I hope that this message finds you well. It has certainly been a busy year for the Freuds, and we are delighted that the holiday season is finally upon us and some much needed relaxation can occur.
Young Ernst is doing very well at school and gained great results in all his examinations. His teacher, Mrs Werld, has singled him out for commendation and he appears to be very attached to her. I contend that this is a classic example of transitioning from his phallic stage and the development of certain Oedipal tendencies towards her. I pointed out this fact at a recent school assembly I was asked to attend. When asked to present an overview of my work, I informed the group about Ernst’s castration anxiety. His increasing animosity towards me only compounds my diagnosis.
Mathilde grows ever more obsessed with her horseback riding. Every day she visits the stables to clean out her pony Lulu-Belle and feed and pet her, often to the detriment of her room at home. Martha frequently admonishes Mathilde for having such a messy room, whereas I tell her that she is still lingering in her anal stage and this anal-expulsive behaviour must be abandoned so she can enter latency, possibly with an accompanying Electra Complex. Certainly the choice of a female horse does illustrate a certain amount of penis envy but she vehemently denies this, hiding behind a classic pathological mechanism. No matter how much I wish to talk to her on these matters, she seems to spend more and more time down at the stables. Now we barely see her at all.
Oliver is still crazy about anything mechanical. I recently informed him and a group of his friends that such obsessions are merely a masturbation substitute and once he’d entered his genital phase, these drives would be forgotten. I may have been correct in my prognosis as I haven’t seen those friends again and now Oliver spends an enormous amount of time alone, only occasionally leaving his room to glower at me. I believe this demonstrates he is leaving his latency period far behind. He dreams of becoming a train engine driver. I contend that these dreams are a simple sublimation of his libido that takes the form of a train that is obviously a penis substitute and he really desires to sleep with his mother. He is now in Ghent visiting his cousins for several months.
Displaying a fascinating level of bodily independence, many of the children have chosen to spend the holiday season with various friends and family members, so it should be a quiet time for Martha and myself. She has developed a great fondness for gardening and spends many hours out there weeding, even at night and during the winter months.
Thank you for all the many messages, missives, telegrams and personal visits to myself and Martha, enquiring about my own mental health. Good to see the rest of the family finally taking some interest in my work.