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The Dark Side of the Womb

A Little Crash Course in Psychoanalysis

Many of those who’ve read “The Impatient Clock” have come back to me saying it’s almost Lynch-ish in that it doesn’t make much sense (a HIGH compliment in my book!). It’s not a story that I expect anyone to latch on to right away. But because it is one of the deeper stories in the book, I do want people to have the psychoanalytic point of view I came to it with before I wrote it … then you can do what you like with the definition for your own satisfaction. So let’s talk Jung.

The woman that Yona encounters in the so-perfect-it’s-creepy kitchen looks just like Yona once she contorts. Why?

She is, in part, the “shadow“, the psychological theory of the unconscious mind’s harboring of weak, dark, weird or violent instincts. The other, the uncanny, the shadowself, all that exists to counter the normal person and aspects we have in our every day lives. It is a Jungian theory:

“According to Jung, the shadow, in being instinctive and irrational, is prone to project: turning a personal inferiority into a perceived moral deficiency in someone else. “

Another aspect to the shadow self is the repression of the ego, “it is what we sweep under the rug.”

In the house, the ShadowYona says that she ate the children Yona fed to her, and Yona will never, ever have them. Yona’s maniacal repression of her own natural instinct for wonder, and her profession’s “distortion” of reality that she grew to resent once reality distorted her own world (via the miscarriage), was so huge and so full that it produced the ShadowYona — an embodiment of shadow and resentment deep enough to turn her own uterus against her. The ShadowYona is what killed the baby Yona lost.

Yes, I am a psychanalysis fan, by the way. Ask me about the crazy paper I wrote analyzing Dead Ringers, Vertigo and Mulholland Drive in college. God I loved that thing. 

The Dark Side of the Womb

We hear about this shit all the time — women stealing babies from unsuspecting moms, women going into maternity wards and stealing them, or outright stealing the baby RIGHT OUT OF THE UTERUS. Why the hell would someone do this?

Some say it’s the same primitive, instinctual urge that feeds the biological clock. Others say that it’s plain psychological illness, and many have attributed baby stealing to Asperger’s (of all things…). There’s also simply what I call the “psychology of lack”; the feeling of suddenly not having from previously having. It’s the thing that caves you in after a bad breakup, or, I can only imagine, after something like a miscarriage. The woman who murdered the pregnany woman in Pennsylvania had suffered a miscarriage only months before and hadn’t told her mother. She planned on stealing a baby and keeping the miscarriage a secret so that her mother wouldn’t “get upset.”

Damn. 

What do you think?

Tomorrow: Is the biological clock real or just magazine industry and crack-science bullshit?

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About womeninstrangeplaces

I am a writer and artist from New York City. I live in Oslo, Norway. I dedicate my work to promoting literacy, experimentation and expression, women's empowerment, and awareness against sexual violence. I do my best to do what my gut tells me at all times, and on weekends, I go dancing.

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