Gibbs A. Williams, Ph.D.

Gibbs' Journal Summary:

 "The longest way around is the shortest way home" James Joyce, Ulysses "Anything worth accomplishing is as difficult as it is rare." Spinoza, The Ethics What follows is a journal summary and commentary of the first year of what was to be a successful eleven -year psychoanalysis - 1100 sessions - three times a week, on the couch, no insurance.

The purpose of this account is to describe how the author's long term psychoanalysis induced significant psychological change. In this light, an attempt will be made to capture and articulate the essence of a life saving and life enhancing experience, likened to climbing mountains in inner space. To this end, I hope to demonstrate that significant psychological change is possible but slow in coming and comes about only when crucial organizing concepts are cathected, experimentally applied to the self in the laboratory of daily living, and a commitment is made to struggle with struggle. Besides my caring and competent analyst, the only major weapon in the war waged against my mental illness was special words, which is why, I believe, psychoanalysis is validly called the "the talking cure." I have chosen to report most of the first year journal entries hopefully capturing the spirit, the nature of the analytic work, and the struggle with struggle common to all psychoanalytic and psychoanalytic psychotherapeutic collaborations.

7/1/1975  - I feel profoundly stirred. I know getting back into therapy - perhaps psychoanalysis - is the right course for me to follow but realistic concerns of time and money feel as if this idea is out of reach. Can I really pull off such an enormous undertaking? I have been feeling isolated, depressed, and angry. Vivid nightmares haunt me.

7/3/75  - I saw Dr. S. for an interview. He seemed pompous and emotionally cold. I rejected him outright. I saw Dr. Wittenberg the next day and felt immediately 'home' at last. In an instant I knew I wanted him to be my psychoanalyst. High on the list of the essential factors contributing to a successful analysis I rate the experience of attunement - or as one patient of mine likes to refer to it as "tuning fork sensibility" very high up on the list.

From the first moment I met Wittenberg, I felt unconditionally accepted, an experience that never wavered during the entire course of my eleven- year psychoanalysis. He invited me into his small office, asked me to sit across from him and to tell me what was on my mind.

After recounting my story for awhile I looked up and asked him "what do you think" I had done the same thing with Dr. S. the day before. His response was to quickly shoot back a judgment that he thinks what I just did is my problem. That is, that I look to authority figures for the answers to my problems which only I can answer.

Privately I thought his response was probably accurate as far as it went. But intuitively I thought it was too glib - I didn't know what it was at the time but I was certain I needed something else he was not giving me. I also instantly knew this particular analyst was not for me.

 W's response to my query was to sit up straight, put his index finger to his forehead, sit quietly for a moment presumably reflecting and then answered: " I am not certain about what I am going to say since I have only just met you - but if you want to know my opinion, I think you are suffering from a lack of basic trust…."

I don't recall what else he said. What was important was his taking the time to reflect; meaning, he was really attempting to understand me and not just fire back with a cliché text book answer. In addition to the resonant content, I was deeply impacted by his consistent style of delivery.

The essence of this style was answering me with what always seemed to be the deepest, broadest, yet pointedly particular response he could muster. The constant repetition of this approach made me feel I was in good hands, held with words, meaningful words, inducing hope that I was potentially understandable.

W concurred with me that I was both ripe and in need of long -term psychoanalysis - he asked me if I wanted 3 or 4 sessions per week. I sat mute for a while clearly shocked. "You are obviously shocked by my question, but you are in the same business as myself. How many sessions had you planned on coming? One? Two? " Such was the difference between abstract theory and realistic fact. I was either in all the way or not. With a leap of faith I answered: all I can afford is three.

Three it was. 11:00 A.M. Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings. W said that if treatment only consisted on getting to the sessions on time (showing up) I would profit enormously.

In retrospect this comment was accurate. This commitment forced me to struggle with getting there in all sorts of external and internal weather, realizing each time that the choice was mine. No one was putting a gun to my head. Over the years this discipline became automatic.

As W was going away for his annual three - month vacation, we agreed to meet in September. June - August, l975, after W came back to work.

 Previous to my first paid Analytic Sessions With W. During the summer I became increasingly aware of my need for in depth therapy. In part I was deeply affected by the powerful impact a patient, C {Cookie } - was having on my frustrated attempts to understand myself.

 6/4/75 - C, {a patient who has been in treatment with me for the last four years three times a week} is making a major sustained break through. Despite her {ongoing} fears of me and of her 'negative power' which takes the form of a fear that either I will throw her out of treatment or she will throw me out, hangs in there with me and I with her. She feels 'penetrated' by me. We are working well together with a strong alliance. She shows me the power of one to one therapy. Each increment of closeness to me revives {forgotten} feelings from her past {which are becoming integrated with the rest of her present experience}. As C's story is becoming more clear, and livelier, she gives me hope that my {own inner} drama might come {clear and livelier too}.

 After my mother died of breast cancer when I was fifteen years old, negative aspects of reality hit me like a sledge - hammer. While popular on the outside, I was becoming increasingly detached and isolated on the inside. I became quite skilled at identifying what was wrong with me, accurately describing my symptoms. But awareness of my troubles did not translate into effective means for changing them - changing them significantly. This is so because two previous therapy attempts were both somewhat helpful but both failed to identify and engage my core difficulty.

What I had always found the most useful to me were powerful ideas usually found in reading books in subjects like philosophy, psychology, science, spirituality, and the arts. W suggested that while he was away I might like reading a seminal article by M. Tolpin called The Infantile Neurosis. {Having done so, I realized that {one of the major tasks in my psychoanalysis was going to involve my searching for the origins of my {own}infantile neurosis.

W says such a massive repression as I have implies a massive defensive reaction to severe trauma. In this light {I imagine} that what I experienced at nineteen year old triggering me into therapy for the first time {might well have been the reliving of an unresolved emotionally parallel childhood trauma.}

 Over the summer I experienced an underlying depression which felt like extended clouds of dark gray cumulatively pressing down on me. Each time I became aware of it,I was surprised that it was still there. I was afraid that if I continued to dwell on it,the depression would engulf me. The thought struck me that if I viewed depression as a symptom then it must have underlying causes. A particularly vivid dream stands out.

 8/09/75 - The Whale Dream

I am over looking a boardwalk that runs the length of the East Side of New York City. On the left side of the cement board walk is a succession of ornate hotels like those found in Miami Beach. To my right side, in the Harlem river, are a series of immense pools of water. In the pools are huge quiescent whales of assorted sizes. I wonder what terrible things could occur if the whales were ever aroused. At that very moment I hear a rumbling as I see the hotels beginning to crack apart. I fear a major earthquake is imminent. Suddenly the whale pools split apart and the highly agitated whales leap out, grab at the buildings, and snatch pieces of the construction with their huge jaws.

 I awaken undeniably aware that despite years of psychotherapy I still need something more. It is my hope that psychoanalysis will at last fulfill this frustrated need.

9/21/75 - My First Psychoanalytic Appointment

 W suggested that I trust him. And as a first test of that trust he said that the results of the battery of psychological tests he requested me to take should not be read back to me word for word. The reason being that my tendency to intellectualize would probably interfere with their benefit.

Believing he was right I let him edit where necessary.Test two was agreeing to lie down on the couch even though I knew I would be deprived of seeing his expressions. I thought about the way he looked and an image of Humpty Dumpty cracking came to mind. This image was quickly interpreted as my fears of breaking down. I was aware of feeling spaced out as I tried to follow W's instructions of just letting myself relax and saying whatever comers to mind. Although W said I shouldn't worry, it is hard for me to believe that what I say will not be judge. Why is it I always feel as if I have to perform and do so well.

