Friday, July 18, 2014

penis envy, the anal castration complex and the anal trito phase

I've had several female patients now who've brought up sensations of wanting to urinate themselves or memories from the past of being embarrassed about their urination. Initially, the first couple patients began to associate boys standing up to urinate, and this idea developed into the pride or "cockiness" of the boys in their penis and ability to urinate this way. The idea has also taken the form of boys having it easier than girls. Instead of an open hatred of cocky men it becomes hatred of men for not "checking their privilege".

One patient exclaimed that she didn't choose to be a girl and it's not fair. Another didn't disparage her sex and had pride in being a woman but I couldn't explore it (her associations took her somewhere valuable and I wouldn't lead her back just to satisfy my curiosity).

In the proto, deutero, nuclear complex, trito model it seems like the trito renunciation hasn't been made in these women (this means that the urethral tendencies didn't become instinctually renounced). This desire functions in combination with the earlier nuclear complex (i.e. oedipus, electra, bellerophon, antigone). In two of them the foot features prominently as a displacement downwards from above. The foot is disgusting, or it is "private" and seems to represent the castrated genital. I say 'seems' because where the discussion of urination led to conscious fantasies of boys and direct statements of hatred towards them, the foot has not yet been explored.

The anal castration complex, the protesting of sexual difference at the anal stage, and the feeling of having "gross" genitals is one side and the urethral impulses that weren't renounced to become the anal trito ego ideal becomes another...

Two of my patients have open murderous wishes they have felt towards others and I don't think they would have these strong reactions if they formed the trito conscience...

There are also very strong, anal ontology, judgments about other people. One client very strongly competes in a subject egoistic way and so her penis envy could very well stem from having a SE fixation here. Another is object altruistic and so her penis envy could stem from this masculine route too.

The problem is that the less dominant part (subject altruistic, or object egoistic) could be the defused so it's hard to say this must be from the masculine fixation.

Also, I can't tell whether expressing this phantasy is what is curative at all. In my current way of thinking, it is the abreaction of the emotion that came up in relation to the father-substitute, which had to be repressed, that is is curative and allows re-fusion with the father-imago through the person of the analyst.      

Then, the longer work of performing the instinctual renunciation and forming the trito stage becomes important so that the person becomes less self-absorbed and more able to whether hardships in the world...   however, part of me rebels against this... part of me feels like the world should change and not the person...

I've decided to post this. Usually I'd see all the doubts and uncertainty and leave it in the collection of pieces to be edited, but after the last post I thought I'd make it public.

Are there any analysts out there who have followed similar references to urination?
Are there any analysts out there who have a stronger sense that change has happened after the exploration of penis envy?

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