“This is not the first time my writing has been informed by my dreaming self. By now I am wise enough to trust such experiences even before I can make sense of them.”
“Acceptance and praise foster a feeling of well-being in the child. They encourage confidence, spontaneity, hope, and a sense of being worthwhile. Punishment and threat induce guilt feelings, moralistic self-restriction, and pressure to atone. Guilt is the anxiety that accompanies transgressions, carrying with it the feeling of having done bad things and the fear of the parents’ angry retaliation. In the interests of self-protection, the child learns to deal with this anticipated punishment preemptively by turning it into an internalized threat against himself. § Disapproval and contempt make a child feel ashamed of not being a worthwhile person. The implied danger of abandonment may make him shy, avoidant, and ever anxious about making mistakes, appearing foolish, and being open to further ridicule.” “Aceitação e elogios alimentam na criança uma sensação de bem-estar e conforto. Encorajam a confiança, espontaneidade, esperança, um senso de capacidade e de cumprir o seu papel. Punição e ameaças induzem sentimentos de culpa, auto-restrições morais, pressão corretiva. A culpa é a ansiedade que acompanha transgressões, carregando consigo o sentimento de ter feito coisas ruins e o medo da retaliação furiosa dos pais. Com a auto-preservação em vista, a criança aprende a lidar com esse castigo iminente de modo preventivo, internalizando a ameaça contra si mesma. § Desaprovação e desdém fazem a criança se sentir envergonhada por não ser uma pessoa valorosa. O perigo implicado no sentir-se abandonado é o desenvolvimento de uma personalidade tímida, esquiva, evitativa, constantemente ansiosa ou apreensiva quanto ao cometimento de erros, com medo de acabar parecendo um tolo ou de estar vulnerável ao ridículo dos outros.”
A ANTIGA SÍNDROME DE RENAN: Medo de ser expulso de casa. Medo de dar muitas despesas. Medo de ser um mero mortal.
“<Look how foolish you are, how clumsy, how stupid! What will other people think of you when they see that you can’t seem to do anything right? You should be ashamed of yourself acting like that. If only you really cared, if only you wanted to act right, if only you would try harder, then you could be the kind of child we want you to be.> Repeated exposure to such abuse calls forth an inner echo of self-contempt. § Eventually the child learns to say of himself, <What an idiot I am, what a fool, what an awful person! I never do anything right. I have no self-control. I just don’t try hard enough. If I did, surely they would be satisfied.>” “<Olha quão tolo você é, desajeitado, estúpido! O que vão pensar de você, se você não consegue fazer nada direito? Você devia sentir vergonha de si mesmo agindo desse jeito. Se apenas você se importasse, se você só quisesse agir adequadamente, se você apenas tentasse mais, aí então você seria o tipo de criança que queríamos que você fosse.> A exposição repetida a tal tipo de discurso leva a uma internalização dum eco de auto-desprezo; uma voz interna passa a repetir as mesmas coisas antes faladas pelos seus superiores. § Eventualmente, chega-se ao ponto em que a própria criança dirá, diante de cada nova decepção: <Que idiota que eu sou, que imbecil, que péssima pessoa! Nunca faço nada certo. Não tenho sequer auto-controle. E eu nunca tento o bastante. Se eu tentasse, com certeza satisfaria a vontade dos outros.>”
“My own mother often told me: <I love you, but I don’t like you.> It was clear that this meant that she loved me because she was a good mother, but that she did not like me because I was an unsatisfactory child.”
“The experience of being seen as momentarily not yet able to cope is a natural part of growth. It is also natural to experience the embarrassment that accompanies making mistakes, stumbling, blundering, or fucking-up.”
“Some parents are too hard on their children because of their own personal problems, others because of harsh cultural standards. Some cultures make excessive demands for precocious maturing of the child. In such settings, shaming inculcates the feeling that other people will not like the child unless he lives up to their expectations. § When shaming arises out of the pathology of neurotic parents, the child may be expected to take care of the parents. Such a child may never learn that the natural order of things is quite the reverse. He is discouraged from ever realizing that it is the parents who are supposed to take care of the child. § Even more insidious is the impact of the parent who unconsciously needs to have an unsatisfactory child. Such a parent will never be satisfied, no matter how hard the child tries, no matter how much he accomplishes. Anything less than perfection is unacceptable. If the child gets a grade of 95 on an examination, he will be asked why he didn’t get 100. If he gets 100, he will be asked what took him so long to get a satisfactory grade. Told that he should have been getting 100 all along, he may become afraid to do well lest perfect grades be demanded of him all the time from then on. If he happens to be a chronic straight-A student, then he may be asked, <If you’re so damn smart, how come you can’t keep your room clean?>” “This can lead to his spending a lifetime vainly seeking the approval of others in the hope that he may someday be validated at last. § My own parents shamed me needlessly and often. They made it clear that it was my clumsiness, my inadequacies, and my failures that made them unhappy. Even my successes and accomplishments were made to reveal how inferior and insufficient I was.”
“<Enough,> she stilled me. <A boy doesn’t interrupt when a father is talking, a father who sweats in the city all week long for him.>”
“Those who have been shamed can some day learn to overcome feeling unworthy. Embarrassment, in contrast, is a natural reaction that is inevitable in certain social situations.”
“quavering speech [fala tremida] or breaking of the voice, sweating, blanching [empalidecimento], blinking, tremor of the hand, hesitating or vacillating movement, absent-mindedness” Goffman, Interaction Ritual: Essays on Face-to-Face Behavior, 1967
“The medical term for less-than-normal breathing capacity, for instance, is respiratory embarrassment.”
“Some unexpected physical clumsiness, breach of etiquette, or interpersonal insensitivity may leave a person open to criticism for being more crude or coarse than he claims to be. But this is an issue of manners, not of morals. It may make for a temporary change of social status, but never carries with it the self-threatening sanctions of shame, with its implications of abandonment, loss of love, and ultimate emotional starvation.”
“For a moment all bets are off. Trust of myself and others is in jeopardy. All values are once again in question. First there is the question of trust in myself. Am I an adequate human being or a fool? What can I expect of myself? Do I really know what I am doing?” “It is a time for the exotic flowering of my paranoia. At such times I may mistakenly expect contempt and ridicule from loving friends and neutral strangers. It is just as though they would turn from me in disgust as my parents did when I did not meet their impossible standards.”
Where is my floor?
Please open that door
Shut those windows
Cracked room and mind
of a sweet-salty boy
Sing along and refrain
“There seems to be no way for any of us to get through the day without making a careless error, doing something foolish, committing a gaffe or faux pas.” Gof., op. cit.
“After hitting the lamppost I sat on the curb and cried as little as possible. I was really worried. Now it was time to go home and face my mother. Instead of seeing this mishap as an unfortunate accident around which I could feel sorry for myself and expect some sympathy, I knew that I had let my parents down again. I headed home and climbed the stairs to our apartment, skates over my shoulder.”
“Still, echoes of this grotesque situation can be heard at times from out of my unsettled and unworthy depths. I remember just a couple of years ago when I learned that I had to undergo a second bout of neurosurgery.”
“At such times my mother’s explicit instructions were: <Don’t fight, but never, never deny that you are a Jew.> She seemed to want me to be well-behaved, but did little to help me to avoid occasions of sin.”
“One afternoon after school Charlie started beating on me in front of a girl I had a crush on. For the first time in my unhappy marriage to Charlie Hooko, my own fear of being seen as a shamefully brutal, lower-class street fighter was overcome. The fear of being humiliated in the eyes of this girl was even more shameful. And so in the midst of the fight I punched Charlie right in the mouth. He couldn’t believe it. I could hardly believe it myself. § Charlie stopped the play at once. He took me down to the park and we both washed our faces at the fountain. Charlie announced to everyone around that I was a tough guy, that he admired me, and that we would be friends from then on. That ended months of regularly scheduled defeat.”
Punch like a girlish girl
Yea, just feel the flow
“As an early teenager I did eventually graduate to becoming a marginal member of a fighting street gang. I pretended that I was a better and more enthusiastic fighter than I ever really was.”
“As my children grew, being creatures of their age they moved toward the freak culture. Part of this involved their being the first kids in our neighborhood to let their hair grow long. So it was that another macho incident came about. One of our neighbors, strong both of will and of muscle, flew the Confederate flag.”
“What proof did he have, I demanded? His only answer was that my kids had long hair. He believed vandalism occurred only in the ghetto. Ghetto kids had long hair and they broke windows, he insisted. My kids had long hair. And so he concluded that it must have been one of them who had broken his window.”
“Ironically, the blunderer often unwittingly reveals the discomfort of his predicament by the very means by which he tries to hide it: <the fixed smile, the nervous hollow laugh, the busy hands, the downward glance that conceals the expression of the eyes.>” “Ironicamente, o atabalhoado freqüente e inadvertidamente expõe seu desconforto situacional pela própria tática utilizada para disfarçá-lo: <o sorriso fixo, a risada nervosa despropositada, as mãos hiper-ativas, a vista caída que esconde a expressão dos olhos.>”
“Essa necessidade social salutar de ocultar-se o embaraço é enfatizada nas pessoas que foram excessivamente submetidas a vexames na infância. Potencialmente, o indivíduo virá a desenvolver um estilo de conduta de tipo neurótico, agindo timidamente a maior parte do tempo e preferindo evitar que outros venham a percebê-lo ou a conhecê-lo.”
“Tendo tantas dificuldades de interação, não é raro que a pessoa acredite que sua abertura para o constrangimento e a vivência de situações ridículas [pois socialmente é impossível fugir de tais ocasiões] é realmente singular. Ela pode desenvolver a crença que outras pessoas não têm a mesma tendência de <se passarem por tolas> de tempos em tempos, como ela tem.”
“Sua própria conscienciosidade de seu problema age como um efeito bola de neve: a apreensão pela sua hiper-sensibilidade eleva seu senso de isolamento, peculiaridade, solidão, enfim. Que trágico que a pessoa deva sempre sentir-se como um desajustado! Basicamente, não diferimos uns dos outros. Ninguém é capaz de lidar o tempo todo com as demandas sociais, sempre excessivas. Mas é que o comportamento tímido-neurótico é sempre desproporcional, alimentando a convicção íntima de que <há algo muito errado consigo>.”
“As maneiras reservadas do introvertido <clássico> (não-mórbido) são parte, provavelmente, de sua orientação psicológica inata; e ele estará sempre mais inclinado ao mundo interior das experiências privadas, que lhe é bem mais confortável. Certo nível de acanhamento da personalidade é mesmo, senão natural, incentivado socialmente. Algumas pessoas (como o próprio que escreve) escondem sua timidez crônica debaixo de um véu de arrogância simulada.”
“When he does try to express himself, he is likely to be hesitant, needlessly soft-spoken, ingratiating, and apologetic. Whenever possible, he simply will try to avoid contact with other people.”
“A person who is not neurotically shy understands that it is the external situation that contributes to embarrassment, rather than some defect in his own character. Unlike the shy neurotic, he has come to learn that these anxieties are triggered by his reaction to particular people and situations.” “Uma pessoa que não é neuroticamente tímida compreende que é o contexto exterior que contribui para seu embaraço, em vez de qualquer defeito de seu próprio caráter. Ao contrário do tímido neurótico, aquela pessoa aprendeu a ver que essas angústias são acionadas pela sua reação a pessoas e eventos particulares.”
“The shy neurotic cannot get anywhere in overcoming his excessive shyness without first revealing to himself that what he truly fears most is not rejection but acceptance, not failure but success. He begins to go after what he wants out of life.” “O tímido neurótico não chegará a lugar algum, enquanto tenta superar ou minorar sua timidez, caso não admita para si mesmo que o que ele realmente mais teme NÃO é a rejeição mas a aceitação, NÃO é o fracasso, e sim o próprio sucesso! É aí que ele começa a alcançar seus verdadeiros objetivos de vida.”
we’re all looped, leaked, sinking, seeking and not finding, just overwhelmed by our own hopes’ weights… what if…
a head dive in a pool of danger
“Feeling undeserving of such unfamiliar achievement and acceptance, he has unwittingly learned to discredit these pleasureable experiences. A poignant early expression of this self-defeating attitude occurs during the first phase of psychotherapy.”
“Anything that makes him feel worthwhile calls forth the echo of his mother’s voice, demanding that he question his presumption. It is as though he can almost hear her demanding, <Just who do you think you are?> Believing even for a moment that he is satisfactory as a human being evokes the underlying shameful feeling that he has presumed too much.” “Qualquer coisa que o faça sentir-se valorizado evoca o eco da voz de sua mãe, mandando que baixe a bola. É como se realmente pudesse ouvir, <Vem cá, quem você pensa que é?>. Acreditar por um só momento que ele é um ser humano completamente satisfatório é o suficiente para ter sua paz de espírito quebrada por pensamentos de culpa de que ele agiu presunçosamente.”