 Later: I feel depressed and depleted since the appointment. Wittenberg seems to be so superior to me as a therapist that it makes me doubt what I am doing. Am I in fact, a fraud? Psychoanalysis will not be an easy experience for me, but I will persist come hell or high water. I left the appointment feeling disoriented. The message to me was there is a truth in my unconscious that speaks more than I think that I know. The major themes concern fears of loss, control, anger, disappointment, and a lack of basic trust.

 During the session, I experienced novelty, courage in myself, a willingness to take risks, an active choosing, giddiness, embarrassment, surprise at my spontaneous thoughts, relief I could say anything I wanted {in an atmosphere of safety - a guaranteed acceptance of my whole self - no threat of retaliation. W was 100 percent consistent in maintaining this attitude throughout the entire length of my psychoanalysis. What this provided was an atmosphere where I could, for the first time in my life, relax my guard towards external reality giving myself the choice to turn my full attention to an exploration of internal reality.

9/24/75  - Dream

I am at my {parent's} home. I realize I am a prisoner in my own home, I want to leave but I am pinned down to the sofa by people determined to punish me.

 9/25/75-  Session 2 -

 W connected themes in the dream to both my present and adolescent past. In both there is a fear of irrational authority. He says that I have an anticipation of the worst always about to happen.

9/27 - Session 4

W says I have a clear split. (1) a feeling that everything revolves around me which is a carry over of early omnipotent feelings versus (2) I am unable to take control of myself. The central issue is who is in the driver's seat ?

 10/02/75 - Session 5

Before entering W's waiting room there was some confusion about not ringing his doorbell. Feeling criticized and betrayed I blew up. Refusing to be drawn into an argument, W remained silent. He asked me to free associate. …W said the issue was why I am so quick to get angry? Why do I need it and hold onto it? Later: I am aware of feeling foggy. I am confused by the foggy feeling. I don't know what I want.

10/06/75 - I woke up in bed about 5 AM getting increasingly more anxious. My insides felt like a cold piece of ice. I am beginning to experience the reality of the realistic pressures I am under. … I think of Yeat's poem: Culligan Fights the Sea, and Campbells' Hero With A Thousand Faces. The former symbolizes man's frustration against forces which are felt to be overwhelming; the other, outlines man- kinds' modern hero who dares descend into himself, confronting the horror of the dark side, containing it, and finally reconciling the opposites using the weapon of understanding. I am becoming aware of how difficult it is for me to bear frustration. This awareness will be a core issue for me as the analysis unfolds. In so doing I endorse the analytic process whose essence is to descend, explore, and work through core issues.

10/08/75 - I wonder what my diagnosis is? I {am afraid} I might be paranoid underneath it all. I reflected on the climate of fear in which I was raised. W said "With respect to paranoia, you're reaction of fear were perhaps appropriate to the situation." I responded with a question: What does this say about my fears of paranoia? W responded {in his usual frank, direct, and informative manner}: "It is more paranoid-like than psychotic - Perhaps you are in contact with too much reality not too little. You need to know what is right and expected so to be able to save yourself." Now it was beginning to make sense that I had to find out what was absolutely right so I could survive.

W says for me to bring my fears into the therapy. Much of what we will deal with is re -experiencing and mastering childhood fears which, for various reasons, have never been put to rest.

 10/10/75 -  W says that my preoccupation with presidents {of the United States} is an expectation they should be different than they really are. This implies some unresolved issue with my father. This interpretation helped to explain why I stayed on at a job that was intolerable because of an irrational boss. I still have the feeling of having to stay and hold onto a strong man even when the man I am holding onto is not an ally.

W encouraged me to write down my experiences at Odyssey House. The spontaneous material was revealing an unresolved problem with my father. This problem was manifested in continually finding myself associated with substitute father figures who were hostile and once realizing it I couldn't seem to leave them. While I knew that this theme and variation was often repeated I had no clear realization that it had its origins in the primary relationship with my birth father. Thus there was a confusion between the here and now with the there and then in which I experienced the present in terms of the past. Further this confusion of the present in terms of the past was carried out with no awareness of this automatic process. At first I was unaware (hence unconscious) that I was perceiving the present through lenses from the past.

10/12/75 - I told W that my conclusion about having worked at O H in a climate of One Flew Over the Coo Coo's Nest Two, was that the absence of basic trust is central to the drug addict's problem. Thus all treatment of addicts should be geared to establishing basic trust. Towards this end a precondition of effective treatment is that the therapist be trustable. If the therapist is not trustable then treatment will necessarily fail.

 I asked W if my reactive anger would ever go away? He said with calm assurance "yes." Connected with your intolerance of frustration is an eternal questioning of motives. You keep trying to force yourself into a search for absolute or pure motives when in fact there are a profusion of motives all the time. Some of these motives are unconscious. Some are objective. Being a good therapist means that the professional is as objective as is possible."

 While J {the ex director of O H} had acute vision about some of her facts, her conclusions were often partial and one sided. She was uni- dimensional and one sided. She insisted that everything she said be taken as gospel and that your dissent and all other discrepancies get reduced to her own narrow uncomplicated view. She had a need to see everyone as dependent and helpless in order to be most effective. Once assertions were made, she had to pull the props under subtlety suggesting the person was wrong or was inadequate. In this climate of basic distrust she perpetuates the basic experience of the addict: that words do not mean what they say and ultimately no one is to be trusted. If this is true then anything goes. 'Do others before they do you' makes perfectly good sense in such a world.'

 Contrary to the cliché of the silent therapist - which often W was - there were many times like the above where he would talk for a long while in great detail. I loved his explanations especially when I sense the material was complex. His explanations reinforced my belief that my particular world view was not - as I had so often told at home - too complex but was in fact, an attempt to do justice to the complexity I experienced.

10/16/75 - I flashed back to Yeats' autobiography when he said: "Dare to trust in oneself"…. I also recalled Stephen Dedalus in Joyce's Ulysses: "The longest way round is the shortest way home." Without quite realizing it at the time I was outlining the major goal of my analysis as well as declaring I was committed to achieving this goal no matter how much time it would take to do so.

10/18/75 -  I see that an essential problem of mine is to learn how to trust. "There is no magical solution to my problem", says W. "The lack of basic trust can extend to presumed guilt and paranoid like insecurities."

10/24/75  -  I feel as if I am in a race to make up for lost time. I want to enjoy myself and contribute something important before I die. I realize there is an important relationship between the ability to tolerate frustration and the sense of time. We ordinarily conceive of time as past, present, and future. The ability to tolerate frustration is dependent on the capacity to delay. If one cannot delay there is no concept of the future.

This fact seems so basic to me but I was never able {until now} to experience it. W says I don't trust. {For me}: everyone is presumed guilty until proven innocent. I see I read all sorts of imagined meanings into an objective statement that were not consciously there. This then sets up a whole chain of suspicion "which chips away at the foundations of basic trust. It keeps the cement of trust from binding."

Later: I saw my patient, C. She too, like W, confronted me with their straight, plain talk. She said something was seriously wrong with our alliance. She isn't sure whether it is she or me. She told me about two recent fantasies:If she started to fall out of a window, her therapist (Gibbs) wouldn't try to catch her so as not to violate professional principles {appropriate therapeutic boundaries} therefore the patient would die but the professional principles would remain in tact…2. If she was to attack her previous therapist for having thrown her out of treatment and he called up and said that you, Gibbs, either work it out or he would press charges and you knew how vicious he was - you would say it was up to him.

