Arnon Grunberg



Avgi Saketopoulou on psychoanalasys, #MeToo and meaning:

"Another hypothetical example to help explain this phenomenon: say, for instance, that you are five years old and it’s Christmas. You call for Mommy, and she doesn’t respond. You go looking for her and, entering the bathroom, you walk in on her kissing Santa Claus. You are entirely unfazed; you, too, would have kissed Santa Claus—he brings so many presents! But your mother is acting weird and seems inexplicably ruffled by your presence. You feel confused. You sense that there’s something about this that escapes you, but there is nothing you can do about this elusive feeling. Its strangeness stays with you, but since you can’t make sense of it the reminiscence gets tucked away in your memory as a registered mnemic trace, a mystifying, but more or less inconsequential, morsel of experience.

Or so you think. In your teens, as you are starting to learn more about sex—and, perhaps, begin having it—we can imagine a moment when you might find yourself recalling the scene you walked in on so many years before. All of a sudden, the meaning becomes obvious; now you understand the implications of that kiss! Of course, your mom would have been ruffled when you walked in! Of course, you wouldn’t have had a clue about what was going on! But now that you understand more about what was occurring (Mommy was not simply kissing Santa in a friendly way), you make a different meaning of that original moment. Your experience of what you saw that day begins to shift, too. Your new interpretation of the event can rearrange your impression of it and the effect it had on you. This is because, as Freud put it, the memory “has only become a trauma after the event.” You used to be confused and unclear; now, the knowledge that you likely walked in on your mother in a sexual moment begins to feel overwhelming. The previously insignificant details of where her hands were on Santa’s body are now saturated with sexual meaning. You now feel ashamed of having been so naive; you might even feel angry or betrayed."

Read the article here.

Sometimes, trauma can only become trauma with the knowledge you acquire long after the painful event.

You can also fight or reject this knowledge.

My mother used to say about the war: "I was a child, everything was normal to me."

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