Beginnings by Hattie Myers

[…]From ROOM to room we never can predict how our community will fill this space, and we are often surprised. In the midst of the violent societal crisis unfolding in Russia and Ukraine, in Israel and Gaza, and with the pending election looming over the United States, it was striking, this time, that the submissions for ROOM 2.24 received were, for the most, quieter and more inwardly focused. The authors recall how the grip of class, gender, race, and geopolitical history held them so tightly that it was, at times, actually difficult for them to “look up and out.”

Crossing Divides by Karim Dajani and Eyal Rozmarin

As kids, Karim Dajani and Eyal Rozmarin grew up within hours of each other, one in Beirut, the other in Tel Aviv—to parents who were born in what had been Palestine/Israel. From an astute understanding of the unconscious process, they have written, separately, about belonging and unbelonging and about the interpolation of culture on our beings. Now they meet, for the first time, to write about the impact the current catastrophe in their homeland is having on their souls, about the trauma and resilience in their families’ histories, and about the relevance of psychoanalytic thinking today.

My Mother’s Haiti by Shari Appollon

[…] Ayiti engaged our senses from the moment we woke up to the second we fell asleep in the home my mother and father adored as first-time home buyers. I could not comprehend as a child, nor as an adolescent, why her words did not match her actions. Did she love her country? Undoubtedly. Then why the constant critiques and harshness? Why is it I never heard her utter a sentence of gratitude, warmth, or positivity toward the first land she called home unless recalling a small cluster of memories from her childhood? Perhaps my memory is foggy and I am only a recorder for what was shared with me.

Fascism Amnesia: A Failure of Witnessing by Jill Salberg

Disappeared memory and history erased remain fascism’s best weapon. In the world as it exists, the protofascist leader purports omnipotence, forcing helplessness and weakness into the minority group to be victimized. Which part of the split would any of us need to inhabit to stay sane in this kind of world? This simultaneous diffusing of victim/perpetrator processes into the collective rests upon a failure of witnessing, an aborted mourning process of the atrocities of prior generations.

A Sea of Mothers by Ann Augustine

[…] It may be that my security comes not simply from a “good enough” mother, as Winnicott theorizes, but from “good enough” mothering—a multitude of mothers who created a collage of mothering and a patchwork of sufficient “reliable holding” for me to draw on. I also wonder whether there is a different kind of security that grows in the gaps of not having a mother—that some of my security comes not in spite of, but perhaps because of, these early losses. As I look back, I know that in the free-falling, I grew a sense of being carried—not by any one person, but by life itself.

Book Review by Lava Schadde

Avgi Saketopoulou and Ann Pellegrini’s book Gender Without Identity (2023) brings into dialogue psychoanalysis with trans and queer, gender and sexuality (TQGS) studies. For someone like me, working mainly in philosophy and TQGS studies and fascinated by the differing (dis)avowal of identity in these fields, the title of the book sparked my interest—what might it mean, I wondered, for the question of gender identity to be raised instead at the intersection of TQGS studies and psychoanalysis?

Rights of Passage by Isaac Slone

In the elementary school common room, boys congregated in one area, and girls congregated in another. I stood in the middle, grappling with a painful sense of disconnection. Folding in with either group was impossible. I was alone in noticing the binary division.

Second Chances by Delia Kostner

[…]At the clinic, I became part of a lively swirl of women who provided me with the guidance and intimacy I lacked at home. They were my family as my family became increasingly unavailable. Women ran the show. It was a heady time. It was 1974, the Roe v. Wade decision just made abortion legal, and an earlier state law gave teenagers free access to reproductive health services. There was enough funding to never turn anyone away for lack of money.

Backstory by Aaron Bourne

I sit across from the Washington elite. I work to access their thoughts and dreams as they evolve in the therapeutic relationship. It can look like a one-sided process, but it most certainly is not. When it goes well, my clients pour their pain into the space I provide. Because this year marks two decades of continuous practice for me, I find myself reflecting on the deeper nature of these relationships. What is the stuff of therapy? Who am I to them? Who am I really in this space? I suppose these are standard twenty-year questions for any clinician.

From Hand to Hand by Hattie Myers

[…] The essays in this issue were written months before the horrors which are now unfolding in the Middle East. As I write this editorial, I am aware that it may now be more difficult for some of ROOM’s readers to read Diana Moga, a Jew, and Abdel Azziz Al Bawab, a Palestinian, describing their experiences. “Dispossession is simply an ingredient of my identity,” writes Bawab in “A World Not Good Enough.” “And yet this identity, so saturated with pain, I came to realize is a nuisance to others.” For Diana Moga, “Psychoanalysis has been a way to hold on to conflicting world views, a way to make sense of (her) fragmented past and the pluralities of (her) identity.”