Jung My Mother and I

The snag was that my mother [Katy] would see her situation pretty clearly for a while but then fall back into her old ways of thinking and behaving.

The cafe society that she thought she had outgrown would attract her again.

And Barbara Hannah would turn ogre once more, and my mother a little girl.

She forgot what Jung told her about her animus, instead seeing a negative animus only in other women.

It might have helped her to understand her animus better by giving it a name.

(Though the Lump rolling about was an impediment, its contents, roughly derived from her father’s rougher sides, were unknown, so unnamed.)

Her animus was caught in her father complex, so that she identified with an old man rather than an old woman; no wonder she had problems with her sex.

Obviously, as a child Catharine had been unable to form an emotional bond with her difficult father.

A not infrequent occurrence between fathers and daughters ensued: as no relationship was possible between them, she identified with him instead.

At the clinic where I worked, the small private Jungian Psychiatric Klinik am Zurichberg, several women had a similar problem.

Two of them astonished me by mirroring their fathers physically as well as mentally, one of them posturing as her father did, the other, though anorexic, displaying the arm and leg muscles of a man.

From my work with women patients, I learned how important an emotional marriage with the father, or with his substitute ( the first man in a woman’s life), is vital for feminine development. ~Jane Cabot Reid, Jung My Mother and I, Page 103-104

The idea of the animus was pivotal.

Though much of the Lump’s [Katy’s Animus] contents remained elusive, Katy had turned forty in 1935, and the little-girl side was retreating while the masculine side was in the ascendant – a normal process for women, according to Jung.

The animus that had always floored me at home began to manifest in the outside world, even symbolically.

At the fancy-dress parties of the Jungian group Katy went from a seductive Merry Widow’s outfit in the early thirties to a Pierrot, a British Spinster with man’s hat and flat shoes, and a Swiss Peasant with pipe and beard, a favorite of hers, which won first prize.

She also showed male bonhomie, getting on very well with men in a non-flirtatious way, enjoying risque jokes, and enjoying jolly drinking companions.

Katy had a deep voice and was often addressed on the telephone as monsieur when she phoned for breakfast in a hotel.

This she liked!

Katy told me that her voice had broken because her mother had forced her to take singing lessons as a young girl.

In her middle years, she certainly felt more at ease with men than with women. (When in love, she had to dominate.)

Though she could be enthusiastic about a new female acquaintance, after a while the woman, failing to live up to an ideal image, was dubbed totally evil. As Jung said, “Then it is black, and that is that.” ~Jane Cabot Reid, Jung My Mother and I, Page 98-99