O supremo oposto do vaidoso dos vaidosos – e o que isso trouxe? Mais ódio dos ‘cristãos’ sobre sua cabecinha…
“So it is that each moment of decision is followed by a moment of revision. A minute later, he has reversed his thrust forward, retiring once more into his customary shyness.”
“His life is not what he meant it to be at all. It’s just not it at all.”
Evitar a confrontação é como comprar à prestação!
“Guy de Maupassant’s short story, The Diamond Necklace, is a classic example of the high price of false pride. It is the story of Matilda, a woman tortured and angered by having to live a shamefully ordinary life because she does not possess the luxuries and delicacies which she insists befit her station.”
“It was my parents who started me off down my own painful path of shame and false pride. My parents are no longer responsible for this trip that I sometimes continue to make. Now the enemy is within. It is only my own overblown ego that shames me. It is only I, still sometimes arrogantly insisting on having higher standards for myself than I would impose on others. How much easier to accept the flaws in others than in myself. To the extent that I cling to being special in this way, I remain stuck with the tediously painful life of the perfectionistic striver. I must get everything right, all the time, or suffer shame. It is far too heavy a price to pay for maintaining the illusion that I might be able to rise above human frailty.”
“I give up being satisfied with myself as a pretty decent, usually competent sort of guy who, like everyone else, sometimes makes mistakes, fucks up, and plays the fool. Instead I insist that if only I tried harder, really cared, truly wanted to, I could become that wonderful person who could make my long-dead parents happy. Then they would approve of me. I would be the best. Everyone would love me.”
“Guilt and shame originate from different kinds of faulty parenting. Guilt arises out of a certain kind of bad fathering, shame out of bad mothering.¹ Either parent may elicit one or the other depending on the particular parent’s role and attitude rather than on his or her gender alone.
Excessive authoritarian fathering creates guilty anticipation of punishment for transgression against the lawful order of things. Overly demanding mothering breeds shame.”
¹ Kleiniano demais…
“Paradoxically, too much shaming often produces defiance rather than propriety. No longer able to bear the overwhelming burden of shame, a child may develop a secret determination to misbehave. He comes to wear a mask of spite and shamelessness.”
“We were studying Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. At the beginning of one week, the English teacher announced that we were to memorize Marc Antony’s eulogy. I protested loudly. Memorizing materials that needlessly cluttered up my head was both a waste of my time and an intrusive violation of my mind. No arbitrary school system had any right to do that to me.”
“<Ma, how come you always talk funny when you come to see a teacher?> This was one of my rare opportunities to shame her”
“Straight people were simply not prepared for coping with those of us who shamelessly stepped outside of the system, acted with contempt for the rules, and covertly shamed them for the arbitrariness of their principles.”
“At times my shameless behavior has gotten me into trouble. But so long as it sometimes gets results like that, who am I not to be tempted to continue to be outrageous?”
“More privately, I had developed the false pride of perfectionism to hide my shame and worthlessness from my own eyes. I had to avoid risking further failures and more mistakes. I had to be able to change my image so that I might escape without looking like I was running away or hiding out.”
NOSSAS TORRES DE MARFIM
“No longer would I be the fumbling incompetent who was too timid to go to parties because he never knew how to go about making friends. Instead I became a <heavy> intellectual. With such profoundly developed sensitivity, I could no longer be expected to be bothered devoting my precious energies to the pursuit of the mundane social goals that somehow seemed to excite almost everyone else I knew.
Even armoring as exquisite as this was not enough. Somewhere inside I knew I was just too damn lonely. I still needed to be needed. Acting obsequious, or even <being nice>, was an unthinkable solution. Instead I began to advertise myself as ever ready to rush into the gap whenever a task presented itself that ordinary folk found too unrewarding to mess with.”
“For the first few years of my career as a therapist I worked in impossibly archaic monolithic custodial institutions such as state mental hospitals and prisons. Though allegedly established and maintained as society’s attempt to care for and rehabilitate its social deviates, these institutions turned out to be punitive warehouses for those undesirables about whom the rest of us wished to forget. I cast myself as the champion of the oppressed.¹ Doggedly and unsuccessfully I fought the administrative powers, hoping to attain decent care, effective treatment, and eventual release for the inmates.”
¹ Incrivelmente similar a minha loucura de querer me tornar professor!
“Now I had a new problem. There were no bad parents to fight. How was I to define my role in this more benevolent situation?”
“I do not usually shake hands with a new patient unless the patient gives some indication that this is part of where he starts out in social relationships, in which case I respond.”
“His opening lines were: How long have you been a therapist? Don’t you know that phobic patients can’t stand to be touched? You insist on shaking hands with me knowing that I am too compliant to refuse. It could only make me anxious. The demands you make on me!”
“Should he awaken during the night and need to go to the bathroom to urinate, he must simply suffer through the hours until dawn. He was not able to risk disturbing his dog by getting out of bed. His feeling of friendship with the dog was substantiated by his bringing him along to the treatment sessions.”
“There he asked to be deported to Russia for asylum. Surely he would get better treatment under Communism than he had from the barbaric democratic psychiatric services in America’s capital.” “I described my own experience, and I pointed out that the patient was crazy. He had made me crazy. I warned this man that he would make him crazy, too, unless we all understood that just because the patient claimed that something difficult needed to be done did not mean that we had to do it. The patient was all heat and no light. We were vulnerable to his unrealistic outcries because of our own needs to meet every challenge heroically, no matter how nutty it might be. If we thought it over for a minute, we would realize that there wasn’t much in the way of disastrous consequence in this for anyone but the patient himself. That was unfortunate for him, but that was the way it had to be. Happily, the perspective I offered was sufficient to relieve the Congressional Counsel of his own anxiety.”
“The patient was an attractive woman in her early twenties whose birth defects included having no feet and only rudimentary hands. She managed to get about with a combination of prosthetic devices and monumental denial.” “Focusing on her frustrated wishes to become a star in the public eye allowed her to avoid her anxiety and despair about the oppressive difficulties that she encountered in everyday living. My own parallel defensiveness led me to join her, supporting her crazy longings with my own denial of shame-filled helplessness. She made her own contribution by avoiding my tentative therapeutic interventions. There was just no way she could hear my timid suggestions that this whole show business preoccupation was an avoidance of dealing with the day-to-day quality of her life.”
“Unattended snot ran out of her nostrils and down her face (her measure of how much messiness I could tolerate?). I listened and sympathized as if my mere presence would heal her.” “For some reason, which I still do not understand, after about a year of this circus she let me in on her <secret>. All during this time she had been seeing me on Thursday afternoons, and now she confessed that she had also been in therapy on Monday mornings at another clinic with another crazy therapist.”
“This new challenge’s chart described her as a borderline psychotic, a part-time alcoholic, an unhappy, aggressive woman with preoccupying sexual hangups and several previous unsatisfying bouts of psychotherapy. When I went out to the waiting room to invite her in for our first therapy session she struck me as a slight, timid waif of a woman. She looked more like an emaciated 12-year-old than a life-hardened 32-year-old.”
“Oh, now I get it, the old color symbolism test. A male therapist with a red shirt, and now I’m supposed to tell you that I’m sometimes gay, and you probably are, too!” “You’re the therapist I’ve been looking for all of my life. I’m never, never going to leave you. I know that you’ll be able to accept whatever I do without ever making me feel bad or throwing me out.” “My relief and sense of well-being was immediately transformed. I got the sinking feeling that I had just made a lifetime contract with an albatross.”
“By then I was off balance, but I knew the direction in which I must go. I told her that alcoholic beverages were not permitted in the clinic. If she opened the beer here in my office that would be the end of treatment. As in the first session, she seemed relieved rather than upset by my setting some limits on her acting out.”
“She had gone to visit her dentist to have a tooth extracted. He knew that she had bad reactions to the usual anesthetics that he used. Therefore he had brought a bottle of whiskey and insisted that she have a couple of straight shots to prepare her for the extraction. She described herself as having been rather uncertain. Still she yielded to his encouragement to have one, two, and then another couple of shots. She claimed that soon she was so high that she could not resist his insistence that she perform fellatio.”
* * *
“While I have the floor, let me also disagree with Shelly’s [Sheldon’s] (and almost all other therapists’) allegation or implication that shame largely stems from early childhood experiences. Shit, no! If anything, early childhood experiences largely arise out of our innate predispositions toward inventing <shameful> conditions and actions and consequently idiotically making ourselves—and I mean making ourselves—unduly embarrassed about our inventions.” “Because Shelly’s feelings of shame in regard to the incident with his parents have a high degree of correlation with his feelings of shame today, he mistakenly assumes that the former caused the latter.” “Shelly’s parents indubitably taught him various standards of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’—including the standard, ‘You act rightly when you stubbornly refuse to imagine yourself letting either of your parents drown and wrongly when you even consider saving only one of them from drowning.’ Given such standards, and having the human tendency to adopt them, Shelly will assuredly believe that he acts ‘rightly’ when he tells his parents that under no conditions would he let either of them drown and ‘wrongly’ when he tells them that he would choose one over the other. Granted.”
“A person’s history therefore has relatively little to do with present feelings of shame or self-downing. Shelly may have learned his standards of good and bad behavior from his parents (and others), but he decided to take them seriously and he still decides to do so if he feels ashamed of anything he does today.”
“I had a female client who had serious feelings of inadequacy about herself, especially in her relations with men, and whom I helped considerably to overcome some of these feelings. She had an attractive female friend to whom she talked about me and the way I had helped her, and who got somewhat turned on to me. This friend, in her own manipulative way, managed to meet me at a series of lectures I gave and suggested that we date.
Now I knew that I’d better not do this. Not only have I refused from my first days as a therapist to have social relations with my clients—for although this may have some advantages, I recognize that it tends to lead to more harm than good—but I also have refused to maintain close relations with any of their intimates. (…) A good idea, and I invariably—or almost invariably—stick with it. But not this time! The friend of my client seemed so charming and attractive that I decided to break my self-imposed rule and to date her. I saw her a few times, got intimate with her socially and sexually, and then decided to stop seeing her because I found her much less charming and interesting than I previously had thought. In the course of my fairly brief relations with her, I deliberately mentioned nothing about my client, since I knew that they had a somewhat close relationship, and I didn’t want to give away any confidences.
Nothing happened for several weeks; and then, after I and my client’s female friend no longer saw each other, all hell suddenly broke loose. My client, Josephine, came in one day terribly upset and said that she had discovered that I had seen her friend socially. She found this most distressing for several reasons. She thought that I might have revealed some things about her to her friend. She felt constrained, now, in telling me certain feelings that she had about this woman. She confessed a sexual interest in me and said that she felt jealous that I had shown no inclination to have sex with her while I had obviously had it with Sarah. She hated Sarah for having seduced me and then having boasted about it. Most of all, curiously enough, she felt upset because I had stupidly allowed myself to get taken in by Sarah, who, according to Josephine, had no interest in me other than as a conquest, who had fooled me into thinking she had more intelligence than she actually had, and whose inherent nastiness I had presumably entirely failed to perceive.” “I, like Josephine, at first upset myself more about my mistaken diagnosis of Sarah than about anything else.” “Her interest in me stemmed mainly from her belief that I might help her with her own personal problems and from the ego boost she experienced from telling others that she had a well-known psychotherapist interested in her. Although I had told her very specifically not to mention our association to Josephine, whom I guessed would upset herself about it, she had not only told all to her friend but had also lyingly stated that she had given me up and that I still had a great interest in resuming relations with her.” “I took a chance that my relationship with Sarah would never get back to her. I really had preferred Sarah over her, and perhaps some of this preference had come through in my relationship to Josephine. I had given her an opportunity to see some of my diagnostic weaknesses—and thereby helped remove some of her confidence in me as therapist. When she had shown an overt sexual interest in me, I had quite ethically but perhaps too brusquely repulsed her, partly because at the time I already had established a sexual relationship with Sarah, and Josephine did not seem half so attractive to me. If I had never gone with Sarah, I might well have handled rebuffing Josephine in a more tactful and more therapeutic way.” “She seemed to accept the fact that I had not deliberately done anything to hurt her and had only made some understandable errors.” “Fortuitously, she got involved with a well-known psychiatrist who treated her with a dishonesty similar to Sarah’s treatment of me, and I helped her considerably in accepting herself with her gullibility [naiveness] and in breaking away from him without feeling terribly hurt.”
“I set a few more rigorous rules for myself about socializing with the friends and relatives of my clients, and eventually I mainly forgot about the entire incident.”
