He arrived in Hamburg in 1947 and then went to Berlin. I pleaded to go back to England and eventually my parents agreed. I was still trying to carry on and had to be sent home like a naughty child. The issue of control became just one of many learning points. The second generation then has another chance to tackle the work of knowing, mourning and working through. So with renewed energy I once again submitted a research proposal on the topic of childhood trauma, its relationship with the body and transformation.
Eventually, and quite some time after this workshop, I began to notice that my moods and emotions did indeed affect my body. And now something occurred which at the time was inexplicable. I screamed and howled as I slapped paint all over the wall for what seemed like hours. When I saw the neurologist again he suggested that I come into hospital for a course of steroids. In trying to distance myself from the trauma, I distanced myself from my family and culture. Now most people might have given up at this point and for a while I did try to forget about the idea. Worst of all was the experience of the memory of being raped which repeated over and over often seven or eight times a night, as did the memory of being hit.
I always felt that somehow it was my fault that things were as they were. They certainly seemed disinclined to allow me to stop taking the steroids and because of the huge dosage I had to reduce them slowly. The more I thought about it, the more I liked it. This also seemed amazing because I had never imagined my body like this either. Dedication 7 Acknowledgements 8 Introduction Kim Etherington, University of Bristol 9 Trauma, the Body and Transformation 22 All That You Make 39 Angels Nesting in the Mind 52 Stars in a Midnight Sky 65 Journey of a Lifetime 77 Pretending To Be Me 94 Kim Etherington Carole Mandeville, Counsellor and Writer Ruth L.
I intend to cut down on my fat intake by minimising my dairy intake. From time to time I opened my eyes and tried to focus my sight on the accumulated rubbish in the passenger shelf but it slipped beyond control. At this moment perhaps she will put away her silence and touch me, tell me the words of her sadness and why she could never love me. My father spoke excellent English but my mother spoke only German. In this paper, I tell the story of that research, contextualising myself as researcher and researched, against a changing societal, research and practitioner background to show how social constructionist and poststructuralist ideas have influenced the way I undertook and re-presented my study.
The very mechanisms that have helped the child survive may then become the problem. A dissociated person might remember the trauma factually and in detail but not feel any emotions about it, relating horrific events in a flat, unemotional voice. I also started to feel an irritation in my left eye. I want so much to offer you something. My grandmother cleans the blood on my back from where the barbed wire caught me. I recognised this early on in my life when I told my mother about my first traumatic experience and expressed my fears.
In this retelling we have created new meanings. I started to tell everyone that my mother was dead. In fact, when I went to boarding school two years later I was the youngest in the class and the only one who could read and write. As a researcher, it is compelling reading. I crossed a bridge and looked down at the river.
I see her eyes which are almost closed, a waxy rheum collecting in a pool on her lower lids. Patterns of behaviour might be passed on from one generation to the next as a child observes an ill parent, dealing perhaps with their own unprocessed trauma. In the meantime my beliefs about research were changing. Over the last ten years or so many former refugee children like me have written books about their experiences. The contributors tell powerful stories of traumatic childhood events, including bereavement, abuse and evacuation and separation from parents.
I knew it was naughty to pee in my bed. I thought of Keith, my husband, and my children. He maintained his identity as a German in exile, met a German au pair girl when he was at Cambridge university and later settled permanently in Germany. We were always trying to make peace. A man in my study told me how at times when he attempted to remember his childhood he experienced pain and pressure in his rectum and a choking sensation in his throat; his arms and legs would flail about uncontrollably as though fighting off an attacker Etherington 1995. Each author also shows the pathway they have taken towards transforming their bodies to well-being. At the time of that reunion I had been a psychotherapist for nine years and a marriage counsellor for four years before that.