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Suchet, M. (2004). Laying Ghosts to Rest: Reply to Commentaries (SGS 5/3). Studies in Gender and Sexuality, 5(1):485-488.

(2004). Studies in Gender and Sexuality, 5(1):485-488

Laying Ghosts to Rest: Reply to Commentaries (SGS 5/3)

Melanie Suchet, Ph.D.

I am reminded, while reading these three thoughtful and interesting discussions, of why I chose and continue to be drawn to this elusive field of unanswerable questions. It is the haunting of the inexplicable and the impossible that compels us to continue to search for meaning. There is no final word, no definitive explanation, no bedrock interpretation that fully accounts for the unfolding complexity of a truly intersubjective experience. The comments of all three discussants confirm that learning in a dialogic, interactive manner is a valuable psychoanalytic tradition. It is only through the constant prodding into the clinical material and one's subjectivity that alternative narratives can be conceived.

Harris's and Raphael-Leff's commentaries emphasize the importance of pregnancy and childbirth in the treatment. In line with the theme of haunting, Harris helps contextualize the history of women's bodies, pregnancies, and reproductive rights. Even for those of us who grew up with the rights accorded under Roe v. Wade, the ghosts of illegal abortions and their attendant traumas continue to “stain” our unconscious fantasies.

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