Comments on the dream and seemingly harmless observations about it often serve in the most subtle manner to conceal—although they usually betray—a part of what is dreamed. Thus, for example, when the dreamer says: Here the dream is vague, and the analysis gives an infantile reminiscence of listening to a person cleaning himself after defecation. Another example deserves to be recorded in detail. A young man has a very distinct dream which recalls to him phantasies from his infancy which have remained conscious to him: he was in a summer hotel one evening, he mistook the number of his room, and entered a room in which an elderly lady and her two daughters were undressing to go to bed. He continues: "Then there are some gaps in the dream; then something is missing; and at the end there was a man in the
dream content, and the essential one at that. The dream activity had extended its operations, as it were, into waking thought, and had presented to me in the form of a judgment that part of the dream material which it had not succeeded in reproducing with exactness. The exact opposite of this once came to my attention in the case of a female patient who was at first altogether unwilling to tell a dream which was necessary for the analysis, "because it was so obscure and confused," and who declared, after repeatedly denying the accuracy of her description, that several persons, herself, her husband, and her father, had occurred in the dream, and that it seemed as though she did not know whether her husband was her father, or who her father was anyway, or something of that sort. Upon considering this dream in connection with the ideas that occurred to the dreamer in the course of the sitting, it was found unquestionably to be concerned with the story of a servant girl who had to confess that she was expecting a child, and who was now confronted with doubts as to "who was really the father." The obscurity manifested by the dream, therefore, is again in this case a portion of the material which excited it. A part of this material was represented in the form of the dream. The form of the dream or of dreaming is used with astonishing frequency to represent the concealed content.
- Accompanying hysterical symptoms: Failure to menstruate and profound depression, which was the chief ailment of the patient.