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    Elisa Keisha

    Ulises Syndrome

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    by , 05-14-2008 at 02:21 PM (17080 Views)

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    Yesterday I felt devastated.
    I went to the office of my teacher called Joseba Achotegui, who has a center for psychological counselling for immigrant people, to attend one session with one of his patients.
    My teacher told me he was a young man from Senegal who three years ago met a spanish woman, journalist of an important spanish newspaper, they fell in love, married, came to Spain, had twins, and then he started having problems, mental and/or behavior problems. Right now they are separated, she kicked out of the house because he was agressive, but they still see echother (and seems like she is paying for the therapy and probably more because he cant keep a job, but thats only what i supposed) OK.

    The man, called Abdul, came into the office with the ex-wife. And I see the picture. She, a bit older, or at least dressed as if she was, typical woman from a good family, excellent education, clear project of life, everything under control 21 century type of woman. He, younger, dressing casual, young, afrikan jewelery, your typical Afrikan Rastaman, but completly drugged with antipsychotics and probably also high from marihuana (i could smell his clothes). He made me feel easy, she didnt!

    Only she spoke, he was completely numb, downcast, low head, eyes closed or lookin down, only raise them when my teacher asked him something in french or somebody named Senegal. He barely answered, all he could say was "je ne compres pas, je ne compres pas" "c'est trop difficile",(I dont understand -the situation-, its very difficult) and single words.

    In the middle of the session, while the woman kept explaining what happened (He doesnt have motivation for anything, before the treatment he was very agressive with her and the children, he has been kicked out the last job for behavior problems, he has some friends that he meets sometimes but he's very distrustfull about them, he wanted to be professional football player, but since he cant he's not interested in football anymore, he likes to run at the beach but he nevers goes, he likes to play djembe but there's no space to play, they want to travel to Senegal this summer, blahblah....) I could see some tears falling thru his beautiful cheek. He was not even there, he was somewhere else, he was completely LOST, disconnected. but nobody really asked him why he cried.

    and even tho it seems like people around them try to help, they are really doing nothing.

    I felt like kicking everybody out of the office and stay alone with him for a couple of hours, even if he didnt talk to me (i dont even speak french), tell him to come around the house, play some drums, sing somethin, record something, smoke a joint, meet some people, whateva.

    But i think what he really needs is talkin to an elder from Senegal, a psychologist or mediator from his own culture. Also go back to Senegal, reconnect and find himself again.

    But i could have tell you this solution, and even his symptoms, in the first second I looked at the couple.

    So sad, so sad

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    1. Elisa Keisha's Avatar
      oh if you want to know why i title this Ulises Syndrome you can google this: joseba achotegui ulysses syndrome

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    2. nattyreb's Avatar
      You can't force a square peg into a round hole, right Sista? What probably attracted her to him, his freeness, his beauty, his essence, then caused her to need to possess him and transform him into something he can never be. He, perhaps attracted to her steadiness, a home, good food, use of a car, became harrassed, downpressed and sought solace inward.

      This is a powerful testimony that can be applied globally to how disturbed we become when surrounded by negativity on all sides. Now he feels inaquedate, paranoid, and perhaps even unloveable (if he still believes that what she's offering is what love really feels like).

      But love doesn't hurt and love is liberating! I agree that he needs to go back to Senegal for a while and reclaim his true Self, all that has been stripped away.

      I'm no psychologist, but that's how I felt reading your words. I think it's fantastic that someone as open-minded and open-spirited as you are involved in cases where others may seek only to medicate and quickly diagnose. You're definitely gonna make a difference in a whole lot of lives (as I'm sure you have already!).

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    3. Elisa Keisha's Avatar
      Asante Sana for your words Nattyreb, you really give me strenght. If it was not for this side or area of work in psychology i probably wouldnt know what to do when i finish... Im really excited about this work and all its possibilities. Im also studyin a lot about intergenerational and mass trauma, which is the almost endemic "disorder"(or the source of them all) sufferered by Afrikans in the continent and the diaspora and most indigenous peoples in general

      This particular case.. everytime i have spoken about it with somebody else, they knew at least one similar case. and that given the fact that this kind of marrieges are not so common here , yet...

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