Tag Archives: Self-Worth

Psychoanalysis As Archaeology in Penny Dreadful

14 May

Dedicated to O…

Freud famously described psychoanalysis as archaeology, the unearthing of meaning layered deep beneath an “expanse of ruins.

In television and movies it’s closer to a detective story.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/28/arts/television/28stan.html

Penny Dreadful Dr Seward & Vanessa Ives

In their first meeting, Vanessa Ives {Eva Green} and Dr.Seward {Patti LuPone} explore the intimate relationship between {potential} patient and psychologist.

*

This brilliant scene from Penny Dreadful illustrates how a alienist/psychologist/therapist/psychiatrist excavates the truth through words, gestures/body language, actions, etc. Although it is the first time that Vanessa Ives and Dr.Seward meet, the alienist sets her boundaries. Since it is a preliminary consultation, she has to assess if Vanessa will be her patient {“if I take your case”}. 

Vanessa’s gestures are psychoanalyzed {why are you scratching your hand? Why were you doing that?}. Vanessa replies shyly that she had an itch. Dr.Seward says “no, you didn’t” with conviction. To Dr.Seward, the scratching of the hand is not as it appears; it connotes nervousness/anxiety. Every gesture speaks volumes to the alienist/psychologist/psychiatrist

Vanessa sees Dr.Seward’s observations as a challenge. She says, “this is a challenge. You’ll see if I am worthy of study.” Her astute observations about Dr.Seward’s criteria are accurate. Through prelimiary psychoanalysis, the therapist is trying to assess if Vanessa is worthy of her time, energy and talents. Is she worth having as a patient?

Dr.Seward warns Vanessa, “I am not your friend or your priest or your husband. I am your doctor. You come to me to get better because you are ill- no other reason. Do you understand that?” She sets her professional boundaries clearly. The purpose of therapy is to heal Vanessa of her illness.

Dr.Seward’s compassion shines through despite her tough demeanor. She asks Vanessa, do you understand that you are ill- not bad, not unworthy- just ill? Depression often tricks a person into thinking that they are unworthy. It tells many lies. The therapist must convince the patient of their depressed state instead of internalizing a depressed identity.

She resassures Vanessa that there are “no emotions unwelcome in this room.” Vanessa is encouraged to release her emotions because it is cathartic to do so. Dr.Seward is also communicating to Vanessa that she will not be judged. She is free to speak and express herself as necessary. She also warns her, “if this process doesn’t appeal to you, the door is there.” It almost sounds like she is testing Vanessa or interrogating her at times.

The turning point is when Vanessa takes control of the narrative. She says with a smile, “you don’t want me to leave…because I scratch my hand. You find that telling…those phobias that interest you.” She assures the doctor that she might interest her as a patient. Vanessa notes that Dr.Seward doesn’t need the ten shillings but she does need interesting people to collect. Dr.Seward disagree with her by saying that she takes patients on to cure them. Vanessa asks, what the difference is between collecting and curing?

*

This scene is when Dr.Seward really showcases her talents as the skilled alienist. She ends her analsysis with the metaphor of the ouroboros. {The snake eating its tail is a symbol of infinity}. In essence, Dr.Seward is telling Vanessa that she is trapped in an endless cycle of unhappiness as she constantly tortures herself.

12 Monkeys End At The Beginning

The ouroboros from the 12 Monkeys television series from Syfy

Dr. Seward (to Vanessa Ives):

“I already know what’s wrong with you.

You’re unhappy. You’re isolated.

You think you’re the cause of this unhappiness and are unworthy of affection so you’ve few friends.

Recently you lost something you think very important- your lover, your faith, your family, or all three.

You blame yourself for this, so it makes you neurotic and you don’t sleep and don’t eat anything healthy anyway.

You used to take care of your appearance, but you’ve lost interest in that, so you avoid mirrors.

Sunlight bothers you, so you avoid that too, about which you’re guilty because you think it’s unhealthy and even immoral not to like the sun.

You’re not a woman of convention or you wouldn’t be here, but you like to pretend you are so people don’t notice you.

But you sometimes like that as well, and can dress to draw the eye. But then you think the men who look at you are fools, or worse, to be taken in by such an obvious outward show.

So, instead you’re drawn to dark, complicated, impossible men, assuring your own unhappiness and isolation because, after all, you’re happiest alone.

But not even then because you can’t stop thinking about what you’ve lost, again, for which you blame yourself.

So the cycle goes on, the snake eating its own tail.”

*

I highly recommend watching Penny Dreadful.

*

These scenes convey the brilliant acting of Eva Green, Patti LuPone and the work of the creative teams behind Penny Dreadful. It also highlights the emancipating insight that one can gain from psychotherapy. I have been in psychotherapy and it is one of the best decisions I have made. The internal work is so challenging and often painful but it is worth it in terms of healing, personal development, self-discovery, growth, etc. I highly recommend it.

