An FPL reader posed a very interesting and challenging question regarding PL's post on COMBINED CHARACTER STRUCTURES: 

"Dear PL, what about the Oral-Rigid mix female? This structure has some masochistic traits but the oral deprivation is more dominant, so the women are largely passive rather than aggressive - but can flare up. I would LOVE to understand this structure more - can you perhaps expand on it a little bit?

Here's PL:

Thanks for writing in, Tia. Challenging question indeed.

A person with an oral-rigid character structure combination is interesting, and perhaps less frequently encountered because the oral cs is quite pre-genital in terms of developmental stage (1st year and a half of life), while the rigid character structure is the only one that occurs during the genital stage of development (4 to 5 years).

This person consequently can present as a contradictory mix of immature neediness and mature competence. If the orality is compensated, in combination with the rigidity, this person can be quite a "doer" - a overly spectacular caretaker type, a "super nurse," for example, but like Edie Falco's "Nurse Jackie," with an underpinning of addiction or the potential for occasional collapse.This person can be simultaneously developed and charged sexually, yet often desire sex for the purposes of emotional support and validation.

An interesting thing to note and consider is that in my practice, I have not encountered this character combination in a male patient.

Thank you for this inquiry, Tia.

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