C went on to tell me that she thinks I have some problem in giving {in the fact} that all the material has to be 'analyzed' and that I can't accept the fact that I have made a central difference in her life. Therefore when she compliments me I act as though all therapists {must} do what I do {thereby} making her compliments feel worthless. Then she said: "the fact that I stayed with you and left the other therapist was that I have gotten something here. "

 {How} ironic that I could help her learn how to give and take yet I have the same problem. I cried. She said "she needs to be seen as a whole person and not just a collection of parts." So do I.

 Much of my analysis was spent in reflecting upon what new concepts I had touched on in the last session. It was as if each session was a class in psychological chemistry and 'real' life was a private laboratory where I got to mix the raw materials together and see what they produced.

 W was very pragmatic and scientific. He characteristically said: "don't take my word for it but try it out and see if it fits." On another level I felt as if my intellectual defenses were being softened up. I was learning to speak the language of feelings and make meaningful connections between and among them.

10/28/75 -  On the subway back from the session I kept hearing his voice reverberating:" It's ok you don't have to make sense here." His permission to be natural - experience being role-less - produced a profound sense of comfort, stillness, and peacefulness. I almost fell asleep on the train. I had a fantasy of being in a bubble and starting over again. {A clear womb fantasy} I wondered if my mother and father would be there? If so I could sleep comfortably. I remembered that in the session W had said "try to imagine the greyhound bus ad: sit back and leave the driving to us. My learned and defensive suspiciousness had made me fearful of the unknown, uncertainty, not knowing, ambiguity, and confusion. Therefore I came to fear my messy emotions and especially mixed feelings.

Following the prescription to relax and say what ever came to mind (i.e. free associate) was not easy for me. W often said I had to learn how to trust him. He was right.

 10/31/75 - Responding to my desire to read about my case, W suggested I read H .Greenacre's essay on The Contributions of Ego Psychology. I did so. Her essay had the same impact on me as did H.Kohut's: Analysis of the Self., Spinoza's Ethics,W. Durant's:The Story of Philosophy, H.Hesse's Steppenwolf, and C.Wilson's The Outsider. Each of these books seemed to be directly speaking to my inner core. Each reflected a clear, accurate picture of part of me as I really am. Their words make me feel accepted and dynamic.

It was extraordinarily important for W to treat me with respect, accepting me as I was, honoring my request for intellectual explanation, granting other requests, if in so doing there was more to gain than to lose. I can imagine other therapists taking the position that to suggest a book list would only be encouraging me to strengthen my already over intellectualizing defenses. But W realized that what I was requesting was the desire for more not less of the experience of using words to penetrate to my core. His consistent style of treating me as an individual, not as an already known case history, helped me gradually turn from reactive cynicism and distrust into dynamic interest and aliveness.

 11/01/75 - Dream: I am in the middle of a war ….

W says I am dazed, suffering from battle fatigue…. I see a strong connection between my fear of dying and religion. Out of fear and a wish to survive I came to religion as a search for unity and transcendence. I nursed the hope that there was a benevolent God who would personally intercede and protect me. Mulling over the concepts of this session I began to realize that I have had a life long need and wish to be rescued. Further analysis would show me that I had the potential power to rescue myself. But first I had to find a way to create the necessary psychological structure to be able to accomplish this task.

 11/06/75 - I realize I need to feel crises and if one doesn't exist I will provoke one. W says I need to have the excitement of a crisis in order to feel real.

On Dreams: - The dreams are my own creative constructions. I am the one who arranges and creates scenes of war and destruction. I am the director, writer, camera- man, scenic designer, actors, etc. I can arrange to have any story and any plot I desire. So, W asks, why in the dream of war, don't I arrange to sit with a girlfriend in front of an open fire place on a moonlit night in snow laden Vermont sipping champagne? Instead I create scenes of conflict, war, competition, crisis, all wish - fulfilling scenes that define me? …

W says I have to learn how to bear more frustration. He says I don't have to like it, just bear it. That bearing frustration is a necessary prerequisite to growing an ego. The ego is the organ of choice. If I can make choices that are in my best interest I will gain the freedom and authority I crave. I don't have to allow myself to be pushed. I have a right to take my time and go at my own pacing.

This session is representative of my analysis. W never failed to present some novel way of reviewing my own past, present or future experience. I had intuitively known that frustration intolerance was a problem of mine many years before I met W. I had not known how central and critical it was in retarding my emotional development. This cast my problems in an entirely new - revolutionary - light. I knew that I had a life long tendency to over or under react to emotionally loaded situations. I had to find a way to convert hyper reactivity to acting from within. To do so I needed to find a way, a method, to accomplish this task. With W's understanding of my case I now could understand my central problem as less a problem of content than of structure. To free myself from bondage I had to be able to make informed choices. I couldn't do that if I couldn't delay when faced with frustration (the feeling that accompanies missed expectations.)

The key to growing an ego was to learn to bear increasing dosages of frustration and other negative affects, which I had tried avoiding such feelings all of my conscious life.

W presented an explanation for my problems, outlined a way to overcome them, accepted me as I was, pointed the way to eventual success, and challenged me to become increasingly more active in my own analysis.

11/06/75 - A key session with C.

C was now better able to handle frustration on multiple levels under great pressure. The major event was her mother's operation for a suspected cancer. She had to face multiple tests and came through fine. This is hard evidence that she is working through this problem very well indeed. We reviewed the critical moment. (the critical moment is an event which is the external overt dramatization of a process that results in a constructive resolution of what would have typically been another in a long line of destructive outcomes.) I outlined the fact that we have been waging a war together against the common enemy of illness. While she wants to get better, there has been a large part of her that wants to take the disorganized way by giving up.

Under pressure C has been known to slash herself in order to relieve the pain of self inflicted numbing in order to feel real. Last night she got together with a friend and talked her problems out instead of cutting herself. I recalled the critical moment when I got upset about some remark W made that I felt was an accusation rather than a query. He again pointed out that I tend to read too much into an objective remark. We talked at length about trust. I told him about my concept of small t trust and big T Trust. I explained that big T Trust only comes after years of knowing someone. I was shocked when he said that was too long to wait. That even though I had known him for only a few months wasn't that enough being with him to trust him? Once again his words had a surprising ring of truth. In a flash I knew he was right.

11/07/75 - In the session I had an experience of timelessness. I realized that I can control time. That clock time is an illusion - just an agreed upon way for demarcating experience. W made a startling interpretation. "When you are referring to time and it's control of you, you are really talking about libido." Time is really energy exchange. Time = libido."

When I left the session I got into the elevator as I ordinarily do. For a moment I felt suspended in space. Then I pressed the button and began to descend. I wondered if timelessness was like being suspended in space. Pressing the button and moving was an experience of ordinary linear time:past, present, and future. I realized that libido is an out - flowing of psychic energy and regulation. How much energy one is willing to invest in what with whom, and for what are the essentials questions underling meaningful choices. To think choice - fully means that one control time instead of the other way around.

 I had an association to a memory of Professor Trilling's challenging remarks to the intellectual students in freshmen literature class: "Did you get pleasure out of reading the book ? " He asked about feelings first and then ideas. I remembered various pleasures from childhood.

