Trauma. Chaos. Control. Repeat

Why you are destined to repeat yourself

Whether it’s repeatedly falling into the same relationship pattern (even with different partners), or continually making the same old mistakes, many of us often wonder ‘how did I get here again?’. Life is a spiral, not a straight path, in which we continually return to the same types of experience. But why don’t we simply avoid experiences we know will cause us pain? Roberta Satow offers reasons why we are destined to repeat ourselves.


Freud postulated three parts of the self: the id, the ego, and the superego. The id is ruled by the pleasure principle which is the drive to attain pleasure. The ego is ruled by the reality principle which forces us to meet the desires of the id in ways that are safe and appropriate. The superego is composed of the conscience and the ego ideal. The conscience embodies the rules and standards we learned as children. When we go against them, we feel guilty. The ego ideal embodies the standards we aspire to as adults.


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