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Glauber, I.P. (1953). Part II. in Honor of Melanie Klein: An Obsessional Man's Need To Be 'Kept'. Beryl Sandford. Pp. 144-152.. Psychoanal Q., 22:601-601.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Part II. in Honor of Melanie Klein: An Obsessional Man's Need To Be 'Kept'. Beryl Sandford. Pp. 144-152.

(1953). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 22:601-601

Part II. in Honor of Melanie Klein: An Obsessional Man's Need To Be 'Kept'. Beryl Sandford. Pp. 144-152.

I. Peter Glauber

A man of forty-one with long-standing agoraphobic, obsessional, and paranoid symptoms, was supported by his wife; he was able to work but not for money. A pattern of surrounding himself with people who would frustrate or persecute him was repeated with the analyst with whom he wished to disagree so as to win arguments. This behavior resulted from his terror of his unconscious fantasies of oral and anal sadistic attacks on his parents, which led him to reassure himself that they were able to control him and prevent his destroying them, and also that if he provoked them to fight he could win the fight. As he unconsciously equated talking with defecating he was in constant terror that he would completely destroy the analyst with his outbursts or that his analyst would thus destroy him; for the same reason he feared the results of masturbation and sexual intercourse. His fantasies of attacking his mother orally and anally caused unconscious fear of her retaliating in the same way. Both his oral and anal sadism found good sublimation in public speaking.

He was efficient in collecting money for charity, but wanted the State to pay him, his mother, and the analyst. He thus was safe from castration by the bad, dangerous father and, by identification with his mother, he was loved and protected by the father. He never really felt that his penis was his own to display; it was the father's penis stolen from mother's inside, and he felt that in stealing it he had deprived both parents.

In childhood, determined to 'bash' his way to victory in an athletic contest, he managed to equal a competitor in jumping, but collapsed on landing and lay unable to move. The author interprets the high jump as the erect penis, followed immediately by symbolic castration; it is also interpreted as a symbolic suicide. The incident therefore represents his intention to 'bash' his way into the mother and omnipotently possess and control from within the breast and the father's penis. He could not enjoy his victory because both parents would become victims of his oral greed. In the opinion of the author, earning meant to the patient forcing his way inside the object to rob it with violence; spending money or getting a present meant being himself penetrated and robbed with violence. Hence he could neither earn nor spend.

After the patient related this athletic incident, a lifelong secret, to the analyst and showed him his prizes, a cricket bat and ball, symbolic of the paternal and maternal objects of his oral aggression, he became able to earn a little money. He began to adjust by an interesting sublimation: he became an insurance agent persuading people to take out policies against burglary.

To the abstracter it seems that this patient's inordinate oral aggression was the basic problem of his life, establishing a vicious circle. It interfered with sublimation of his primary identification and 'oralized' his conflicts with Oedipal rivals so that he had to meet them only intra-abdominally. Instead of identifying with them, he could protect himself and them only by separating from them by symbolic defecation, and also by obsessional and paranoid mechanisms.

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Article Citation

Glauber, I.P. (1953). Part II. in Honor of Melanie Klein. Psychoanal. Q., 22:601-601

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