The V-Spot: Healing Your Vulnerable Spot from Emotional Abuse
The V-Spot: Healing Your Vulnerable Spot from Emotional Abuse by Joan Lachkar, Ph.D., (Jason Aronson, 2008).
The V-Spot is a term created to describe the most sensitive area of emotional vulnerability that becomes aroused when one partner hits an emotional raw spot in the other. The V Spot is designed to parallel the G-Spot, as the emotional counterpart that can be triggered by a seemingly unimportant event. The V-Spot is comprised of highly charged emotional sensitivities that emanate from raw experiences during infancy and childhood. Getting in contact with the V-Spot is the only way to break away from emotional abuse and begin the healing process. Through Lachkar's book, clinicians and therapists will become acquainted with the V-Spot and recognize the importance of this volatile area of emotional vulnerability.
The V-Spot: Healing Your Vulnerable Spot from Emotional Abuse (2006), introduces the concept the "V-Spot" or "vulnerable spot." The reference is to the partners' most sensitive area of vulnerability, known in the psychoanalytic literature known as the archaic injury - a product of early trauma that each partner relentlessly holds onto. This material delves into how each partner taps into the other's deep reservoir of early painful experiences, repeating again and again the same traumatic injury. It will emphasize how the therapist must continuously remind the partners of what stirs up the V-spot and give them techniques to avoid the repeated opening up of old wounds and painful archaic injuries.
Most clinicians are aware of the impact that the archaic injury has on treating couples. The archaic injury is a term Kohut (1971, 1977) used to refer to the child's earliest emotional injury or narcissistic vulnerability, be it the birth of a sibling, an unattuned parent, a parent giving excessive attention to one child over another. To punctuate the importance of continually reminding couples of the role their archaic injury plays in their relationship, I devised a new concept called the "V-spot," an area of extreme vulnerability that gets aroused when one's partner hits an emotional raw spot. In psychoanalytic terms it is the seat of the archaic injury, the epicenter of emotional sensitivity. It is a product of early trauma that affects all relationships and often creates inappropriate and disproportionate reactions. When the V-spot is unwittingly aroused by one's partner, there is a loss of sensibility. Everything gets shaken and shifted in the ensuing emotional earthquake: memory, perception, judgment, reality. The V-spot is the G-spot's emotional counterpart. The G-spot is purely physical; the V-spot is purely emotional. I liken it to a nuclear reactor: one strike and it is ready to blow.
It could stem from the child who was abandoned much too early and much too soon, or the child whose mother smothered it with too much affection, or the child who was neglected and never touched or soothed. Another source can be a parent, caretaker or mother who repeats a certain mantra, "You're not good enough, not deserving enough, too demanding," etc. For men it could be the castrating, controlling, dominating, overwhelming mother.
It is hard for me to give to my wife because whenever she needs something I am reminded of my mother; I feel the need to rebel and run away from her.
Understanding the V-spot is a life-long process, but once it is discovered and tamed, the partners can function from a position of rationality rather than one of weakness, helplessness, and vulnerability arising from raw, tumultuous emotions.
Should I? Shouldn't I? Should I get a divorce or should I stay? Should I have said that or shouldn't I have? Was this my fault? Am I deserving of the abuse or mistreatment? Did I say something wrong? Do I have the right to ask for a raise?
Like Goethe once said, It is difficult to know what to do, especially when so much blaming and attacking is going on!
Memory, Perception, Judgment, and Functioning
When the V-spot is triggered, the capacity to reason is affected. To use an analogy, when someone is involved in a car accident they become momentarily paralyzed and immobilized. They can't think, can't remember the name of their vehicle, can't find their wallet, forget where they put their insurance card, can't remember the make of the car. This is because perception and normal functioning are impaired by the situation. The same impairment occurs when the narcissistic/borderline couple's V-spots are triggered. They react in a similar manner. Their judgment is clouded; they are unable to function normally. Suddenly the partners feel that everything is their fault or their partner's fault. Perception becomes obscured.
Example: “Each time she storms out of the house and says she is going to divorce me, take our child away, I believe her. I always panic and feel very scared and abandoned (as I did when my mother left to go to the hospital when I was three years of age. Yet each time she returns. Why is my reality so askew? Why is it that I can’t recognize that it is only a threat. In reality, I know she does not want to get a divorce; in fact she is Catholic and it goes against her religion.”