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Bodnar, S. (2005). Letters to the Editors. Psychoanal. Perspect., 2(2):1-2.

(2005). Psychoanalytic Perspectives, 2(2):1-2

Commentary

Letters to the Editors Related Papers

Susan Bodnar, Ph.D.

Dear Editors,

I wanted to respond to the last issue of Psychoanalytic Perspectives with a clinical anecdote that highlights my regard for this quality discussion [Roundtable Discussion, “Is Politics the Last Taboo in Psychoanalysis?,” Vol. 2, No. 1] and exemplifies why politics must no longer be taboo to psychoanalysis. The sixty-year-old woman with whom I have worked for just over a year, Elaine, burst into tears in her session the day after the 2004 presidential election. “So what's it about?” I asked. Her answer? This is my best transcription of her words:

You want to know about these tears? Look at these scars on my arms. They will be with me forever, and yet the painful realities that etched such crazy behavior into my arms over forty years ago has been forgotten. My father might have survived the Holocaust, but he came out crazy. He was no hero. My brother was diagnosed with a mental illness and died in an institution, and he was no hero. My mother died of cancer and she was no hero. My only heroes were the values of liberalism, and the building of a better world. I went to Haight-Ashbury in pursuit of this hero, and I believed it so much that I lived it. To this day I have been living with complete confidence and faith in that hero, and now here I am—old, childless, broken, and beaten. This election was my hero's last hope. Liberalism is the only thing that defined my choices positively and with dignity. My hero gave me meaning and hope.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

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