When a patient came to my office, he was always this question. Why suffering? Why the malaise? “Me as you say,” I answered: it was the first step towards the CHANGE. The second step was to identify, through introspection, their wounds. The issue of change emerges inevitably in psychotherapy, along with the desire not to suffer more. At first it’s hard. People think – want to believe – that the causes of their discomfort are on the outside, not inside them. “He would come to me – I pointed out to those who stood before me – I’m not a surgeon or a psychiatrist, I have not discovered a bacterium or virus that causes grief, I do not give you pills or injections.” Among my patients, there were those who was sick because he had suffered a bereavement, assault, abuse, because she had lost her job and felt useless. The trauma exuded much older uncomfortable, tied to childhood, tight unconscious as in a prison. It was the most delicate moment of psychotherapy, the patient was supported discreetly and consistently as he felt on his skin the pain emerged from unfathomed depths. I was careful not to interfere, not to give advice to not compromise the long process towards a change which, at first, seemed impossible. The stories, tears, outrage and even the manifestations of a sudden joy allow me to make the diagnosis, to understand the syndrome and its cause. The patient felt welcomed, he began to reflect on himself, slowly stood by himself the answers to his “why?” And he shared with me. His “why?” He had become our “why?”.
The Congo, the Great Patient
As a clinical psychologist I worked only for my patients. Morals, Sociology, Politics were foreign. But, seeing and following the case of my country, the Democratic Republic of Congo, have changed. When enough is enough, I say every day, here is at stake the future of our children. I know that facing the DRC is governed by people illegally enriched and incompetent: in 56 years of independence, the country has never had a manager capable of giving the Congolese social stability and make them feel WORTHY TO BE MEN. Now, at the upcoming political dialogue, when Kabila’s victory and Kamerhe, a tombstone will roll over us, we will not take no more our destiny in our hands. My countrymen are asking “why?” As my patients did. “Find out why in you” – say from this blog that, not coincidentally, is called MONPOURQUOI – make a collective therapy. As? Writing, by posting photos and comments, exchanging opinions, sharing material, participating in the forum: alone, with your strength, you will recognize your social suffering, wounds ancient, brutal colonization that, in different forms, is still present in our Country. Only in this way we will give you a FUTURE our children.
The diagnosis and treatment.
I would not be a good doctor if I told you the disease we suffer: MOBUTISMO in its four syndromes: 1) egocentrism, 2) PARANOIA, 3) overstatement of SELF, 4) MYTHOMANIA. These syndromes are like bandages on the eyes, keep us from seeing. And, what is worse, it makes us easy prey not only of the rulers enriched badly, also of churchmen. I’m not an atheist, my family has always been very religious and my grandfather as a boy would have gladly given up to the king in his village to dedicate the church. But religion in my grandfather’s time, as now, it is an instrument of power (I do not say anything new). The missionaries went to the king of the village to take delivery of gold baskets – the homage of his subjects – with the excuse that all that metal attracted evil on the community. It ‘something that happened to my great-grandfather. Today in Congo, the more incapable they became priests and pastors and they do the servants of corrupt ministers to confuse people and manipulate it.
Conglesi, “MONPOURQUOI”. Together we will find the answers.
P.S. I dedicate this blog to my grandparents and my two children, Adam and Agnes.
(trans. Erika Louisa Milburn)