Tender love turns stormy

In 1908 Jung writes to Sabina vacationing with family in Rostov:

“You have come in for a great bonus of friendship along with the heartfelt wish that your life should be successful and with a minimum of goals that serve no purpose and the pain connected with them. Never lose the hope that work done with love will lead to a good end. I can only write a short letter today because I have JUST returned home very tired from a long walk. Please keep writing to me at the Burghölzli. With heartfelt love Your J[ung].”

Mother opened another Jung’s letter received in Rostov:

“His letter calmed me down. It expresses deep friendship, lightly colored by something else, which is quite natural. He often thought of you, of your soul. He is probably in the throes of a conflict and his counsel to you and to himself is not to let the feeling of love grow but to suppress it, though not to kill it completely. Have I got it right? He who is able to do it will be victorious, or else will be out in left field. I am sure he will be victorious. He writes that this is necessary for the sake of his loved ones, his wife and children. I like the tone of his letter very much, especially the limits which he places on you and himself. It seems to me that it could not be any better. You have in him a person devoted to you, with a touch of love (more than that is not permitted and you have to remain content with that), a person for whom you have profound respect and appreciation, which you also have from him, and what more do you need? You should be happy because it is more than you had wished for. Had you wished to cause him to divorce his wife, then it would be a different matter, but if not, then you must not go any further. The important thing is to realize that he could be taken, but it is not worth it. You cannot have it better than the way it is. Do not torment yourself, suppress your feelings so that they do not make you suffer and continue meeting him as a friend. He also needs you, but he is not suffering, on the contrary, he is getting better. Please, please, do not tell him I opened the letter. As far as the jam is concerned, tell him that you brought along fruit for him but were unable to bring more. Rent a lavish apartment, invite him and write to me with all the details. You can talk to him about love but remain unyielding, you only stand to gain from it. For the time being, do not hide you feelings.”

In her response Sabina differentiates between love as a bond and love as lust:

“That I love him is as firmly determined as that he loves me. He is for me a father and I am a mother for him, or, more precisely, the woman who has acted as the first substitute for the mother (his mother came down with hysteria when he was two years old); and he became so attached to the woman [Helen Preiswerk] that when she was absent he saw her in hallucinations, etc, etc.

Why he fell in love with his wife? Let us say, his wife is “not completely” satisfactory, and now he has fallen in love with me, a hysteric; and I fell in love with a psychopath, and is it necessary to explain why?

I have never seen my father as normal. His insane striving “to know himself” is best expressed in Jung for whom his scientific activity is more important than anything in this world An uneven dynamic character coupled with a highly developed sensibility, a need to suffer and to be compassionate to the extreme. You can do to him and get from him anything you want with love and tenderness.

Twice in a row he became so emotional in my presence that tears just rolled down his face! Then he starts reproaching himself endlessly for his feelings, for example, that I am something sacred for him, that he  is ready to beg for forgiveness, etc.

Remember how dear daddy was apologizing to you exactly in the same manner! It is unpleasant for me to quote all those self-reproaches he addressed to himself, because we are both either equally guilty or not guilty.

This conversation took place almost two weeks ago and we both felt literally tormented, unable to utter a word, etc. We stood still in the most tender poetry.

Will I ever in my life forgive him for what he had concocted with me, will he ever forgive me for what I have done to him!

The difference is that I know that for him scientific activity is above all else in life and that he will be able to bear everything for the sake of science.

The question is only how my intellect is going to relate to this whole story and the trouble is that the intellect does not know how to relate.

The question for me is whether to surrender with all my being to this violent vortex of life and to be happy while the sun is shining, or, when the gloom descends, to let the feeling become transferred to a child and science, i.e., the scientific activity that I love so much?

It is very possible that I will fall in love again and will have success, i.e., I will find myself a husband. — But don’t you forget that this is still very far in the future and therefore, do not worry.

So far we have remained at the level of poetry that is not dangerous, and we shall remain at that level, perhaps until the time I will become a doctor, unless circumstances will change.

I am only writing to you now because I cannot feel happy without a  other’s blessing, that is, without you approving my actions and that you should delight as long as I am well.”

Poetry meant hugs and kisses.

A heart-rending appeal is penned by Jung towards the end of 1908:

“I regret a great deal and regret my weakness and curse fate that is menacing me. …

You will laugh when I tell you that lately I am constantly flooded with early childhood memories [Jung’s emphasis] … Will you forgive me that I am who I am? That I am thereby offending you and forgetting my duty as physician towards you? …

My misfortune is that I cannot live without the joy of stormy, ever-changing love in my life. …

Since the last scene I have completely lost my sense of security towards you. …

I need definite agreements so that I do not need to worry about your intentions. Otherwise my work will suffer, and that seems to me more important than the momentary problems and suffering in the present.

Give me at this moment something back of the love and patience and  unselfishness that I was able to give to you during the time of your illness. Now I am the sick one. …”(pp. 195—196).

The roles were reversed: the former patient became his therapist.

She wanted marriage and a child, the rich gentile would never divorce his wife and marry Jewess Sabina. ~~Henry Zvi Lothane, MD, The real story of Sabina Spielrein: or fantasies vs. facts of a life, Page Pages 7-9

In 1908 Jung writes to Sabina vacationing with family in Rostov:

“You have come in for a great bonus of friendship along with the heartfelt wish that your life should be successful and with a minimum of goals that serve no purpose and the pain connected with them.