I recalled being stimulated by colors and experiences of simultaneity. I was always fascinated by the experience of looking at something and then saying to myself what I saw. Then I would look again and ask myself what else did Isee and was always amazed that I could name so many additional perceptions holding them all in sight without feeling they were confused or disorganized.

W had asked me how old I was. I answered 37 years old or young. He said: "chronological age means nothing. What is important is the quality of your experience." I realized that I could give myself internal pleasure if I was able to block out the disappointing outside. I wondered, then, why bother relating effectively if I could have my own self controlled inner atmosphere?

Soon after an outline for my OH story fell into place. I Idealization II The Bubble Bursts III What's Real? IV Fighting the system I should look again at my record of synchronicities (meaningful coincidences) and see what I make of them.

Cathecting the formula: time = libido was freeing for me. It provided a way to re view experience through different but complimentary perspectives. I was able to apply this conceptual formula to trying to understand the phenomena of meaningful coincidences. With this formula I was able to view these fascinating events not only for their content but from their structure as well.

11/09/75 -  Approximately the 27th session 

I was accused by a relative of being deficient. She insists that I change. I feel that in her presence I can never do anything right. I won't change to suit her. I am aware she is going through something. I feel stronger and believe this may be a major turning point for me.

 I saw the following article in the New York Times: Fantasy and The Human Spirit, by J.C.Cooper. Many of our problems in the modern world have arisen when we have failed to recognize inner life 'fantasies for what they are. We have often taken fantasies common to our generation and community as objectively true descriptions of how the world is. Sometimes the prevailing fantasies of the time are identified with the assured results of science.

Carlos Castenada has reminded us that apprehension of reality, including that shored up by the supposed findings of physics and other disciplines is still only interpretation; it is still only what we imagine the world to be. It has never occurred to me that perhaps I have vowed not to be object related. That my isolation that I have experienced as inflicted on me has in fact been self imposed. Perhaps this has been more of a choice than I have previously thought. I am beginning to understand that my analysis is essentially a method of perceiving reality (internal and external) through a new set of overlapping lens. In so doing I can honor the hard won results of my own struggles to understand. In so doing I was being equipped with the psychological know how for learning how to objectify my subjectivity. That is I could now begin to identify the most relevant pieces of my psychological jig saw puzzle, make a boundary, look for similarities of color, design etc. and begin fitting the pieces together.

Here at last was a method for helping me to organize my personal chaos. I was deeply impressed and excited about how much I was discovering in just a few short months. Meaningful connections were happening in all areas.

 11/20/75 - C brought in a contract. The contents penetrated me. She sees me as lifeless and mechanical filled with blocked human emotions that I apparently find hard to express spontaneously. Her contract contained the following clauses: 6 - Both the patient and the therapist are programmed machines and are not expected to compromise with each other, since this is strictly a human ability - 7 - Any and all characteristics which would usually fall within the boundaries of a human relationship - such as empathy, comfort, sympathy, caring, elasticity, sensitivity, sharing, pleasure, or personal understanding - are strictly barred from the contract. 8 - The sole purpose of the contract is to cure the patient of an inability to rationalize out problems. The contract is to have no other effect on either the patient or the therapist.
11/23/75 -  Tonight I smoked pot and took a long hot bath surrounded by an atmosphere of classical music. I let myself tune into my process. I became aware of my internal self and the self that perceives the outside world. I looked in and felt myself looking out. I realized the difference between pure 'objective' perception and my interpretation of that experience which contains embellishments of feelings, sensations, thoughts, and various associations of past, present, and imagined future. I also realized how I find it very hard to learn from my experience as I don't typically view the results of my hypotheses and derive objective conclusions.

Apparently I was never able to effect a good symbiosis with my mother - one which should have been based on a primary experience of unconditioned acceptance (basic trust.) Therefore I have searched for ideal good parental substitutes.

The goal in therapy is to re experience the basic emotional feelings of childhood and see what was concluded and incorporated in the self system. W says when the past can be re experienced and the confused feelings are worked out, then it can be let go.

 W makes me feel contained - a feeling I have wanted to find. I feel hopeful that I can really get through this life long deficit. With S {my first therapist} I repeated the basic lack. He filled me words of wisdom but gave me to many of his own answers and didn't help me very much to find my own. He was inconsistent. And when the critical moments came he gave up on me.

12/1//75 -  In the New York Post: How great art works: The Excitement of Change by B. White and H.White. Great artists are not just people with skills. They are people who have the courage to convey very private messages about themselves. They are people who dare to risk a hostile response from stranger and friend… The artist articulates in his medium that which is preconscious - it is like a good analytic interpretation that joins together two or more associations and finds a common denominator thereby evoking a new meaning which allows what was once a chaotic and nonsensical to reappear ordered and sensible. Old disconnected material is viewed in a new connected alive way.

 12/03/75 -  Dream:

I experience F as a castrated little boy. In the session, W says the dream implies an attitude towards woman as inferior to men which alternates with a feeling that men are inferior to women. In any event there is a clear sense of competition. This is not penis envy but penis superiority. Isn't this the root of prejudice? I am aware of lumping large groups of people under certain headings and making sweeping generalizations about them.

After the session was over I realized I had gushed details about secret experiences. I am getting in touch with hidden parts of myself. This is what is called unconscious motivation. W said II had to hide parts of myself in order to protect myself. I hid that which was most private and sacred and turned into a private act of rebellion. For my own protection I had to be trickster and a magician. I had to present an image that hid the real me.

12/10/75 -  I had an important realization. Each person has similarities to everyone else but it is their unique experience of reality that really defines who and what a person is. For example P, a female patient, says "I don't feel worthy with the men who want me. But I am drawn to men that don't want me." The second group of men represented her mother who she desperately needed to love her and give her a feeling of being loveable. But, the mother unable to do this left P feeling worthless. Since this is the only 'love' she has ever known, she keeps seeking the first group unable to accept the love of those who really want her. W says "a person learns to trust himself when he has an experience of being loved. When that experience is missed the person can't love as they don't know what it really feels like. Thus the person is doomed to try to get love from someone who is essentially untrustworthy."

I am beginning to understand that one of my defenses against this attempt to get frustrated love is to isolate myself. I externally withdraw from others who I feel can hurt me and internally withdraw from myself. I split my experience up into isolated streams of perceptions, sensations, thoughts fantasies, feelings and the likes. I act as if I need no one. I associate to one of my favorite quotations of Van Gogh writing to his brother: "If I could buy my own paintings I would be self sufficient."

My trouble is that as soon as I feel totally alone, it generates the need to find someone outside (the perfect woman, or perfect father) who will love me. Thus the cycle starts all over again. W says my experience of idealized love is like a shot of heroin. I need the resulting high to counteract the pain of isolation. Thus in fact I suffer from a kind of love addiction. What I often meet up with are figures I idealize who I feel eventually turn on me. My preoccupation with J at Odyssey House is an attempt to blame something outside me when in fact the real conflict is between two internalized parts of me.

I wonder if I am essentially evil or am I ill? What is the relationship between the two? Can I forgive myself? What is there to be forgiven? Am I guilty? Guilty of what? If I am guilty of nothing why do I always feel as if I deserve to be punished? I feel like K in Kafka's book: The Trial. W says the internal persecutors are not just projected onto the external figures - the figure projected on is, in fact, a real persecutor. The problem is I am drawn to such people like a moth to the flame syndrome.

