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Vladimir P. visits his psychoanalyst

These are the verbatim free associations of Patient Vladimir P.
The original case history notes, identifying the full name of the patient, are being submitted to the Freud Collection at the Library of Congress, and will become available for researchers in 2122.
“I’m turning 70 in October.  My libido isn’t quite what it used to be, and I don’t seem to have the same zip in my step anymore. My face is getting puffier from all the Botox injections, and my suits don’t fit so well because of the additional weight I’ve put on. Maybe those anti-depression pills you prescribed for me are getting me fatter?
“God, doctor, it’s really, really, hard to be Czar of Russia when everyone keeps yapping about how many multi-million dollar mansions I’ve built for myself in Sochi.  Nobody complained when Stalin built all his dachas!  I better shut Navalny up for good.
“All right, so, yes, I admit it: I’m a mid-rank KGB officer who got lucky and found my way to the top of the Kremlin because I promised Boris that I wouldn’t prosecute his family for stealing tens of millions. But who would do that for me now?  God, I feel so alone.  All I’ve got is stupid “yes” men around me. No one tells me the truth anymore.
“I sure don’t want Navalny’s thugs to do to me what happened to Quadaffi. Those pictures of Muamar’s head being bashed in still keep me up at night.
“But exactly how will I achieve my immortality?  You’re damn right I deserve it: haven’t I saved the Russian people from decadent western values like gay rights, democracy and freedom of speech?
“There is only one way, the tried-and-true way of Hitler, Stalin and Mao, the three greatest leaders of the 20th century.
Why don’t I start a war and inflict death on tens of thousands of Ukrainians?  Yes, yes, that’s it.  They’ll remember my name for sure now.  Yes, thank God, I’ll finally get the respect I deserve!  Why the Duma will build a mausoleum for me outside the walls of the Kremlin even bigger than the one the immortal Lenin now has!
“You know, doctor, I’m feeling a little better now,  I remember you once told me about the famous psychoanalyst Otto Rank’s insight: ‘The death fear of the ego is lessened by the killing, the sacrifice, of the other: through the death of the other, one buys oneself free from the penalty of dying of being killed.’
“You shrinks really know stuff, don’t you?”
About the Author
Robert Kramer, PhD, is an existential psychoanalyst in Budapest. He is editor of Otto Rank's "A Psychology of Difference: The American Lectures" (Princeton University Press, 1996); co-editor, with E. James Lieberman, of "The Letters of Sigmund Freud and Otto Rank: Inside Psychoanalysis" (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012); and author of "The Birth of Relationship Therapy: Carl Rogers Meets Otto Rank" (Psychosozial Press, 2022).
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