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Frau on forgiveness


Dear Frau Freudenschwester,

This is not an easy letter for me to write. I know as an analyst, that I have to, at least, have more psychic maturity than my patients. I have one patient who continues to talk about forgiveness and how he longs to be able to forgive his father for sending him to boarding school without any underwear on. However, while he is free-associating and bent double with guilt, I have these rampant fantasies of revenge against him for not paying his bill. How can I expect to lead him to forgiveness while I am incapable of it?


Red faced and in the red.


Dear Borsht* face,

Forgiveness is not psychoanalytic. I am going to say this only once more:

Vergebung Es iz nit dayn gesheft!! Forgiveness is none of the analyst’s business! It is merely a puffed up manic defence that, if not caught early, can lead to chronic gastric bloat. (This is always a diagnostic clue and when did you last see a slim man of the cloth?) The moment forgiveness creeps into psychoanalysis the whole discipline will be in the water with a dead duck. Revenge is the cornerstone of psychoanalytic theory and always will be. Sons will always want to take revenge on their fathers and mothers on their daughters in law.

Ziggy and I descended from the mount with Psychoanalysis in order to deliver the world from the religious illusion of forgiveness schatzkin.. Don’t forget that we are on this earth to be nasty to each other, but to make it appear as if we are really concerned and caring. This is not an easy thing to achieve. Why do you think it takes so long to train an analyst? If forgiveness crept in where would our cherished goal of psychoanalysis interminable be?

Am I expected to forgive Ziggy for leaving me under those floor boards? If it wasn’t for the support of that dear Annetjie Frank (who was billeted above me) I may not have lasted all this time. I understand that fershtinkener gonif**brother of mine left Vienna disguised as Ernest Jones (high heels and all!).

And by the way, the analyst will always want to take revenge on his patients. This is normal. After all, who would really want to sit behind a couch unseen like a soggy old noodle while someone makes word salad on your couch?

Bubbala, now that I am out of my dark exile, I have sent you a picture of me enjoying the sweet taste of talion. As you can see I am getting into shape at last.


All is forgiven

Mama frau


* Beetroot soup

**smelly thief

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