Haz bean

August 16, 2017 at 11:32 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

3375886335_4263322874_o

 

My counsellor wants to demonstrate what we’re doing.

She fetches a cup, a plate, and a jar of coffee beans.

‘Smell these! Wonderful, isn’t it?’

It is.

She puts the plate on a low table.

And the cup on the plate.

‘This is the child’s mind.’

She pours beans into the cup.

‘When trauma occurs, the young mind can’t take it all in.’

Beans spill onto the plate.

‘When the brain is full, additional information is forced to go elsewhere.’

Beans skitter across the table.

Bounce onto the floor.

‘Each of these beans is a part of the child’s mind. Split off, but containing valuable information. Our task is to bring these back to the main brain.’

I get it.

I go home.

My wife asks how I went.

I want to show her.

We have no coffee beans, so I cast around for a substitute.

Corks.

I need a bigger cup and a bigger plate.

I’m faintly surprised I have more than enough corks with which to demonstrate.

I pour them and tell the tale.

They’re a lot bouncier than beans.

One launches off the kitchen bench.

It’s immediately snatched by our Jack Russell terrier, who capers off with it down the hall.

My wife gets the idea.

Next time, I tell the counsellor what happened.

She tries to stifle her laughter.

I assure her it’s OK.

All my medicos laugh.

When she regains her composure, she says that a dog running off with a cork is actually an excellent metaphor for a dissociated part.

I say I’m glad,

and that I greatly look forward to getting all my bits back.

We return to our work.

 

Pic by Roger Karlsson.


To keep me in coffee, you may wish to

Whatever the sum, I’ll toast your health.


Advertisements

Steele-eyed span

June 24, 2017 at 10:04 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

In Year 5 or 6, there occurred one of the most corrosive incidents of my life.

I was in an experimental ‘open area’ – far removed from standard school rooms.

Several classes occupied a common ‘free-range’ space and we were given phenomenal liberty to learn as we pleased.

One day, a group of teaching students came to marvel at our set-up.

They wandered among knots of kids who were very much doing their own thing.

My thing at the time was cubits: small plastic cubes that connected in a kind of low-tech fischertecknic/LEGO way.

I could play with them alone for hours – and even took them home.

Yet I didn’t realise their educative value.

An earnest student teacher quizzed me about my model making, then offered to show me how the cubes could be used to grasp mathematics.

I wasn’t keen, but onlookers had gathered, so the student teacher went ahead.

He explained that 1 cube could be joined to 9 others to make a line of 10. He then joined 10 lines of 10 to make a plane of 100. For 3 x bonus points, he then showed how 10 planes could be assembled to make a cube of 1000.

Unfortunately, he had lost me at 5.

It wasn’t his fault. Looking back, I certainly wouldn’t have tried to engage a twitchy loner with autism.

After considerable effort, his enthusiasm finally waned as he realised I just wasn’t going to get it.

By this time, I was completely overstimulated by the exercise and freaked out by the observers.

I stumbled away muttering, ‘One times ten times ten times one times ten times … etc.’

That could have been the end of it, but Mrs Steele stepped in.

Having watched the botched interaction, she was livid I’d disrespected our guest.

She pursued me, span me round, knelt down and hissed at my face:

‘Paul Hassing:- You. Are. Miserable!!!’

I looked at her cold eyes, iron hair and lined (now frighteningly compressed) lips.

Her words shot straight into my heart.

Where they remain to this day.

When her fingers finally unclenched from my arm, I tottered off in a different direction, this time muttering, ‘I. Am. Miserable. I. Am. Miserable. I. Am. Miserable.’

And, after several 100 repetitions,

I believed it.

At my session last week, a new counsellor suggested a link between this experience and my childhood sexual abuse.

No-one has posited this before, but the years roughly match.

The counsellor said abused children often act up in class, drawing teacher ire.

And while I don’t think I was misbehaving per se, I feel her theory could have

merit.

It’ll be fascinating to see if EMDR therapy can finally draw this sword from my soul.

Thank you for reading.

Here is some suitably sad music to play us out.


To keep this tale fresh and strong, you may wish to

Whatever the sum, I’ll be filled with thanks.


 

 

 

 

 

Kebub

January 15, 2017 at 7:28 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

This is my first memory (so far) so feel free to skip it.

I’m lying on my back in a small bedroom in suburban Melbourne.

Beneath me the white, relatively rough toweling of a many-times-washed nappy.

Not one of today’s supermarket disposables.

An old, analogue version.

The type that began square and was somehow folded to approximate an infant’s pelvis.

With wrapping done, there remained the task of fastening.

For this there were enormous (to me) ‘safety’ pins – likely made in England.

Long, strong and sharp: to penetrate the many folds.

The ‘safety’ bit was a (baby blue) metal cap that slid over the workings once each pin was in place.

I don’t recall this device malfunctioning, but I feared it doing so.

I do recall strong fingers simultaneously holding a stacked fabric corner and striving to penetrate all layers without ‘overshooting’.

I remember worrying that it may be tricky to arrest a pin’s progress into my flesh should it pass through warp and weft with unexpected alacrity or ease.

I also recall two types of strong fingers wielding these fasteners.

This may be a manufactured memory.

Nor, of course, did I possess any descriptors.

The first type of strength was my mother’s.

Skilled. Determined. Busy. Efficient.

The second type was my father’s.

Coarse. Hurried. Annoyed. Not to be bested.

I feared both kinds of force – lest I be pinned to the bed.

But the first kind, less so.

I was thus much relieved when the ultimate pin withdrew,

freeing me for new

(though not always exciting)

experiences.

Mother load

May 18, 2015 at 10:51 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 9 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

On reflection, life seems largely composed of small fragments.

Some pack more punch than others …

I was visiting a packing and sending place.

It was hot out and not much better in, as an open loading bay countered the office air conditioning.

After a while, a flushed woman emerged from a corral of half-wrapped plasma screens.

Her smile was drawn.

To her right, a baby inched off a foam mat.

From another room came toddler talk, followed by a clattering sound.

‘What are you doing, Jason?’

‘Jason?’

CRASH!!!

The woman dashed to the noise.

She returned to the counter with an apology.

I asked for a quote to send my package.

She rifled back and forth through a price book that looked as worn as she did.

Finally, with what seemed great mental effort, she calculated the fee.

I chose to buy cardboard tubing and post it myself.

As the woman cut the tubing to size, she nudged the baby back onto the mat and glanced to her left for Jason.

He emerged from her right and confronted me with a large, whippy, metal tape measure.

The woman disarmed him and shepherded him back with the tube before laying it on the counter.

‘Five dollars, thanks.’

‘No worries; could I have a receipt please?’

‘Sure.’

As she took out an old-fashioned receipt book, the phone rang: a customer inquiry.

She put the prospect on hold, fished for carbon paper and failed to find a blank receipt.

She fossicked in a drawer for another book with such mounting despair that I told her not to worry.

But she pressed on, scribbling out the details of a cancelled receipt and writing mine.

I apologised for taking up so much of her time for a measly five bucks.

She nodded her thanks and returned to the phone, but the prospect had hung up.

Jason vanished.

The baby crawled.

The plasma screens beckoned.

And the hot wind slammed the front door behind me.

Brought to you by The Feisty Empire.

 

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.
Entries and comments feeds.