Aylesbury, Borderline States, Counselling, Dreams, Hope, Narratives, Psychoanalysis, Psychotherapy, Reflective Practice, Religion, Spirituality, The Inner World, The unconscious, Ways of Being


In our creative writing class last week we were asked to write a short piece about Time. for some reason the formula above cam e in to my mind. Im not sure whty. I don’t usually remember formulae. But it prompted me to do some thinking. Then i n the coffee shop recently i heard two people talking. One was talking to his friend about going on holiday.

“If it’s just the three of us, then we get along fine. We all slot into our roles and it works very well. Then my son comes along and everything changes .I’m not sure why. I guess we’ll just have to try and make it work.”

This reminded me of the Speed / Distance /Time  formula. Which them lead me on to musing about our psychic equations. The relationship between the different parts  of ourselves. The Ego / Id / Super Ego  combination of Freud’s work.  Or Melanie Klein’s two positions. Or Jung’s ideas about our shadow side. (All this whilst drinking my latte.) It was almost cold by the time I’d finished my reverie!) That we are  not single entities. We know this to be true in our bodies. They are designed to work as a system, not as separate little kingdoms. The speed / distance /time formula is also bot relationships within a system.

And the problem with systems is that they challenge our omnipotence.  Whilst my eyes know, logically, that they have to rely on my ears to help them, a part of them would love to declare UDI from the rest of the body. (Fortunately this doesn’t often happen!) So in the inner world. My love cannot function without an awareness of my hate. And vice versa.  My patients have to face this tension. My ability to help them comes at a cost to their omnipotence. By seeing me thee is an acknowledgement that they need help.

So, with all this as context, here is the piece that I wrote for my class.

Time is furious. She thinks that she reigns supreme. Controlling all galaxies, empires and lives. She measures our mortal span. Three score years and ten. She defines our galaxies .Defines the star Sirius, for example as being 8.6 light years from Earth. bt she cannot rule alone. If she is to be useful, she has to be  in relationship. In this formula she is defined by Distance and Speed. Much as she resents this fact, it is True. To be useful she must share with Distance and Speed. And they with her – which gives her some satisfaction. Distance needs her along with Time. Speed the same. In a perfect world, Time would be supreme. But this is not  the case. So like a haughty dowager,  treating Distance and Speed as her servants. Ignoring the fact that she is dependent on them. Thus keeping intact her fantasy of self-sufficiency. The doxology comes to mind. “As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.” Time is always relative.

In my preparation for this blog I found this quotation. I think it sums things up very well. (I\m only glad i found it  at the end of my work, not at the beginning otherwise I might have felt I had nothing new to say!)

“There is no Jesus without Judas; no Martin Luther king, Jr, without the Klan; no Ali without Joe Frazier; no freedom without tyranny. No wisdom exists that does not include perspective. Relativity is the greatest gift.”  (Chris Crutcher, King of the Mild Frontier.)


Not always Black and White

I had a memory of seeing Jimmy Saville with his hair dyed Black and White. It now seems a prophetic picture, in the light of the recent allegations about him.His division of his hair into two distinct halves is suggestive of a split in his mind as well as his hair. As if the separate parts of him could not come together. It seems probable that he did not know why his sexual preferences were as they were. Why he preferred young people to adults. We will never know the answer in his case- assuming the stories are true. It seems equally likely that we will never fully understand what motivated his altruism either.

A patient was talking recently about the point of self knowledge. They questioned its value, seeing curiosity about oneself as self indulgent. One simply was what one was. One behaved well or badly and lived with the consequences. I suggested that this left my patent very vulnerable. If they had no understanding of why they behaved in any given way, how could they know how they would behave in similar circumstances again? George Santayana is credited with  saying that “Those who cannot remember the past, are condemned to repeat it.” We do not know why jimmy Saville behaved as he did. It is also highly likely that neither did he, responding simply to drives that he found in himself.Had he been able to understand his past, his future might have been very different.

The psychoanalyst Melanie klein noticed that young children have to separate their Love from their Hate. They create a “good mummy” who is nice, kind and giving and a “bad mummy” who is none of these things. They do this to protect themselves from ambivalence, which Klein suggested would overwhelm them. A sign of emotional maturity is that we know ourselves and can tolerate our shades. I can be both loving and cruel; generous and mean; gentle and vicious. I can make choices because I know I have to. and I know that I can.

The sadness for Jimmy Saville and many another is that they choose to keep themselves hidden from themselves. Thus putting many at risk-not least themselves.Image