“If I down ‘me’, ‘myself’, or my totality for my errors, I essentially take myself out of the human condition and view myself as a subhuman. Falsely! For, as a human, I cannot very well attain superhumanness or subhumanness except by a miracle!”
“As far as I can see, you do not really admit the true wrongness of your acts if you don’t make yourself feel very guilty about them. And, even if you do acknowledge their badness, you do not motivate yourself strongly enough to change them and keep yourself from recommitting them in the future. Poppycock [Baboseira]!” “As a person who admits his own irresponsibility but who doesn’t down himself totally for having it, I save myself immense amounts of time and energy that I otherwise would spend dwelling on my poor actions, obsessively showing myself how wrongly I did them, and savagely berating myself for having such fallibility.”
“I try not to make myself guilty about making myself guilty, nor to make myself feel ashamed of making myself ashamed. I don’t find it easy! I keep slipping. My goddamned fallibility clearly remains.”
“I felt the role of therapist to be an artificial one requiring that I adopt a facade that made me feel like the newly clothed emperor. I think I persisted in this unpleasant exercise partly because doing therapy was then the wave of the future for young clinicians, partly because I was assured by colleagues and supervisors that I was reasonably competent and talented, and partly because I tend to become stubborn under duress.”
“The most difficult <incident> of all lasted about two years. In the course of some very significant changes in my life, I was subject to severe anxiety attacks while working with clients (and at other times as well). The awful feeling would gradually well up in a great surge that might last for several minutes and then gradually subside. The experience was particularly frightening because I never felt certain how <high> the surge would go. While working, for example, I felt as though if it went much further, I might fall out of my chair or flee the room (these never happened). Though appearing to occur at random, these <attacks> themselves seemed to become more intense over about two years; then I gradually became able to overcome them and resolve the underlying issues.”
CONTRA-MEDIDAS PARA MOMENTOS DE “NUDEZ TERAPÊUTICA”:
- “Minimize (or eliminate) pretense in self-presentation. This is especially relevant to, and difficult for, beginning therapists.”;
- Buscar uma espécie de “acordo tácito” com o paciente sobre o nível de nudez ideal que o terapeuta e o “tratando” desejam para a terapia;
- Sempre ter em mente flexibilidade nas regras de resolução de problemas meta-terapêuticos – incluindo seguir ou não, conforme o caso, até mesmo ESTA regra!
O INSEGURO ESTEIO MORAL DA NAÇÃO: “He began to wonder if his suspicious attitude toward his wife was some sort of an illusion he had to maintain to give him the upper hand in the relationship, to be the constant moral superior.”
“The subject of his wife and I forming some sort of a conspiratorial love pair against him was never again mentioned without a lot of genuine humor associated with it. In fact, as if to further discount the possibility, he once said that he never thought I could lose enough weight anyway to be called slim or skinny by anybody.”
“While I have known her, she has worked as a topless and bottomless dancer, a masseuse in a parlor catering to conventioneers, and now nude encounter. She has been only partially successful at these jobs. She turns off as she undresses.”
“When she worked as a masseuse, she did not like to touch men’s genitals and do <a local>. It was formally against the policy of the club, although she admitted that to <jerk a customer off> got you a larger tip.”
“Here she was, earning twenty dollars a half hour (exactly my fee, dollar for minute) by sitting nude talking to men who chose their state of dress. No touching, no closeness, no real intimacy. She didn’t admit to seeing the analogies in our situations, probably because she was frightened of exploring their meaning. Her fear protected me from the full impact of the miming that she portrayed as the naked therapist.”
“Being embarrassed about experiencing a particular feeling is just the beginning of the cycle. Confronting the need to keep the feelings hidden increases its potency. Deciding to risk the uncovering process by telling the patient what has been happening inside of me can momentarily increase the embarrassment until it is released in a rush as the communication is finally made.”
O velho dilema de se apaixonar durante as sessões.
“My wife and I have written a book, Love and Ecstasy, about merger experiences in the solitary, dyadic, and group orientations.”
“I remember one patient that I worked with in the Kopp/Colman office. Yvonne was an exquisite, delicate 18-year-old rebel. Her father was a wealthy member of the State Department, her mother the dependent matron of a colonial mansion. Yvonne worked at shattering all family hypocrisy. She attacked with reckless competence, trying everything, flagrantly, desperately, and always self-destructively. She came to Shelly through some of her friends. He represented a bearded refuge for her, an adult who might understand. He sent her to me.
Her name should have been Jezebel. At that point in my life she represented impulse, license, sensuality, limitless possibilities. (…) Falling in love with her would be a lot simpler solution to my malaise than reclaiming the lost parts of my own spirit.”
“I knew I was clever enough to translate what was happening inside of me into words and actions that would facilitate her therapeutic work with me, but I wasn’t sure that I had the courage to risk such an intimate and painful personal statement, with its unknown repercussions for both of us.”
“It is not unusual now for me to feel love in a variety of forms for men and women with whom I work.” “Fantasies from therapy (in the case of Yvonne) invaded my sexual relationship with my wife and my paternal relationship with my daughter, just as those relationships entered my therapy relationship with her.” “She described her evaluation session with me and noted that she was sure I had had an erection during some of the hour. Triumphantly she proclaimed that she was positive of that fact as I got up to escort her out of the room at the end of the hour. She wondered about my ability to work in such a state and about my designs on her. She also wondered about the quality of my marriage and my sex life.” “I remembered being sexually aroused by Susan. My response had been prompted largely by the provocative role she had assumed during the hour rather than from a personal attraction. She could be very sexy, but most often used it as a weapon and a defense. I knew that precisely because of my reaction to her—arousal without great interest.” “I said I got sexually excited by many of my patients, female and male. I tried to use all my responses to an individual in my work, those of my body (including my penis) in all its states, and of my mind, with all its fantasies. I certainly did not plan to cut off parts of myself in the therapy encounter. Integrating that openness in the special setting of therapy with my family and other personal life was difficult and a challenge.”
QUANDO DOIS JUNGUIANOS SÃO CASADOS: “Libby knows me and herself well enough to assume that we could experience other people sexually and still focus our most intimate sexual expressions in each other, that she as Every-woman could become a repository for all my sexual fantasies just as I could for hers.”
Verdade e vitória são contraditórias.
Meu analista tem uma voz paciente, e eu ouvidos doutorais!
“Arthur, it takes ten years before a therapist begins to know what he’s doing.”
“Thinking that a straightforward discussion of the pot experience might ease some of this mother’s extreme fears, I asked the girls what it was like for them to smoke pot. Their replies were cautious and evasive. As I should have anticipated, they hit the ball smartly back into my court, asking me if I had smoked pot and if so, why didn’t I describe how it felt? Being a more skilled player than the girls, I could have used a therapeutic trick shot to put the ball back in their court. Yet something told me that the truth was called for here even if the shocked mother were to decide that a therapist who smoked pot was not for her family. Fortunately, it turned out well. Despite her innocence the mother is an open-minded woman who accepts differences in others.”
“Used with Karen’s permission, excerpts from her letters to me will amplify and enrich my presentation.”
“I think you protest too strongly and judge too harshly of a previous generation; but the protesting quite vehemently part interests me the most because I have seen it come out before with Carolyn; it wasn’t what you said as much as the intensity with which it was said. You see, on occasion I am also interested in getting into other people’s lives even though I do not get paid for it. I am interested in what makes them tick, and I try to remain as receptive as I can to subtle, non-verbal clues.”
“you are very, very far from being an open book. In other words, there is much about you that I do not know. I don’t really know how it makes you feel. I know at one point in the therapy I felt like I was naked, and you were a rapist, and you called me a beggar, and it hurt, and I thought: I’d rather be a beggar than a rapist. It just seemed that you kept taking and taking”
“you can’t beat them; you never beat them; all it accomplishes in the long run is letting them beat you. I don’t think either one of us would think that was a life well spent.” deixar-se levar é como ir para o inferno, pois não existe paraíso sem esforço. se isso significa que você “tem de dar valor”? Hoho, chega, descanse os nervos, o inferno não deve ser tão ruim… Me chama que eu vou!
“I did not tell you my complete reaction to your giving away one of your pictures. My initial feeling was a tinge of jealousy that you thought enough of one of your other female patients to give her a picture you liked very much. What felt like a little child in me yelled out: What are you doing? Don’t you know? I’m supposed to be the most important one! You’re not supposed to give your favorite picture to someone else! On that same level, I’m still not exactly bouncing off the walls about it; a little of the same feeling came back when you brought it up today. However, I feel it is so ridiculous, and childish, and unrealistic that I don’t even know if I completely allow myself to feel it, much less express it.”
“She wasn’t going to think you had designs on her, was she? You didn’t, did you? Then, what’s to feel uneasy about? It was a very nice thing. People should do it more often. I’m glad you did, a little jealous, but pleased.”
“I get the very strong impression from you that you like doing things according to schedule, and that you really do not take deviations too gracefully. It is too bad that people’s needs do not run according to schedule also, or maybe most of your patients can program them for their hour or whatever.”
“Fuck your schedule; it might have fucked our lives. We should have gone elsewhere, but you didn’t have to worry about that because I was already too attached to you for that, and I’m sure you didn’t lose any sleep over it. I have resented it; I didn’t realize I resented it so much.”
“She then sent a brief note to apologize for blaming me for fucking up her and her husband’s lives. Karen knew they were responsible for their own lives, and she felt badly about hitting below the belt over the issue of my schedule.” Below the belt, but not too much…
Quantos anos de serviço contribuídos como “terapendo”?
Jacqulyn S. Clements
“Alan, in his 5th year of hospitalization, had been recalling the days when he was an airplane mechanic. He concluded with the comment, <That’s why I can’t ever get married; I’m a mechanic.>
You may be noting the symbolism. What I said was, <Well, I don’t know about that. I’ve known a number of mechanics and most of them were married.>
Alan pondered this thoughtfully. Then with a twinkle in his eyes, he leaned close to me and said, <But were they schizophrenic?>”
“Telling these stories is vaguely embarrassing, but, as lived, they were really good experiences for me and for the clients. My response in each case was a silent but clear <Touché!>. I don’t recommend dumb comments; but if you’ve got a Bobby or an Alan, you can learn a lot and enjoy each other.
An incident from my practice that illustrates a negative feeling of goofing and embarrassment occurred on the day I handed Mrs. B the A-child’s appointment card. My comments made it obvious that I thought she was married to Mr. A, who was also seated in the waiting room. These weren’t new people; I’d interviewed each with their real spouses. When Mrs. B pointed out my error, I wished I could disappear into a hole in the floor, and my right arm flew up in the air. I used it to touch my hair and said, <Oh, my, where is my head today?> Then, taking the A-child back to the therapy room, I quipped, <I almost got you a new mother today—ha ha.> As far as I know this had no big effect on therapeutic progress, although I certainly wouldn’t call it a confidence builder.”
“Sophisticated clients know what Gestalters and such are like; they probably saw their 6th Fritz Perls film just last week.” Um dos fundadores de um dos ramos da Gestalt (que não é monolítica): Perls, F., Hefferline, R., & Goodman, P., Gestalt Therapy: Excitement and Growth in the Human Personality (1951).
“I went to all those miscellaneous workshops and training institutes like everybody else, but I never did manage to come home a recognizable anything. I tell them I’m a Jackie-therapist, and this means, of course, my confidence rests almost solely on results. Yes, this has bothered me some. I’ve never felt ashamed not to be a walking encyclopedia on psychoanalytic theory, but often when another therapist is visiting the premises, I feel tempted to ask my client to please get down on the floor and scream like he’s having an avant-garde breakthrough.”
“I’ve had a few clients with outstanding embarrassment records. Cindy, age 14, recalled her 1st date: She spilled Coke in the boy’s lap, bowled [derrubou] a 16, and then left his car door open, resulting in $70 worth of damage. In such award-winning-goofers I also plant seeds to the effect that they’ve hit bottom, so what’s left to fear?”
“It’s amazing how many children I’ve seen who won’t run on a dropped ball. Little princesses just pose and posture the whole game—any game. The strikeout freezers can usually stay on the team if their batting average is high enough. But princesses are eventually ridiculed and chosen last.”
NÓ CEGO: “My other chronic childhood embarrassment worry had to do with body functions. In grade school about the worst thing I could imagine was wetting my pants in class. However, I was also too embarrassed to ask to be excused to go to the restroom. Would this qualify as a double bind? I am probably one of the few people in existence who neither asked to go nor went anyway.”