The key is being ready to open yourself up to examine your memory palace/the locked rooms in your mind and finding the right alienist/psychologist/therapist for you.

*

P.s. I plan to do posts about the television shows Penny Dreadful; 12 Monkeys; the alienist; etc.

*

Further Research…

Penny DreadfulPenny Dreadful’s Internet Movie Database Page

Eva Green..Eva Green’s Internet Movie Database Page

Patti LuPonePatti LuPone’s Internet Movie Database Page

12 Monkeys12 Monkey’s Internet Movie Database Page

*

Peace & Psychoanalytic Love,

V.

Break Me Gently…Honesty Breaks Down Walls in High Fidelity

14 Jul

News | How Erykah Badu Broke it Off With Rapper Common! | Singersroom

The reason that I decided to share this is because I wanted to briefly discuss break-ups.

I really respect how Erykah Badu was so honest with Common.

Although it hurt him to tell him the truth about her change of heart, in the end it was better for Common. 

He grew and learned from the experience.

It was his first love and first heart-break. Now he says that he and Erykah are “cool” again.

Why couldn’t everyone be so honest in regards to break-ups?

Imagine if someone told you the truth instead of a cheap, prostituted line…

“It’s not you, it’s me.” 

*Who really believes that anyway? Come on, please. Don’t even…

If people were more honest about why they really want to leave their significant other, then perhaps the other person would learn so much more and have better closure.

Perhaps this communication could break down some walls and infuse some new life in the old friendship and romance.

Who knows, perhaps this new-found honesty might create some new-found intimacy and the break-up might even be avoided.

Perhaps things fall apart to come together…

Perhaps I am dreaming of a utopian vision of reality because I know that most of the time things just fall apart.

{I know that relationships and break-ups especially are more complicated than this post describes}.

Regardless, if a couple has to part ways, it would be ideal if they each respected each other enough to really be honest with each other.

By not telling someone the truth, you are potentially taking away opportunities for growth. 

You are also really damaging their self-esteem, self-worth and confidence because they are left to wonder what is wrong with them.

They can only think that something is inherently wrong with themselves..

How else can they know what they did wrong if you don’t tell them? How else can they improve, learn, grow and change?

Thankfully one can still do some self-reflection in order to find healing, growth and closure on your own. 

You can learn from your mistakes.

*Of course your learning, growth and healing is not the other person’s responsibility.

{That is not at all what I am saying. Your learning, growth and healing is always your responsibility.

It would be so helpful to get that honesty, respect and communication from the person that once claimed to love and care about you}.

If both are ready and willing to battle their egos, then perhaps they can truly listen, share and learn.

At least both can learn what they did wrong from the mutual constructive criticism and feedback.

They will know why the other is jumping ship instead of just being left out in the cold  {or the rain} all alone.

Leaving someone guessing is just too cruel to do to someone’s heart, mind, life and soul- especially to someone who you used to like, love or at least be attracted to. This only further hurts someone that loved and adored you.

Don’t they deserve better from you?

{Leaving crumbs of false hope is an even more heartless thing to do to someone. Giving someone false hope so selfishly makes it painful for them to move on and to heal}. 

No one deserves to over-analyze and be haunted by what they possibly could have done wrong.They deserve better and if you are the dumped person, then so do you.

{Of course there always are exceptions and sadly not every break-up is amicable}.

*

P.s. I highly recommend watching the movie High Fidelity (where most of the pictures from this post are from).

It is an excellent movie and my favourite break-up movie of all time next to Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind}. 

Plus I adore John Cusack.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=seSLhjX4uA0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LxDMzbxPQx8&feature=relmfu

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rmmq2ozbIFY&feature=relmfu

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=puOQuQI83lw&feature=relmfu

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2oP8YO7F5A&feature=relmfu

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-dRiD-giCTc&feature=relmfu

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jeL32rVtvic&feature=relmfu

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmk12K5dFno&feature=relmfu

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZ1vNa-fzX0&feature=fvwrel

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5b9rbDeE9ZE&feature=fvwrel

*

I also recommend a song that I love called “Break Me Gently” by Doves.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHtNGaaXSqs

It was part of the inspiration for this post {along with High Fidelity}.

*

The learn more about Doves, please click here:

http://www.doves.net/

Reflection for today…Love Song -Jean Grae

8 Jul

Jean Grae is one of the best lyricists/MCs that I have heard.

Jean Grae Is The Phoenix Rising From The Ashes…

Her gift of story telling is evident in every song.

*

Please enjoy Love Song by Jean Grae…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hrWL7ieIU7A

This song is not only about love in relation to others but in regards to one’s self.

Self-love is what was born of deep pain.
  The protagonist in the song starts from being a naive victim and then transforms into a heroine. 

