Do the Menendez Brothers Reside in Many of Us?
Human nature: Few children murder their parents with shotguns, but there are subtler ways of getting rid of people.
[Published in: The L.A. Times, December 24, 1993]
By Thomas Hersh
A patient in a nursing home (call her "Mrs. Kay") is an 85 year old schizophrenic whose illness is more or less in remission. I look forward to seeing her because of her interesting ideas. She sits alone all day, often with her door closed, and resists everyone who tries to get her involved in activities. When she comes out to eat her meals in the dining room, she makes nasty comments that keep other residents away. She has a reputation. A lady at the home told me that "Mrs. Kay gives me the creeps. She reminds me of one of the Addams family."
Longer observation (1): Raised in a Cave: I read about a South American Indian tribe. In their territory there was a cave, and, occasionally, a newborn child would be selected (I forgot how) to be raised 100% in the cave.
Longer observation (8): A Mother's Sensitivity: When a mother becomes pre-occupied with some concern or other, she may not feel able to handle her children at the level required by her own standards. This is especially true if the children are also worried about what is worrying the mother. It's difficult enough for the mother to handle her own feelings.
Short idea (132): Every family struggles with psychological problems to some degree (just as every family struggles with physical or economic problems to some degree). It is a matter of degree.
Short idea (142): It is helpful for psychologists to think of some families as cults. The leader (often the father) is experienced as God and his wishes are experienced as divine law. Conflicts can develop when family cult law conflicts with civil law. In such cases, families are mini-religions.
Psychological Thoughts on the Evaluation of Estate Assets
Every family has fracture lines on which they will split apart under pressure and stress (using the imagery of earthquake faults). The division of estates after the death of parents is such a stressful situation. Families can splinter into individuals who never speak to each other again. Larger families can fracture into parts or factions that can remain perpetually at war.
"Big" Dream 2 (August, 2013)
(from the series of "Big" dreams)
This is a dream of a patient who was involved in a family dispute that was very troubling to him. It involved his extended family. The members of this family are prominent and are used to being respected, listened to, and even obeyed. In the dispute no one was listening to or respecting or obeying anyone else, and the man felt discounted. On the day of the dream, it came to the dreamer's attention that many of the family members, in spite of their outward disrespect, might have been listening to him more than he thought. He devised a plan based on this assumption, but, when he went to sleep, he still felt shaky and weak, feelings that were not usual to him.
Short idea (36): Devastating experiences make a person feel closer to those who have been through similar experiences and distant and separate from those who haven't. Losing a child separates a person from most other people; losing an old parent makes one feel part of the natural flow.