The Impossible Choice offers readers a narrative of the relationship between a therapist and her patient who desperately wants to discover her past. With no memory and no way of knowing what was real, her long therapeutic journey was to last 26 years, half her lifetime. Her only reality was the life she lived in the presence of her therapist. The narrative unfolds to reveal a story of horrific events that must be hidden, yet can no longer be kept secret. It sheds light on how chronic long-term traumatisation within a closed family circle can create madness in a vulnerable and lonely child, and helps reader gain an understanding of the enigmatic phenomena of Dissociated Identity Disorder.
Having been terrorized into silence, destroying her ability to use language in a house of secrets and lies, the therapy reveals how this patient struggles to come out of her autistic-like state in search of ways to find her past, her ‘self’ and her voice. In this struggle, the reader becomes an audience exposed to the birth of dissociative personae who come forth to tell her story. As language slowly unfolds, she begins to share a first-hand account, albeit in written form, of the most complex psychological forces involved in a victim of incest who simultaneously loves, hates and is terrorized by her lover-father.
Through live vignettes it demonstrates how external violence can create inner violence that threatens to annihilate the soul, leaving only a body to survive. The book provides an original contribution to our understanding of the complex psychological forces involved in incest, featuring the patient’s own, coherent written texts, mediated by her therapist. The former’s remarkable insights represent essential reading for all readers involved in policy development for the protection of children at high risk of suffering abuse.
Table of Contents
NOTES TO READER
PART I CREATING A SAFE PLACE INSIDE
Chapter One IN THE BEGINING – A STONE
Chapter Two SEPARATING INSIDE FROM OUTSIDE
Chapter Three TAKE OUT THE BADNESS – I WANT TO BE GOOD
Chapter Four FROM DEAD ENDS TO DID
Chapter Five ALTERNATIVE WAYS TO COMMUNICATE – WRITING
Chapter Six HOW CAN I KNOW THAT WE ARE REAL?
Chapter Seven THE STORY OF INCEST :KEEPING IT ALL IN THE FAMILY
Chapter Eight THE DANGER OF THE GOOD OBJECT
Chapter Nine ON INCEST, BLINDNESS AND PARANOIA
Chapter Ten THE HOSPITAL DREAM
Chapter Eleven THE SILENCE IS NOT TO BE BATTLED – BUT UNDERSTOOD
Chapter Twelve THE DEATH OF DAD: LONELINESS
Chapter Thirteen ON PIMPS AND PROSTITUTES
Chapter Fourteen WHEN TRAUMA HAS NO WITNESS
PART II LIVING THE PAST IN THE PRESENT LIVING DEATH
Chapter Fifteen ENACTMENT INSTEAD OF MEMORY
Chapter Sixteen FROM HANGING DOLL TO DATH BY HANGING
Chapter Seventeen THE CULT DREAM
Chapter Eighteen ALICE IN HORRORLAND
Chapter Nineteen THE MYSTERIOUS GARDEN
PART III FROM INSIDE TO OUTSIDE CHOOSING LIFE
Chapter Twenty ENTER: THE MINISTER
Chapter Twenty-one FROM PREGNANCY TO BIRTH
Tova Zaltz is a clinical psychologist and a psychoanalyst, member of the Tel Aviv Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis, with a private practice near Jerusalem, where she works with people of all ages. She has treated and supervised individuals, groups and staff in private and public institutions, including children with learning difficulties, high-risk families, as well as bereaved families. Tova has extensive experience in the development of psychoanalytic thinking within educational systems.