I had a dream recently. In my dream I am sitting in my bedroom waiting for my next patient. (No, I didn’t see patients in my bedroom until the pandemic started. Well, technically they are not in my bedroom: most of them are in their bedrooms, in their cars, or on their porches. During Zoom sessions we are meeting neither here nor there, but we coexist in the Cyberspace: a space without a specific identifiable location, but with a life of its own.)
All of a sudden my bedroom gets flooded. A tsunami erupts and breaks through my bedroom window. As I look around I realize I am not actually in my current bedroom, but in the bedroom of my adolescence. How is this possible? I haven’t been in that room for over a decade. There is only one explanation for this: I must be dreaming. As I jump on my bed and I look around, I see a big wave wash over my Uruguayan passport, my laptop, my ID’s. The water keeps rising … What should I do? If my passport is lost, I won’t be able to return to New York, to my real room … but where is my room? Where am I? And When am I? The water keeps rising, I can’t breathe.I think of going to the hospital, but then I decide not to: “a lot of people are dying there, and I may die too.”
I wake up from this dream, gasping for air but relieved. I am back in New York, a city that welcomed me in, but makes me scared of getting out. Neither in, neither out … neither here, nor there … it might be true that the pandemic can mobilize our inner fears, but perhaps also our inner hopes: suspended in this in-betweenness is where I feel at home, and where I help my patients create their own. No matter where one’s therapy office is, a psychoanalytically informed treatment offers the opportunity to stand in the spaces between our multiple selves, and find and re-find ourselves at home, regardless of our geographical location.