In the above video clip, which is a scene from Ingmar Bergman’s masterful film “Wild Strawberries,” viewers can see the effects of dreams upon one’s perceptions. Likewise, traumatic events from our past can effect our waking consciousness and, thus, our encounters with the world.
When I was a little girl, so I was told, I was quite the performer – a real exhibitionist. My father would put me on the dance floor of the of the World War II military social hall and, while the music was playing, I would dance for the soldiers, my long blond curls swaying to the music. The soldiers would throw nickles and dimes to show their appreciation. I loved dancing for them and we were all very happy.
When I was six years of age, a neighborhood boy, who was twelve, lured me to his home’s front porch. He played a game with me which he called “Around the World.” In this game, he would touch all the parts of my body. I found the game pleasurable. After a few times, though, I thought something was not quite right.
So, I told my mother about it. She told me never to go there again because he was a “bad boy” and I was not a “bad girl.” I never went to that boy’s house again. But I remembered that I had enjoyed the game, so I must have been – underneath – a “bad girl.” I would not let that “bad girl” out; I would suppress her and become the “good girl” that was acceptable and loved. But the memories persisted. And I was six years old. Then I was twelve years old and my periods started and, with them, the incessant bleeding.
I have often wondered, did I subconsciously suppress my body’s not ovulating – in order not to develop fully – so that I could remain a “good girl” – fearing my own impulses if I ever let my sexuality bloom fully?
If my subconscious mind had suppressed my body from developing fully, then the idea of sexual pleasure must have been an overwhelmingly formidable taboo – in that day, and in that place – for me to have chosen not to develop fully rather than to have faced my sexual potential. Subconsciously, I may have chosen sexual “death,” at that innocent time in my development, over sexual “life.” Thus, my subconscious mind, with its fears and its repressions, may have altered the course of my life.
In the movie, “The Nun’s Story,” the nun played by Audrey Hepburn develops tuberculosis. The doctor, played by Peter Finch, tells her that he can fix the lesion in her lung, but that the cause of the TB legion was in her head, not in her lung. The doctor tells her that the tuberculosis was actually the “by-product” of the conflict she was experiencing in her mind as to whether she should remain a nun or not. The permanent healing, he said, had to take place by resolving the conflict in her mind. So it was with me.
– To Be Continued –