As my analysis deepens I see that there is a logic working in me that is significantly different than the linear logic of conventional science. For example: while I know that certain people and situations are not good for me, I, nevertheless am drawn to them like a heat - seeking missile. My mind knows better, but my emotions seem to have a life of their own. This complicated logic I refer to as experiential logic.

12/23/75  - I continue to learn a lot from my patient, C. Why, she asked, can't a patient get a combination of what they needed but didn't have as a child ... along with being understood? For example, if the person missed out being held why can't the therapist hold the patient and then interpret if necessary? The standard answers wouldn't satisfy her. For example, when I would answer with I would be doing you no favor; or it might give you relief and gratification but it wouldn't add to our understanding they were experienced by her as ice cold rejections of her needs. She has hated me for months.

As I continued listening to her free associate, I finally heard the clue I needed to begin to give her something she had to have which would not compromise the integrity of her therapy. I realize that while many patients are similar in their basic sense of having been rejected, they are different with respect to how they have experienced their individual frustration. Each person reacts to frustrated needs in their own idiosyncratic way.

For months C has been raging at me for failing to comply with her request to be held. {The intensity of her request suggests she is in the grips of a negative transference. That is, she is confusing me with her rejecting mother and hates me for it.} She is repeating with me an early object relationship - probably with her mother. She has insisted on being held and I have consistently frustrated acting out her wish. In stead I have asked her to tell me what it has meant to her not to be held? She asked why wouldn't I hold her like her last therapist? I answered: because she would have to be reduced to a state of neediness in order to get the only love she has ever known and that is contrary to why she says she is in therapy. Hasn't she wanted to feel autonomous and feel in control?

 Today she came to the session very proud of herself: "I was able to stop an impulse." This was a significant break through for a patient who nearly committed suicide one year ago.

12/30/75 - I am becoming increasingly aware of a climate of intense competition, feelings of exclusion, jealousy, envy, exhibitionism, sexuality, aggression in me and in my patients. I see the need to thoroughly understand aspects of frustration tolerance. One of the key themes is how action outside the home becomes conflictualized.

 Movement itself, any movement, inevitably winds up in disappointment further leading to paralysis. The steps in this process are these: a desire (i.e. goal) initiates an action blocked by an obstacle - leading to a felt problem leading to multiple choices canceling themselves out leading to frustration. Any effort sooner or later results in some inevitable obstacle that is not readily overcome. The reaction to this state of affairs is frustration. What is crucial at this point is the frustrated person's reaction (perception) of the frustration. The frustration can either be experienced as an obstacle to be overcome; or it can be experienced as yet one more punch delivered by the sledgehammer of fate.} Outgrowing the paralysis is self- esteem regulation… A specific frustration symbolically evokes an environment of frustration setting off a chain reaction of resentment, bitterness and hopelessness.

 The analytic process is enabling me to experience my feelings. Additionally I am discovering that I have an allergy to frustration resulting in dire consequences all of my conscious life. It is as if walking on my road of life I would a periodically fall into an invisible hole every so often. I would never be aware of when I might fall again only that sooner or later it would happen.

I characterized these 'falls' as losing myself. I was identified with Sysaphus - who after pushing a boulder up a mountain was unable to keep it at the summit and helplessly watched it fall down to the base. This process appeared to have a life of its own being repeated over and over again. Despite my awareness of this pattern, until my analysis, all I could do was watch the steps unfold, passively waiting for my inevitable depression to lift.

12/31/75 -  I am aware of constantly feeling agitated and seeking peace and quiet. W says the key theme - as it has been - is learning to bear frustration. W is mainly silent these days in the sessions. I need something from him. What? These feelings are familiar. He says I needed and didn't get a sufficient amount of skin contact and a certain quality of mother love….

1/4/76 - Approximately 48 sessions

The first time my basic relationship with my mother is described. It was primarily based on seduction and hyper stimulation than on relaxed mother love. Memories of hyper stimulation with her led to much unrelieved frustration.

 Dream: - I find myself walking on a semi dark street. I sense I am being pursued by lions. Suddenly one grabs me and holds on to me. No one will protect me. The lions begin to bite. W asks me to associate to the dream. My associations are {to a supposed love.} I perceive her as Sheena, queen of the jungle. She wants me to warm her up but she often feels and acts cold. W said this is a clear case of transference. My partner = my parents. The 'love I seek is symbolized by the scary lions. The problem is that I seek out the very thing I fear the most. That the frustration I experience with my partner and my parents in the only real love I really ever had. Therefore, for me, frustration = love. This means I need the feelings of frustration to feel alive.

1/12/75  - I am experiencing my need to cling and to get constant approval from the outside.

1/21/75 -  I see that I often use words to mislead rather than to get to the point of the matter. I would like not to have to figure everything out. W says just try to let myself be. "Everything will come clear when it is ready." He urges us to explore and see where we go together…

 1/22/75 -  I am beginning to see how much my unconscious plays such an important role in determining where I am going. I am struck by the idea of discovering the major motivational sources of my conduct - those which impel and those which compel. From the New York Times: The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism: by D.Bell: Our literature loses itself in the labyrinth search for the 'authentic self … the dominant characteristics of this culture are immediacy, impact, sensation, and simultaneity.

1/29/75 -  Something seems seriously wrong with my partner. She is losing hope in her own therapy. She feels possessed and haunted. A crisis is brewing. I think I am experiencing a wish to fuse with W. Thoughts of death are less frightening than inviting. W says I grew up in a non- loving atmosphere. To get what I needed I had to be weak. Love is associated with frustration, extreme neediness, pain and death.

From the New York Post: The Enjoyment of Literature by B. Grebanier: The great author is one who, for private reasons, finds it irresistible to write. Nobody makes him do it. There are far easier and less frustrating ways to earn his bread and butter. His urge is partly play, partly compulsion, partly the mood of a pole - vaulter who must try an apparently impossible leap, partly the mood of a prophet who feels commissioned to say what he has to say. My first therapeutic experiences have been obtaining the requisite knowledge for my survival. Now in psychoanalysis I am exploring ways to enjoy myself. I am moving from {a preoccupation with} the avoidance of pain to the {purposeful} pursuit of pleasure.

I see that my problem has its origins in early infancy namely the deprivation I felt in early mothering and my reaction {conscious and unconscious} to it. The central {organizing} concept so far is my inability to tolerate frustration on the one hand coupled with my need to have too much of it on the other. In addition to the physiological issue of working through self- esteem regulation there is the concept of the symbolic meaning of frustration which is the basic affective experience of a lack of mother love. …

My diagnosis apparently is moral masochism. This means I have a need to be needy. This in turn leads to the need to be right. I am beginning to see I have in fact trusted no one. W says if I had basic trust I could accept a relatively wide latitude of allowable confusion. He feels that with good will any problem can be worked out or at least tolerated.

 I see this is such a simple realization but one that is very profound. I can see how I have held back from personal encounters. {Seeing this} there are new possibilities. I further see that I am, as we all are, essentially alone in our own skins. No one can live in me nor I in them. I see the possibility of facing death with poise and equanimity and with serious good humor. I feel that with W as my guide I am pressing on. I dare him to push and to inconvenience me some more. Is it courage or omnipotence that motivates me? I see a logic of the mind and a logic of the emotions. I also see a logic of experience. I see psychoanalysis as {psychic} chemistry - an alchemy of the soul - : {what is technically referred to as} restructuralization.

 From The New York Times: Op.Ed. By B.Mazlish: No Sentiment Allowed No wonder his followers feel secure. They believe they have a leader whom they trust completely and indeed slavishly, who is absolute in his convictions and in his devotion to an abstraction that allows no question of its total rightness, goodness, and purity, and who offers a form of millennial salvation on earth.

