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 Brand-Whitenburgh and Michael Whitenburgh say “The methods and techniques contained in this story are still valid today and form the basis of our 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. 

Ruth’s Story

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.

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 h 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.

Ruth Continued……….

 “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”………..

 “He had a lot of women and used to brag about it to my mother. I knew that my dad slept with my mother’s best friends and I knew then that he was going out to see other women.”

“He used to bring presents home that he bought for girls he was going to meet that night. My mother would be ironing and he would shoe her these presents.

Yet if she left a single crease in his clothes when she had ironed them, he used to hit her so hard and make her mouth bleed.”

Mike interjects, “What upsets you most- that he was going out with other women, or that he beat your mother?”

Ruth sitting on a low seat with her bare legs tucked up to her hugs her knees and wriggles long brown toes as she ponders the question.

“I always wanted him to go off with one of the girls and leave us alone,” she answered eventually.

Both Mike and I are aware that she has side-step the question, but she continues. “If that man had had his way, I think to this day I would have been an ageing spinster. But I ran off with my husband at 17.”

“When I was younger – 12 or 13, if I so much as looked at a man, my father used to hit me and call met a little whore. I had to keep my eyes down all the time.

Sex with her husband was always a duty, she says, like washing the dishes, and he used to abuse her.

 “Even now I feel that no man in his right mind would want me,” she says.

Ruth is pretty. She is wearing a swirling cotton skirt, and her lemon jumper with matching lemon earrings off – set the darkness of her skin. Her voice is soft and the accent delightful sounding more American than Eastern.

Mike asks about dreams, and she tells him about the devil dreams. “I actually saw him, felt him,” she says.

On another occasion she has felt someone touching her, or stroking her, or moving the bedclothes. She even knows when it is about to happen.

“I can actually sense the atmosphere in the room change. Something forces my eyes down and my body freezes. It’s spooky. I can hear music in the background. I say the Lord’s Prayer and sometimes I can feel something trying to stop me from moving my mouth.

Ruth voices her fears to Mike. Perhaps what she has blocked out is that she saw her mother being killed by her father. She used to sleep next to her mother she recalls, and woke on that night to find her ill. Ruth was sent to sleep in another room.

“She was shaking her head from side to side, choking,” Ruth says, “He was standing at the end of the bed, arms folded.”

Her voice trembles. “What’s killing me is the thought that maybe he was doing something to me that night, my mother woke up and he killed her.”

Ruth goes on to relate the incident when she was 15 and her father tried to get into her bed.

“The next morning I told my stepmother what had happened, and she said, “It’s a good job he didn’t try what with one of my daughters because I would have killed him.” “I had turned to her for help.”

“I sometimes think about my childhood, how everyone I have loved and respected has turned round and kicked met in the teeth and how my marriage worked out; sometimes I think I must be evil. All of my life it’s been like that.” She pauses. . .

“I remember when I was 16 I had to put on a sari, I hated it, but I had to parade in front of my father in this sari.”


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.

Love XXX

Marianna and Michael

Hats Reduced size 2013


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