Monday, January 31, 2011

Getting Rid of a Phobia. (Article 23 of the history of my epilepsy.)

Getting rid of a phobia
One of my doubts as an epileptic have been how to meet the requirements to obtain / maintain a driving license. The formal requirement has been to have been free from seizures during three years, to be confirmed by a neurologist who has the responsibility to make testing and follow the medical treatment. For me literally to meet these requirements could have meant that I had not been able to experience the revolution that the dynamic therapy has meant. Of course, I could have chosen to be without a license, but to act as highly mobile change consultant and manager without access to a car that hadn’t got my total equation to make ends meet. So, during 50 years, then and now, from a formal point of view, I have violated the relevant rules.
However, I have been extremely conscious of this and made an effort with my full ability to avoid most of the time to put myself in risky situations. So for example, I have preferred to let others run if there were alternatives. My wives or partners have always run a lot more than I did. So my 50 years in traffic have fortunately been free from accidents.
This has meant that when precautions exceptionally have failed then I have been lucky. It has, for example, been fascinating but frightening to experience an epileptic disorder with all its complications, while driving a car with the complex manipulations that this requires. Having experienced how the brain seemingly effortlessly can handle multiple processes simultaneously and coordinate and translate through its various centers where conscience and empathy interpret that what I am doing is no good either legally or morally, while I switch, brake and make over takings. Finally, one can say that these split-vision experiences are typical for my entire, neurotic life in all fields. Both with regard to the complexity of my existence and considering the compulsions that have propelled me.
20 years ago I suffered from a phobia and could not overtake a truck without getting very tense and scared, and sometimes I then got a feeling of being stunned. Because it was uncomfortable to overtake a truck I avoided for this reason often to do so. However, a late night in 1982 (this was after my epileptic seizures had begun turning into birth primals) so I made a compulsive departure.
In a heavy rain/snow I drove on a narrow forest road in the North east corner of Scania, and I was in a rush home, and I felt generally pressured. Visibility was lousy due to the darkness and the rain, and suddenly I had to slow down because I had a big truck with a trailer in front of me. The feeling of being pressured and trapped (as intense as the experience in a birth primal) increased dramatically. The pressure was growing in so far as I could not stop myself from overtaking the truck. That I could accept a decision to overtake a truck with a trailer in the pouring rain and darkness, on a narrow forest road without vision, I can only explain by referring to the magnitude of the pain-driven terror, which has been imprinted in my brain since birth. I could have driven myself to death on that occasion and caused, which would have been even worse, a manslaughter.
Just as I crossed the cab of the truck, I experienced a petit mall, type hallucination, in which a classmate, Lars, from primary school turned into a very clear flash back while he was hit by a truck and got his leg broken. After overtaking and having remembered the overwhelming and frightening accident with Lars, I felt an indescribable relief. The accident occurred during my first school year, 1947, and in more than 35 years the painful incident had remained imprinted and unaddressed and caused the reason for my phobia. From this incident in 1982 so I've had, what I would characterize as, normal anxiety when I have had to overtake a truck.
Being entirely honest with oneself is a good exercise.
Sigmund Freud

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Self-therapy. A knife in the chest of my boss. Spring 1993. (Article 22 of the history of my epilepsy.)

