yes i was

When I told Dora that I could not avoid supposing that her affection for her father must at a very early moment have amounted to her being completely in love with him, she of course gave me her usual reply: ‘I don’t remember that.’ But she immediately went on to tell me something analogous about a seven-year-old girl who was her cousin (on her mother’s side) and in whom she often thought she saw a kind of reflection of her own childhood. This little girl had (not for the first time) been the witness of a heated dispute between her parents, and, when Dora happened to come in on a visit soon afterwards, whispered in her ear: ‘You can’t think how I hate that person!’ (pointing to her mother), ‘and when she’s dead I shall marry Daddy.’ I am in the habit of regarding associations such as this, which bring forward something that agrees with the content of an assertion of mine, as a confirmation from the unconscious of what I have said. No other kind of ‘Yes’ can be extracted from the unconscious; there is no such thing at all as an unconscious ‘No’.*

* [Footnote added 1923:] There is another very remarkable and entirely trustworthy form of confirmation from the unconscious, which I had not recognized at the time this was written: namely, an exclamation on the part of the patient of ‘I didn’t think that’, or ‘I didn’t think of that’. This can be translated point-blank into: ‘Yes, I was unconscious of that.’

Sigmund Freud 1901 Fragment of an Analysis of a Case of Hysteria


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