|The Brutal Misery That Haunts Sad Ruth
This is the story of a young woman tormented by the terrible events of her childhood.
She called the Echo Action Line when we launched our campaign against child abuse – Can You Hear Our Children Weeping?
It was a desperate plea for help. That help came from Mike Whitenburgh, a psychoanalyst.
|Marianna Brandt-Whitenburgh and Michael say –
“The methods and techniques contained in this story are still valid today and form the basis of your unique global workshops with modern day slants.”
|Original story 26th & 27th June 1985 by (Jenny Palmer) – Moira Martingale and reproduced by permission of the Liverpool Post and Echo, Old Hall Street, Liverpool, United Kingdom and author Moira Martingale.
Original drawings by Linda Saavedra.
This is the story of a young woman tormented by the terrible events of her childhood. She called the Echo Action Line when we launched our campaign against child abuse – Can You Hear Our Children Weeping? It was a desperate plea for help. That help came from Mike Whitenburgh, a psychoanalyst
– Jenny Palmer, Liverpool Echo
The Brutal Misery That Haunts Sad Ruth
Releasing the painful memories
It all started with Sigmund Freud’s theory and method of psychoanalysis. He compared the mind to an iceberg, with the smaller part – the part “above the water” being the conscious part, and the larger, unseen part, being the unconscious (or subconscious)
In the unconscious, Freud believed, were all the urges, passions and repressed ideas and feelings which without us being aware of it control our thoughts and deeds.
If someone experiences a trauma in childhood, it will be repressed – locked away in the subconscious – because it is too painful to recollect.
But people cannot make their painful memories disappear quite so easily. Although they may seem to have forgotten them, a childhood trauma may manifest itself in peculiar ways in an adult, often producing depression, anxieties and many other- sometimes bizarre psychological problems.
This is where a psychoanalyst like Mike Whitenburgh comes in.
Under psychoanalysis, often using hypnosis, Mike ‘digs around’ – to use his own phrase – to try and uncover the deep-seated cause of a patient’s anxieties or neuroses, and then to try and release the trauma which is trapped in his or her subconscious.
Only by such release will the person be able to make a new start.
“I know I’m a last resort,” says Mike Whitenburgh. “Sometimes people even come to me after trying faith healers.”
“They try their own doctors first, and then the specialists, then they try the ‘alternatives’ such as faith healing. Then they turn up at my doorstep expecting me to say, ‘I can’t help you.’
“The medical profession is seen as being there to provide an intellectual answer, but they can’t say anything except “Go home and pull yourself together. Grow up.”
“Grow up” is important. You are physically talking to a little child.”
The first mayor objective in psychoanalysis is to get rid of the ‘rational’ mind.
People tend to intellectualise their problems, which is why traumas lie buried beneath a heap of adult logic.
Taking a shovel to a heap and tossing aside the logic is the only way to the core of the trouble- and this means regression to childhood.
“Analysis is a complete cure. I have never failed in analysis and it provides certainly know a lot more about yourself.”
She had a dream, which was not all a dream, she said. . .
The devil was making love to her. He had black shiny skin, a muscled body, tightly-curled hair and his eyes were two balls of fire.
He pinned her down, she said, then he tilted his head to one side and looked at her pityingly. Crazily, for a second, she felt safe. Then she noticed two little horns on his forehead. . .
Ruth was not speaking calmly. She was beside herself, panicky and the words were cascading from her lips-disorganised thoughts frantically given voice.
But here was some sense being made- if you get a word in edgeways to ask about it. Ruth tended to- as the expression is – “go all around Oldham to get to Manchester.”
She was ringing in a state of shock, having read the story of Phil in the Echo’s “Can You Hear Our Children Weeping.” Campaign against child abuse.
Phil, a man of 38 with a history of depression and psychiatric treatment, had, under hypnosis, revealed how he had been abused as a child by his father and another man.
The experience had been buried in his subconscious- until psychoanalyst Mike Whitenburgh forced it to the surface.
Ruth had been stunned by the story feeling an inexplicable identification with Phil. Regression may be the answer for her, she said when she phoned, and pleaded for details about the therapy.
Then Ruth poured out the miseries of her life. . .
She was an Indian from Singapore. Her mother died when she was seven and she believed that her father, who used to beat her mother regularly, was responsible for her death. Ruth was sleeping next to her mother just before she died.
When she was 15 her father tried to get into her bed, but left the room without assaulting her.
Never the less, Ruth now 29 feels that her father might have sexually abused her as a child. Having read the articles in the Echo during the week of our campaign, her conviction that “something happened to her” was strengthened.
Almost 13 years ago the family moved to England and Ruth, desperate to escape her tyrannical father, met and married a man from Liverpool. It was a mistake.
The man was violent and a gambler. He lashed out at her frequently and abused her verbally, destroying her confidence and self- esteem.
Two children and a suicide attempt later, Ruth is alone, adoring her two sons, aged 10 and 8, but plagued with anxiety, depression and the dreams which are not dreams.
“I keep seeing a figure of a man in my room. He is faceless, but I know it’s my father.”
She feels something touching her when she is trying to sleep at nights. Then there is the terrifying dream of the devil. “It is so real.”
Ruth went to see her doctor, “He laughed when I told him about the devil and said I should be exorcised. But to this day I am so haunted by something.”
“I was in tears reading that Echo article. I really felt for that man.”
Mr Whitenburgh agreed to treat her. He would allow me to sit in on his first discussion with Ruth, but once the actual psychoanalytical treatment sessions were started, it would be unethical for me to be present, he said.
However, there was nothing to prevent Ruth herself from relating what had happened, and she was eager to do this.
He introduced himself as Mike when we met at Ruth’s terraced house on the outskirts of the city. It was neat and homely. Photographs of Ruth’s two sons stand proudly on view to visitors, and soon the boys came in.
They are beautiful children, with short dark hair and black eyes. They stand solemnly in their blue pyjamas and politely say goodnight. Ruth’s pride in them is evident – and understandable. She and her husband are now divorced and she has raised her boys alone for seven years.
But she is not concentrating on the present this evening, she is turning the pages of her memory for Mike, who listens and asks an occasional question.
“I hate to think of that man as my father,” she says, and relates how he used to rule the house hold- her brother and her mother as well as herself with violence. When they came to England and she began work, she had to hand over all her wages and he returned a pittance to her.
“He was spending my money on taking girls out to pubs,” she says, bitterly, and then remembers his similar behaviour in Singapore, before her mother died”.
Continued Next week……………………….
The second part of the Ruth Story will be published next week…….
New Mind Woman – New World Within, Your charisma is our honour. Please comment on this article.
Your appeal and captivation makes your very attractiveness and magnetism shine through your eyes. You are wholeness itself and we at the ‘Centre of Excellence for mind Empowerment’ here in Swakopmund, Namibia are thankful for your – Self.
Marianna and Michael