Self-Therapy. A knife in the chest of my boss. Spring 1993.
Something is wrong, I'm stuck. I am full of phobias, feeling lousy and sometimes I provoke, and eventually I crawl to get respect from others and from myself. I feel like a parachute that cannot unfold in time. If it is because it is improperly packed or has been triggered incorrectly, I am not sure of.
There are many old feelings that I repress, which creates an overload of feelings and the result will be psychosis and epilepsy followed by fatigue, confusion and passivity as companions. This has been a pattern for over 30 years. How can I cope and how do I fix it? Physical exercise, diet, discipline, and constant changes of home, spouses / partners and environments and workplaces have created enough demanding energy emissions to avoid that the trapped pain energy has not been able to break me down. Several years of training in dynamic therapy took me past the crisis in my forties. Extraordinary challenges, has from my horizon, been a necessity and a “quiet, normal, rhythmic life” with ordinary problems would have triggered some kind of core melt.
I am now 52 years old and have for the fifth time changed cohabitation partner, for the sixth time culture / country, for the twelfth time work and for the fourteenth time accommodation (if I am only counting the main home) in the past 30 years. I'm not physically tired, which I am very rarely. However, my mental capacity and inspiration have gone out as a plug too soon this time, when I got a new boss. My emotional dependence on a manager, who understands me and trusts me, is much higher than I thought. I overestimated my own strength in the relationship with my new boss. He and the executive board had sold a work situation that seemed to fit in perfectly with my profile as a problem solver,  which it does if you only read the job description.
What I have totally missed out on is that the head himself is a serious problem. Not work-rate, he has about the same neurotic energy as I and will never get physically tired, and he has had the good luck to be in the correct place at the right time when a new product success was born so his position is difficult to threaten, and he has, short term, formally all the power which economic success provides. Nevertheless, he is a potential mental risk, not only for me.
He is an engineer with the ambition to be The Manager and his emotional brain is stunted and overall dominated by the logical left side. What the hell have I gotten myself into? The other day when we flew to Hong Kong, he shouted suddenly out loud, that no one who was still awake in SAS business class could have failed to hear it: “You put a knife in my chest and turn on every time you remind me to make personnel decisions”. The poor man could just have talked about the problem, and I would have prepared an elegant solution. However, for once I have got a manager unable to use my strengths. I have a feeling that he sees me as a competitor. Nothing could be more distant. I have no management ambitions. I know my limitations all too well.
Doubts on my part make me paranoid and tear holes in my whole structure if I am to operate with uncertainty and doubt, being the case in my new complex work situation. My madness and my doubts strike both my outward behavior, and my confidence. My inner, intuitive view of the situation and the context is relatively unaffected. I know that behind everything I think and write the relationship with my father is hurting, which was just as disastrous as the one with my new boss and lasted throughout my childhood and until I left home. I have thought and tried to feel through much of what was wrong in our relationship, but right now everything feels like a free fall, and I am equipped with an improperly packed parachute. Each time it is used it folds out wrongly. This is not the case with my hallucinations, petit mall seizures and birth primal. They will be my valves as long as the cooperation may last with another neurotic sufferer.
The relationship with my father was disturbed by the fact that he constantly asked imprecise requirements, indirectly threatened me, never offered understanding and empathy, hid behind a religious filter that distanced me further from him and dried up all the joy of life. He was always mentally tired and slept away the time he could have used to socialize with his emotionally malnourished children. I had as a child the feeling that I constantly had to lie and deceive him to obtain a reasonable life, similar to my comrades.
I quickly became split, one person together with my parents, another person among my friends and a third when I was on my own. I acted socially smart and could jump between my personalities, which meant that I survived and stood the pain of not having any relationship with my father and not really with most of my peers whom I did not inaugurate in my other roles. The relationship with myself is the one that has developed in a trusting way. The relationships with superiors and colleagues, have only in very few cases had upon them trust. The relationships which have been relatively safe has been my relationships with women, then I could be myself. They have acted as a buffer for my conflicts with the male / father figures.
My mother did not have a big emotional spectrum, but a slight, steady flow of controlled warmth against me. With her, I could somehow always talk. We never had a relationship mother to son, but more as a companion relationship. There didn’t exist a problem area which I not, in one way or another, through paraphrase or straight out, could take up with her. That she was religious did not care in our internal relationship. (I remember when I was about five years and mother was baking in the wood stove, and she used a Bible quote, and I suddenly thought to myself while the brain's blood circulation increased dramatically, “I do not believe you mum, when you talk like that, it is not true what you are saying”. From that moment, her religiosity did not affect me very much, and I was liberated for a lifetime, from using religion as an escape.) In order not to go too far in my bantering with her and in order for her to still have a little foot on me, she had a nasty weapon - certainly for herself to survive her relationship with her husband. So when I became too advanced in my conduct, she threatened with my father... So she used the tools which were available, her religiosity was on the practical side.
This relationship with my mother has always made me secure in my relationships with women; with one exception. When someone reminds me of my three years younger and prettier sister, and there is a male "competitor" present I can get the same insecure feelings I had when my sister took over my position with our father, and they dethroned me after I had had three years of exclusivity. I can remember how I emotionally and physically almost was squeezed away. As she was good looking and was my father's favorite a lot of my subconscious efforts later became to seek a female company which would surpass my sister.
If you cannot put into words what you feel, your body will show it.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Rolfing 7. (Jan. 27th, 2011)

