Childhood and memory: the river running through us

Marilyn Charles Austen Riggs Center, USA, Universidad de Monterrey, Mexicoand Chicago Center for Psychoanalysis, USA

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Identity forms in relation to the interpersonal narratives through which our histories are constructed. Psychoanalysis affords opportunities to reconsider important relationships from different vantage points and to recognise how these relationships have informed meanings and being. Entering psychoanalysis invites direct engagement with this universe of childhood, memory, meanings and also the gaps left by trauma and neglect. In this article, I consider ways in which those gaps have been active forces driving my journey towards a more competent, facilitative and generative mentoring than had been available to me. Revisioning my story entailed an exploration of the ways in which my mother’s absent presence haunted me almost invisibly, so that the threads were left to emerge and transform over time in relation to my own development. This transformation was made possible by psychoanalysis and self-analysis, and also through meeting my mother from the other side, so to speak, as I found myself at the maternal edge of the various developmental precipices she and I had traversed together. This process of re-envisioning has left its mark in ways that now call to others needing a type of validation that has not been easily forthcoming. I will discuss how a process of marked mirroring enabled one woman to find what she needed in me in ways that enhanced the development of each. That experience has informed my current ideas regarding pedagogy and the ways in which an embodied, aesthetically driven maternal perspective may enhance the largely paternalistic canon of psychoanalytic thought and pedagogy.

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Marilyn Charles Austen Riggs Center, USA, Universidad de Monterrey, Mexicoand Chicago Center for Psychoanalysis, USA

Search for other papers by Marilyn Charles in
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