“It wasn’t until this very year that I got blood on my skirt in public. I was seeing a teenage boy for therapy when it happened. I laughed.” Quando crescemos e aprendemos que dar aquela freada ou mijada na rua não é nada de mais. “Now I’ll ruin the story a little bit: The teenage boy had gone before I realized it had happened, and then I laughed.”
“Life’s traumas, goofs, negative embarrassments and such should be stored lightly. If they’re off in the warehouse, they’re hard to get at when you need them and could do something constructive with them. But even sending the empty storage cabinet to the warehouse is ill advised. Then you wouldn’t have anything to put these memories in. They’d be laying around in sight too much. There are times for getting them out, but really nobody wants to see or hear that stuff all the time, even your best friends. And how about your own probable concentration on them? That’s called negative feedback overload. To avoid repression or indiscriminate hang-out, better get those storage cabinets out of storage!” O que está sempre exposto passa a ser ignorado (como certos livros na prateleira, que estão na sua frente mas você não os vê mais).
“The hypothesis was born: Be they orthodox or atheists, Jews have one foot stuck on the wailing wall. This was a hunch, not a put-down.” “A hipótese havia nascido: Fossem ortodoxos ou ateus, os judeus têm um pé fincado no Muro das Lamentações. Isso era um palpite, não uma afirmação ou acusação.”
IDENTIFICAÇÃO ESPIRITUAL, NO NEED FOR SHOWING (wallpaper de estrela de Davi e correlatos): “My fantasies went even further. I pondered the possible effects of Jewish Depression on the theory and practice of psychotherapy. Since nearly all the geniuses and heroes in this field really are you-know-whats, there might be an accidental bias that could be labeled the J.D. factor. Non-Jewish therapists would pick it up by identification and introjection. By now, almost everybody probably has J.D. This means things may not be as bad as they look.” Ser antissemita é ser antiocidental como um todo, mas não significa ser pró-oriental. Na verdade o Oriente desconhece o pânico anti-judaico; isso é uma doença exclusiva do homem moderno autocastrador. Ser antissemita seria negar nossas mais vincadas raízes pagãs. Ser antissemita é ser um destruidor dos próprios antepassados, nobres e elevados (recado a Varg & simplórios desta era).
“Wailing Wall. To wail is to cry. A wall is a block. A crying block? Crying because of a block?” Trocadilho impossível em Português.
“Note that Adam and Eve had no neurotic human parents and did not live in an uptight culture. They didn’t even have any childhood memories. Archetypal shame may be rather far removed from psychological theories regarding its derivatives. Note also that Adam and Eve were not Jewish; they were everybody. There was a wailing wall long before the one in Jerusalem. The latter is likely a modern intensification, or reenactment.”
“For many years, as an adult, I had frequent repeats of two rather common dream themes. In one I was to be in some play. It was opening night, and the curtain was soon to rise. I couldn’t remember any of my lines. I couldn’t recall ever having been to rehearsals. I couldn’t even find a script to refresh my memory or to take, hidden, on stage with me. In the other dream it was time to go take some school exam. I hadn’t been going to class. I’d forgotten I’d even enrolled in the course. If I’d ever had the textbook, I didn’t know where it was.
Despite years of individual therapy, group encounters, and hundreds of psychological theory and how-to books, these dreams continued unchanged. Then last year I had breakthrough dreams for both of them and have not had either one since.
In the breakthrough play dream, the curtain actually goes up and I step on stage. I not only have to improvise my lines, but I’m not dressed like the others. Six women glide by in beautiful satin gowns, and I’m standing there in a terrycloth robe with a Kotex [absorvente] sticking out of one pocket. Everybody laughs. In the school dream, I go to the room, take the exam, and presumably flunk.”
“All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6) is a commentary on general goodness, not just what we call self-righteousness. As such, it always sounded like a real bummer to me. Maybe the frequency of righteousness wasn’t high, but what a slam on quality. I once thought: Now there’s a good recipe for neurosis.”
“Of course, the righteousness insight didn’t really pop out of nowhere. I’ve been on a gradually emerging spiritual journey for 3 or 4 years now. Sometime during this period the following dialogue probably took place, although I’m surely still working on the last line of it.”
Donald D. Lathrop
“<I have never had a failure in psychotherapy!> My out-bragging the braggart was so incredible that it shut him up. What a blessing for me! The rationalizations that would have poured out of my mouth in justification for my clearly unreal claim humiliate me even now as I think of them. Evidently he recognized at that point that I was crazy. He never attended another supervisory session.”
“The type of therapy—the goals, the expectations, the method—defines failure. In psychoanalysis, the best studied of the therapies, failure has two important faces. One is the therapy that never ends, the <interminable analysis>. The other is the therapy that ends without a full completion of one of the technical dimensions of (psychoanalytic) treatment, namely the resolution of the transference neurosis.” “In most psychotherapies, the transference neurosis is left almost totally untouched. Good results are achieved by minimizing its development.”
“We talked about Arlene Mildred and her father. There were parallels. Arlene had been suicidal for months and was perpetually rejected by her parents. Yet if she killed herself, there is no question that her father would be on the phone screaming threats at me.”
“I feel better (as always) when I work, when I do the work that is my calling. It’s hard to concentrate, but there is relief for me in involving myself with the immediate problems of the living. Now there is something new. I am now haunted by the reality that no one in my care, not my patients, not my family, not myself, is safe from death through my unawareness. The only relief for me is talking into my machine, blindly recording for what purpose I do not know.”
“I recalled today that Mildred had had an illegitimate child and that her parents had condemned her for it; they had disinherited her, had left her with the feeling that in no way could she redeem herself. Now that she is gone, they are going to punish me.”
“But maybe not! Sometime in the late afternoon, sometime after the first woman had comforted me, I began to permit myself to think that maybe they would not sue me. Even now this goes back and forth, now one way, now the other. I know that I will just be waiting, waiting for however long it will be before the letter comes, before the papers are served, waiting and scared and at the same time a little defiant. They are not going to destroy me. I am not going to destroy myself.”
“That’s another strange quirk in this. I can no longer take comfort, as I have for so many years, in fantasies of committing suicide myself. Some recent realizations have convinced me that not only is suicide no longer a possibility for me, but comforting myself with fantasies of suicide is no longer acceptable. How strange, how ironic, that at the same time this door is closed to me, I have experienced the first suicide in my professional career.”
“These are all games. Nothing changes the reality. Mildred is dead. The games I now play to keep other men from judging me, from punishing me for my unconsciousness, for my carelessness, for whatever part is my fault, these games do not seem to me to have much to do with Mildred and me.”
“Tonight Mildred’s parents are busy making the plans and carrying out the procedure of burying their daughter. When they are through, they will come to bury me.”
“She told me that she was responsible for all of the evil in the world. I told her she did not frighten me; I told her, as I have told lots of crazy people, that I would expose myself to her and then we would see whether she was indeed the overseer of all evil. Now she is laughing. I just wish she wasn’t angry. Of all the helpers, all the professionals who have been involved with this young woman over 6 years of suicidal behavior, she saved her act of murder for me. I can stand the laughter, but the contempt, the anger, the hurt to my therapist’s arrogance, that really digs in hard.
Strange that this poor woman and I came together. We were brought together by the impersonal forces of the State. She was covered for her psychiatric care by welfare. I was and am obliged to make much of my living by treating these people. Like many such patients, she did not even pick me. I was picked for her by the good-hearted woman who runs the boarding house where Mildred was sent after her release from the state hospital. This totally untrained person gets the horribly sick, broken souls after they are hastily patched up and discharged from the state hospital. She is understandably anxious to find some professional to take care of her boarders. Many of them are as severely disturbed as any patient I have ever seen in the backward of a state hospital.
From the first time she came to my office, Mildred did not want to see me. In fact, for her first appointment, she refused to come in. I was glad. I didn’t need any more patients. I didn’t need to convince this unattractive young woman that I could help her. So I let her go. But the lady with the burden of taking care of her day in and day out was insistent, and a reappointment was made. Second try: I got her into the office. It was at this time she told me that she was the carrier of all evil. I found something to like in her. Her arrogance regarding evil stimulated my own in a competitive sort of way. I’ve known since I was a kid that no one is <badder> than I am. After that beginning, it was a succession of broken appointments, my happily giving up on her because she was stuck in a hospital in another part of the state, getting her back, working within totally unrealistic limitations of time and money imposed by welfare regulations, step by step to the final miserable result.”
“I was aware, as dawn broke this morning during my run on the beach, of Mildred’s blind eyes that do not see this sunrise. My dream last night was that I was working with some other people, trying to finish a job. Although I was working hard and felt the importance of finishing the job, I was not frantic. Then I was relaxing with some people, perhaps having cocktails, and a young woman asked me whether I would be giving a language course. I replied, Who, me? Parlez-vous ze Deutsch? Everyone laughed, for I had demonstrated that language was my very weakest subject.
I did not understand this seemingly light-hearted and trivial dream in response to Mildred’s death. Then I went to consult my friend, my guide, Max Zeller (our relationship was called Jungian analysis, or psychotherapy, and I was the patient). Max suggested that we consult the I Ching. This was a beautiful idea. It was the very sort of objective statement that I would be willing to accept. I certainly did not want any more comforting.
I asked the I Ching about the nature of my involvement with Mildred, the meaning of this experience. The answer was hexagram 28, <The Preponderance of the Great>. In this ancient Chinese symbolism was revealed a union of solidness, steadfastness, and joy. My light-hearted dream of last night now makes sense to me. As a student, much less a teacher of the language of the unconscious, I am a rank beginner. My life is the task that must be completed. As the dream says, I no longer work frantically at the task, imagining that I will thus impress the gods or get the job done, i.e., reach perfection. The hexagram also comforts me in my experience of inner peace, my lack of grief. I had feared that this was merely denial on my part, the refusal to feel the expected emotions. But the ancient book of Chinese wisdom suggests that grief and breast-beating are simply not part of this experience.”
“Now it is years later. I never heard another word from Mildred’s parents. The boyfriend who had encouraged her to sign herself out of the hospital against my advice called a couple of times. He mainly wanted to share his feeling that all of us had been bound together by a cosmic experience. I could agree—since he made no further demand on me. I was satisfied that he had forgiven himself as I had myself.
My failure, as I now see it, was in not being aware of the purpose of my treatment of Mildred. This young woman had been in agony for years, convinced that she was personally responsible for all of the evil in the world. She had tried repeatedly to solve both her own excruciating pain and the world’s unnecessary suffering by killing herself. However, she had always been too disorganized, too fragmented to succeed. I had treated her with medication and with psychotherapy so that she finally had the necessary ego resources to carry through a definite act of self-annihilation. My job was to cure her so she could kill herself! My failure was in remaining unconscious, in not being willing to be fully responsible for my part of the therapeutic contract.
I had known for years before this incident that the danger of suicide is greatest during the recovery phase. I knew that I could have legally detained her for a while longer. It would have been a lot of trouble, but it could have been done. The fact is, I just didn’t care enough about Mildred. That’s what was lethal.
I don’t want to slip into moralizing. That has no place in a world that is moving slowly but surely away from judgment, away from manipulation through guilt. I am convinced that my own refusal of guilt in Mildred’s death was the key to my not being punished by society. If we permit guilt to take over, we communicate to others their right to take vengeance on us.” Meu satânico erro em quase todos os períodos turbulentos da minha vida: ser cristão demais! Jussara, Maria das Graças, veteranos bobiólogos, até mesmo indivíduos estranhos, conhecidos na véspera… sempre se aproveitaram dessa faceta, tantos rostos descarnados disponíveis para umas pancadinhas, impunemente… Felizmente minha língua e meus dedos, embora em efeito retardado, isso lá é verdade, não seguem ordens ou ditames do “corpo típico” (o que me lembra TÍSICO), se é que se me entende. Aloprados e mais sinceros do que idiotas e bons, eles procedem à vendeta; “fora de contexto” não existe na perspectiva dessas duas instâncias, verdadeiras guias desta carne que transpira. Uma vez, em que não importa quanto veneno a serpente inoculasse eu jamais reconheceria qualquer porcentagem de culpa: Isabel the Unimportant Nóia, leprosa que se filia com os tipos mais tortos e mendicantes, desajustados, dessa Brasília imunda (e por isso me conhece!), não tinha nenhuma razão, mas, ainda pior, nenhuma chance de, com razão ou não, me convencer de minha responsabilidade no incidente que precipitou meu divórcio. Isto não é dizer que esse tipo de pessoa sem conhecimento causal algum tem qualquer ciência socrática de que nada sabe: pelo contrário, uma Unimportant Bell é sempre e perigosamente a “personalidade forte” que carrega uma fé cega, uma autoconfiança ilimitada nos próprios métodos, a pura contingência e falta de método, a vida informe e tosca, não-lixada, torpe como madeira matéria-prima. Estas pessoas são tão fanáticas em seu niilismo inócuo quanto qualquer dogmático tentando reinjetar, atavicamente, tabus e ritos milenares já superados na nossa sociedade protestantemente laica (faz parte do jogo de cena a impressão de que os evangélicos nunca foram tão poderosos, mas é uma força de castelo de açúcar, com dilúvios à vista…). Não temos rigidez e teimosia para levar adiante nenhum propósito que não tenha nascido ontem mesmo, enquanto civilização brasileira pós-moderna. Os mais doidos e inconseqüentes que já conheço há anos, mesmo que sem qualquer padrão real, são os únicos que posso descrever com precisão em seu martelar psicológico entediante.
