The clock is seen by two and watched intensely by one; fearing those dirty words approaching, “time is up”.
I hear the little boy inside say “I want to stay with you”, but my lips are muted by adulthood.
The practised joker in me plans to fake a fall, anything to stay with the connection.
“You can’t do that” the sensible one claims, “he will think I am mad”.
The punisher steps in “Well, you are mad” and my eyes look up and catch a smile from my master.
“What happened there Will”? he says; “I don’t know” I reply, and I turn again to gaze at the clock.
It’s 1pm, and all I have left is the seconds I see winding away.
“Say it”! demands one voice, “there isn’t time” is cried in defense.
Words pour out without prompt from either side, “I want to stay with you”.
“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
One of the things that is hard to accept during therapy is the realisation that the childhood, we once thought of as perfect, was not. I love my parents very much, but that does not mean that they were perfect parents, as there is no such thing. Externally I was dressed well, our frequent family outings were exiting and camping holidays were spontaneous and playful. Arguments were a rare occurrence in our home, there was little alcohol present, and my parents did as much as they could to nurture us all. Part of the difficulty in accepting our not so perfect childhood’s is because it’s not the ‘right thing’ to blame your parents. This conditioning initiated as a survival mechanism. We had to believe our parents were perfect or good enough otherwise with nobody to look after us, we would die.
As a child, I had Separation Anxiety Disorder, I was vehemently opposed to separating from my Mother, my primary caregiver or attachment figure. I was convinced that something bad would happen to her during the time that we were separated. As a child, I had convolutions or fits, which I believe, were caused by literally overheating or childhood panic attacks. Often in therapy we try to find the ‘one thing’ from our past that caused our problems. My view is that it is many things ranging from inheritance, neurological pathways and genetics but most of all very early nurturing. Not all children are the same but if we are soothed and nurtured in the areas that, we need to be, we can slowly internalise this for ourselves.
Many of us find it impossible to remember specific periods in childhood where our caregivers were unable to nurture us in the way we needed to be. Therefore, all we are left with, is our current relationships we have with others, which can hold some golden keys into becoming fully human. We need to fully work through these relationships and bear in mind our parents were the first people we loved deeply. Our first loves often leave us with the wounds that we carry with us for the rest of our lives and at the core of all intimacy issues is the fear of loss. Problems arise when we are either too close or too distant from our parents. Im my case it was the former. As I was so engulfed I found it hard to find my own psychological space and I developed a controlling fear of loosing myself.
Childhood is a promise that is never kept ~ Ken Hill