chapter  6
4 Pages


Thus far we have seen that the presence of a vertical split suggests a set of developmental considerations and presents some particular phenomenological elements. Before an investigation of the pathological picture of the split, it may be necessary to caution against its overuse, perhaps first and foremost by clearly stating just what the vertical split is not. Inasmuch as it is not uncommon to hear persons say that they are indecisive or uncertain, just as it is a frequent plaint that one or more persons is "in denial," one should take care not to attribute a meaningful psychological division to the superficial descriptions of such a separation or negation of the facts of everyday life. The take on the vertical split demands a division in depth, and a perspective on its pathology requires a divided sector in opposition (i.e., there is a conflict) and sometimes in dislike (i.e., the conflict is an unhappy one). The "other you" has origins in the psychological depths of the unconscious along with a parallel life of potentially conscious distress. This distress will characterize those individuals who demonstrate pathology. Just as we began with a call to distinguish the various kinds of ambivalence from a vertical split, so we now insist that the pathological phenomena associated with this split lay a similar claim to the presence of a structurally significant separation. There must be a separation with a difference. There is no doubt that a host of phenomena may appear to illustrate some sort of split, and there is a real danger that a too

ready embrace of the phrase will lead to overuse and to an ultimate reduction to the trivial. True splits are both meaningful and painful.