Rolfing 7.
One of Spain's, during the last years, most admired personalities is Pep Guardiola. He is the head coach for the best soccer team in the world, at this point, FC Barcelona. Just like when he actively played soccer, when he coaches his team (filled with prima donnas and superstars), when he practically, intellectually or emotionally is commenting on the player’s actions or when he is moving around physically, everything is done in a natural and beautiful way. I suppose Ida Rolf would have appreciated the total naturalness with which he is appearing. Nobody asks to define that beauty in his performance and look. Everybody recognizes it. “It is an intuitive appreciation of normalcy” according to Dr Rolf.
Today's Rolfing session was about to continue to turn much of my jerky, constricting and impression limiting reactions in my muscles and (especially) fascia to stretch out, open up my shoulders, my thorax, eyes and ears in order to become less controlled and unconsciously inhibited. Much of my mental repressions and demons are dissolved, and they need not their old reflexive protection thanks to the Primal Therapy.
An effect I will have to expect during the near future is that emotions will ascend easier and slide through my defense network in a way, although it is natural, I am not used to. The second half of my Rolfing hours went to work with the skull in relation to the thorax. My neck, my face, my nose and the inner parts of my mouth experienced new sensations and reactions while the fascia was stretched. I assume that this somehow will leave its mark in my birth primals, when from time to time they in their now greatly reduced impacts want to get out of memory and out of the various levels of consciousness in my brain.
Jan Johnsson

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

To Find Pleasure in the Impossible. To Art Janov

The following words fell from my pen, after I had  been emotionally stimulated and inspired by BONO’s article in The New York Times about Sargent Shriver:
JFK with all his pain and neurosis behind his superior talent put a man on the moon by combining science and faith into a perfect rhyme.
Art Janov by an innate intuition and love for humanity found the key to developing the principles of “Evolution in Reverse” to ease the pain and make us feel real.
A few years after the Primal Scream, Milos Forman, in his film “One flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest”, with Jack Nicholson and Louis Fletcher as the super stars, revealed with irresistible charm and ruthless honesty for a flabbergasted world how we treat people with leaky gates and repressed pain.
USA and the world saw another radically different, pain driven, moon walk being performed by Michael Jackson.
For me and others in my generation they are some outstanding examples of what an environment that finds joy and pleasure in the impossible is capable of.
Thank you Art and The United States of America!
Jan Johnsson

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Janov's Reflection on "Rewiring The Brain".

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Rewiring the Brain

Integration means that the reliving of a key memory will affect nearly every system in our lives. So we measure natural killer cells, serotonin and brainwave function to test whether there has been integration; and we have found profound changes (normalization) in all of those over time in our therapy. So we might ask, “Does it matter if we don’t relive events during womb life? Yes, because that reliving can produce a change in many physiologic parameters and in behavior? So the answer is clear. Yes, it matters because we have seen engraved patterns (migraine, high blood pressure, impulsive acting-out) from early childhood and fetal life get resolved and integrated decades later in therapy. If patients needed to do more than relive, then they would feel worse, not better, months and years after therapy. And their physiologic changes would not hold up. (The stress hormone, cortisol, would again diminish to pre-therapy times). As I have reiterated, the only time we can rewire deviated set-points is when the brain retreats to an earlier prenatal time and deals directly with the original causes of deviation. This means getting below repression and into history with every fiber of our being, and that history contains life before birth.

Late research seems to confirm this assumption. Scientists from Mass. Inst. Technology have found that the brain becomes much easier to rewire the younger we are. In the journal Current Biology (Oct 14, 2010), lead author, Marina Bedny suggests that as we get older it is much more difficult to rewire the brain. Most circuits are pretty well fixed. I wonder if it is not easier to rewire the brain when we go back and relive those very early brain states. It may be why we see such progress in those patients who do successfully relive early imprints. This may defy current research which indicates how difficult it is to rewire circuits later in life.

Let me be clear about all this: any intervention by a therapist after the critical period can only be palliative. The warm, attentive doctor can only provide a cushion against the impact of the internal pain. That warmth cannot penetrate deep enough to attack the original imprint. Of course, the patient will feel better; she has been palliated, and that feels good, as I have reiterated. The analysis of transference, understanding one’s pattern of behavior toward the doctor cannot make fundamental change, nor can any insight therapy; the shuttered sensory window won’t permit it. Repression is locked into place. It stops any deep penetration. It keeps us on a superficial level. 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Anything I could do, he could do better... (Article 21 of the history of my epilepsy.)

Anything I could do, he could do better...

