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Hafner, D.Z. (2018). Building Castles Made of Pleasure. Psychoanal. Rev., 105(3):279-302.

(2018). Psychoanalytic Review, 105(3):279-302

Building Castles Made of Pleasure

David Zachary Hafner, M.A.

To outlive the suicide of one's beloved, an ineffable trauma, entails a complicated grieving process. This paper illustrates the importance of understanding body and self as malleable, invested objects. The treatment of traumatized patients involves redrawing body frontiers, and subsequent reassurance that the body, once delineated and inhabited, won't betray its host. The concepts of objet a and transitional objects help distinguish anxieties related to external loss from anxieties related to the incorporation or reabsorption of an object whose cruel proximity threatens the internal integrity of body experience. The movement toward mourning can be complicated by melancholic incorporation of the deceased, especially in cases of suicide; the volitional nature of such acts retroactively disrupts life narratives, forcing one to create new answers to questions of who and what one was for the other who chose death and to give new connotations to one's prior encounters with death.

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