2/11/76 - New, uncharted territory in my self. I feel excitement, hope and optimism on one side of me; resentment, fear, and pessimism on the other. I am anxious when it come to affairs of the heart. I am beginning to see that the best simplification is to describe the truest complexity. {For me} "the longest way is the shortest way home…."

2/20/76 -  Today a patient reintroduced coincidences. In a glance I saw a naturalistic way to explain these striking occurrences without resorting to supernatural and mystical causes. I saw the role of wish, fantasy, idealization, the need to fuse, magical thinking, attempts to over simplify complex experience, the need to feel special, the need to personalize experience, the need to externalize experience, synthesizing unconscious and conscious components. I would like to write a paper on The Psychodynamics of Meaningful Coincidences.

3/06/76 - Approximately 72 sessions

"Science's function is to discover the factors that determine the occurrence of an event."

3/05/76 - Synchronicities occur in a particular psychological context. It is as if the person has opened his entire self to whatever forces there are in the world (subtle and gross) allowing himself to connect and resonate. Implied is a psychological. State of deprivation coupled with a wish to be meaningfully connected with something or someone who is perceived to be responsive.

As a child I felt that my family and my culture were often talking oranges while I was talking apricots and vice versa. I desperately searched for meaningful communication (shared) but the lights in the tunnels led only to other tunnels. I felt increasingly caught up in mazes of my own making. But I also found myself vibrating to intense colors of nature and art. The clouds spoke to me - the pallet spoke to me - both speaking naturally and truthfully. Who was I, where was I from? Was I perhaps from some other planet? And if so then perhaps contact with my true ancestors might in fact be possible.

How to establish meaningful connections became the raison detre of my life and defined my particular life's search. A fascination with attempting to understand the nature of meaningful coincidences took on added interest in my analysis as I began to see a way to view the material from the vantage point of common structures. I also saw a way to do justice to rational and seemingly irrational forces in nature. I had an increasingly respect for the role of extra rational forces in nature and the role they seem to play in my psychic economy. These forces include those of fate, chance, destiny, luck, and synchronicities. It is this opening up of all channels which seems to be the first necessary precondition of the creative process allowing for a suspension of belief of known categories of experience permitting a confrontation of the self with all that is the not self. At the very same time {simultaneously} there is an active penetration of the unknown {unconscious} combined with a passive yielding to the unknown.

3/9/76 - If I accept W's disclaimer that he is really not a great King and that I am not his subject then we are in fact (not just in theory) equals. Thus when I feel is The King, I must of necessity be projecting my authority onto him. I give him the power to judge me. Why do I do that? The roots must go back to childhood. From the New York Times: by A. Cohen Nothing Succeeds Like Success. Right ? Wrong." Can one imagine Plato describing Socrates as a failure after his condemnation and sentence to death? Socrates did not succeed in converting the Athenian aristocracy to his vision of an educated youth and the regency of the philosopher- king. Indeed, Socrates may be accounted a failure…. What is astonishing…is that neither the idea nor the vocabulary of success and failure existed in ancient Greece. …Success we envy (William James called "the exclusive worship of the bitch-goddess SUCCESS" a specifically American "national disease") and failure - particularly the failure of the great and the gifted - we ambivalently pity and enjoy…. Success is only the misunderstandings that flock to celebrate an achievement whose meaning and durability has had no test. Failure, likewise, addresses nothing essential; it too, is often only impatience in the face of a too slowly unraveling critical judgment. The practical man can speak of success and failure. An enterprise of commerce has a measurable outcome; a scientific experiment succeeds or fails. The man of imagination, however, may change everything and produce no results. He always succeeds and he always fails. Much of what I learned to do in the early days of my analysis was to examine the first assumptions of practically everything that came to mind.

W taught me to explore the multiple meanings of seemingly black white definitions of common words. Viewed in the light of my personal experience words began to take on entirely different shadings and colorings. These new meanings enabled me to start to organize my chaos in a way that had a ring of authenticity i.e. doing justice to the complexity of my idiosyncratic experience. I applied this new- found expansion of my conscious to the on going fascination of trying to explain the mystery of meaningful coincidences from a naturalistic perspective. This was an exceedingly positive undertaking for me as I had tended to be more intuitive and intense rather than scientific and grounded. On my evolving theory of synchronicity:

Sensitive people who experience a climate of alienation: in the process of coming alive, break traditional barriers of conventional categories of experience such as right/wrong; good/bad ; winners/losers; success/failure m- creating for themselves a weltanschauung of personal meanings. From the vantage point of natural phenomena I view synchronicities to be the logical result of personal meanings (by products of the synthesis of the unconscious, pre conscious, and conscious) externalized, and reflected back to the sender. The key concept in a naturalistic interpretation of these occult like phenomena is projected narcissism - the tendency to project one's own authority onto some external source.

3/15/76 - W thinks that "I tend to look to external sources to fill myself up rather than to sublimate and find sources of my creative unconscious. Part of my self image deficit is the fact that I have never had the time and the attention to study what it was (is) that I wanted to learn (for me). I was made to feel that success was pleasing others."

3/18/76 - I suspect that the intensity I experience with my partner has its force from the repressed early days of my childhood. I speculate that I must have experienced those days as traumatic. I am now ready to do battle with the early facts of my life. The concept of developmental origins of present symptoms combined with the concept of transference (positive and negative ){ a confusion of the here and now with the there and then} makes perfectly good sense to me and explains a great deal of what previously made no sense at all.

4/16/76 - I am ready to give up my wish to be pulled on by a woman. These have been unconscious wishes. Now that they are conscious I can make a conscious choice about them. I can begin to replace a masochistic 'pleasure' with a greater, self - affirming, ego enhancing pleasure. I begin utilizing the concepts and process of my analysis to begin to make significant psychological changes. By making unconscious motivations conscious (verbalizing) which here to fore have been propelling me into disastrous relationships, I am now in a position to make better choices. This same process will be repeated over and over again on larger, wider, and deeper scales until I am finally able to experience myself as having an integrated cohesive self.

4/20/76 - A few of my patients have noticed that I have been changing. They are right. I have been working on some of my own problems which places me in a better position to help them with their own. Am I more analytic than before? Yes. Only now I see the necessity for a double focus. (l) What is the reality of a given perception? (a) Ego versus reality Is the ego capable of negotiating with the real objective world? If not, the ego functions need strengthening. This allows the whole self to be better prepared to deal with reality ( the here and now). (b) and, or … If the ego is OK (i.e. the psychological tools are sufficient - the apparatus works) then (it should be asked ) is the ego conflictualized? If so, emphasis is then placed on unearthing the unconscious psychological conflicts between id, ego , and super ego. (c) It is possible to shift back and forth between these two different (but complementary) interventions.

 4/24/76 - Since my adolescence I have been experiencing my life as one long conditioned reflex. W calls this suffering from hyper reactivity.

4/26/76 - It is increasingly clearer to me that I have rejected my own authority and have projected it onto others. Then I either defy or comply like a teenager. Taking the other route (owning my authority) means that I have to accept responsibility for myself and for my actions. Somehow to do this now is too overwhelming. It is clearer to me that my so- called autonomous ego became involved in conflicts at an early age. What we are working on in analysis is, among other things, strengthening my ego. This means being able to clearly know what is going on inside of me from that which is going on outside of me. It means being aware of the difference between thoughts, feelings, and fantasies on the inside of me, differentiating them from actions that go on outside. It means differentiating what goes on in the here and now from that which went on in the there and then. (This is called working out the transference).

