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Instead, they recognize that children in such contexts as parental favoritism, serious illness, unavoidable separations, physical injuries, or parental loss will construct unconscious fantasies appropriate to their total situation, and these fantasies may then play powerful roles in each individual’s psychic history. ” They must work with life history not decisively but in a provisional manner. For analytic purposes, what matters is the analysand’s hardened attitude and fixed and embittered modes of constructing experience.

In this context, he dreamed that he was endangered by an imminent avalanche. ” Ted also had many ways of maintaining his strong barriers against depending on others. Not only was dependency a humiliating contradiction of the omnipotence implied in his ascetic self-sufficiency, it overexposed him to emotional stimulation. He showed this defense in the transference by the way he handled my bills. He always paid them the day after he received them. He handed me his check without looking at me. When he could, he just dropped his check on my desk as he passed it on the way to the couch.

The second moralistic aspect of hardened disappointment is its expression in attacks on oneself, resulting in abject feelings of undeservingness and harsh criticism for being too demanding, too greedy, too dependent, too vain, too unappreciative. One becomes disappointed in oneself in response both to having been failed by others and to having projectively reduced them to bad objects on the strength of one’s own fear and hatred. We see this in the analysand who is sure that he has come to his appointment at the wrong time, when in fact it is the analyst who is keeping him waiting; false protectiveness is likely to be part of this reaction.

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