughter of N-sim this book describes the intricate psychic distress I have experienced in my life!! It takes about the nature of the damage done and the daughter of N-ism can do to heal.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BREAK THROUGH August 31, 2013
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This book nailed my life to a T. I was amazed by the reality growing up I saw as normal to be dysfunctional at best. I was able to have a major break through in therapy as a result of the understanding I gained by reading and writing my thoughts down as I proceeded through each chapter. Recommend it highly.
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