Saturday, May 31, 2014


"I used to have an anger so big it would fill up any house. I used to feel so hopeless that I was like Tom Thumb who has to hide under a chair so as not to be trodded on.

Do you remember how Sindbad tricks the genie? Sindbad opens the bottle and out comes a three-hundred-foot-tall genie who will kill poor Sindbad stone dead. So Sindbad appeals to his vanity and bets he can't get back in the bottle. As soon as the genie does so, Sindbad stoppers the neck until the genie learns better manners.

Jung, not Freud, liked fairy tales for what they tell about human nature. Sometimes, often, a part of us is both volatile and powerful - the towering anger that can kill you and others, and that threatens to overwhelm everything. We can't negotiate with that powerful but enraged part of us until we teach it better manners - which means getting it back in the bottle to show who is really in charge.

This isn't repression, but it is about finding a container. In therapy, the therapist acts as a container for what we daren't let out, because it is so scary, or what lets itself out every so often, and lays waste to our lives.

Page 34, Why be Happy when you could be Normal?, Jeanette Winterson

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