Academic journal article Perspectives in Psychiatric Care

The Phenomena of Police Fantasies, Leg Fetish, and Father Identification in a Homosexual Male

Academic journal article Perspectives in Psychiatric Care

The Phenomena of Police Fantasies, Leg Fetish, and Father Identification in a Homosexual Male

Article excerpt

TOPIC. The relationship of police fantasies and leg fetish to identification with the father in a homosexual male.

PURPOSE. To describe two manifestations of identification with the father in a male homosexual.

SOURCE. The author's clinical work.

CONCLUSION. It is important to decode current behavior in light of theory and past history, to help clients move from potentially destructive behavior to satisfying interpersonal interactions.

Key words: Fantasy, leg fetish, male homosexuality, psychotherapy, sexual abuse

As nurses, we have, according to Peplau, a primary responsibility for "nurturing and aiding psychiatric patients in their personal development through nursing services" (Peplau 1989, p. 271). Because our nursing actions have consequences for patients, we have a responsibility to study the presenting pathology. Often, however, we encounter clinical phenomena that cannot immediately be translated into a theoretical explanation. We proceed with our observations, attempting to understand the phenomena, in light of past history, so that we may help the patient understand and work through the interpersonal meaning of the phenomena.

Case Study

Such was the case with John, a 58-year-old male homosexual whom I have been seeing over a six-month-period in weekly psychotherapy and periodic individual sessions. John, born into an Irish Catholic family, had two older sisters and an older brother. John maintains contact with his two sisters who live together. The older sister gives him emotional and financial support. The younger sister has been hospitalized two or three times for schizophrenia. He has no contact with his brother, whom he describes as a "cruel person who was the bully of the house." He beat John and his sisters, as did their father. None of the siblings has been able to maintain consistent jobs as adults.

John was very dependent on his mother, though he describes her as having been paranoid and mentally ill for most of her life. She did not protect him the physical abuses of his father. John has memories of being sexually abused by her, his father, and his brother. He admits to not ever having properly grieved the loss of his mother, recalling going into a "deep freeze" when the casket was closed. His farewell to her was to simply say, "So long, Sunshine" (his nickname for her).

John attended Catholic elementary school and admits to "looking at boys" in grammar school. At 14, he had his first homosexual experience, mutual fellatio with a neighbor boy. In college, at age 21 or 22, he started to cruise the local bus station. At 23, he was drafted into the Army for two years and trained as a "psych tech." He continued homosexual behavior, in the Army, once picking up a man at a bar and bringing him back to the barracks. Around this time, John began to have auditory hallucinations and delusions. He describes delusional thoughts occurring while sitting at breakfast. "One guy started talking and it was all about me. Then I knew there was something wrong, and I had to get out of there. But even though I was a psych tech, I didn't go for help."

Following discharge from the Army, John became floridly psychotic and was admitted to a psychiatric hospital for six months. He was started on chlorpromazine hydrochloride (Thorazine). While in the hospital, he got a job as a loan interviewer for a bank. It lasted only a year, however, as he began to drink heavily. John believed his drinking to be " . . . medicinal, a way to keep myself from feeling. My drinking was related to my homosexuality, getting up the courage to pick up men." John's Catholic upbringing led to conflict about his homosexuality. He often speaks of his tortuous feelings of self- condemnation and depreciation.

Following his hospitalization, John moved in with two gay brothers he had known from his old neighborhood. This arrangement lasted a little more than a year, as all three men were drinking heavily. …

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