Bruno Deswaene : Adolescence and catastrophe

Adolescence is part of a specific approach of time which upheavals the ontogenetic development of the being. In that sense, it becomes a morphogenetical catastrophe that has to be assimilated by the subject. Being a fundamentally structuring stage of development on the psychological level, it takes into account former experiences and points of breaking up. However, pain does not systematically mean breakdown or crisis though it normally partakes to a morbid interpretation.

The preliminary and early encounter with the sexual in the framework of a sexual assault having taken place during the latency period alters the traditional unfolding of the psychological balance. On the social level, such a preliminary emotional experience entails a specific perception of a catastrophic nature and most of the times does it inscribe the experience within a destructive vision, i.e. altering the totality of the elements that are part of the subject’s psychological stability. However, the taking over of this experience of the sexual as a life experience were not to be understood as an involution process or as a damming of the psychological evolution but were to be understood in terms of a stage that would have to be taken an account of in the successive unfolding of the catastrophes inscribed within human ontogenesis, thus connotating more specifically the stage of adolescence, itself being a specific time within the revelation of the sexual attempt. The latter would then become a moment of personalization by the subject of what is to him specifically an intimate catastrophe.