This might be outlined as follows: The Principle of Multiple Function (Overdetermination) Complexity Unconscious Conscious Repetition Compulsion Freedom to Choose Ego Intrapsychic Ego Psychic Weakness Conflict Strength Compromise I was learning the language of psychoanalysis and was more fluid in being able to use the concepts in a constructive way.

For example learning to tolerate frustration directly led to 'fixing' the short circuits in my autonomous ego. This expressed in an increasing capacity to think and synthesize concepts more clearly. These beneficial results are evidence that the process of my psychoanalysis was working.

5/13/76 -  An important dream:

 I am in a car, driving. MW is in the back seat. She gives me directions. I don't agree and I make up my own mind…We go to a house and see mediums there. My brother is also there. He is scared. He says he is afraid of spirits and the dead. I tell him not to worry as they are only projections of his own feelings. He leaves. I stay. A woman from my past orders me to move a desk. I request that she repeat her command. She does showing me a sadistic smile. I look squarely at her and tell her I'm leaving. I walk out on her and the dead spirits rejecting all of them.

W says once I am able to tolerate and expect joy that comes from self -discovery I will be able to extend this to the outside. Apparently I have had a fear of self discovery as if it was forbidden. I developed a keen sense of protecting myself from the fear of discovery by allowing others to go first and by deferring to them. The price I paid for feeling secure was to tune out my own feelings of discovery.

This dream was important because I was able to cathect - truly experience - the undeniable reality of here to fore automatic self -defeating patterns. Once seeing what I really did as opposed to what I either thought I did or would have liked to have done allowed me to make choices in my best interest. This is the operational definition of breaking out of the bonds that tie me down into the fresh air of freedom to choose between alternatives. This experience was ego enhancing by providing me with a shot of hope and faith that this method - the talking cure - was indeed paying off for me.

 Even as I talked about the repression of self- discovery I was beginning to recover the joys of self- discovery. Any one of these several discoveries would have been enough to induce positive feelings. But my experience was that the discoveries were coming thick and fast. Obviously, then, my analysis was accelerating the normal creative process. Clearly, I was making up for lost, dead time.

5/12/76 -  I had a fantasy that W is a member of a secret society of the great white brotherhood. I could really let myself go wild with this one. But instead I see that it is the byproduct of a long held wish that such a society of enlightened authorities should exist and that I could make a meaningful connection with one of the members. I longed to be part of a group of individuals with special powers.

No wonder spiritualism and the occult were so attractive to me. I see that the esoteric occult has multi levels of meaning for me. Reviewing this from the perspective of twenty- three years ago I can state unequivocally that W was in fact a member of the great white brotherhood. Only the society is not secret and it is not exclusively white. W was like a great brother who was wise and kind, loving and decent. He invited me into his fraternity and I felt instantly at home. He in fact was a man who had special powers and helped me access and be free to use my own. If a man wants to learn how to fish is it better to fish and give him the catch or teach him how to fish for himself? For me, the answer is a no brainer. The public society of the great white brother hood of analysands is the experience of an effective psychoanalysis in which the membership share a common language, experiential logic, and endorsement of the ethic: be yourself.

5/17/76  - I am not as susceptible to the oscillations of my partner's moods.

5/20/76 - I realize that I fritter my energies in dilettantism. I feel trapped in myself. I want to push out or is it that I want to be pushed? I feel as if I am a pretender to the throne. Isn't this the result of an unresolved oedipus conflict? I am a pretender to a throne I don't feel I deserve. I am the boy/Master who wins the throne by force of surface charm not by depth and mastery of form.

One of the major benefits of the structure of an analytic session is that the patient gets to always take the lead. Thus if the patient adheres faithfully to the one requirement of the process that he say what ever comes to mind and try his best not to hold back or censor anything then what is said must truly reveal that material which currently preoccupies the patient's mind. In this light the sweep of the whole analysis so far reveals that among others, the theme and variation of overlapping triangles is clearly present. Further, it is equally clear that the first of these triangular situations began with me, a baby, as the first leg of the first triangle and my real father and real mother as the other two. My analyst did not plant the idea of the oedipus complex which I was supposed to comply but held up a mirror to reflect back its undeniable haunting presence in my life.

5/2576 - An idea: in addition to the oedipal roots of addiction, explore the pre oedipal roots as well. Thus for Freud the oedipal roots may be viewed in the light of an unresolved oedipus complex. Whereas for Winnicott, the preoedipal roots of addiction may be viewed in the light of the addiction viewed as a transitional object to shore up a missing self structure.

6/03/76 - Approximately 120 sessions-

 My patient C came back from a trip to Florida demonstrating increasing ability to effectively cope with frustration. She has really turned the corner.

6/07/76 - Reading Milner: On the Role of Illusion in Symbol Formation Although it is obvious that a child must suffer frustration, there is something about the way in which it should occur and the timing of it. If under pressure the child has to become aware of his separate identity too soon or too continually, then either the illusion of union can become catastrophic chaos rather than cosmic bliss, or the illusion is given up and premature ego - development may occur, then separateness and the demands of necessity may be apparently accepted. But necessity becomes a cage rather than something to be co-operated with for the freeing of further powers. … {one} has to experience the stage of fusion before he can reach the relief of de - fusion….

The various quotations such as the one above are important for a number of reasons. Obviously they clarify the issues I am currently struggling to understand. However they also indicate that I am finally able to begin to accrue self knowledge expressed in the feeling of moving out of the circle I have felt trapped in all my conscious life. Previous to my psychoanalysis I have always been responsive to ideas that resonate but was never able to utilize them in a way where it felt I was moving upwards and onwards. Now there was the sense of breaking out of the closed circle of my consciousness.

6/15/76 - From Greenacre's article on Ego Psychology: In the last 25 years three general trends of investigation in psychoanalysis: (l) formulation of theory, (2) observations of childhood development and mother - child relationships; and (3) clinical research reports of special problems in well studies cases. So called borderline - not on the edge of psychosis, but are competent with histories of in early infancy (pre -oedipal) which contributed to faults in the ego and super --ego development (ego weakness, conflictualized autonomous ego functions - lack of identity (self - object) narcissism) making for certain lacunae and distortions there and for irregularities in sexual functioning. Many closer to structures of the perversions than to psychosis. … All show massive behavioral defenses … social shell. Need has to be paid to the (defensive) use of any difficulties in free association… Free association may be obstructed or enjoyed rather than used. Tolerance for frustration is low - may be associated with marked volatility of mood which may quickly deteriorate into dramatic impulsiveness, and helplessness.

High success in real life often goaded by an exaggerated fantasy driven ambition which is unsatisfied. Part of a life long tendency to grandiose fantasizing, as a defense against early fears of destruction. An invasion of the sense of reality. Unusual perceptive alertness to the environment and often registers with details and gestalt formations with unusual vividness and accuracy - more visual than object related. But in these patients the graphic picture is subject to rapid distortion in the interest of defense, in meeting the exaggerated and temporary needs to bolster the self esteem, to amuse, and entertain, or to impress others with the uniqueness of any distress.

In answer to the question as to whether psychoanalysis is a science or an art there is no doubt in my mind that the truth is that it is both. The science is noted in such articles as the one above in which the author is adequately attempting to objectify the subjective of a particular group of patients suffering from a similar group of symptoms. Note the difference between the quality of this type of character reading as compared to the most sophisticated of esoteric occult tarot or astrology readings.