Between January 1980 and April 1985, I had my most introverted active period to judge by the quotations I have filed from my primal feelings, dreams and insights during my life. Much of my feelings of shame, associated with my epilepsy, then was washed ashore connected with the painful feelings of inferiority in every possible context. A typical example is a dream I had the night of 7 and 8 December 1981. The dream is about a lad, Bo, with whom I became friends in 1955, and I still keep in touch with. 
It was a mix between a pleasant dream and a nightmare, which was the major part. We were playing to catch up. What was pleasant in the dream was that I moved effortlessly and I felt like one with the wind. However, being the nightmare element, despite my easy mobility,  I was always caught up with, no matter how elaborately I stretched myself and figured out clever solutions and shortcuts behind shrubs and trees. The one I played with was constantly superior to me. Bo was the outstanding during the dream. He was better looking, was physically superior to me (he was an old elite gymnast), had stronger muscles, thick and wavy hair, and he had tanned skin. From an appearance point of view, he could be a dream for any girl. 
He never wanted to lose the game we played whether it was a physical motor or chess. He would always win and I let him, there was nothing else I could do or dared to, as long as I was firm friends with him. Orally, and intellectually I did not feel inferior, which meant I could handle his constant physical supremacy, which was his weapon in our unwritten pact that led him to put up with me. Mentally, I was responsible for the verbal output, the jokes and sarcasms, and my driver behind this production was a general feeling of inferiority, poor physics and restlessness. Add to my appearance and physical inferiority the feeling blow I got when it was found I had epilepsy, with all that it meant in the 1960s macho world not to be accepted by the military forces. For most youths this was a disaster. Most of the friends of Bo, apart from me, are from the military and Gaza services, and so it stays until this day. 
The sense of panic that at times arose in me was the most painful when the male circle began speaking soldier memories. When the surrounding debated military mobilizations I threw myself at full internal mental mobilization to suppress my feelings of not being able to and not being allowed to participate. My head, my mouth and my feet increasingly paralyzed in the same way as in the painful birth process, and I was overwhelmed by anxiety. 
To cope with this annihilation, I shut off myself and sharpened my mental spears which I should be able aggressively to stick out to deal with any questions or imagined potential attacks. No one embarrassed me ever more seriously in such a situation, but it was still just as awful every time a colleague or boss with a title of a reserve officer began talking military memories. I was afraid to be singled out as unskilled and disabled as manager if they knew that I had no officer training and had been eliminated by the military because I had epilepsy. 
All the friends I have sought in my life have had several common features with Bo. Physically superior, with good looks, not very aggressive and I have imagined that I was smarter and through verbal intellectual fantasies and jokes, I have kept myself afloat together with them. My father gave me the same feeling of not being easily duplicated. He was muscular, powerful arms, and he had a thick blue-black hair. Add to this that he had, by all admired, blue eyes and had school reports, which were full of top scores. 
This man never had time for me, for my sake, just when he should ever criticize me, educate me or put me to work in the garden or in any other context. He was impossible to compete with, and he engraved a deep insecurity, which I only now understand that this lack of contact and trust turned to a feeling of being uncertain and afraid. I have for 40 years fought to avoid feeling the pain of my father's lack of positive attention. My brain has found endless escape routes, stenosis and fantasies to avoid feeling pain. In this way, my mother had a relatively grateful task to dominate me. She could never replace my father but in her own way she pushed me forward, as if it was obvious that I would manage without the help of a father. 
My whole life I've been using every fiber of my body, every ounce of power in my veins to survive and fight while most of my peers and friends have been able to live and were alien to me in their lifestyles, attitudes, tastes and objectives. I have missed a lot and have not always understood or been understood by my closest, but I have not departed from my inner convictions for 40 years. It feels like some compensation to know that my human evolutionary system, my instinct, has “wanted my best” when my parents could not manage. I am, nevertheless, pleased with what so far has been made available to me with insights into my life. I have made many mistakes and errors but had the good luck that they gradually have turned positive and proved to be useful when I eventually reached an understanding with my life. 
When there is pain, there are no words. All pain is the same. 
Toni Morrison

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Rolfing 6. (Jan. 20th, 2011)

Rolfing 6. (Jan. 20th, 2011)
“ A satisfactorily Rolfed body is a body in which in a flexion, extensors extend when flexors flex.” This was one of Ida Rolfs definitions. Having been through a 3 hour Rolfing session today, I start to get a certain grasp of that definition. The understanding happens when you have been through the Rolfing hours and suddenly a leg is moving back, not by pushing the muscles on the front, but by pulling on the back. As the old Lady said: “When that happens, the body has the use of a very great deal more of itself”.
It is fascinating and interesting to discover how connected my use of muscles/fascia all over my body is connected to a painful and 48 hour delayed birth process and how related these tensions and flexions have been to my epilepsy and to my lifelong sensations of being tense and stuck. This happened by an imprint / programming apparently installed for the sake of my survival. However, most of these tensions for survival of my birth, later developed into an ever present mental and physical handicap of easily getting stuck.
Jordi, my Rolfer, live and think Rolfing from several dimensions. It is a pleasure to be able to discuss my psycho therapeutic experiences and my epilepsy with him in the context of Rolfing. There is a different therapeutic approach than the somewhat hardcore and selfish attitude Dr Rolf had to psychological effects, which probably scared Dr Janov. Jordi, himself a musician (cellist) will be writing his dissertation on the theme “Use and interpretation of Rolfing for actors”. It will be exciting to follow!
Jan Johnsson       

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Sleepwalking. (Article 20 of the history of my epilepsy.)

