THE MILLER PHANTASIES
Too Long; Didn't ReadWe know, from much psychoanalytic experience, that whenever one recounts his phantasies or his dreams, he deals not only with the most important and intimate of his problems, but with the one the most painful at that moment.
Since in the case of Miss Miller we have to do with a complicated system, we must give our attention carefully to the particulars which I will discuss, following as best I can Miss Miller’s presentation.
In the first chapter, “Phénomènes de suggestion passagère ou d’autosuggestion instantanée,” Miss Miller gives a list of examples of her unusual suggestibility, which she herself considers as a symptom of her nervous temperament; for example, she is excessively fond of caviar, whereas some of her relatives loathe it. However, as soon as any one expresses his loathing, she herself feels momentarily the same loathing. I do not need to emphasize especially the fact that such examples are very important in individual psychology; that caviar is a food for which nervous women frequently have an especial predilection, is a fact well known to the psychoanalyst.
Miss Miller has an extraordinary faculty for taking 43other people’s feelings upon herself, and of identification; for example, she identifies herself to such a degree in “Cyrano” with the wounded Christian de Neuvillette, that she feels in her own breast a truly piercing pain at that place where Christian received the deadly blow.