Bergman admitted that he had “created” a total fiasco on the humanly level and compensated this with trying to become as great (??) as possible in his work. Managing everything there (ALL technical aspects of making films and theater-performances), being extremely well prepared, having high demands on himself and his co-workers…
He also said that he had never had problems with being alone. Since his wife died (1994??) his social life was reduced to nothing, but he wanted to have it like this. Being alone had never been a problem he said.
He had had an arguing with one of his sons, and Bergman had admitted to his son that he had been a bad (even lousy) father. The son shouted angrily and even furiously:
“Lousy father?? You haven’t been a father at all!!!”On my walk yesterday I came to think of what Käbi has written in her book about her life with Bergman. Particularly the fact that Bergman wanted to have her for himself. And I also think he wanted to have his last wife Ingrid for himself (a marriage that lasted for 24 years and probably would have lasted till Bergman’s death he thought. He said she was his big love *).
And Käbi left her daughter to her first husband because of that… She accepted his demands… But I think women can have those needs too, needs of a sort of undivided and entire attention. Not being forced to share it with a (demanding) child… (why is a child demanding and needing attention??? Is it unnatural to need attention for a child? What sort of attention does it need? And can that need of attention get perverted? More or less perverted? So we grown ups, in turn harmed to different degrees, feel disgust maybe, i.e. contempt for weakness in the child that doesn’t have more control!!? Horrible!! Observe my irony!! Because we are still denying our early needs?? We aren’t capable of feeing empathy for them, because we haven’t processed these things or felt the feelings that would be adequate: of anger, of being rejected etc.)
Came to think about that Jean Jenson has written about this phenomenon; a grown ups need of undivided attention, in this case a man/husband the boy, Brian’s, father.
Brian’s father Curt was a hardworking man, which came home and liked to take some drinks and then eat dinner and get his wife’s undivided, entire occupation. To assure him of this his wife Carole gave the children food and put them to bed unnaturally early before he came home.
Brian suppressed the anger he felt over that his father monopolized his mothers entire attention, his frustration of lying awaken an hour or more before he could fall to sleep and his feelings of having been abandoned of them both. As grown up he didn’t remember anything of all this.
As grown up Brian seemed to be warm and caring to his wife and children, but despite this he used to manipulate the situation as soon as it was possible so that the children were shut out when he was with his wife. Brian was entirely unaware of what was happening and got bewildered and irritated when his children complained over being forced to wait for help with their homework from school. He thought their demands were unreasonable and told them this.
Jenson mean that Brian’s inability to understand the significance of his children’s feelings when their needs of attention didn’t get fulfilled shows that he is denying his own feelings and that he is incapable of getting in contact with any of the painful feelings in his family.
His wife Kathy, in turn, had had a rejecting, dismissing and critical father, very self-centered, seeing himself as a victim for violations and abuse (the inheritance from HIS childhood), which she had tried to please… Bt there was no possibility hat she should get what she needed from him (and was entitled to get from her father as his child). But her unconscious denied he hopeless in this situation and made her being very sweet and nice to make him glad, and by this capable of giving her warmth and care!!! She even did some of the “adult”-things her mother should have done…
To be there for her father she denied the child’s needs of friends to play with ands she suppressed the feelings connected to all this.
Later Brian became the symbol for which Kathy could continue her childhood struggle. Suiting her unconscious needs perfectly, because he, like her father, seemed to need somebody’s attention “to feel glad”.
Neither Kathy nor Brian was aware of this dynamic.
I also saw a half hour long interview with a Swedish psychotherapist yesterday evening. She came here when she was 23 I think and met a Swedish man, he too psychotherapist. In her 50s she got breast cancer and one of her daughters gave her a book with white pages with the words:
“Write!!”She had then been to England, where she was born and grew up and said goodbye to her dying father. All these things together, including the tough treatment for her cancer, suddenly awoke memories which she put in print. About her upbringing, very abusive… She was sexually abused by her father (which she had suppressed till then???). Her mother was only 20 when she was born, and very submissive…
This female therapist has written several books. She said all except this one above in Swedish. The book about her upbringing she had to write in English.
The reactions from readers were very positive, but not all her colleagues reacted this way… Some (half of them??) thought a therapist shall not be so personal or not personal at all.
The interviewer asked how one can survive being abused in the way she had been…
She answered that from the child’s point of view she didn’t understand how she could become exposed t such things, but now, after having processed it and being in her 60s she cold see it from the adults point of view and understand her father (and mother, and grandmother)… And that she felt a sort of reconciliation… Yes, she follows the wordbooks??? She is still satisfying others (not least all teachings and all her colleagues and teachers and masters???) by doing so? But she said with emphasis that she wasn’t that sort of person any more; the compliant, the girl trying o satisfy al and everyone…
What I wanted to come to, after having read in Jenson again, is of being steered by the unconscious… Trying to satisfy unconscious needs, without being aware of it. Even more important not to if you are a helper of any kind, or a parent!!?? How easy it is to do that (despite the best intentions!!!) and what this can mean and cause. Not least for someone seeking help… And for own children. In other relations it is A LITTLE different?
But this unconscious always causes problems, bigger and smaller??
And, at last, I thought she was a bit superficial still… Still hiding herself behind a mask…
And maybe this only says a lot about myself??? I am trying to capture (catch?? ) something here…
PS. Awareness isn’t enough…
By the way; the summer came at last!!! When it’s time to start working!! I’m bathing in sweat sitting here writing. Despite the windows are open!! It’s already over 24 Celsius degrees now at 10.00 in the morning!! Tonight it was extremely warm! At 6.00 I thought it was no idea trying to sleep more, so I went up and ate breakfast. And I think I will wait with walks till this evening!!! I don’t see any clouds here!! But it is blowing!
*) Bergman said that when he married Ingrid von Rosen at 52 years age he had just left teenage (she was 15 years younger??)!!! So then on he didn’t need a lot of new conquests!?? Or any at all any more!!?
I seem to have a need to pour out things!!! As if you have opened a water-tap or faucet!! Just pour and pour!!
Addition at 21.12: See this Readers' letter at Millers web about an artist and the experiences his son had with him!!! An artist about his childhood with a famous father!!
And this about a man (?) whose mother now can show empathy and apologize.
And this letter about being sick because of suppressed feelings.
And this and this about psychotherapy and therapists/counselors and at last this about "Birth trauma and psychedelics".
This readers' letter is also worth reading.
Addition August 8: I write very rapidly!!! And despite I play piano I don't press some keys hard enough!!?? So afterwards I see letters are missing... Hmmm... And see other misses too... Very spontaneously writing, full of feelings...