Like probably many epileptics and neurotics, I thought that in my mind, there was a demon, or at least a dark and evil force. However, as my ability, to feel and make connections with  traumas even before birth, has evolved, the only thing I could find has been repressed pain. Sheer pain that was the result of unfulfilled needs that at crucial times hadn’t been met. The pain, either it has been mental or physical, has been there and acted out its inherent power in a symbolic way. It has happened time and again, over decades. Through neurotic unreal needs, in epileptic seizures, in sleepwalking, in elevated blood pressure and high pulse, etc.
For a little child pain, above a certain limit, is unbearable and too much to handle and therefore the mechanisms of repression are nature's survival functions. They give us, however, physiologically no peace but act out their tensions in all possible ailments. This affects  the brain, heart, stomach, liver, kidneys, lungs and wears them out prematurely and shortens life and lowers the quality of it. Due to my suffering from epilepsy, I got strong medication that eliminated the need for other drugs and stimulants, which many for or against their will were forced to take to keep their "demons" in check. At a price, that society may falter.
By having been fortunate enough to have access to the principals of “evolution in reverse”, I have subsequently gained knowledge and become older and stronger to be able to cope  with the pain. In this way, much of my neurotic behavior has dissolved and become comprehensible. There were no demons.
My way out of the uterus was difficult and painful and took much time. Only the birth process in Landskrona BB took 48 hours. This time, however, I have later had to multiply to feel and relive all the pain, terror and panic that the death panic during the birth struggle meant. The sum of the time that my birth and my therapeutic re-experiencing has brought together, however, has been a fraction of the time I have used for decades to find symbolic emergency exits through dreams and nightmares. Many times I have woken up in a cold sweat confused over how, close to madness, I have struggled to get out of the imprinted dilemma in my dreams.
During the years when my defenses, which includes both the intellectual, the physical and the medical, fulfilled their duties, I had occasionally a tendency to walk in my sleep. During these walks, sometimes climbs, I was often looking for an exit. Some of these adventures in sleep walking, somnambulism, were quite dramatic. The drama was similar to that prevailing in my birth. Three occasions, I remember specifically. They have over the years proved an entertainment and attracted much laughter. My own laughter has, in reality been a way to avoid crying.
The most dramatic sleep walk that enters my memory took place in 1977 in Denmark. I worked as a manager of a toy company but had just tied me up for a new project in Sweden. My partner and I had a relaxed evening with some wine and good food followed by sex. I fell happily asleep. I woke up a couple of hours later when I became brought down from a tall oak tree, which I had succeeded, during the sleep walk, to climb with the help of a more than 7 feet high fence. It is quite a performance even for someone awake. I was helped down by my partner, friendly neighbors and called paramedics and was transported to our Regional Hospital in Roskilde.
At the hospital, I was given an injection the same way they had drugged McMurphy (Jack Nicholson) in the movie One Flew Over The Cuckoo Nest. The doctor was not thinking primarily on my well being. He acted robotically and according to the principles upon which to address the mental patients in the early 1900s. His goal was to protect the environment from the effects of an epileptic. If it were to prevent me from falling down and being hurt his behavior was too late. His written report on what occurred was written in an anachronistic, technically oriented manner and I still shudder when I remember the man's total lack of sympathy and mercy. I had not even had a grand mall seizure. I had just gone sleep walking and climbed up a tree and was treated like a fool. Fortunately, I did not have the soul destroying lobotomy surgery that was deemed necessary for McMurphy.
According to his neurological duty, the doctor instructed in writing the Danish Public Prosecutor immediately to cancel my driving license. The police received the decision and sent out a couple of detectives in a few weeks to my home and in the door they asked for my name, which I confirmed, and they formally read out the court order and asked to see my license. The powerful drug injected into me in Roskilde, the day of the sleepwalk, had long since lost its effect and my brain found in a flash a way to pluck the Danish Queens men outside the door, and I gave them an old license, which was no longer valid, which the constables in their haste to fulfill the mission never verified. The sum of all this stupid and inhumane behavior was that my feelings of being an underdog and of being further stigmatized were enhanced. This to my sorrow happened in my old favorite country Denmark.
Next, slightly less dramatic sleepwalking took place almost 20 years later, in 1996 in Frankfurt, Germany (when I still took Tegretol / carbamazepine). I stayed at the Hilton Hotel at the international airport, and between 01 and 03 p.m. I stepped out of my bed and began looking for exits. I left my room on the fourteenth floor only wearing blue shorts, and probably, after first having examined this floor, I took the elevator to the top floor and continued my fruitless searching. Finally, after various lift exercises I ended up in the impressive reception at the bottom floor.
There I stood in my nakedness just wearing small, blue, shorts when I woke up to the receptionist kindly calling my attention. I was surprised but not particularly shocked, not even when she told me about the information which had come from several floors of the hotel regarding my tour. The receptionist got my name and helped me find my room, and I put myself to sleep again. I had an early morning plane to catch and was off on an important meeting. One of our subsidiaries was in a serious situation. Luckily there was no doctor available who was eager to give me a Cuckoo nest treatment against my repressed, epileptic feelings from my birth 56 years earlier.
A third adventure of the sleep walking model occurred during the late winter of the year following the hotel hike in The Fatherland. This time the incident occurred in Ramlösa, where we just had moved and lived right next to a several acre park with a long ravine. It was the same time as last time, at between 01 and 03 P.M.,  (when my dream sleep occurs) I got out of bed and began the search. As often happens when I sleep, I was wearing my blue shorts (from El Corte Inglés in Valencia) and so I walked out of the house. I had no shoes on me, and it was below the freezing point and there was ice on puddles. I walked around the park for 1-2 miles but did not find what I was looking for. Suddenly I met a man who spoke to me, and I remember him vaguely saying that he thought it looked cold ,and he wondered if I froze. I remember that I said no and could not understand the question. Then I woke up and realized I was in the wrong place. It took a little time and effort to find back home because we only recently moved to Ramlösa. Strangely enough I did not freeze, and I did not get a cold afterwards. My body's protective function had done its job. As one of the consequences, of the sleep walk in the park, the front door was locked in such a way that I would not get out without my wife woke up.
Look into the depths of your own soul and learn first to know yourself, then you will understand why the illness was bound to come upon you, and you will perhaps thenceforth avoid falling ill.  Sigmund Freud