Never lose the hope that work done with love will lead to a good end. I can only write a short letter today because I have JUST returned home very tired from a long walk. Please keep writing to me at the Burghölzli. With heartfelt love Your J[ung].”

Mother opened another Jung’s letter received in Rostov:

“His letter calmed me down. It expresses deep friendship, lightly colored by something else, which is quite natural. He often thought of you, of your soul. He is probably in the throes of a conflict and his counsel to you and to himself is not to let the feeling of love grow but to suppress it, though not to kill it completely.

Have I got it right? He who is able to do it will be victorious, or else will be out in left field. I am sure he will be victorious.

He writes that this is necessary for the sake of his loved ones, his wife and children. I like the tone of his letter very much, especially the limits which he places on you and himself. It seems to me that it could not be any better.

You have in him a person devoted to you, with a touch of love (more than that is not permitted and you have to remain content with that), a person for whom you have profound respect and appreciation, which you also have from him, and what more do you need?

You should be happy because it is more than you had wished for. Had you wished to cause him to divorce his wife, then it would be a different matter, but if not, then you must not go any further.

The important thing is to realize that he could be taken, but it is not worth it. You cannot have it better than the way it is.

Do not torment yourself, suppress your feelings so that they do not make you suffer and continue meeting him as a friend. He also needs you, but he is not suffering, on the contrary, he is getting better.

Please, please, do not tell him I opened the letter.

As far as the jam is concerned, tell him that you brought along fruit for him but were unable to bring more. Rent a lavish apartment, invite him and write to me with all the details.

You can talk to him about love but remain unyielding, you only stand to gain from it. For the time being, do not hide you feelings.”

In her response Sabina differentiates between love as a bond and love as lust:

“That I love him is as firmly determined as that he loves me.

He is for me a father and I am a mother for him, or, more precisely, the woman who has acted as the first substitute for the mother (his mother came down with hysteria when he was two years old); and he became so attached to the woman [Helen Preiswerk] that when she was absent he saw her in hallucinations, etc, etc.

Why he fell in love with his wife? Let us say, his wife is “not completely” satisfactory, and now he has fallen in love with me, a hysteric; and I fell in love with a psychopath, and is it necessary to explain why?

I have never seen my father as normal. His insane striving “to know himself” is best expressed in Jung for whom his scientific activity is more important than anything in this world An uneven dynamic character coupled with a highly developed sensibility, a need to suffer and to be compassionate to the extreme. You can do to him and get from him anything you want with love and tenderness.

Twice in a row he became so emotional in my presence that tears just rolled down his face! Then he starts reproaching himself endlessly for his feelings, for example, that I am something sacred for him, that he  is ready to beg for forgiveness, etc.

Remember how dear daddy was apologizing to you exactly in the same manner! It is unpleasant for me to quote all those self-reproaches he addressed to himself, because we are both either equally guilty or not guilty.

This conversation took place almost two weeks ago and we both felt literally tormented, unable to utter a word, etc.

We stood still in the most tender poetry. Will I ever in my life forgive him for what he had concocted with me, will he ever forgive me for what I have done to him!

The difference is that I know that for him scientific activity is above all else in life and that he will be able to bear everything for the sake of science.

The question is only how my intellect is going to relate to this whole story and the trouble is that the intellect does not know how to relate. The question for me is whether to surrender with all my being to this violent vortex of life and to be happy while the sun is shining, or, when the gloom descends, to let the feeling become transferred to a child and science, i.e., the scientific activity that I love so much?

It is very possible that I will fall in love again and will have success, i.e., I will find myself a husband. —

But don’t you forget that this is still very far in the future and therefore, do not worry.

So far we have remained at the level of poetry that is not dangerous, and we shall remain at that level, perhaps until the time I will become a doctor, unless circumstances will change. I am only writing to you now because I cannot feel happy without a  other’s blessing, that is, without you approving my actions and that you should delight as long as I am well.”

Poetry meant hugs and kisses.

A heart-rending appeal is penned by Jung towards the end of 1908:

“I regret a great deal and regret my weakness and curse fate that is menacing me. …

You will laugh when I tell you that lately I am constantly flooded with early childhood memories [Jung’s emphasis] …

Will you forgive me that I am who I am? That I am thereby offending you and forgetting my duty as physician towards you? … My misfortune is that I cannot live without the joy of stormy, ever-changing love in my life. …

Since the last scene I have completely lost my sense of security towards you. …

I need definite agreements so that I do not need to worry about your intentions.

Otherwise my work will suffer, and that seems to me more important than the momentary problems and suffering in the present.

Give me at this moment something back of the love and patience and  unselfishness that I was able to give to you during the time of your illness. Now I am the sick one. …”(pp. 195—196).

The roles were reversed: the former patient became his therapist.

She wanted marriage and a child, the rich gentile would never divorce his wife and marry Jewess Sabina. ~Henry Zvi Lothane, MD, The real story of Sabina Spielrein: or fantasies vs. facts of a life, Page Pages 7-9

 

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