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Shoshani, M. (2010). Upon Earning the Right to Be and Ever Become. Psychoanal. Inq., 30(2):174-202.

(2010). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 30(2):174-202

Upon Earning the Right to Be and Ever Become

Michael Shoshani, Psy.D.


The decision to write this article was not an easy one, putting aside the issues of exhibitionism and voyeurism, which, in themselves, are not easy to come to terms with. I found myself struggling with the dilemma of how to share with the reader significant and meaningful events and feelings of my life and yet assure my private spaces.

However, I believe that sharing the difficulties and hardship of my life articulates the deepest and most significant meaning of the two-person psychology paradigm. A verse of a beautiful and inspiring poem by the acclaimed Israeli poet Leah Goldberg captures this manifold spirit:

If you give me my share in your innermost darkness

Maybe my shadows will fade somewhat.

If you unload your burden unto my shoulders

Maybe my weight will ease somewhat.

If you bring your cold solitude into my frozen loneliness

Maybe I will be warmer somewhat.

[Goldberg, 1973, p. 86]

On one of the countless occasions when my mother was summoned to my school for a talk with my teacher, he told her, “Mrs. Shoshani, your son is not an ordinary child and he probably will not be an ordinary adult. He'll grow up to either be a Kennedy or a Capone, and I'm not sure which.” This teacher, Eli Harris, was my English and homeroom teacher in high school, and, for me, a lifeboat. But before I share with the reader something about the many lifeboats in my life, I should begin by describing the sea and the storm.


My mother was born in Romania to a family of wood merchants and carpenters. She finished high school but did not pursue further studies. My father was born when his parents left Romania and moved temporarily to Germany. He came from what one would call a wellborn family of doctors and professors, some in academia and some in politics. My father was an accountant and an autodidact. His father, my grandfather, was a member of the executive committee of the World Zionist Organization in Romania, and represented his country at the Zionist Congress in Basel.

[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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