He was the most important person in my life. More than my husband or mother; at times, more than my children. I thought of him as my best friend; more than that. I thought of him as my twin, the other side of me. During the formal analysis, which lasted four and a half years, I saw him five days a week, generally fifty minutes a day Monday through Friday. I say generally because in the beginning, that is, when the analysis started, sometimes the sessions went longer than fifty minutes. I can think of one time during the first year, for instance, when I stayed in the room - when he let me stay, that is, when he kept me there, that is, when we kept me there - a good twenty minutes after the session was supposed to have ended.
I didn't want to leave. I would have stayed with him forever. Right in that room -- without my children, my husband, my friends, my mother -- I would have stayed. And, now, seven years later, I don't remember how it was I left at all. I need to go back to the diary entry from that day to recall, however secondarily, the event at the time it was happening. Except for the diary, what remains is memory. And memory confuses. You lie on a couch - or sit in a chair because you're afraid to lie on the couch - and reach back to where you think you've been. All you remember seems true and not. What you never saw is. What you know never was. You reach back. His eyes are on your skin/'s wide open.
This is free association. Words jumble into each other. Periods and commas don't matter. Nothing does, except him and me and this thing we call a relationship that isn't. It isn't because he's not who he presents himself to be. He's the person I look at and see when we're in the room together. But he's also the person I look at and don't see. He's even quite a different person than that. He's a man who lives within the context of his professional world; and who you are, that is, who I am, who the patient is, relative to him (or even relative to her) is lack. Who I am is lack. Even though an analyst's own insecurities may sometimes see me, the patient, as more.
Psychoanalysis: The Magic and The Lie - Diary of a Five Day A Week Analysis
copyright2005Esther Altshul Helfgott All Rights Reserved
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