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Harris, A. (2017). Hidden in Plain Sight. Psychoanal. Dial., 27(3):377-378.

(2017). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 27(3):377-378

Hidden in Plain Sight

Adrienne Harris, Ph.D.

Teresa arrives for her session feeling she says, calm, resolved. There is always Plan B, leave the country, go to Europe. A new technology entrepreneur with a creative interest in

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education and progressive practices of teaching, Teresa is a new kind of millennial creature, migratory by choice and (apparently) able to reinvent, reframe and be highly productive in fast, easy steps. She is always managing multiple lines of action and production. There is always Plan B.

On this day after the election she suddenly in midsession finds herself telling me something she had never said. Though it was not information she had never had access to. It was not repressed. It had not until this moment warranted speech. She tells me her maternal grandfather had been murdered by a drug cartel in South America. Further traumas fell on the surviving family.

Teresa did not have much reaction to this on that first day. I was stunned. We talked about the event (probably in the early 1960s) and its impact—long term and immediate—on her maternal line. She could see my unsettled face. She was not sure what it all meant.

It took two more sessions to unpack. Or perhaps, one must say, to begin to unpack. The second session led Teresa and me to think about how this terrible murder had flowed down the family, a first radioactive identification, political and personal. We find our way to thinking about Plan B. “It is my whole life, she says. Something happens, I start on some path.

[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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