I came to think on what Kirkengen has written about revictimization in somatic medicine too and about what she calls “medical making of patients”.
I would like to write about two brothers. One was born 1920 and the other 1923. They had an older brother born 1916 and a sister born 1918.
The two brothers died when they were 83 respective 82 years, the first with a metastasis from malign melanoma (which they have shown can be connected to depression, ad probably also a hidden depression, or at least suppressed feelings and emotions from early) in the brain that influenced the speech and coordination of the movements (probably says where I the brain it was located; yes, in the left side, but I can’t say where more specifically, but more in the frontal lobes?), the second in Alzheimer’s disease. And a reader of Miller wrote in a letter and asked about her older sister which fell ill with Alzheimer when she was just above 50… The sister wondered if there could be a connection to abuse in childhood and later on from parents and other family members which used this woman as the family’s black sheep and scapegoat… Reflections from a sister thus that had seen what had happened and had inside information… Miller thought it could be… Things that never had got processed.
When they had lost their conscious awareness they became fairly violent to the ones that should take care of them; they fought, and at least the first of these brothers was extremely strong until he died.
And noone of them wanted to sit down on the toilet or even at the bedside, they just refused as if they were about to sit on something that was very painful or dangerous!? And to put on the pyjama jacket or a t-shirt or shirt was difficult. It looked as it felt like being put in a prison.
I got a picture, of children forced by a mother to sit on the chamber pot. And/or pulled down into a lap of a mother, father or older half-brother… With sexual undertones? A very unpleasant experience for a small child I think, which maybe is immediately suppressed and later controlled until that control no longer is there as in these two old men.
Maybe as very small already?
And a mother forcing a baby-sweater on small babies, impatiently and irritated with no sense for the babies signs or irritated over them. And maybe that the small baby also was in a way stuck in a sheet and blanket… And earlier babies were wrapped in swaddling-cloths… But I don’t think those were, because that wasn’t the custom at all then since long… Can claustrophobia come from such experiences? Can they have been forwarded in other manners or behaviors when swaddling was forbidden? With similar effects in the grown up?
And if that later grown up or old is treated with irritation ad impatience and insensitivity again how is that?? Do hey now try to void what hey experienced early? And maybe they now have the strength to work against it, which the child didn’t have.
How would it be if later caretakers treated this differently? Without force?
These two brothers never showed any such signs when they weren’t consciously aware of things…
The emails cited articles about a investigation that is done o the psychiatry here, where they have shown that patients at psychiatric wards are very often treated with violence from the staff. Even severe violence and force…
I came to think about this and about limit setting patients… What is all that about? Is it exercise of power and more of the same? The staff too often treats the patients in the same manner as the parents treated these patients once when they were small children?? That’s what I wonder. Is this healing or helping? Can this dissolve anything? Does it even make anything better? The things that made the patient sick are done once again to the patient? With maybe the same insensitivity as they once was shown? And what is the caregivers limit setting (posing boundaries) against too one can wonder? Where does this need come from? Is this need today relevant or adequate always? Or how often is it really relevant? But of course they must protect themselves when and if it necessary!!! But are boundaries put just out of need to demonstrate d exercise power?
I have never worked at such a place and have no inside information either, this is only feelings…
I haven’t Kirkengen’s books with me now… But she has written about this phenomenon I think…
And maybe a side-remark, but in the anthology it stood that as late as in the thirties till 1942 they talked physician level about a disease called Caffey’s syndrome, which consisted of broken legs and extravasations of blood under the hard cerebral membrane ‘) in babies!!! Later they discovered that this wasn’t a disease but child abuse and physicians in different countries have learnt to recognize he symptoms and react on them when they meet them.
So such things aren’t more distant in time.
*) blodsutgjutelse under hårda hjärnhinnan!!!
And to be honest, the two brothers above were my dad and uncle… Seen with a daughter’s eyes and experiences of this father – and uncle. And of relatives and their lives (all cousins on dad’s side are older than I and my siblings). What she has seen and sensed, both consciously and unconsciously? And that was probably forwarded in some manner, but maybe not exactly as what they experienced. But probably in other forms… With some of the following problems!? I don’t know which and how yet… But I can imagine… Some of the things…
PS. Photos from my walk today...