Monday, January 17, 2011

Janov's Reflection on "More on the Imprint"

I have written a lot about the imprint. On the deepest level of our existence, womblife, the imprints are urgent because so much of what goes on is a matter of life and death. A mother smoking, drinking, taking drugs. A mother deeply depressed or manic. All this impacts the fetus and is coded and registered for eternity; it is imprinted everywhere in the system. That is why when patients relive the imprint there are changes everywhere in us.

As the brain evolves each new higher level of brain function represents the imprint in its own way; that is important. We add emotions and images on one level and then add ideas to represent the imprint on a higher level. Think now. Ideas are representing the imprint of the fetus on an ideational level. And those ideas make no sense because the imprint makes no ideational sense. Ideas here are trying to accommodate to the force of the imprint. And oh yes, the imprint down low is not just sending neutral, banal information upward; it is also sending the valence, the energy and the force of that imprint upwards. So the idea/thinking level now has an urgency to how it responds to current situations. And the response can be over the top because the current situation has resonated with the lower level imprint and its force to produce inordinate and off-the-wall reactions. And those reactions can be hyper-suspicious, paranoia because the imprint that has been triggered off is one of terror; the mother manic and superexcited terrifies the baby, and when he is old enough to form beliefs he will no doubt be paranoid. And anything that weakens the defense system such as LSD or marijuana can lead right away to paranoia. Now you see why?

Let’s go over this a bit more. The spokes radiating from the fetal and birth imprint are re-represented in their own way on higher levels. The dream level tries to cope with it but soon the dream cannot contain the pressure and the force and it leads to a nightmare. We wake up terrified, not because the Nazis or the tigers are chasing us, but because the feeling is!! The imprint is unrelenting. It contains the pain and the terror and forces us all of the time to deal with it. There is no respite. The second level manufactures the Nazis to justify the fear in the same way that when awake we manufacture enemies to justify our rage and our fear. And when we are in a weak state, it bursts through and produces a panic or anxiety attack. That anxiety is no more than the imprint forcing its way out. And we take painkillers and tranquilizers to deal with it; those pills work on lower levels and then calm or suppress our strange ideation for the moment. The bizarre ideation is not the problem; it is the imprint. That is why it seems like such a mystery in the real of psychiatry. No therapy has a method of getting down deep to deal with the imprint. And worse, no therapy has a theory that includes it. So how can they ever understand it?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Hidden Agenda. A letter to friends for over 30 years. (Article 19 of the history of my epilepsy.)

