Saturday, January 18, 2014

case study...

a mother came to me with concern for her thirteen year old son. a sensitive and gifted child, outgoing, loving and expressive, he had withdrawn into himself complaining about anxiety and pressures in school that previously had been shouldered in an unremarkable way. now he was bottling up his emotions, isolating himself from peers and family life, and giving indications of self-destructive thoughts through writing he'd shared that shook his mother sufficient to ask for help.

several things stuck out to me in her narration... his described impotence and frustration at the hands of controlling authority figures outside the home; his aversion to the hard pornography his friends were sneaking into the classroom on their devices and taunting him with; an attendant difficultly finding friends he could relate to; and finally, an occasion when his mother once had to explain to him while they walked home what the term 'prostitute' meant and being moved herself when he wept in sadness at the concept.

when i arrived for the housecall the boy had absented himself using a plausible amnesia just before his mother got home to meet me herself. the mother's companion, a man in his middle age, did not remind her son of the meeting we'd scheduled but went along with the boy's new plan to go and do some work at the tim horton's. she refers to her companion as her second child in the home and indicates there has been some subtextual strains of competition between the two. nevertheless, the boy absenting himself lent the impression of someone temporarily unable to mobilize will and expression to say no or yes directly. his mother made tea and we took advantage of the one on one time to get her point of view on her child fully expressed.

i felt that the recent arrival of deep despair and moroseness described by mum indicated a developing resentment towards the areas in his life where he felt powerless to act on his environment, seize the moment, or control his participation in the fates. he'd begun to have difficultly sleeping (but mother was unsure as to why), he was loosing energy even while being very stubborn and dedicated, and newly discouraged and listless about being accepted by his peers or teachers. he was unhappy with his school and wanting more opportunities to explore his creativity at a different one. he recently took up the flute and voice after some instruction on the piano that didn't quite capture his interest.

when his mother described the first time she heard him sing she said she heard in his delivery a purity of emotional expression and commitment to authenticity she had never experienced of him in any other context. his innate and fine sense for the emotional contours of the song he was so emphatically and confidently singing made her weep. she was super excited for him. when he subsequently began to have difficulties, she worried his shining moment of fineness in song had presaged an integration and opening that he might now be unconsciously self-denying due to this depressed and defeatist state. the photo she pointed out on the fridge revealed a gentle, round face and pale complexion with alert and friendly brown eyes. there were no real guiding physical symptoms.

i prescribed calcarea carbonica 30c, single dose.

the morning after the homeopathic was administered the mother sent me an elated text, describing her son as a different child. he was back at the helm of his life, engaged and enthusiastic. he invited classmates back to the home after school to film a video project for school. when his mother lent an assist by setting up the camera for them and clearing space he tenderly embraced her and told her ever so sincerely how much he loves her and appreciates the many things she does. and the day following when he had a negative encounter with his teacher, rather than respond in hopelessness and grief he responded with a flash of justified anger in the safety of their home, vowing that at the end of the school term he would write her a letter detailing all the occasions when she hurt or demeaned him. his mother was astonished as i was thrilled! what a joy to be able to provide a young person struggling with how to do his assertiveness and social engagements a new functionality and fresh way of being. i've seen this over and again when the similimum is lucked upon by people like me, groping in the dark, hoping that in doing our best we just might get it right. what a _feeling_!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

way cool!