6/10/76 - I don't organize and follow through. Although I write all the time - spinning out ideas like so much piss - what I don't do is to subject the material to a focused framework. I let the endless flow speak for itself. This is not art - it is verbiage: spilling.

6/20/76 - I spill with my partner too. I see I provoke her into getting angry with me. Then I feel guilty (masochism). {Since behavior is purposeful} I wonder what pleasure I derive from inducing this predictable pain? I read somewhere that the delinquent acts out a fantasy of being bad so he can preserve the illusion and hope that his mother would save him if only he could be good. Thus delinquency is a defense against depression.

A patient of mine describes a Peanut's cartoon that applies both to him and to me as well: Lucy: If you loved me you'd give me presents. Schroeder: If you loved me you wouldn't expect presents. Lucy: Either way I don't get presents.

6/21/76 -  W says "the issue between my partner and myself is my vulnerability. I suffer from moral masochism. Two factors make up this syndrome: (l) a primarily non-loving mother who needs the child to be needy and the child picks it up as such. He has to be ego weak in order to be loved. (2) A secondary factor = the need of the child to prove that the mother loves him - sets up rejection and humiliation and gets pain instead of love to prove he is loved which leads to the need to be right. The way out is replacement which is to learn how to be able to love oneself properly. One has to learn how to be one's own good mother."

My partner and I have a hostile dependency. This is like my own term: negative reverberation oscillation. With my partner I need to learn how to read the signals before I get over loaded and blow a fuse. Moral masochism then is a particular response to not being loved properly. The pleasure in it consists of getting at least pain in the place of something much worse, the experience of nothing. Underneath it all I feel the reverse, reactive sadism, the wish to turn the tables in an orgy of revenge.

In approximately the 120th session of my psychoanalysis I am able to cathect the essential core problem that has dogged me all my life. I both hear and can meaningfully connect with the diagnosis of moral masochism. W said that in an accurate operational definition of a psychological problem lies an embedded solution. Thus, in my case - if the root cause of my symptoms has been a problem in deficient loving from the outside then the solution is finding a way to love myself from the inside. To do so I have to understand who I really am and what I really want. That is the content task. Along side raising, exploring and providing answers to these fundamental questions, I also have to construct a solid self and strong ego which contains, processes, mediates, and directs the cross currents of various dynamic forces (id, ego, super ego) which together constitute the major components of my self. This is the structural task. Thus I return to my first love - philosophy with a renewed sense of commitment.

My psychoanalysis is turning out to be a class in which I am majoring in the application of classical philosophical concerns to the understanding in breadth and depth of my self. I experience each session as if W and I are walking into the unknown woods together sharing straight - real talk. I think of Socrates and Plato walking together and Socrates saying to Plato "come let us reason together." I feel I am doing the same with W. Only I hear W saying to me: "Come let us experience together."

We are both vitally attuned to explicitly or implicitly focusing on addressing the question of what is the nature of reality - that is what is really real - both externally and internally? What is the relationship between internal reality and external reality. (Ontological pursuits) How do I know - how does W know - what is really real? By what process do I select from the flow of raw data those facts that are important to me, and once selected by what process do I make meaningful connections by subjecting the chosen content through the filters (structures) of my idiosyncratic self? (These are epistemological concerns) And once clear that I have accrued meaningful connections that I can own and affirm, of what value are they? To what uses are they put? (These are questions of ethics)

 In experiencing the therapy as an open but bounded field and unexplored woods I felt as if the walking dead - me - was taking in the real words of each session and the ones that were associated to them between sessions - like drops of medicine delivered in an IV - having the accumulated effect of making me feel increasingly more alive, hopeful, and more healthy. I intuitively knew that I was only at the beginning of my climb to the summit but I had made an undeniably significant start. Despite the sacrifice of time and money and the inevitable set backs do to resistance to change (repetition compulsion) I was certain I was committed to the very end. W offered no guarantees of absolute success as no one can predict for certain what the future will bring. But he did say" if you want to know the future - predict the past."

Since what I was doing was resulting in undeniable benefits to me in multiple areas of my experience _ a sounder mind in a sounder body - then I figured I was on the right road and to continue at all costs. Years of suffering had demonstrated convincingly there had never been any thing better in my life than the present experience with W so I'd best continue putting one foot after the other and keep stretching.

6/24/76 - W said that moral masochism has it roots in year one. {Imagine that far back in one's personal history}I grew up with a split self image. Genius superior intellectually fearless Jerk inferior physically scared to death

7/9/76 - I like Greenson's description of : Intuition - the observing ego Empathy - the experiencing ego From the very beginning of my analysis, W said we were going to try to convert my knee jerk propensity to impulsive over reacting to a reflective acting from within. To effect this transformation I would have to grow a self- structure. The key to growing this self- structure was to learn how to bear increasing dosages of frustration and other negative and positive affects. In so doing I would be moving from an over reliance on either linear logic (the logic of conventional science) or an equal over reliance on intuition to a synthetic logic composed of a combination of multiple streams of information including those of bodily sensations, intuitions, feelings and ideas. This synthetic logic might also be referred to as psychodynamic logic, or synthetic logic, or experiential logic. Yeats neatly compresses this idea into the poetic imagery of wedding "passion and precision."

Towards the end of the first year I knew I had discovered a method - a process - whereby I might potentially put it all together and one day achieve that which I had so long desired but had all but given up the hope that I might experience true peace of mind.

7/14/76 - I am beginning to respect myself and see I have come a long way using courage to master myself.

 7/15/76 - C had her last session today. She beamingly reported that upon viewing the results of a full physical examination the Doctor - {the chief administrator of a hospital} was flabbergasted to see that C's here to fore major case of colitis had completely disappeared. Additionally her height had returned to normal - limits and a suspicious growth was reacted to with a minimal and appropriate level of concern.She attributes her health to a successful analysis.
 I feel more open to my feelings. I am better able to delay (bear frustration). This new capacity has led to an increased ability to plan (consider alternative) before running off half cocked. I still experience an underlying all- pervasive tension that oscillates between tension and anxiety.

8/12/76 - Summer Vacation-

 In real life continuing emotional storms triggered by overt barrages of criticism directed towards me.

8/18/76 - Concrete evidence that my increasing capacity to tolerate frustration has led to dramatic changes in myself. I was able to cut my annual 18 hole golf score (I typically played about 10 rounds of golf each summer) from approximately 160 (no cheating) to 130. This reduction in the score is clearly causally related to a greater ability to delay, concentrate, and focus on watching the ball.

8/26/76 - Whatever fanciful notions I might have harbored that I am completely cured were shattered today. My partner suddenly yelled out shit in traffic and I sank into an uncontrollable dark and deep depression. It was as if my insides were smoldering due to the pressure of an emotional irruption. Eventually the intensity of these negative feelings passed but the depth and breadth of the experience was frightfully gripping.

8/31/76 - My dreams are filled with war and violence.

9/1/76 - Approximately 110 sessions

During the last few days many fantasies of death, dying, and finality abound. Having completed my first year of psychoanalysis, much was accomplished - much more was left to be tackled. The greater part of my climb was yet to come but now I had certain knowledge that I had a safe harbor to dock my troubled ship three times a week - certain that I was in good hands - and hopeful that I might truly reach the summit one day and remaining on the top enjoying the view.

copyright ©2007 Gibb A. Williams, PhD