Fantasy tells me what I am to my others

The original question of desire is not directly “What do I want?”, but “what do others want from me? What do they see in me? What am I to others?” A small child is embedded in a complex network of relations; he serves as a kind of catalyst and battlefield for the desires of those around him: his father, mothers, brothers and sisters, and so on, fight their battles around him, the mother sending a message to the father through her care for the son. While he is well aware of this role, the child cannot fathom what object, precisely, he is to others, what the exact nature of the games they are playing with him is, and fantasy provides an answer to this enigma: at its most fundamental, fantasy tells me what I am to my others.

The Plague of Fantasies, Slavoj Zizek, Pg 9

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