Psychology and Mental Health Forum

Author:  Johnny-Jack [ Wed Apr 01, 2015 2:22 am ]
Blog Subject:  Matt, age 7. Alter #35

We met sweet little Matt in the most unexpected way last week. We had a repeated flash of an unbearable imagined stabbing of our mother's face with an ice pick. I both couldn't understand what was the big deal, it was just an angry thought, but also could not deal with the extreme desire actually to do this. It was clear I had imagined this quite graphically as a child and the memory of the image replayed in front of me as if it had actually happened.

What led up to this was we were trying to figure out in therapy how, at work mostly but also elsewhere, a very bad pattern we've had is we will just not do something we need to do, no matter the cost. So we're supposed to get something done at work, it's part of our job, people are counting on me, and I just can't and won't do it. Or I procrastinate until the 59th minute of the 11th hour, then rush to do it and cover my procrastinating tracks, if I can. Always asking myself why, why do I foolishly put myself through this absurd, painful, purposeless unnecessary avoidance/delay again and again.

There might be a momentary flash of awareness that quickly fades, an inkling that this stubborn refusal to act might have be associated with a person connected to what needed to be done. They might have assigned it to us, handed it off to us, mentioned that they'd already gotten theirs done, made a snide comment about the usefulness of the task, whatever. But it just wasn't clear and anyway how could some mild annoyance generate such dangerous, stupid, costly, anxiety-producing, potentially humiliating behavior. What was wrong with me.

I didn't realize it was connected with what Godwin went through with the mother. His being physically punished for others' outside the family of origin praising me for something I did or was. What I saw was the many cruel or petty or deliberately hurtful things my mother would say. Mostly it was her face, that smug snear, the haughty dismissal, the wild rage, the arrogant looking through me to let me know I meant nothing to her. The neverending mid games when her nastiest alter was out, for my mother had DID too, And some of her did evil.

I feel that Matt held this inexpressible but necessary rage toward the mother and he played out in the imagination how we could get back at her. But why did that not twist him into rage himself? He knows she is long dead. But I'm not sure he ever felt the rage himself. He's just seems to be the kid we were who allowed himself to feel the rage and imagine responding. I was shocked at how unacceptible the images were to me in the present, though the rejection felt anachronistic. Of course, my mother was horrible to us so of course I would feel that rage and imagine revenge. But I'm thinking with an adult mind. It wasn't okay to me/us as a child. It was terrifying and wrong to want to kill your own mother with an ice pick. He didn't but he imaginedit, seemingly from age 5 to 7 and somehow escaped becoming the rage.

He ambled along homeward today just like any 7-year-old. A jet flew low overhead and he stopped dead on the sidewalk, his head gawking skyward, unable to take his eyes off it until it disappeared into the clouds and he said "cool." He's a good kid, a normal boy, with a wild imagination that he never let consume us.

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