ATENÇÃO, FIÉIS! NOSSOS PLANOS FORAM ANTECIPADOS PARA ONTEM: “All of my life I have failed. All of my life, I have suffered depression as a consequence. But I would far rather take my punishment as depression than project the responsibility for punishing me out onto the world. Others are not likely to be as merciful to me as my own educated inner Judge. I had a revelation once: There is no judgment on Judgment Day.”
“Unlike Joseph K. in Kafka’s The Trial, I know what I am guilty of”
“I am so nervous! I take some Thorazine. (Why Thorazine! Especially when I’ve never taken any psychotropic drug—not even marijuana.)”
“(And now I know what my patients are talking about when they tell of their anxiety.)” Weird. Sempre achei que a descoberta antecedia a profissão!
“Were you aware that a contract with a ‘schizophrenic’ often has little binding power?”
“The Tribunal gets really hot when it suspects sexual misconduct on my part. The judges are terribly suspicious of anything that looks the slightest bit sexual. (This sometimes is a hard one because they don’t always agree among themselves about what is sexual and about the rules of common practice and the behavior of the hypothetical <reasonable therapist.>) The Tribunal casts its confronting eyes over my writings and challenges me about such statements as follows:
She says: If it hadn’t been for your response to me, your holding me, I don’t think I would ever have come to believe anyone could find me sexually desirable; no matter how long we had just talked about it.
I’m amazed and overjoyed. I had picked up her message that she genuinely desired to have me-as-a-person act warmly, lovingly, intimately, with her-as-a-person, but I was uncertain whether I should risk it. Now I can see that by limiting my risk I would have seriously limited her possibilities.
My judges are especially wary whenever I Hold a patient.” “they often are skeptical and insist on reading between the lines and beyond what I have written.”
“If I sense the person is feeling sexual as a child, I let him know he is safe. If I sense the person is sexualizing to avoid, I try to encourage his getting to his child; if he does not, we sit up and work on it. This is also true if I sense that I am sexualizing the situation. I do not continue TO HOLD a patient if I stay with my sexual feelings”
“The Age of Aquarius enables me to avoid detection; no one looks that closely, and whoever does is ridiculed for being <uptight>.”
“What would you have me do? What kind of job would you permit me to hold that would enable me to retain my humanity, use my skills and talents and develop my potential? Remember, my peers are no better than me. The few unflawed noble souls are, wisely, going about their business in an unpublic way; they couldn’t care less. I have to live somewhere, someone has to share my company—otherwise that would be too inhuman a punishment to fit my misdemeanors. Reforming seems like such a difficult, even impossible task. Disappearing feels easier, yet, I’d have to take myself along. I suppose I’ll just go along as I have and hope that nothing happens.”
why not just a few?
“In the social work profession, close, intensive working together with clients toward personality shifts and problem-solving is called <counseling>. This is a term that suggests <telling> someone what to do as a way to be helpful.” “It is the social worker—the woman—whom the public mind most often identifies as the offerer of the <concrete> service. The intangibles, the profundities, are within the male preserve.” “Sigmund Freud and Otto Rank supplied the educational approaches that dominate the field. When I was in graduate school the faculty was overwhelmingly female. The course in psychological theory was the only one not taught by a social worker. Instead, the instructor was a male psychiatrist with a faculty appointment as <consultant>.”
“Even those social work agencies most heavily invested in offering counseling rather than concrete services rely upon regularly scheduled psychiatric consultations to determine and consolidate diagnosis and the direction of treatment. When I was a caseworker in a family service agency, it was a male psychiatrist who was hired to offer his expert opinion on a weekly, one-hour consultant schedule. There were only one or two caseworkers who could <present> within this frame.”
“Mistakes or therapeutic errors (although they were not so designated) were to be kept <in house>. This was a familiar and oft-taught lesson.” “The case supervisor, my supervisor, and I would all sit there chatting amiably, awaiting the arrival of the psychiatrist. He always came late because his schedule was so busy. All four of us would then engage in seeming accord as if there was only one way to work with my clients, one direction for me to follow. Because my submitted materials reflected only that I knew exactly what to do, we could then all bask in the aura of certain knowledge and perfection.”
“Making one’s way is equated with manipulation and control. Although the kernel of this truth first became evident in my work in a social work unit (a family service agency), it was even more glaringly so when I began working in mental health facilities. Ironically, these are considered the apex of clinical social work placements because of the opportunity they offer to do counseling—or therapy—without the impediment of the concrete service traditionally found in social work agencies. I had decided to go this route because of my wish to work with clients more intensively and knowledgeably.”
“When I applied for the job I wanted, I was turned down by the woman who was the Chief Social Worker. She said I was too inexperienced and would make too many mistakes. Besides that, I had been trained as a Rankian and obviously would not fit in with the Freudian approach of that particular clinic. She knew that my being there would <embarrass> the social workers who needed to keep up with (if not be better than) the medical staff. The chief of the service was a male psychiatrist. I saw him next. He was pleased to maintain his position in the ongoing struggle by overruling her and hiring me. In any case, he could not conceive that anything I would do could be that important. He knew that it was the doctors who ran that clinic.”
“the <family> was considered to be my area of expertise. The people I saw were labeled <clients> in deference to their secondary standing in the treatment matrix.”
“In my mind, women were less likely to be accepted into medical school than men, and girls were not as skilled as boys in dealing with prerequisite subjects such as science and mathematics. Also, becoming a social worker consumes less time and less money. Clearly, expending less energy befits a profession which is only of secondary importance.”
“Away from my clients I wept copiously. With them, I insisted on appearing intact and untroubled. I feel embarrassed now by my complicity in perpetuating their assurances that I could be perfect”
Arthur L. Kovacs
“Presented at the symposium Critical Failure Experiences in Psychotherapy, Division 29 Midwinter Meeting, 1972.”
“I now know that this formulation is nonsense. What we do with our patients— whether we do so deviously and cunningly or overtly and brashly—is to affirm our own identities in the struggle with their struggles. We use them, for better or worse, to secure precious nourishments, to preserve our sanity, to make our lives possible, and to reassure ourselves in the face of that ineffable dread that lurks always beyond the margins of our awareness and can be heard as a very quiet electric hum emanating from the depths of our souls when everything is silent.”
“In this way, we can use our training to utter comfortable lies to ourselves and to avoid looking at the processes by which the persons we are either catalyze or defeat those who move in communion with us.”
“…what? Disaster? Chaos? Stalemate? I do not even know the right word to describe the outcome.”
“Part of me needed a persecutor, and Gwen supplied the potential to play the part.” “When I no longer needed to be persecuted, we somehow parted.”
“subjective time is always more important than objective time”
“Gwen came to see me because she had begun to experience severe anxiety attacks in school. Most of these were evoked by encounters with her psychology instructor, a married, middle-aged man. She was convinced, in her own paranoid fashion (to which I was unutterably blind in the beginning), that he was making seductive, obscene, and shaming gestures toward her continually. When he discussed masturbation in his lectures, she believed he was shaming her before the whole class, accusing her and revealing that she was a masturbator. She would blush, feel terrified, and have to leave class. Gwen was frequently aware of his genitals bulging in his trousers. She often believed he dressed in a fashion to accentuate them and positioned himself in such a way as to exhibit his endowments to her. When he talked about sexual matters, she <knew> he was lusting after her. I need to make it clear that, as I do so often, I partly trusted Gwen’s craziness and indeed believed there was something in the instructor that longed for her. She was, I must repeat, deadly cute.”
“When she returned to her next appointment, she was furious with me. She screamed at me that I was a rotten fucker, that I had sent her to her humiliation, that I took sadistic pleasure in teasing her. The force of her violence was incredible; her features contorted into a malevolent hatred that I have seldom seen. For the first time, I sensed the presence of some awesome murderousness in her, and I felt frightened. The pitch of her screaming was louder than I had ever heard. I believe, and still do, that the instructor had manipulated her and given her a dose of clever poison to choke on as he protected himself from her paranoid wisdom. I tried to get her to hear that. Her ears were closed by the noise of her own anguished, vicious screaming. She broke out of my office, fleeing from me and from her rage, almost wrenching the door off its hinges—although she probably does not weigh more than 95 pounds [43kg].”
“My beliefs, inflicted on Gwen and most others who opened themselves to me, were my armor, my sword, and my shield at that time of my life.”
“The next many months Gwen found exquisite ways to torment me, even though I could not get her to come to my office. She began, for example, to call me, usually around 3A.M.. I would stagger out of bed to answer the phone. There would be an ominous silence, then a loud screaming, You goddam piece of shit! I want you to die! or something equally vicious and abusive. Suddenly the phone would be hung up and it would be over until the next time. I believed then that my life was in the grip of some malevolent, overwhelmingly crushing principle, for Gwen’s timing was exquisite. Most of her calls occurred at times when I felt too weary, too battered to stand one more moment of anguish in my life. My struggle to build a new existence was beginning to consume me. Most of those nights I had fallen into fitful sleep after lengthy episodes of bitter acrimony with my former wife or of crying desperate tears at having to cross such a limitless desert alone. Gwen’s calls would cause me to start up from steamy, sweat-rumpled sheets in terror; I did not feel the strength to deal with her.”
“At last, after an absence of 4 months, I finally received a daytime call from Gwen. She asked to make an appointment! When she came in, she told me that she had been thinking about her therapy a lot and that she felt she wanted to enter group therapy. Having others around would, she believed, keep the 2 of us from getting into terrible trouble together. (I often notice patients possess incredible wisdom, if we would only listen!) I also, as did she, wanted and needed to dilute the horrible intensity of what had been transpiring between us. I readily assented, and Gwen started group.”
“In her middle adolescence, Gwen’s stepfather had a psychotic episode, preceded by a period of great violence during which he brandished a pistol repeatedly, screamed at his family members often in desperate viciousness, and engaged in great, raging, hallucinatory battles with his wife—during which he sometimes bloodied her or broke her bones—before he himself finally went to a psychiatric hospital. Gwen trembled violently as she remembered and related these things. During this period of treatment, also, Gwen got herself a job as a secretary, decided to attend college at night, and moved into her own apartment, separating from her family for the first time in her life. And I felt smug, pompous, and marvelously effective as her therapist. What an ass I was!”
“Once I was working with another patient. The other patient was pouting, sullen, withholding. She had come up to the edge of something and now sat stolidly, defiantly, unyieldingly. I became exasperated and started shaking her. The next thing I knew, Gwen threw herself on me, fists flailing, screaming You fucker, you fucker! It took 10 people to pry her off of me. I was very shaken.
Another marathon. Days, months, years—I do not know how much later. I had taken 20 patients into the Sierra Nevada. We were camped out in a snow-surrounded, glacial-scoured, lake-filled paradise. I had asked a woman along to share my sleeping bag at night. As I look back, I now feel ashamed of my choice. My companion was young and very pretty but had nothing more for me than sexual compliance. For this she wished to present me with a large number of emotional demands. At that period of my life I was desperate for any crumb of nourishment, did not appreciate my worth, and would hunger after anyone I believed would have me. We fought a great deal that weekend. Gwen kept watching the two of us balefully. During the 2nd day, she asked the largest man in the group to restrain her physically while she talked to me. He did so, and once again she shifted gears into her screaming viciousness, calling me a piece of shit, a motherfucker—any obscenity she could muster. He held her so she wouldn’t hit me. She struggled hard to get free while she vilified me. The gist of her tirade was, of course, that I was a moral leper, a vile sensualist, and a user of people.
As my first marriage continued to die and as I searched for the goodness I so longed for, Gwen became somehow in my mind the world’s representation of the established moral order. She had been selected to make me suffer for my sinful attempts to make a new life. The night calls and screaming at me over the telephone continued, usually when I could least bear them. Incredible vituperation also spilled out of her in group each week.”
“Weekends are always terrible when marriages are dying.”