Hidden Agenda.  
Sometimes the things turned out the way I had imagined, and other times not. I have not always exactly known why one or the other have occurred. So it has been good to have had a strong inner, hidden agenda. We've known each other for more than 30 years, so I think it's about time you get to know my version of how things happened in the late 70's. If I had been patient, you would have the story as a book, but since I do not know when it finishes writing you'll be content with a chapter. Please enjoy!
The foundation for my internal agenda was established already at the embryonic stage during a very difficult birth, which included lack of oxygen, being severely squeezed, choked, drugged with oxygen, and finally after 48 hours of struggle being invited to a breech delivery. My childhood was marked by hyperactivity due to the imprints caused by the birth, until I at the age of 19 developed epilepsy. Over the next 15 years, I took medicine for epilepsy, graduated from high school and read an economics degree plus scores in psychology and marketing while I made a career in the corset and toy industries.
1974, I happened to meet a different Dane, Svend Moller-Andersen; a management consultant of a rare kind. During a course in personality development, he referenced and plagiarized some of Rafael Ortiz absurd performances from New York, and advised me to read “The Primal Scream” of Arthur Janov, if I wanted to get somewhere and get rid of my neuroses. Barely a week had passed before I both bought and read the book in Danish and added a personal strategy for future changes. Regardless of whatever you put into the expression “get anywhere”, the Svend Möller Andersen tip led me into an adventure that includes both an internal and an external universe of physical and mental experiences of an exceptional nature. As an additional incentive, I have experienced contacts, locations and situations that few epileptic neurotics may be part of.
Primal Therapy became a sensation in psychotherapy about 40 years ago. I borrow a description from Art Janov how he made his first experiences and slowly began to understand how the evolution and dynamic therapy could work together:
“A young man who walked into a conventional therapy group, which I was conducting told about a visit, he made to a New York theater to see an absurd notion with Raphael Ortiz (the same Ortiz as Svend Moller-Andersen imitated during a course of personality development in Kongens Lyngby, in Denmark 1974). He said that Ortiz went back and forth on the stage and shouted for his mother. And he invited the audience to do the same. When they did it many in the audience began to scream and cry. I asked the young man to cry for mom. He refused but I was stubborn. Finally, he started screaming for mom, fell off his chair writhing in pain on the floor. This went on for half an hour and was something I never experienced before. When he came out of his condition, he touched the carpet and said: "I can feel." He felt himself changing. I recorded the session and for years afterwards, I have studied what it was for a secret which it contained.
I repeated the experiment again with other patients, and with much the same effect. I knew I saw something that therapists hardly ever get to see, but I did not know what it meant. It was not until several years later that I understood the meaning. I tried to understand what these patients had in common. It was a feeling! Access to the emotions that made the big difference. It would take another 25 years to figure out what was going on inside the person and his brain, but a fundamental truth, I had uncovered. I think the result is a new paradigm in psychotherapy. And it is not just a belief! “
When I had read the Primal Scream, I established a hidden plan to travel to Los Angeles in a number of years. However, another three years passed by before I had the opportunity to take the next step. During these three years, the Danish Brio Company was restructured through rationalizations and through acquisitions and as responsible for the project, I was very motivated and fully engaged in all respects. It was wonderful exciting years of constant change and not without success. Among other things in the game’s segment, we had made successful inroads in Algas (owned by Bonnier) market dominance in Sweden. When our change projects were implemented, and the daily routines began to dominate, I hired a talented Danish successor and looked for a job in Sweden to move a step closer to my hidden project in LA.
Partly by chance I chose to look for a job in the Bonnier Group as Finance Director in a chain of stores selling ladies and men’s clothing, Regment, which was in an even more miserable condition than Brio Denmark was when I started there. At the interview in a Copenhagen hotel, it appeared, however, that Bonnier had a dual agenda, and they looked as much on my profile for a future at Alga and Frosta Fritid as they evaluated my suitability to participate in the reorganization of Regment in spite of my experience in economics and marketing in the corset and fashion industry. Probably, the stronger part of the Bonnier board had even decided to close Regment, but I suspected nothing when I came from Denmark.
However, there was a dramatic event in my home in Jyllinge when I had signed an agreement with Bonnier / Regment, which caused that I during 1977 had an extraordinary storm cloud hanging over my head. One night when I was a relaxed and celebrated  life and my new job with wine and sex with my partner, I got a different epileptic grand mall seizure. It was otherwise in the sense that I had no cramp or fell, but got up and walked out of the house. I was sleepwalking and climbed a tall tree next to our house. I had 15 years earlier read a story "Lucky Peter" by the Danish Nobel laureate Henrik von Pontoppidan, in which a boy climbed high a tree and fell down and killed himself. The boy had been beaten and maltreated by his father in a way that reminded me of how my father had whipped and misused me when I was 10 years old. My girlfriend with the help of neighbors and called paramedics finally got me down and took me to the hospital in Roskilde, where I got numbing injections just like McMurphy in ‘One Flew Over The Coco Nest’. At least a repetition of the tragedy of the Von Pontoppidan book was prevented.
The visit to the hospital in Roskilde is one of the most traumatic experiences of my epileptic journey. The memory of the older neurologist model Nazi, who in a nonchalant and superior way handled my case, not to interview or seek information from my regular doctor, I have been able to live with afterwards by enjoying that the DR Josef Mengele, who performed neurological and medical experiments in the Nazi auspices never was allowed to become a senior of the Danish neurologist thanks to the happy ending of the War. Retroactively, I count myself lucky that he didn’t order a lobotomy surgery. After demonstrating his total lack of empathy and professional conduct the Roskilde neurologist informed me that he would send a report to the police regarding my driving license, which would immediately be withdrawn. I recorded what he said but just then I didn’t worry heavily on it.
Shortly afterwards and only a week before I would move from Jyllinge, Denmark, suddenly one day two uniformed police officers stood outside the house and rang the bell. They wanted to see my license, they said. I suspected, with lightning speed, what would happen and with the luck that often followed me I let them wait outside while I was looking up my expired license that I still had left after I had got a new one. “This we shall ask for, so now you better get someone who can drive you” were the cynical statement from one of the two constables. My inner satisfaction that I within a week I would move to Sweden still in possession of my (at least in Sweden) valid license was controlled but sweet. 

