A publication of the Washington Baltimore Center for Psychoanalysis

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Here, There, Everywhere

María Laguna, MSW, MITPP, New York City
Guest Author, Washington Baltimore Center for Psychoanalysis
December 2020 | Volume 7 | Issue 6

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.

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A favorite amusement during my elementary-school years was a puzzle-map of the United States. The puzzle pieces comprised all the states. The top of the puzzle went beyond the USA halfway up Canada, and the bottom ended halfway through Mexico.

Mad or Sad?

Here I am, taking comfort in the sunroom and emailing off another cartoon to my sister. I have two sisters and have always been especially close to sister number two, Patti. It could be said that we are close because we are nearer in age, but really, we are close because we are pretty much on the same wavelength. We enjoy a lot of the same things including guffawing over clever memes. We like to laugh.

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