Fight Against Fears: An Intimate Account of a Woman's Psychoanalysis(S2557)

by Lucy Freeman | Health, Mind & Body | This book has not been rated.
ISBN: 0803893582 Global Overview for this book
Registered by SAMMY-SAMSEL of St. Louis, Missouri USA on 3/29/2006
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Journal Entry 1 by SAMMY-SAMSEL from St. Louis, Missouri USA on Wednesday, March 29, 2006
Pre-numbered label used for registration.

discarded by library
published, 1952
copyright, 1951

I first read Lucy's story as I flew four miles above the Atlantic on my way to Dublin to attend a meeting of the World Federation for Mental Health. It was a fortunate circumstance that I could reflect on her effort with a detachment impossible had I been closer to the scene and the cast of her drama.

It goes without saying that “the evil that men do” lives long after its first occurrence. The psychiatrist can guess at the meaning of such experiences and the ways in which they survive. But only the individual concerned can tell for certain what really happened. In the course of living and growing, one’s life story becomes very confused. Sequences are reversed, relationships are distorted, memories fade and, as a result, one’s past normally becomes a jumble that defies easy reconstruction. The analyst must know the resources of the human species for avoiding the discomfort of unpleasant thoughts and the concealments, disguises and obliterations that are used to that end.

Most people live what more or less might be called refracted lives. This is true in the sense that they can see some of their experiences quite clearly, whereas others have been twisted out of line so that either they are not seen at all or they take on a very blurred appearance. We are born with marvelous capacities for sensing the world about us. This means not only good eyes, ears and other sensory organs, but the physiological mechanisms for processing these sensations into clear memory and good rational sequences…

George S. Stevenson, M.D.
Medical Director, The National Association for Mental Health, Inc.
New York, N.Y.
April 9, 1951

Pain forced the decision.
Standard routine reeled off by doctor after doctor had not eased agony.
“Get plenty of sleep and eat regular meals.”
Trouble is, I can’t sleep.
“Here are some pills, then.”
How can I eat when everything upsets my stomach?
“Take these pills.”
What about the splitting headaches?
“More pills.”
Or: “It’s the war, this dreadful war. Get away from your work for a few weeks. Relax.”
One day war ended, World War II, that is. Another illness struck and again doctors could not help.
Then came a point in pain where I either had to accept suffering and give up all else or try to find a different way to stop torment.
Psychoanalysis was my way.

The following description applies just to my own analysis. I can write only of what I know.

This is not a photograph of my life. It is but parts of my life as they unreeled before me. Not all that I felt or thought lies in this book. Many things I cannot write and never intend to write, but the reader who knows his own heart will know them. I have chosen certain ideas, abandoned others, sometimes deliberately, sometimes unconsciously.

Some know what they feel. I did not dare know. Analysis for me was continuous discovery, sometimes shocking discovery. I felt like the intended victim in a murder, with the analyst as hero-detective trying to rescue me from a life of inner terror.

It is dangerous, in a way, to quote the analyst so extensively. The inaccuracy of one word could change the meaning of his thought. It is difficult, too, without appearing dramatic or didactic, to compress five years of analysis into numbered pages.

But this is risk I must take. I have relied on training as reporter and the copious notes I scribbled after each session, part of my fight against fear. If at times the analyst seems abrupt, challenging or like a lecturer, it is because I have quoted in one place what he may have said different times in different ways.

No book can catch the sound of a voice. It was not what he said so much as how he said it. His voice was always even, compassionate, rich with wisdom – truly an invitation to trust.
~Lucy Freeman

Released 14 yrs ago (6/7/2009 UTC) at -- Mail or by hand-rings, RABCK, meetings, swap etc, Missouri USA



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