In this context, I will tell you an incident about how history can repeat itself, albeit with a slightly different outcome. When I, one year later, in 1978, was about to move to the USA, I received a letter from the Swedish driving license authority, which announced that they now, one year after the incident in Denmark, had been contacted by their counterparts in Denmark and that my license unfortunately had to be suspended until further notice. I then wrote a letter to the Authority and explained quite clearly how the visit to the neurologist  and the confiscation of the license had happened and asked for understanding of my anxiety not being able to drive which I for my own and my family’s support was dependent on. They quickly sent a friendly reply to L.A., asking me to arrange a medical certificate and approval and the problem would be cleared up. Tapping the right traffic signs and by paying $35 I had then already got a Californian driver license, but it was supplemented in due course with a Swedish license when I had been back home in Sweden and obtained a medical certificate.
The Regment intermezzo was obsolete in a few months. The conditions to make a turn around were nonexistent. The owners disagreed, and the belief in the Regment chain had been driven by Johan Bonnier, who did not have enough support by the Board. He was e.g. disappointed that the chain's president had fallen in love with the female sales manager and at a dinner and at an informal meeting he tried to persuade me to take over the responsibility. “You see, Johnsson, it's the bloody prestige which presses me. What the hell, if Persson (and H & M) can, we can.” I was not even tempted. Partly because Nisse had treated me correctly and partly because I had my future U.S. project and, I was wise enough to realize that I was too ignorant to be able to reverse a trend in a sensitive fashion chain without vision and strategy. A company that was worn down and had too many divisive ideas and desires around the different stores to agree on a new development model.
Our common Bonnier Adventure got its sunny final in California during October 1977. An eventful month. Being married to Gunilla in the Swedish church in Copenhagen, dinner at hotel D'Angleterre, study / honeymoon trip to California, stopped smoking in Aunt Tilly's health food store on Oct21 in Santa Monica, Ca. and the same day I agreed with DR Janov’s former spouse Vivian to start Primal Therapy when I had possibility.
The last two months in 1977, November and December and the first month of 1978, January were the dramatic months of waiting. Bonnier already had plans to divert me into Frosta Fritid. Without knowing how it happened, I had been through and bought Borgs Garner in Lund, an old classic, which would be included in Glimåkra Looms. Words and deeds at the Bonnier Group then was often one. However, I was sitting with a large apartment in Gothenburg at Linnegatan, and the anxiety and stress was hard for me sometimes. One day, the mind ran over and I wrote an angry letter to Bofö and said that unless they quickly helped me out of the uncomfortable seat in Gothenburg, I would immediately sue them.
The letter must have been on the personnel manager's desk the next morning for then he rang, and he reassured me: “Dear friend, please tell us what you want us to do, and we will resolve it within reasonable limits”. The “reasonable limits” covered a fee to Janov, rent in Beverly Hills and other running costs for two years. Everything was done with the approval of the Publisher Abbe Bonnier. I later got the opportunity personally to thank The Publisher for the support, which moved him to tears. He apparently thought of me and made a few additional actions to go with me. Times when I could not live up to his expectations. My internal compass pointed in another direction.
Our relationship has, in principle, been led by the fact that I was correctly treated by Nisse in 1977 and of course that I liked you, and it was for me for many years a natural thing to pay a visit to your shop when I was way past. The "accident" which Nisse met in the 90's while cruising did not worry a "Catholic" like me, and I am glad you got over it.