“I want her dead! I suddenly knew it and began to fantasize the myriad ways I could kill her. I danced exultantly over her broken corpse. Her life must end so that mine could go on! (…) That shitty, stinking little cunt-bitch! I arrived at work trembling in fearful awe over the intensity of my own murderousness. That night in group my patience was exhausted. The 2 of us got into a screaming battle with each other. I told her how I longed for her to die. We traded insults and murderous fantasies. I felt momentarily better.
Another night—weeks later. I am talking to someone else about masturbation. Gwen’s paranoia flares up again. She accuses me of sitting with my legs apart to compel her to stare at my crotch. She insists that I am talking about masturbation to shame her. She yells that I should get it straight once and for all that she does not masturbate. I get furious. I tell her that she is a stupid little bitch. I tell her she is 20 years old and that it is time she started masturbating. I describe to her how to do it and order her to go home and carry out my instructions after group. I add that I never want to hear anything about masturbation from her again. She becomes silent. Finally, I start searching my heart about her accusations. I tell her that they are partly justified, that when I first met her I had indeed tried her on in fantasy as a possible lover. I assented that I had probably teased her provocatively and flirted with her in subtle ways. I admitted to her the crazy desperation that seized most of my life then, the hunger to be at rest in a good woman’s arms. I added that my fantasies about her had died, though, soon after my getting to know her—that she was not my other half, nor what I needed for me. I said that I regretted that fact. I believed that my inability even to imagine her any longer as a partner to me was a sad tragedy. I felt forlorn as I talked to her. I closed the group by expressing my wish that a day might come before either of us were dead when once again she could stir me in such a way as to invoke in me imagery of her being my woman. I knew that that would be a sign that something profound had happened to each of us.
Early the next morning, Gwen called. She asked if she could have an individual appointment with me. I had a cancellation that afternoon and readily assented. At the appointed hour, I opened the waiting room door. Her face was contracted with rage. As she walked by me, she slapped my face. When we entered my office, I asked her what the hell that had been for. She screamed that I had exposed, shamed, and humiliated her in front of her friends in group. Then she went berserk and threw herself on me, trying to claw my face and spitting at me as we tussled. We crashed to the floor, spilling furniture and books everywhere. I finally subdued her, and as she began to feel the assertion of my strength and control she murmured between clenched teeth: Go ahead, you bastard. Fuck me. I told her I wasn’t interested. She began to sob convulsively. I had never seen her like that. She was suddenly very little and helpless, a 3-year-old who had been running around in murderous fury, trying to pretend that she had adult competencies lest the world penetrate her disguise and annihilate her. An image is indelibly burned into my awareness: the two of us sitting there on the floor in the midst of the rubble of my office, Gwen sobbing helplessly in my arms, my rocking her and feeling rubber-kneed and weak from the awe and fearfulness of what we had just experienced.”
“She began describing her stepfather coming into her room one night. Gwen stopped, flushed, went incredibly tense, and would not go on.” “My instructions to her to enter into a dialogue with the half-fantasied, half-remembered shade of that man on that nameless occasion precipitated a kind of trance-like state. Gwen became 14 again. She relived and reproduced what I knew was in store for all of us—her stepfather’s feared, longed-for, luscious, tormenting, lacerating, hungering attempted rape of her that awful night of her memory. Who knows whether the events were real or not? I still do not. But their reality was powerful that evening she described them to us.”
“Her tear-drowned eyes remained closed. I picked her up and rocked her as I would my own daughter. At first she drank me in. Then I felt her stiffen. I knew intuitively what was happening, and I said to Gwen, No, I don’t have an erection. She realized it too, at the same time, and turned to rubber once again in my lap. Yet, at that moment, I sensed our relationship was doomed and hopeless. If I held her at some emotional distance to placate her longing, terrified struggle over being penetrated, she would rail at me for being no help, disinterested or worthless to her. If she captured my attention, and I started to move closer to her, I would become the bearded satyr—too exciting, too forbidden, and too dangerous to deal with. Either way the end result was an outburst of fearful hatred. I talked to her often about this frustrated, impotent dilemma into which she thrust me. It never did any good.
Instead, Gwen began to separate from me. She started to come to group less and less. At first I felt comfortable with this, for the events of her life demonstrated a thrust toward increasing competency and mastery. She received a significant promotion at work. She separated from her boyhood lover and began to explore the possibilities of loving a much more capable man a few years older than she was. (…) One day she called me to ask me for a referral. A friend who did not have much money wanted to enter therapy and asked her, so she said, for the name of a good clinic. I provided this to her, and I added that the friend should ask for Dr. X, if possible, at that agency for I knew he had a good reputation. Three months later I found out, when Gwen began to talk matter-of-factly about it in group, that it was Gwen herself who had gone to see Dr. X and that Dr. X had begun seeing her, not at the clinic, but in his private practice!”
“She finally mustered the courage to tell her new lover that she was falling in love with him and to ask him for more of himself than he had been willing to give her thus far. He smiled, told her that she was a sweet thing, but that all he wanted her for was an occasional night in the sack. He laughed delightedly at her precious gift of her avowing that she wanted him, and he went to the refrigerator to break out a bottle of champagne. Gwen went berserk, tore up the man’s apartment, and forced him to throw her out bodily. She then came to group the next week, started up her screaming machine again, complained that I was an evil monster who ruined people’s lives, and stormed out of the office. I did not see Gwen again for three months. I was relieved. I thought she was gone forever, and I was happy. I had at last left my previous life, was living alone, and felt joyously in love with the woman who is now my wife. Gwen’s seeming departure was a mystical sign to me that my perilous journey was at last over and that I would be able to rest in my wife’s arms, exhausted, ecstatic, and optimistic about what we were beginning to build.
Much to my surprise, Gwen signed up for a weekend marathon [!] I held the next January. My soon-to-be wife accompanied me on that occasion. As I relive those moments, I remember how Gwen stared at the two of us in hateful envy. She detested my happiness. She tried to interfere, with sarcasm and cruel mockery, in any work I attempted to do. I finally stopped everything to contend with her. I was quaking with tension. After Gwen played many screaming broken records over and over again, I asked her what the hell she wanted from me. To my astonishment, she softened and asked to be held. Haltingly, I agreed. She came and sat next to me. I put my arm around her and she leaned against me, but I felt some kind of stiffness and unyieldingness in her manner and bearing. I told her I missed the vulnerable child she had—on a precious very few occasions—allowed herself to be with me. My wife, in her usual marvelously intuitive fashion, saw the look in Gwen’s eyes and began to speak to her of her own struggles with pride and envy. They swapped tales of being children, of longing for good fathers, and of all the turmoil and fear such longings create. My wife urged that Gwen be resolute in searching for what she wanted and that she not allow her fears of other women’s retribution to turn her aside from her quest. Gwen softened and allowed herself at last to surrender to being held. Later in the night one of the women in the group asked Gwen for permission to, and indeed did, feed her from a baby’s bottle. [Ah, kleinianos!]
Gwen then disappeared from my life. Once in a while I would get a phone call from her complaining bitterly about the cold, cruel, and vicious treatment she was receiving at the hands of Dr. X. I urged her each time to discuss her grievances, real or imagined, with him and told her she was always welcome, if she wished, to return to group—that many people missed her and asked about her. Last June, I got a call from her again. She and Dr. X had gotten into a fight, and he had thrown her out of therapy, saying that he was sick of her vicious bitchiness, would not put up with it anymore, and was not going to see her again. Gwen sounded crazy and frightened on the phone. I began to get anxious.
Two weeks later I came into my office and found it at shambles. All my books had been thrown on the floor. The furniture was overturned. Papers had been ripped up. A cover from Time magazine, the one with Jesus Christ Superstar on it, had been ripped off. A knife, thrust through the face of Jesus, impaled it to my couch. I knew immediately who had done it, and I began to fear for my life. Then Gwen called and asked for an individual appointment. I refused, telling her that I was afraid of the violence in her. I urged her to come to group so that we could talk where we would both be safe. She screamed at me and hung up.”
“Three weeks later, a fireman came into my office. Gwen had been gathered in off the roof of my building after having threatened noisily for an hour to jump.” “The physician in charge called me. He said Gwen had confessed to him it was the 3rd attempt she had made on her life in 48 hours.”
“The mother reported that Gwen had assaulted her parents and her father’s psychiatrist during the past week. I begged the mother to have Gwen hospitalized. Instead the mother screamed at me for being <one of the fucking Jew-doctors> that had ruined her daughter’s life. Screaming in fury, she told me she was going to take Gwen home. For the next 3 weeks I walked in dread, not knowing whether Gwen was alive or dead, not knowing if she would come at me out of some other dark night, this time with a weapon.
Late in July, Gwen called again. She asked for an appointment. For some reason known only to my sense of the uncanny¹, I granted her request. I was terrified, but I needed to confront some primitive dread in me. I was sick to death of being a person who always ducked bullies and fled from the possibility of violence. She would be the occasion for me to confront me.”
¹ Referência freudiana
“She related to me that she had made appointments with 8 different therapists in the past 4 weeks and had physically assaulted all 8 of them and fled.”
“I guess I’ll live. But I don’t think I’m going to go on with therapy.”
“As she disappeared down the hall she smiled bravely and called out over her shoulder, You’re the only one who always lets me come back. I have not seen or heard from her this past 3 years.”
“Gwen served me well as my vicious companion at a time I needed one. The impress of her being will always be with me.”
Hobart F. Thomas
“On several occasions I have experienced deep feelings of love and/or sexual attraction for clients. At other times I have felt and expressed feelings of irritation and anger. None of these emotionally charged situations, however, seems to provide the devastating frustration of those in which no truly personal contact occurred. I am recalling the long and seemingly fruitless hours spent with depressed patients in mental institutions, which seem to put one’s faith in a therapeutic process to the ultimate test.”
“Perhaps the toughest experiences of my career were the days of attempting to practice before I myself had undergone personal therapy. I had mastered the knowledge, techniques, and procedures well enough to obtain a clinical Ph.D., but the heart and guts of the process were missing. Bizarre as it may sound, I even recall on more than one occasion actually envying the experiences of some of my clients in therapy.”
“Approximately 4 years after completing a doctorate, I entered personal therapy. Reasons for the long delay are not easy to determine. In spite of episodes such as the above, I seemed to be endowed with sufficient ego strength to keep the show going. Besides, I was not convinced that the Freudian model and many of its practitioners, who represented the bulk of my exposure to clinical practice at the time, were the answer either to my own or to the world’s problems. It was then, and is now, my conviction that one best chooses a therapist out of some deep intuitive place, and one can do no better than to follow one’s feelings when making such a choice.”
“Bouts with the perfection monster”
“Being <analyzed>, at least in the circles in which I traveled at the time, also qualified one for membership in a rather exclusive club. A part of me wanted to belong, to be accepted, to be part of the action. Another part, for whatever reasons, refused to join up and pay the membership dues.”
“Ironically, my impression is that, currently, the Jungian school is considered more <in> [fashion] than the Freudian. At the time, such was definitely not the case.”
“What if all of a sudden I can’t function?”
“The outer drama in which therapist and client each play their respective roles continues, apparently without interruption, until the end of the hour.”
“The experience of panic occasionally recurs, sometimes in the consulting room, sometimes while teaching a class, or sometimes during seemingly ordinary conversation—usually, in each case, when I feel pretty much in charge and everything appears to be running smoothly. (Another clue here, perhaps?)”
“really plays well for his age”
“We need not always stand alone.”
“Look, Mom, I finally made it!”
“My hunch is that the state of panic is a corrective, devised by my wiser Self to help put things back in the proper perspective—a real therapeutic kick in the ass to remind me that I’m not God.” My hunch is that my panic is for me to saying Farewell, father!
“it is essential to know how to let be.”
“that’s all: [be] midwife. You can relax.”
“My perfection bogey-man stays with me a good deal of the time, however. Having experienced that paradisaical state of Being, I do keep searching for ways to get there and stay there. Even when I appear to be laying back, I’m trying—trying to do, trying not to do. And, too often, in rushing to reach home I forget to smell the flowers along the way.”
NO, NOT FREUD: “When my own therapists revealed themselves to me as persons, not gods, I soon realized that human imperfection has about it its own particular beauty.”
Joen Fagan (mulher – informação relevante para um dos casos que ela irá contar!)
“One of my oracles is the dictionary. Built into the derivation of words and the range of their meanings is a cohesion of human experience. So I asked Webster the meaning of naked, and found my eye pausing over and returning to <defenseless, unarmed, lacking confirmation or support.> As I sat, feeling my way into these meanings, I remembered William.”
“He sat in the front row, nodding at the right times and laughing at my jokes, behaviors much appreciated by a teacher.” “You know so much about this; don’t you think…?” or “Why wouldn’t it be true that…?”
