The dark mother: a case of Thulium muriaticum
This 2006 case is of a 44 year old woman, whose chief presenting complaint was painful ovarian cysts. Her GP suggested a surgical consult after an ultrasound revealed the cysts. Afterward, she wanted a consult with me to see if surgery could be avoided.
She is a slender woman, with dark short hair with a bit of gray, neatly but casually dressed. She has some small moles and dark “age” spots on face. She sat at my table, fidgeting with her keys and straightening a stack of papers there. She reached to it several times throughout the interview, and when I asked her about it, she said as she adjusted it again, “It’s all I can do to leave things alone that need straightening. I can’t help myself.” She picked at the tablecloth. She described the cysts and abdominal pains as sharp and stabbing, causing her to double over with severe pain. Pain was on both sides, but the left side is worse.
When asked to go more into the pain and “sharp and stabbing”, she became quiet.
“Well, there’s something else happening here, but it’s really quite crazy.” I assured her that often some pretty strange or crazy sounding things come up during a homeopathic consultation and I felt it important to share if she felt so strongly that “something else is happening.” She described an image she ‘felt’ as though in a daydream.
“I’ve never seen anything like this. I’ve never experienced anything like this. I don’t know where it is coming from, but it is frightening.” She described a scene of a small child on an altar, covered in blood – being painted in blood. The child was screaming. “This is spooky to me,” she said, “I think they are killing her. It’s like some kind of a ritual.” She was visibly shaken. “There are other images.” She straightened the papers again.
“Adults in black, pinning children down. Infants, animals, children violated. Children being forced to act out sexual positions. I don’t know where this is coming from. I never read a book or saw a movie like this – it’s very spooky. How can I ever think such a thing? It’s like daydreaming, or waking dreams; like I’m watching in third person, observing it.”
“I always have this repeating dream of falling through the air. Just falling and falling and falling. It feels like my life right now. Like I am falling into a black hole. Like I can’t stop falling. Like falling out of a plane, but never hitting the ground. Like I was booted out of an airplane.
“A man with no face, chasing me. I’m panicky, trying to run and hide. Terrifying. I don’t know why he is after me.
“An elephant in my room. It keeps getting bigger and bigger, pushing furniture against the walls. I get claustrophobic. Keep trying to prevent him from growing right into me, try to hold him away. I wake up as I am getting squished and all out of breath.
“A construction crew comes to remodel the closet.”
Closets? Can you say more about closets and claustrophobia?
“I am so depressed all the time. I have no energy and I am having panic attacks, anxiety attacks. I black out sometimes, and when I come awake, I don’t know what’s happened or how much time has passed. I can hardly breathe when it happens. I have night terrors and when I wake up, I just want to go hide in my closet, like something is in the house and is going to kill me. I just see this dark shape in the dream – it’s a person, a shadow, but I don’t know who it is.
“I never feel rested. I either fall asleep then wake up a couple hours later, or I can’t fall asleep until late, only to have to wake up and go to work. Sometimes, I wake up drenched in sweat. I know I’ve had a dream, but I can’t remember what it was. It feels like I’ve experienced something, or I wake up panic stricken. I’m afraid of something, a terror, but I don’t know what it is. I have to pull the covers up around me for security and safety. I feel unsafe, vulnerable. I get soaked, sweaty. My pyjamas are wet and my breathing is shallow. I have to talk to myself, rock and tell myself: “It’s okay, it’s okay.”
“I’m hypersensitive to every sound in the house. I feel like I need to be ready to jump out of bed and get safe, to run. I stay in that tense state until I can convince myself it’s okay. I don’t feel safe; like I have to spring from the bed. I feel threatened by something. I’ve even thought about sleeping in the closet, to see if I can sleep better.”
I inquired how long this had been happening, and she replied: “For several months.” I asked what had been happening in her life several months ago and she said her ex-husband, who had been extremely abusive of her, had found out where she lived and worked and had made contact with her through someone at work. She had been terrified ever since. She shared the painful history of her marriage to this man, being physically beaten, bones broken, a shared history of alcohol and cocaine abuse during the marriage, and the loss of a pregnancy after a beating.
This woman had reached deep within herself and gained the courage to leave her abusive husband in secrecy, to seek in-patient help for her addictions and move to a new state and start a new life, only to have it all come crashing down when he found out where she was. By this time she was rocking herself as she talked, and I had a sense that the trigger was really touching something even deeper.
I notice you are rocking yourself. Can you tell me about this energy, this motion? She stopped the rocking.
