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Pizer, B. (2017). Jason’s Dream. Psychoanal. Dial., 27(2):113-115.

(2017). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 27(2):113-115


Jason’s Dream

Barbara Pizer, Ed.D., ABPP

It is morning, November 9, 2016. I am awake and not wanting to open my eyes. But I can hear it still, coming at me like a parade of boots marching on pebbles, Trump, Trump, Trump, Trump. I want to cry, I want to scream, I want to hide my face. And I’m afraid. How can I see patients in this state?

Yet one by one (except for one) my patients comfort me this day as I hold with them their shock and then their pain. And as I surrender to the tumble of their rapidly emerging self-states—from disbelief to outrage—I grow oddly steady. No wonder I am taken aback when my last patient, Jason, arrives. Heading straight for the couch, he tells me in no uncertain terms, “I don’t want to talk about Trump!”

I am stunned.

More about Jason in a minute. First I want to make clear that now, one week after the election, I am convinced that Trump’s victory, like any other catastrophic trauma occurring in the outside world, can become like an arrow that pierces straight through each recipient’s consciousness and particular vulnerability, continuing on its journey—moving below language, beyond mood— into the very depth of being. It is a disorienting, hollowed-out experience, simultaneously familiar and unfamiliar. Both universal and utterly personal. And terrifying.

Believe it or not, Jason is a prime example of my thesis. A well-known inventor and CEO of a large company, Jason is entirely self-taught. Affable, friendly, sensitive, and caring, secretly a “neat freak” and habitual worrier, he is a genius but you’d never know it.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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