Feldgruppe
4. "Difficult" patients

14 February 2008 – Half of my patients are children having faced a traumatic event, e.g. an incursion, and the other half are usually the mothers and close relatives of those arrested.

14 February 2008 – Half of my patients are children having faced a traumatic event, e.g. an incursion, and the other half are usually the mothers and close relatives of those arrested. "Patients" mean that children have nightmares, bedwetting, somatic complaints and fear, while adults are sad and crying, they show lack of interest in daily life, they cannot sleep or eat and suffer from intrusive memories and flashbacks. They also have health problems for the same reasons. I put myself in their shoes to feel the impact in all its parameters and support them as much as possible.

Especially mothers are the most "difficult" patients. Maybe because being a mother may mean worrying about your children anyway. So much when children at the age of 14, 15, 16 and over, have been taken in the middle of the night with their pajamas only, beaten in front of their parents and put to jail with an open-time sentence. How are these mothers coping with this? Basically they spend their days waiting for a phonecall from the jailed son, waiting for a permit to go visit him, waiting for his release, waiting for a court and a trial to fix a sentence, wondering if her son found clothes, if he needs blankets, if he lost weight, if his moral is ok, if he is crying, if...if... Imagination fills in the gaps. They are worried as any mother would, and they are getting confused also with this political situation, as sometimes they ended up saying "at least I know where he is". This means that they accept the imprisonment and whatever that implies as the best possible situation compared with other existing ones, e.g. becoming a martyr. It is easy to write about it, but to accept it means denying many of the dreams and ambitions usually parents have. It is a hard reality, which leads to an unfair but realistic adaptation.

My work with them goes up to a point. It goes up to the point when they can feel well and cope without feeling guilty, to the point that my need to support does not disrespect the difficulty of the situation and the feelings attached. Even when we agree to conclude our sessions, I cannot help thinking about them for long after, keeping an eye