Emigrants’ child

(Dec 2006) As a mature student on placement, I had had a chance to read his case notes, on the psych ward. The notes told me that staff invariantly described him as having no insight into his illness. This was made evident, in the notes, by him claiming they owed him sexual gratification. Otherwise he functioned in his everyday life; he was only on the ward for a few days to tweak his medication. And, the notes said, perhaps allowing him some insight after all: He had always felt different. They described his thought processes as disturbed.

He was from North Africa, had come to England with his parents as a primary school age child. Now in his early forties.

A couple of days after I had read the notes, I had the chance to sit with him in the day room. Without much prompting, he told me his story. And there was not much I needed to join the dots in my mind where his thoughts disrupted themselves …

They’d arrived in February… It was dark all the time and COLD. He was bullied at school and he did not feel able to talk with his parents as they had praised their new country before they came and put high hopes on it…

At some point, while he was talking, I felt a pull on my second chakra, as if he was (subconsciously?) trying to get energy from me there. I was not shocked. I had experienced that from a RC priest some time before. I just remained upright, listening. There was nothing else I could or needed to do a that moment.

telling the gruesome cold

only a 7-year-old knows

all alone – healing?

Listening open

inside the story and

present – a witness?

Dear reader, do you understand why, in my mind, sometimes I spit in anger at mainstream psychiatry? They had, they have the story before them but choose not to join the dots. Who is lacking insight here? What had drained him of his own vital energy …


~ by Barbara S on April 17, 2022.

4 Responses to “Emigrants’ child”

  1. Were you able to help him in some way?

    • you tell me; – I have often wished I could have – my mentor in the scheme I was in advised against it as I was only there for a short time. However, as I was writing this today, I felt more clearly than before, that perhaps by listening and holding the space I may have done what in fact I could… Btw, as reader,how do you feel about the ending – too didactic? Thanks for reading –

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