She comes from a place of dependence and grows into independence.

My favourite line is, “What I thought was gold was only gold-plated…
 How many times have you met someone who you thought had a heart of gold only to discover otherwise; hence, the gold-plated reference.

*How rare it is to find a heart of gold in this world…but it’s not impossible.

Don’t forget that you can have a heart of gold ;).

*

Love Song Lyrics

“She grew up believing in passion and love
Whose folks divorced and remarried
Very naive
 Seen life and commitments that shoulda been dead and buried
Highly sentimental
Sensitive
Gentle beyond the point she should be
What might be obvious to most, she says they too bitter
Can’t see the world the way she does
Clean lungs, undamaged liver
Sees thugs through a pink-tinted glasses
Occasionally
Weed does make her giggle
Listen to some music closer
Dudes approach her
Lightly
Wanna be her lover and she obliges
Likes to cuddle under the covers by candlelit fires
Oblivious to lying schemes to talk her out of clothes
Says she’s just in love with love
Cuts her classes
Spending too much time entrancing romancing
Things are changing quickly
She’s asking “why aren’t you spending more time with me?”
 N****’s eyes are getting shifty
Coming over later smelling of pussy
On his face, jeans, and sweaters something’s fishy
And it’s not what he tells her, man, it’s what he don’t
And she don’t understand and for some years, she probly won’t

Just wants an honest man
For goodness sake
They backstabbing and cutting her throat
 Restraining orders follow, but she still optimistic about it
 Like Annie, thinking tomorrow will maybe be a better day
 I let her pray on bended knees “ask him to send prince charming, please”
She’s never cheated
Treats her man well
Cooks, cleans, dresses sexy for him
Halter tops and tight jeans
Would break the law for him
Go through a couple of these relationships
Still stays strong
She’s too young and dumb to call it quits

Learns that she carrying twice
Scared and afraid the first time
 The second she don’t even cry
Makes her wipe away his tears and it hurts
They always leave return crazy, so she doesn’t flirt
Spends time warning the babies
Goes through a couple of these relationships and still stays strong
Too young and dumb to call it quits
Its still a love song

Shes got a good man
Shes 19, he’s 21 and sweet and honest
Promised to love her
Talk of marriage
She would never wanna be somebody’s baby’s mother
Use rubbers occasionally
When she’s flowing
Open to all the affection and gifts and all the good manners he’s showing
He’s trying to build a life for himself
Studies late computer shit and she’s missing attention that she’s not getting
Sex dwindles
Crawling in the sheets
 He say “ya tired” and she say she feel “neglect and defeat”
Just doesn’t see his ambition
She wanna be the universe and hold his center position
Starts hanging round the best friend more
 Crazy attraction takes impulsive action
Drop the drawers
And falls in love
The world explodes
And she confesses “yeah I did it, so?”
They so tight it like he moves when she stretches
 Over the couple years
Too many stresses
Girls who wanna fight her
Bitches writing letters
Friendships disappearing
Plus he rhymes, so it’s competitive
Pressure miscarriage
They break up fifty times a week and make up just as much
 He fuckin’, and I know, but pretending I’m out of touch
It’s getting strained and gets physical
She cries until the river dries and leaves her dead and cold
Packs up her things and leaves behind what I thought was gold was only gold-plated
 Thinking of all the other ones I coulda just left and up and dated
Singled after four years
Starting over never easy
But it takes some time to realize your own worth
Come into your own
Play your mental rebirth

She starts penning some better poems
Straighten up her bank account
Likes to take herself out
I’m getting better at it
I’ve had a few relationships
But still too young and dumb enough to call it quits
It’s still a love song

Love
All I ever want is you
All I ever had, leading in my life was you
All that ever was, all I ever had

Maybe it’s easier to talk about this shit in third person
Learning better
Looking for love in all the wrong places
Like I’m Eddie Murphy
Curse me to repeat the same cycle
I’m breaking
No longer think relations make a better woman
Just for life, I’m pursuing
Growing
, but hopelessly romantic still

Tasted weather in the bitter climates
Love the sunshine better
Dreaming of dream proposals
Decent moral values placing higher on my chart
Trying not to have a shallow heart
But battle scars are deep and reaching to the depth of hell and back
Try to give up the grudges
Think it’s experience and move from the clutches of sadness
It’s difficult

Sometimes I wish I wasn’t an adult
Adolescent primetime sitcom star
I’ve been too far and too much, too hard, for too long
It’s still a love song.”
-Jean Grae

Here’s hoping that you realize your own worth and find the person that has a heart of gold {not a gold-plated one}.
Here’s to hoping you find the person that deserves you, your love, heart and soul.
*
For more information on Jean Grae….
please visit: http://jeangrae.com/
*
Peace & Namaste…