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E., K.D. (2004). “Last Night I Dreamed I Went to Manderly Again” Vicissitudes of Maternal Identifications in Late Female Adolescence. Psychoanal. Inq., 24(5):657-679.

(2004). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 24(5):657-679

“Last Night I Dreamed I Went to Manderly Again” Vicissitudes of Maternal Identifications in Late Female Adolescence

Kirsten Dahl E., Ph.D.

To move forward into sexual maturity with a sense of bodily agency, the girl must internalize identifications with the mother as a sexual adult in her own right. These new identifications arouse intense internal conflict brought on by internalization with its unconscious association with destructive oral aggression and the archaic fear of retaliatory maternal rage. The unconscious dilemma is how to metabolize the sexual mother and also keep her alive as an internal resource. I present material from analytic sessions and literature to illustrate a characteristic defensive fantasy of late adolescence and the underlying conflicts that the fantasy conceals and attempts to ward off. This fantasy links aggression, internalization, and associated unconscious phantasies of oral sadism. Internalization may be derailed if the daughter's conflicts around aggression are felt to be intolerable. When all goes reasonably well, the late-adolescent girl tolerates the intense aggression associated with internalization and metabolizes representations of the sexual mother as a resonating internal presence that supports and enhances progressive development.

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