“I was lonely, but people had to press against me to become friends; even though I needed and wanted them, my reserve and hesitancy took some broaching. It was the same with students who had asked me to counsel with them. They had to persist past my uncertainty and self-doubts. So I accepted some intrusiveness and tolerated my discomfort with him without firm limits or comments.”
“Did I think he needed to go back into therapy? Did I think he was crazy? His father had said that to him this week. His wife had told him that too. But he thought he was doing well. Would I see him for therapy?
You’re not finished with Carl. Besides, I won’t see students who are taking courses from me for therapy. (Avoiding saying, of course, that I doubted my ability to handle him or that he was too manipulative.)
Well, will you have lunch with me? Why not?
He was becoming a nuisance. Once, as he got up to go, he suddenly leaned over and tried to kiss me. I was angry then and told him so.”
“Did I think he was crazy? He had been hospitalized before. What did I think? <I think you’re bothered about a number of things and should go back and see Carl.>”
“Anyway, in another week summer vacation would start, and 3 months away from the college would solve the whole thing.”
“The next morning an envelope was in the mailbox at my house; it was a somewhat confused but humorous letter from William saying he had decided to spend the summer in a nearby public park and inviting me to join him.”
“The next day there was another letter, more angry and threatening, with some sexual allusions that were immediately denied. You know, of course, that I’m just kidding. I love you and wouldn’t hurt you or do you harm. I began feeling frightened and did not sleep well. The letter the next day was even more threatening. If you won’t see me, you won’t see anybody. I want you and I’ll get you.”
“The father called me later that afternoon to say that he had found William and had had him admitted to a psychiatric ward. My relief, though, was short-lived. Letters now started coming through the mail, openly delusional, abusive, threatening, and sexually blatant. Again I waited and did nothing, not knowing anything to do. Should I contact his unit? Or him? Or his father? To do what? Say I was scared? Then his father called again. He thought I might want to know that William had escaped from the ward.
There was a paranoid somewhere in the city and I was the center of his delusions. Several days of extreme anxiety. I put chain locks on my doors and jumped at noises. I remembered a patient at the hospital where I had interned, who, ten years after his last contact with a former female therapist, still maintained a similar life-focusing preoccupation with her. The hospital viewed him as sufficiently dangerous to call and warn her when he escaped”
“I remembered other threats to therapists and attacks by patients, and I frantically found work to do and friends to be with.”
“Shortly after that an FBI agent called to say they had investigated the forgery at the request of the bank but did not recommend pressing charges since William was now in the psychiatric ward at Bellevue. Again, relief.
Once every few months a postcard came, and one time, a box of candy on Valentine’s Day. He might no longer have been paranoid, but I was; thinking there was a chance it was poisoned, I threw it away. The sight of the neat, familiar writing could still evoke anxiety, but the cards came less and less frequently until finally a year or more had passed with nothing to remind me of him.”
“Do you know that you saved my life?
No, William, I didn’t know that.
He stood up, went to the door, paused, said goodbye, and left. I realized that I had no idea what he had meant.”
“Do you know, William, how much you taught me about the impossibility of running?”
Barbara Jo Brothers (e sim, é só uma pessoa)
“I am caught. There is no way my vanity will let me avoid rising to the challenge, no way I would decline contributing to this book…but knowing this as my personal dilemma: the risk of exposure of a place inside myself—a place I have found virtually unbearable… a place I have virtually given my life to protect.”
“When I met Jerry, I was in the first month of my first clinical job, armed with my degree and with all of the accompanying mixtures of zeal and anxiety. There was Jerry. Transferred to the local state hospital’s adolescent unit because his family’s funds had run out (after 9 months of psychoanalysis and private hospitalization), Jerry was as crazy at that point as he had been 9 months before. I had known his analyst, so I knew a bit of his history.”
“In my youthful mind, if one of the best analysts in town was giving up, I was already expiated from whatever penalties of failure might ensue and from the awesome demands of Knowing-What-I-Am-Doing.
Jerry and I did well. Then one day the hospital decided to discharge him, prematurely in my judgment. I sent him to what I considered to be the best mental health center in town and tried to tell myself something to make the uneasiness a little easier in my hither-to-relied-on gut.”
“My own therapist comes in, tries to look like a doctor, takes my pulse. <Are you depressed?> he says. I reply, <I’m too sick to be depressed. Come back in a few days and I might have a depression for you.>”
“We had lost our connection after my discharge. I had referred him to the best therapist I knew in community out patient mental health clinics. He was re-hospitalized. I vehemently protested when hospital policy dictated that he not be admitted to my unit simply because of having had one more birthday since his discharge [ultrapassou o limite de idade de sua clínica]. I might have conquered death, but I was not going to have an effect on the monolithic mental ill-health system. He went to the adult unit and killed himself while out on pass.”
“Exposure, expression, mistake, all are cyclical. My exposure is beginning to sound like my salvation. That which I fear most seems to serve my best interests most powerfully.”
“I dodge and twist and evade.”
“Before antibiotics, treatment of gonorrhea in the female usually consisted of months of hospital bed-rest. The Green Girls were locked in a big ward on top of the hospital in the middle of the East River. It was my job to try to keep them from becoming overly excited in order to prevent flaring up of the infection that had gotten them arrested and imprisoned.
It was a strange flip for a religious country boy to end up dealing with Broadway chorus girls. They wanted to have their operation by our own gyn department because we used a special incision below the hairline. That way they could go back on the stage and not be laughed at for exposing their surgical scar.”
“I saw this big white polar bear sitting on the bed, and I knew he wasn’t real, but I had to call the nurse because he looked so real.”
“As I learned more about the vivid experiences of psychosis, I rapidly lost my interest in the mechanical carpentry work we call surgery.”
“A patient who was mumbling to himself explained that voices were calling him horrible things and saying that he had intercourse with his mother. I said, ‘That must be very upsetting,’ and he waved me off with, ‘Oh, no, they’ve been doing that for years, and I don’t pay attention anymore’.”
“Later I talked with an 85 year-old man who came in for molesting an 8 year-old girl. When I met the girl, who looked like a professional actress fresh out of Hollywood, it made huge gashes in my fantasy of what life and people were all about.”
“This call of the wild, the agony and ecstasy of schizophrenia, of the whole psychotic world, ballooned inside of me.” “The magic of schizophrenia, that Alice-in-Wonderland quality of spending hour after hour, sometimes all night long, with a patient whose preoccupation with delusions and hallucinations made him as fascinating as yourself, was matched by the mystery world of play therapy.”
“My discovery of Melanie Klein and her beliefs about infant sexuality was like a repetition in depth of my earlier discovery of the psychotic world.” Oh no, not this bitch again, defenestrate her, from the fifth flour, please!
“my first introduction to psychotherapy was by way of the Philadelphia social work school’s form of Rank’s process thinking. I became more and more intrigued by what brings about change. There was an 8 year-old boy who hadn’t said anything since he had whooping cough [coqueluche] at age 2. I spent 6 months seeing that boy once a week while the social worker talked to his mother upstairs. He never said anything to me either, but we threw the football out in the yard. He did listen to me talk about him. I finally gave up and admitted I couldn’t help. He and his mother went away disappointed. I thought I’d had it with psychotherapy until we got a call back 3 weeks later saying he’d started talking.”
“It became more and more clear that medical students were divided into those who didn’t know how to be tender and those who didn’t know how to be tough. How difficult it was to teach either one to have access to the other. I didn’t really know I was merely talking about myself for some years, but I did discover the joys of working with delinquents. That power! I always thought of them as Cadillacs with steering gear problems, whereas the neurotics we saw in the medical school clinic were like old Fords that were only hitting on two cylinders. Looking back, I often wonder how many of the delinquents stole cars just so they could come back and tell me about it.”
“As a matter of fact, for the next 3 or 4 years I bottle fed almost every patient I saw—man, woman, or child; neurotic, psychotic, psychopathic, or alcoholic—and with a high degree of usefulness, if not success. It was only some time later that it dawned on me that it wasn’t the patient who required the technique, but the therapist. I was learning to mother, and once that was developed I couldn’t use the technique anymore.”
“I didn’t even know then that co-therapy was a secret system for learning how to talk about emotional experiences. It allowed you to be able to objectify a subjective experience shared with someone else.”
I eventually left to work in Atlanta, where we discovered in those early days that the baby bottle was a valuable way to induce regression in the service of growth but that fighting was equally valuable. Just as the baby bottles spread from one to another in our staff group of 7, so the fighting moved until we were apt to be involved physically with almost every patient in one way or another. The intimacy of physical contact—of slapping games, of wrestling, and of arm-wrestling—became a part of our discovery of our own toughness.”
“By 1946 we had 3 daughters and 1 son. The problem of trying to be an administrator and a clinician had exteriorized a lot of my immaturity. When the stress in the hospital and medical school got high, I began to precipitate myself into psychosomatic attacks with cold sweats, chills, vomiting, diarrhea, and a half day in bed. Cuddling with my wife resolved this, but I went back into psychotherapy to help develop confidence in preventing it. Living with our own children also convinced Muriel and me that the only <unconditional positive regard> in this world comes from little children.”
“It was clear to us that the reason people work with schizophrenics is that they want to find their own psychotic inner-person, which is known more and more as the right brain—that nonanalytic total-gestalt-organized part of our cortex. We struggled over the schizophrenogenic mother and over whether the father himself can create schizophrenia. All this anteceded systems theory, which made it clear that it takes a family system (and more) to originate such a holocaust.” Quanta inocência, diria Deleuze…
“The craziness that had overlain her arteriosclerosis of the brain had long since faded into the background. She just ate and slept and smiled and went to the bathroom. But the family still loved her and still enjoyed being with her. They had not turned away from her because of her failing health.”
“It seems that the initial therapist is contaminated with all of the usual problems of being a mother: He’s all-forgiving, all-accepting, and minimally demanding. In contrast, when the consultant comes in for the second interview, he turns out to be very much like the father: He is reality-oriented, demanding, intellectual, much less tempted to accept the original complaints or the original presentation, and very much freer to think about what’s being presented in a conceptual, total gestalt manner.”
“The Atlanta clinic was our private world, and the sophisticated world of a psychoanalytic organized group left me with uncertainties, awkwardness, and the temptation to be isolated.”
“The initial phase of working with the family demands a coup d’état, in which the therapist proves his power and his control of the therapeutic process, thus enabling the family to have the courage to change their living pattern. Other concepts, such as the importance of the detumescence of the scapegoat [resolução, desinchação – conotação cancerígena] or surfacing other scapegoats in the family, spreading the anxiety around the family, and the necessity of using paradoxical intention to reverse the axis of responsibility so the family would carry the initiative for their own change, all were picked up from the residents when they were working with families as co-therapists.”
“One of the covert changes that I experienced was my increasing conviction that everybody is schizophrenic. Most of us don’t have the courage to be crazy except in the middle of the night when we’re sound asleep, and we try to forget it before we wake up. I became more and more courageous in my advancing years and tenured role, and I began to use the word with greater nonchalance. During the first 6 months to 1 year, it was quite a shock, but after that it became gradually more and more accepted, at least in my own head.”
“There is being driven crazy, which means that one’s malignant isolationism¹ is brought about by being forced out of one’s family. There is going crazy, which, in the case of falling in love, is a delightful experience, although very frightening. Going crazy also takes place in the therapeutic setting, where it’s sometimes called transference psychosis, much in the same way we talk of transference neurosis [still two words that can’t make sense]. And then there is acting crazy—the crazy responsiveness of the individual who has once been insane and who, when under stress, returns to that state of being even though he’s not out of control in the same way. He’s like the child who has just learned to walk. If he gets in a hurry, he’ll get down and crawl on his hands and knees, even though it’s slower.”
¹ O que será que quer dizer? Meu caso? Vivendo com 3 idiotas cada vez mais incapazes de me entender e na verdade cada vez mais decorativos (1988-2017), de repente meu corpo se rebela e diz: CHEGA, VOCÊ JÁ SUPORTOU DEMAIS! ACABOU SUA AUTOIMPOSTA EXPIAÇÃO! Mas quer dizer que quem fritava a batata, no fim, eram eles… Consolador!
“the quasicraziness that happens in social groups”
Alex Redmountain (“Despite his name, he is not an American Indian, but, rather improbably, a Jewish-Slavic refugee of World War II.” – Kopp)
“The affliction is self-love, narcissism, a narrowness of vision that places everything outside oneself at the periphery. Though it appears open and seeking, it makes learning very difficult. Stop reinventing the wheel, I was told; I finally did, but since no one told me to stop reinventing the compass, and sextant, and steam engine, I kept on doing that for quite a while.”
