My Mother, My Father, My Money

Money and its loaded issues.

Tiger Woods' Fall from Grace

Tiger is not yet out of the Woods.

Last week, famous golf pro Tiger Woods drove into a hydrant and a tree near his house. Ever since then we have seen a "swirlwind" of speculation about the "real" circumstances of his accident and his private life.

Moreover, in the last 72 hours two women have been alleged to be his mistress and this morning, a third one as reported by today's Huffington Post. One woman denies the affair, the other is apparently bragging about it - with voice mail and text messages being offered as "proof" and the third neither confirming nor denying. It is being insinuated that these women were "behind" the so-called accident. Elin, otherwise known as Mrs. Tiger Woods, is thought to have been chasing Tiger with a golf club and in her fury she smashed the rear window of their Cadillac Escalade.

What we have here is an absorbing tale. The mythical fall from grace - Adam aka Tiger, blessed with unbelievable athletic prowess, abundant intelligence and good looks married to an Eve-like woman in her Nordic beauty and grace. These two human beings, blessed with unbelievable bounty and physical beauty - almost god-like, live in the Garden of Eden -- a gated community in South Florida.

Into this Paradise we have temptation in its rawest form. Three voluptuous women apparently "lured" him away from the path that is right and just. They are the forbidden fruit for which he forsakes his "golden" family. The jealous wife, Elin a co-god in this Paradise, banishes him from the garden in a fit of fury. .

Find a Therapist

Search for a mental health professional near you.

Now this morning we have a statement from Tiger as reported by the Huffington Post admitting to "personal failings" and requesting, almost, self-righteously demanding "privacy." His request for privacy, although understandable, may not be just about his family.

You have to feel for Woods. He was a golden boy if there ever was one. He was a prodigy who appeared on the Mike Douglas show with Bob Hope at the age of 2. He was, in almost every sense of the word, a Herculean youth with abilities that reached the heavens and his abilities only increased as he matured into a "near-perfect" man. A buttoned-up, "perfect" man like Tiger may have been trying to (destructively) bust loose. Now, filled with shame, he wants to pull it all back in -- an attempt to restore the golden womb-like paradise that he believed in, but probably never was.

Freud famously compared the womb to the mythical Paradise in Genesis. We spend 9 months in a warm, protected amniotic sac, shielded from woe and worry, not even having to labor in the slightest - not even to eat or breathe. And of course, we are, all of us, thrown out, against our will.

It is for this reason, Freud theorized, that many people spend a lifetime looking for romantic love, or have affairs. These efforts, Freud felt are merely attempts to re-enter the womb - to get back to the wonderful place where they once were. But of course, the sad fact is that we were thrown out and we will never be able to get back.

It is this resistance to reality, Freud wrote, that is the downfall of man. The problem is we need magic - all of us do. The magic of beauty, grace, near-invincible athletic power combined with an exciting life such as Tiger has -- we all must have some of that even if it is illusory. At moments like these, with the pain of deeply wounded feelings stark and clear, a marriage on the rocks, we will be tempted to conclude that despite our strong wish for something more, "reality" may be our very best friend.

*Acknowledgments Ncaps faculty and learners

Simon Feuerman is a psychotherapist and is Director for the New Center for Advanced Psychotherapy Studies at Kean University in New Jersey.


Subscribe to My Mother, My Father, My Money

Current Issue

Dreams of Glory

Daydreaming: How the best ideas emerge from the ether.