The Depth of Wounds Vary

By Will

“I think his symptoms are likely to be stress related. He has no typical symptoms of colon cancer, though of course, colon cancer often has no typical symptoms.”

As I sit and read this letter, from a digestive specialist to my doctor, I am once again struck by the severity of the power of thought and matters of the heart. Was my body able to produce the same symptoms as my Father who died from this cancer nearly 2 years ago. Can stress really do that?

Unresolved issues bubble underneath unnoticed, often for decades like a volcano, until one day when they finally erupt. What also struck me is the term “typical symptoms” as with the mind and the body we are all so different. According to Freud’s early theory, “painful memories and feelings were repressed by the unconscious and found expression in patients physical symptoms.” Although I have suffered panic attacks and depression in the past, my current physical symptoms seem more physical than mental. These intense emotions and feelings that were repressed may have something to do with my movement around my analysts room, from one ‘place’ or ‘space,’ to another. It is as if I am unable to stay in one place or rather unable to stay with the pain and the wounds for too long so I have to move around.

My therapist was speaking today about Masud Khan who had  fifteen-years of analysis with Winnicott and mentioned the phrase “A hard nut to crack” and that “All nuts can be cracked eventually” and I immediately thought that he was refering to me and our 3 1/2 years of analysis. Whether this was actually intentional or a Freudian slip or even transference from my therapists own analysis, it did not matter. I knew my own interpretation very well which is a belief that I should have worked things out by now, that I should be sorted and more aware of my unconscious drives and desires. It, whatever that is, takes as long as it takes.

Robert S. Boynton wrote “Is the aim of psychoanalysis to “cure” or merely to comfort? Should analysts maintain a clinical, professional distance and respect the “boundaries” between themselves and their patients (as classical analysis insists upon)? Or should they strive for a so-called “real relationship,” eroding the boundaries in order to heal the patient?” I liken this to the earlier phrase “typical symptoms” as I believe that in Psychotherapy there aren’t any, it depends on a multitude of complex factors but mainly on what suits the patient and therapist. For me, the relationship is paramount, for others a more clinical relationship may be what is required. I am unsure if I will ever be “cured” but I am sure of my need for some more of that beautiful connectedness and truthfulness that penetrates deep inside, as these wounds are deeper than I thought.

My sense of identity broke down and was replaced by something that is very hard to put into words ~ Eckhart Tolle

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3 Comments

Filed under My Experiences On The Couch

3 responses to “The Depth of Wounds Vary

  1. Lovely post Will, Sometimes healing seems so elusive and yet it always feels possible when we are in relationship.

  2. Thanks so much Chris, yes I would totally agree on that. Healing can be extremely elusive especially when you have the arduous task of going over and over the same issues. The relationship makes sense of it all.

  3. ach…the elusive ‘cure’. Is the purpose of therapy to cure, to heal, to ‘fix’? (Fix what? Who? How? And into what?) is the purpose – is healing – what happens at the end? Or is the process itself the point? I’m drawn, more and more, to the idea that it isn’t possible to be ‘cured’, not until we’re dead. but we can be healing…curing…relating.

    Good, good stuff Will.

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