June 13, 2013
James and I had an interesting talk today, that got sympathetically into Maura's mental state. There is a wealth of information out there, but this "Psychology Today" article is a decent read on Self-Sabotage and Subconscious Avoidance. I found this quote, in particular, interesting:
"[The subconscious] follows its own set of rules. And these rules can be quite as subjective (and idiosyncratic) as they are paradoxical. To the psyche, winning can feel like losing. And success like failure--and, perhaps even more perversely, failure like success. Although it would hardly make sense to an observer, if failing at something enables you to avoid a situation linked to intolerable fear, panic, or shame, then it does - at least immediately - allow you to emerge triumphant. Even as you experience disappointment, you may breathe a welcome sigh of relief."
I see two ways this kind of subconscious and powerful reaction could have been emerging in Maura's life in he days before she disappeared.
- Perhaps Maura's ambitions and rigorous pursuit of them were inventions of her father or family generally, but not truly of her heart's self-identity. She thus began to sabotage herself subconsciously (credit card fraud, drinking, poorer performance at school and running, irresponsible behaviors at West Point, etc.) to escape the pressure of living up to what she felt a strong conscious desire to be, but a stronger subconscious desire to flee.
- If standard putative accounts are believed, Maura crashed two cars in two days. Are we certain that Maura drank and was drunk on Saturday night? The officer let off a college kid who drove straight into a guard rail drunk? And then incurred potential liability for the university or county by putting her into a tow truck dead drunk? Is it a possibility that she was sober and heading to her father's hotel for a practical reason, such as the trip north that happened on Monday having been originally planned for Sunday? One wonders at the dynamics of Saturday night - and in particular the possibility that Maura had the Corolla because Fred had the Saturn. (There will be more on this on an update to the "Lot 22" post before Monday, including a significant contribution from a journalist who watches the blog and caught an important detail.). Is it possible that Maura was avoiding something she found intolerable in crashing two cars in two days? Refusing, in other words, to go through with some plan and thereby "avoid[ing] a situation linked to intolerable fear panic, or shame ... experienc[ing] disappointment, [while at the same time] breath[ing] a welcome sigh of relief?"
What do you think? Does this resonate for you?