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succumbing to the greatest dread experienced by man—the

time:2023-11-29 12:50:27Classification:lovesource:android

This girl was several times observed during a period of about 5 years. She developed into an unusually attractive young woman, showing at times various mild nervous disturbances as well as character difficulties. Only occasionally has she worn the glasses which corrected her errors of refraction. During this time she has not been severely ill. She has a palpable thyroid which has hardly increased in size. When last seen she was notable for a very clear skin, good color, and bright eyes. Conjunctival and corneal reflexes much diminished. Palatopharyngeal reflexes quite absent. The headaches are said to have persisted during all the time we have known her.

succumbing to the greatest dread experienced by man—the

We have repeatedly attempted to summarize the mental status and functionings of this young woman, but our findings on tests and otherwise have been irregular and diverse. She reached 6th grade at 14 years, but had been absent much on account of sickness. When first seen we found that she was already fond of Lytton, Scott, and Dickens, and that she was a great reader of the daily newspapers, dwelling much on accidents and tragedies. What we say about her ability must be based upon the best that she has demonstrated. Often when seen she has been in some mental state which has prevented her from doing, or being willing to do, the best that is in her. She writes a good hand, does long division promptly, and reads well. Her association and memory processes have been proved normal, but given a task to do she is prone to show inhibitory pauses and other phenomena which interfere much with a satisfactory result. She has some little reputation of being able to give long, almost verbatim accounts of sermons which she has heard, but the accuracy of her report we have not been able to verify. She gave the antonyms of twenty words in average time of 1.4'', which is a good record. There was one failure, but that was quite typical. At the end of 20'', which is beyond the time of failure, she gave ``unhappy'' as the opposite of ``happy,'' adding that she had thought of that before, only she did not speak it out. Her tests for psychomotor control were miserably done. She was rapid in movement, but absolutely inaccurate and did not follow instructions. However, we felt that even this did not indicate her full ability, for she had capably held a position in a millinery establishment where she was required to show manipulative dexterity. Perhaps the best statement of her performances is that she demonstrated great irregularities from time to time, and even at the same examination in her work on different tests.

succumbing to the greatest dread experienced by man—the

On account of her peculiar testimony against herself, her memory processes and especially her performance on the ``Aussage'' test the case seemed of great interest. We found, as we stated above, in various ways that her abilities to remember, when at her best, were normal, but using the ``Aussage'' picture we obtained only 6 details in free recital; she was sure that was all she saw in the picture. Then on cross-questioning she mentioned 9 more items correctly, and gave 8 others much altered from the truth. No other item was added, but her report on these was almost illusional in its incorrectness. Of 5 suggestions offered she accepted 2 of the least important, refusing the others entirely. This was a remarkably poor result for a girl of her age, but may not be indicative of her best abilities even on this type of work. Our final opinion was that she was not clearly subnormal in native ability.

succumbing to the greatest dread experienced by man—the

Annie has grown somewhat more stable as the years have gone on. Following our first acquaintance with her we have known this girl to make serious false accusations against others (vide infra) and to again damage her own reputation by alleging herself to be pregnant when she was not. Her word in other matters all along has been found somewhat unreliable, but there has been no extensive weaving of romances such as those indulged in by typical pathological liars. Our original diagnosis of this as a case of pathological accusation upon the basis of mild hysteria we have seen no reason to change. Both Annie and other members of her family are representatives of a most important type for court officials and all other social workers to understand. A great deal of trouble has been caused in several religious congregations by the unusual character of the behavior of these people. Also the number of times they have been in courts for various reasons is astonishing.

The history of physical and mental development merges closely with the story of evolution in the moral sphere, and all can be given together. On account of the mother having long been dead and the father being the peculiar man that he is there is some question about the truth of some of the details which have been given us, but we have reason to believe that the main facts are true because they have been held to be the truth in the family circle generally and were not merely given to us. Verification of details would be very difficult because the family are distributed between Europe and America, and no relatives outside the immediate family are at hand. The mother was in excessively poor condition at the birth of Annie. She had miscarriages preceding and following. It is stated that the diagnosis of malaria was made and that the mother had convulsions both before and after confinement. At the birth the prolonged labor and instrumentation were not known to have done any damage. As an infant Annie is said to have been frail, but not to have had any definite sickness or any convulsions.

However, at about Annie's fifth year there began a long list of illnesses. She had scarlet fever severely and also a number of other children's diseases. At 8 years she had an attack of muscular jerking, and then had a number of successive attacks until she was 14 years. At one time she was in a public hospital for three weeks on account of this. It was stated that this was chorea, but of course we can not be sure on this point. Annie was always regarded as a very nervous child; she was frequently a somnambulist until she was about 12. She is very nervous before the onset of menstruation. Of recent years she has been an excessive user of tea-- at times before we first saw her she is said to have had 12 cups of tea in a day. At times she was then suffering from sleeplessness, and was wont to feel tired in the morning. As a young child she had severe night fears, seeing terrifying shadows upon the wall.

On account of her illnesses and her general nervous condition, Annie was very irregular in her school attendance. However, she reached 6th grade. As to the family opinion of her mentality we hear that they have regarded her as being an odd type, not lazy, but irritable, hateful, and moody by spells. Her memory is said to be most irregular, sometimes exceedingly good. The other children find it difficult to get along with her because she slaps them so much. At times she swears. At the time of the revival meeting, shortly before we saw her, she is said to have come home from church in an hysterical state. When in custody she was in rather a dazed condition. Where she was detained they say she acted as if she were stunned. Her memory did not seem at all clear, nor has it ever seemed other than confused about the events immediately surrounding the main episode of her career. She maintained she could not remember just exactly what she had said, and her account of it contradicted that of her father.

As we afterwards learned from the church people, it is undoubtedly a fact that her notions of self-accusation came from a Sunday School session in which her teacher repeated what had been talked about in the revival meeting concerning the scarlet woman. A day or two afterward the girl told that she herself was ``a scarlet woman.'' She told it first to the teacher, was then taken to the pastor, when she reiterated the story, and the police authorities were called in. Of course her story implied lack of home guardianship and consequently the whole affair was handled for some days by the police alone, after the girl had given a very detailed description of her immoral life. By the time we saw the father it had been ascertained that this girl had never been away from home a single night in her life and probably had never been in the least immoral sexually.


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