Blanko and Pasquale the killer
Blanko is almost 28 when he arrives at my practice. A respectable professional life as dubber and a serious skin condition covering his body and the whole genital area with blisters that itch and break, bleeding. A condition that forces him to avoid all types of intimate contact, experienced as horrifying and unfeasible. A condition that seems to infect the analytic field from the start, holding it hostage for a long time with a kind of phobic horror for any contact with emotional life, dreaded and attacked as leprosy by a super-ego function dressed in a bigoted aspect and habitus, that invaded and colonized the length of the analytic time through moralistic preaching and judgmental contempt.
From a BFT point of view, through the analytic work in session this somatic condition could be deconstructed and redreamt as a leprous agglomerate of nameless protosensations and protoemotions that needs a Follereau centre-function in the field in order to be held, perceived and narrated.
In the fifth year of analysis (at 4 sessions a week) the condition seems to have disappeared, letting Blanko find a girlfriend and have sexual intercourse, though only while wearing a condom.
An analysis which has mostly been an attempt at implanting an oneiric function through the narration of the emotional background encrypted in the characters emerging from the field.
First month of analysis. Monday
Blanko enters the office in the grip of crushing death anxiety. The menace that he perceived seemed so strong and concrete that the analysts winced, confused:
P.: “I am so messed up. Yesterday evening I drew up my will…”
A. (Surprised, dazed as if he had thrown a Rosetta Stone of grim premonitions to my head): “Your will?”
P.: “Yes, I feel vulnerable. I’m afraid Pasquale may come up and kill me. He’s sent me an email and he wrote: ‘Just so you know, even if you’ve thrown me away, I still exist’. I’m afraid, afraid that he may come up to my place, make a Mafia scene and kill me… I feel in danger!”
A.: “Are you afraid that this person feels so full of anger that he wants to kill you, having experienced this separation as abandonment?” (and I realize it’s Monday!).
It is only by approaching the Pasquale character not as a person in the patient's actual life, nor as an object in his internal world, but as a character in the analytic field that cocoons horrible protoemotions in the pressing need for oneiric transformation, that the analyst finds in the mind a path to follow in the emotional storm that suddenly crashes through the room.
Such a path will unexpectedly lead to an insight: the intuition that perhaps Pasquale is simply the personification of killer-separation’s contents that Blanko fears will internally attack him during the week end. Protoemotional contents that perhaps have been, so far, perceived as not enough contained, recognized and alphabetized in the analytic field, in turn infected with alexithymia and un-alphabetization by the auto-immune functioning of the psychosomatic pathology that made it ill.
Once Pasquale has become tamer and less terrifying, the analyst can also propose to Blanko a work of sensitive-narrative approach to “Pasquale the killer”; a work of narrative transformation that seems to let him get progressively more familiar with the violence of the feelings that may be experienced during a separation. Feelings that, as the Christmas holidays draw near, seem to begin to transform into painful and harrowing emotions that are, however, figurable and can be narrated as stories:
P.: “That passage in 'The Little Prince' is a scam. The Little Prince says goodbye to the fox after taming it. The fox has changed, transformed itself… but the fox is the one who gave itself away and it’s the one that is left behind… while the Little Prince returns to his rose…”
The development of the narrative function in the analytic work appears to have produced a mythopoeic transformation from Pasquale the killer to the Little Prince, a character that seems to evoke a lump of emotions, painful but not deadly, that can be felt when one is experiencing separation: anger, sadness, melancholy, feelings of being wronged. Emotions that apparently cannot be discerned and named yet, but that the patient can begin to represent and to communicate to the analyst through a fiction. This lets the analyst access a dimension of less lethal and more easily mentalizable psychic pain, next to areas that need further treatment of emotional alphabetization.
The work of narrative transformation on the characters popped up in the field seems to have led Blanko to a recovery and reanimation of his α function, slowly allowing his oneiric singing of mental states hitherto completely aphasic, partly evacuated in the other and partly, perhaps, in his body.