“Out on the street, the therapist is like a hooker who’s been thrown out by her pimp. There’s no security, no status. You’re surrounded by a dozen other hustlers, each selling some exotic solution to life’s problems: astrology, card reading, Scientology, revolution, a quickie in the back of the Dodge van parked across the street. Psychotherapy looks like just another fast fix, a way to set the pain aside momentarily or to pretend to an inflated self-importance. And often it is.”
“I am a clinical psychologist, traditionally trained, and I was still doing the usual clinical psychologist things: testing, individual and group therapy, supervision, formal consultation. But I was getting restless, found it hard to stay within the confines of the clinic where I saw my patients. Little by little, mostly by self-invitation, I cultivated a street beat through familiar geography: free schools and open universities, gay people and street people, adolescents of infinite variety and the many species of chicken-hawk who prey on them, alternate enterprises of every ideology imaginable, and a total spectrum of lifestyles. It seemed like a great opportunity for checking out the barriers. It was also a great opportunity for, as we used to say in The Bronx, getting my ass handed to me—as in the sentence, When I hand you your ass, boy, your head is gonna fall so low you’ll be looking up at roach shit [cocô de barata].”
“Basically, I’m a middle-class grown-up with slightly rebellious inclinations; the one time I was impulsive enough to drop out of school, I joined the U.S. Army and was promptly dispatched to die of boredom in Korea. The setting for my street-shrink activities was a deteriorating, exciting, but not especially dangerous or sinful neighborhood in a large Eastern city. It was exciting because of its variety: its residents encompassed all ages and classes, at least 3 races, and 12 ethnic groups; Maoist food <collectives> operated on the same block with 30 year-old Mom and Pop groceries; soul music blared from one record shop speaker while salsa and bomba rhythms leaped out from another around the corner; store-front churches rose from the ashes of revolutionary Trotskyite print shops—and vice versa.”
“Another source was the illusion of being a savior, a reconciliator loved by all. When I walked around the neighborhood, greeting militants and leftover flower children, precinct captains and self-actualization addicts, I imagined myself a combination of country doctor and masterful statesman, healing rifts both psychic and physical as I passed on through. And in the best Lone Ranger silver bullet tradition, I dreamed of encountering evil, overcoming it, and riding off toward the foothills and the setting sun—all within the 30 minutes normally reserved for the radio serials of my youth.
This kind of delusion wreaks havoc with the long-distance running qualities usually required of the psychotherapist. It also helped me suppress some doubts about my own endurance. With every new patient I took on in my public practice, I wondered: Can I really last the journey? As the complexity of every individual unfolded, I worried: It may be just too hard, too long, too draining. What if I want to run off and fast alongside Cesar Chavez [uma espécie de João Pedro Stédile] in the lettuce fields? What if I decide to go to Harvard Business School so I can destroy capitalism from within?”
“I’m there in 20 minutes. Who said that house calls were a thing of the past? Upstairs I can hear crunching and smashing noises. Down in the <parlor> 8 resident runaways and 2 counselors mill about, looking worried, indifferent, scared, sullen—depending on whom you are looking at.” “a monstrous teenage version of an NFL defensive end, 6 foot 6, at least 240 pounds. He is methodically ripping apart the wooden bunks—the bunks that my friend Joe put together over a couple of weeks of unpaid labor, after his unemployment ran out! I am outraged.”
“Sally greets me with a strange, playful look in her sensual eyes. (Whoops, it’s hard to keep lust and hubris clearly separate.) For many reasons, Sally is one of my favorite counselors.”
Shrink é uma gíria suburbana para psicólogo ou psiquiatra.
“God works in mysterious ways, said Sally, having been raised a brimstone Baptist and never quite given it up. I had to agree. I often had the feeling, when I was doing therapy, that anything I said would work: insight, catharsis, epiphanies would follow some inaudible inanity from my mouth. At other times, when I thought I was being wondrous wise, my words fell as flat as a swatted bug. It all has to do with chemistry, or radiation, or smell. Or something. Before I knew that, I sometimes took the calling of therapy very seriously indeed.”
“Because I think it’s just an ego trip. I don’t even call myself a therapist, you
“What do you mean, even you! Who are you, Sigmund Freud?”
“No, but at least I’m not trying to be something I’m not!”
“Aw, fuck you!” she shouts.
“Fuck you!” I yell back.
“All that doctor done was yell at me, tell me I was a whore and would end up a junkie or dead or in prison, and I’d never have kids, or a man, or anything decent at all.”
“As far as I am concerned, the making of a therapist and the making of a centered person are parallel, though not congruent, journeys.”
“First Tale of Lust. I had agreed to see Janet for short-term therapy at her home; she had a 1 year-old daughter, a night job as a waitress, and no one to babysit. I knew there were many caveats against this kind of thing, but I was sure I could handle it.”
“I kept trying to remember why therapists shouldn’t become sexually involved with patients. I found myself perusing, at length, articles that argued an opposing view. Even the reputable Association of Humanistic Psychology, I noted, was sponsoring a panel at its annual meeting: Sexual Relations Between Therapists and Clients.”
“She observed that the tension between us was palpable. I agreed. In fact, it was becoming intolerable. Yes, I said. Well, she wanted to know, what were we going to do about it?”
“I read Albert Ellis [logo acima!] and Martin Shepard, wrote an essay entitled Challenging Some Traditional Preconceptions in Psychotherapy—in which I never mentioned sex.”
“On the 13th day, I received a short note from Janet on the back of an old Valentine card: I’ve discovered that there are more fine lovers around than psychotherapists. Will you be my (one and only) therapist?
Human, all-too-human: After I daydreamed about choking her with a spiked bulldog collar, boiling her in oil, and throwing her out of a dirigible over the most polluted part of the Hudson River, I met with her—in my office. We dealt with it, as the New Yorker cartoon says, by talking about it. We actually went on to do some excellent work together, 50 minutes at a time, 2 days a week, face to face, and no hugging.”
“Second Tale of Lust. Tamara was 16, dark as an Arab princess, radiating ripeness. She was a resident at one of the group foster homes at which I dispensed weekly advice. Whenever she greeted me, she would wrap herself around me like the original seductive serpent, and I would try desperately to keep my cool—without success.
I am seldom drawn to adolescents sexually, or so I like to believe. I like the way they look, I enjoy their narcissism from afar, but I’m not crazy enough to trade a tumble for a prison sentence, not even in fantasy.”
“Tamara, whose house parents I met regularly for case consultation and whose Oedipal problems I knew almost as well as my own”
“I couldn’t take my eyes off her, and I didn’t want to take the rest of me off, either.
Although I danced with many people that night, I found myself dancing with Tamara more than with anyone else: more sensually, more energetically, more proximately. After a few beers, I forgot the age gap between us. After a few more, stalwart drinker [robusto bebedor] that I am, I was carried upstairs by some friends and carefully placed upon an unoccupied mattress [colchonete]. I woke a couple of hours later to find Tamara bending over me, swaying, her hair against my face. I wasn’t very alert, but she seemed completely out of it—drunk and stoned and incoherent.
Without thinking, I pulled her down beside me, touched her, kissed her, felt her responding to me. As I caressed her, she spoke softly at first, and then more insistently. Her mumbling only gradually became comprehensible: Daddy, Daddy, Daddy…
Laying her head against the pillow, I drew away gently. The one short pang inside me yielded to tenderness. I massaged her eyes and brow until she fell asleep.”
“Third Tale of Lust. It was spring, and 5 of my street clients, including one gay male, declared their love-lust for me. I knew all about transference, of course, but I was also feeling very sexual in my new, slimmed-down version.
At my therapy seminar that week, another fledgling therapist like myself spoke of how he enjoyed his patients’ sexual fantasies about him. Our teacher-supervisor looked at him wryly. <Just remember,> he said, <that there are a dozen paunchy, balding, 70 year-old therapists in this town whose patients are madly in love with them. Don’t take too much credit.>
I decided not to, either.”
“Therapist hubris is based on the mutual illusion of patient and therapist that theirs is not a relationship among equals. Thus, it fires the therapist’s infantile yearnings for magical solutions, omnipotence, oceanic love.”
* * *
DE VOLTA AO KOPP (CONCLUSÃO)
“Everything is folly in this world, except to play the fool.”
“The response of embarrassment is not a personal flaw. On the contrary, it is a socially oriented readjustment pattern that acts to reestablish more orderly, adequate behavior. In showing embarrassment, the flustered person (sometimes unwittingly) reveals his responsiveness to the discrepancy between expected and actual performance. This offers the blunderer a chance to get himself together while remaining in consensual accord with the rest of the group. At the same time, perceiving his reaction, his audience is in a position to help him to reestablish his earlier state of unselfconscious ease.”
“I feel less pained and alone in my embarrassment, standing among these other naked therapists.”
“But for those of us who have not been subjected to excessive shaming, failing at something may be experienced as no more than not yet attaining what we might. For others who have too often been made to feel worthless, each failed attempt may create the feeling of being a total failure.”
“It was Erasmus who gave the West the paradox of the Wise Fool. In the literature of the Middle Ages, the Fool had played a minor role. But beginning with Erasmus’ book, In Praise of Folly, the Renaissance Fool stepped forward as a major figure in the humanist vision of man. Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam, the bastard son of an obscure father, emerged as a great humanist who would be courted by princes, popes, and scholars of his age, a man whose Wise Fool would foster men’s self-acceptance for centuries to come.”
“Like Socrates, her only claim to wisdom is that she knows that she knows not.”
“Like all those later Fools, Don Quixote, Huck Finn, Chaplin’s little tramp, and the Marx Brothers, she does not comprehend what is expected of her by society. Like all clowns she is free to walk irreverently through the walls of convention, simply because she does not see that they exist. Often enough, these hollow boundaries collapse before the force of her ignorance.”
“The good judgment of the Wise is sometimes no more than the closed mindedness of those who know better.” I’d say Final Judgement.
“By accepting the Fool in myself, I open my imagination to all the possibilities that I was once too wise to consider.”
“So it is that when I was a young man I hoped to make fewer and fewer mistakes, while in my later life my ambition is to make more. I would sin boldly. Not that I have come to like feeling embarrassed. Not at all! Rather most of the time now it all just seems worth it to me to experience feeling foolish if that is the price of trying new ways of being.”
O palhaço que habita em mim saúda o palhaço que um dia habitará em você.
O homem ocidental se tornou zen para não apertar o botão da bomba; isso pausará sua existência cadavérica nesse mundo além de qualquer previsão legal… Eis o problema. O Último Homem aprendeu com seus erros logo após o penúltimo erro – que infortúnio e que pepino para nós! Se apenas houvesse uma máquina de auto-sepultamento, um suicídio assistido por si mesmo, uma auto-eutanásia no mais redundantemente literal dos zentidos… Ainda estamos impessoais demais diante do nosso instinto vital, não operamos a nossa própria máquina para comandar ações grandiloqüentes deste nível e desse porte! Asia Rise!
“A single individual’s solitary failing is painful, but the shared frailties of all men are ultimately comic. So it is that one stutterer is tragic, but like it or not, three stutterers having an argument is a funny scene.”
“Seriousness is an accident of time. It consists in putting too high a value on time. In eternity there is no time. Eternity is a mere moment, just long enough for a joke” Herman Hesse, Steppenwolf
“Out of the Middle East comes the tradition of the Sufi, that mystical/intuitive aspect of Islam that ranges from the whirling trance states of the Dervishes to the teaching stories of that Wise Fool, Nasrudin. The Sufi tales offer the sort of folk wisdom that discloses that out of each situation comes its own remedy. Each mishap is an opportunity to learn if only our imagination is open to reappraising the source of our discomfort.”
“Enjoy yourself, or try to learn—you will annoy someone. If you do not—you will annoy someone.”
“Who is it who’s rejecting whom?… if somebody rejects me…who they think they’re rejecting isn’t me anyway.… By them pushing me away I see them caught in their own paranoia…” Baba Ram
Ser um incompreendido do meu tempo implica que eu mesmo não posso me compreender!
“You don’t decide to give something up. They fall away, that’s the secret of it.”
It’s ok to fail on an impossible mission, right, Tom Cruise?
“Even when I am doing well, or being special, being judged is oppressive, carrying with it as it does the impossible ideal of perfection. How much easier is the freedom to be what I am, ordinary and imperfect as that may be, no more than a natural Fool.”
“To witness my Self without blaming myself is like being a child again, only this time in a safe, warm place under the watchful eyes of loving parents. It is during such moments that I can accept whatever I do as no more than what I must do at that time. It is then that I would no more question the adequacy of what I am doing than I would wonder whether or not my cat knows just how to go about being a cat.”
Guru, If You Meet the Buddha on the Road, Kill Him!, by the same author.