“I need to comfort myself. I’ve always had to comfort myself. My mother was not what you would call very affectionate. She didn’t want me. I was a late-in-life surprise eight years after the others. She was very angry and embittered the whole pregnancy. My favorite place to hide from her was in the back of a closet in her room. Everyone was afraid of her.”
Were you afraid of her?
“Oh yeah. I tried to stay out of her way. She was always looking for someone to belt. She’d belt me and send me flying across the room. That’s why I had to hide from her. It was safe and cozy in the closet. No one knew I was there. I used to play with my dolls and smile to myself when she was looking for me. I used to play a game with her, just to get her to touch me. She would spell out words with her finger on my back, and I would try to guess what she was writing.”
Say more about closets?
She fell silent, and picked at her clothing. “You should know I’m gay. My family doesn’t know. No one does.” She felt very sure that she always had been gay.
Night terrors. Black-outs. Wanting to hide in the closet. My sense was that having been ‘found out’ by her ex-husband had triggered the same panic states she had felt as a fetus after having been ‘found out’ by her mother, discovered in the womb. She had said her mother literally hated knowing she was pregnant. When she described the closet of her childhood, she talked of it being dark and safe, cozy and comfortable, where no one knew she was – being undiscovered in the house, playing quietly with her dolls, a small shaft of light coming in through the door. She remained safe and undiscovered there, as she had been safe and undiscovered in her mother’s womb for short period of time, until her mother discovered she was pregnant. Then, it was dangerous in the dark. My client was unable to sleep now with the lights off.
It had been so important for my client to be safe and undiscovered that she had actually had contractors build a similar closet into her current home, a secret, carpeted space, a place to hide if she ever needed to have it.
Favorite books or Movies?
“I love psycho-thrillers. Murder mysteries. Stephen King’s The Dark Half. Dances with Wolves, that’s a classic. I wanted to be there. I wanted to step into the movie and be that guy, free, dancing around the fire. The Money Pit; I love when the bathtub came through the floor. I was rolling in hysterics. He’s at the point where he has to laugh or he’s going over the edge (breaks into laughter). No matter how bad it gets, you have to laugh.”
How do you relax?
“Music. I get lost in music. It’s a form of escape. It makes me feel closer spiritually. Like walking in the woods on a fall day. I like to hike. I do creative things. I like to paint and carve wood. I like kayaking and canoeing – being out on the lake alone, listening to the loons. I can go anywhere I want. I love the beach, but I don’t like salt water, it makes my skin too sticky. I’m a big “pick up shells and rocks” kind of person. I like to just sit and listen to the surf. I like to visit parks. I love the redwoods and the Grand Canyon. There’s so much beauty that I want to explore.”
What do you dislike?
“I hate to fly. It’s a lack of control thing, being that far above the earth. I’m afraid of trusting others’ abilities. I think, ‘How distracted was the last mechanic who worked on this plane?’ I hate, hate, hate spiders, but I have this thing about killing animals. I let them go outside. If it was a person, it would be no problem (laughs).”
A few short weeks before this consult, I had read Jan Scholten’s book, Secret Lanthanides. His impressions of this remedy came flooding back to me. It was fairly easy to choose this remedy, as I felt the case was nearly verbatim Jan’s descriptions of Lanthanides in general and Thulium in particular. The issues with mother made Thulium Muriaticum the perfect choice.
Prescription: Thulium Muriaticum, 200C
Table 1: From Secret Lanthanides, Jan Scholten, p.367
April 2007 (12 weeks after remedy): Ultra sound’s results show that the cysts have gone, no surgery required. Pain resolved. Panic attacks less frequent. Sleeping is better, but still ‘startled’ at times. Dreams reveal that the “unknown figure” is her ex-husband stalking her. Not blacking out. Came out to family, announcing she is gay. No remedy given.
Nov 2007: feeling shaky, sometimes anxious. Feeling of bruised feet. All else going well enough. In transition with job, things not so easy with partner.
Prescription: Thulium Muriaticum, 200C
Recently heard from the patient, in September 2011
She has taken a new job, moved to western Canada from Maine. Experiencing stress from all the changes. Feelings of “dull, rounded object trying to press outward” near ovary area. Like a dull, blunt end pushing through. Pressure from the inside to the outside. Turning inside out. Feels like swollen, gelatinous pockets; dark areas.
Prescription: HPV Nosode, 30C. In the four years since last treating this client, I’ve become more familiar with the use of nosodes and use them whenever it is clear to me. My client, in our phone conversation, perfectly described a figwart. I’ve used the HPV nosode successfully in three cases where this description has arisen.
Photos: Wikimedia Commons
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