Thursday, June 07, 2012

GW Psychiatric Treatment -- Ideas of Reference (or Something Else?)

March 15, 1993
3801 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington, DC  20008

Suzanne M. Pitts, MD
Dept. of Psychiatry
GW Univ. Medical Center
2150 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC  20037

Dear Dr. Pitts:

Enclosed is a tape of a telephone conversation that I placed to my sister on Sunday evening, March 14, 1993, together with some observations.

The call is not particularly interesting, except for the following: my sister's three references in three different contexts to the word "stuck" (referring to the situation of "getting stuck") and the seemingly-related references to blood and prothrombin referring symbolically to, respectively, "getting stuck" in an artery and the blood protein that contributes to blood "stickiness").  The biological references contribute to my inference that the symbolically-equivalent references to getting stuck in the snow have some special significance.  How would you distinguish my inference from an idea of reference?

1.  "So, we got stuck; cause Ed didn't shovel first, he backed into the snow."

2.  (Note how sister yawns when I mention "North Carolina.")

3.  "I was watching the [snow-blockage coverage on] TV; it was fascinating."  (Compare sister's comments during telephone conversation on Tuesday November 24, 1992 about watching a coronary artery bypass procedure on TV.  Compare sister's comments later in this conversation about watching the physicians' cable-TV discussion about cardiology issues.  See paragraph 7).

4.  "'Cause we're definitely gonna be stuck in the house on Saturday."

5.  "I guess down there too, I mean here the interstate highways in Pennsylvania were all closed,"  (Compare arterial blockage).

6.  "Mer said her friend's parents were stuck in Venezuela."  (Also, it would probably be reading too much in this to note the fact that "Venezuela" means "little Venice:"  Venice, where Wagner died of a heart attack while on vacation.  But note sister's comments about Jersey shore vacation communities.)

7.  "I like to watch this physicians, for physicians only [See  paragraph 3]. . . . 8:00 o'clock was cardiology, that's what I like to watch" (compare discussion of the TV snow coverage--in both cases, the issue of "arterial blockages.")

8.  Refers to prothrombin, a blood-clotting protein: the issue of blood stickiness, or "getting stuck."

9.  "Yea, what makes a blood clot in the body, anyway?"  (The issue of "getting stuck.")

10.  Discussion of fireplace: problem of closed flue possibly related to issue of blockages.


Gary Freedman

[sessions on 3/9/93 and 3/12/93: discussed day at Craig's on 12/25/88: Craig's eating pomegranate, dream about sowing and cutting grass, and relation to father's operation and "Dream about Greensboro."

Also mentioned Albert Speer autobiography, p. 463.  Berlin concert hall, April 12, 1945 [day FDR died]=Temple University Hospital operating theater day father died?  Note the symbolic encapsulation of ambivalence: in U.S., day of mourning, but in Germany, a day of triumph.  Cf. "Dream about Craig at Wanamaker's:"  "At last I'm rid of him" (a sigh of despair, but a projection of triumph--so typical of the reaction to loss of an ambivalently-cathected object).

Also note that Albert Speer is a Janusian symbol: both architect (designer of cities) and Nazi Minister of Munitions and Armaments (destroyer of cities)].

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