Case Study

When John’s dad died, his mother, sisters, even his grandmother rejected him, he told me in bed. The people who accepted him were criminals, thus his criminality. “Why on earth,” I asked, “did you choose me, who’ve never had a partner in my life!” “It wasn’t choice. It was love,” and at first sight. “All right,” I persisted, “why do you think your unconscious chose me?” “It wasn’t choice,” he persisted, “I didn’t know that about you.” “All right: why did my unconscious direct yours to choose me?” “I’m upset. I won’t sleep all night and I’ll take it out on somebody tomorrow.” I desisted. He’d had to be held back by friends last time I upset him and any fracas might involve police and that’d be the end of that.

I’m going along with this because I believe, though I’ve had no intimation whatsoever, my unconscious is behind this, presenting me with a problem to solve of a man on the run who’s putting me in jeopardy and uses the jeopardy he’s put me in to protect himself. I’ll doubtless spell out to him that’s not love.

Yet he feels love for me and it is unwontedly sustained. He knows I don’t feel the same for him. “What good would that do?” I asked. His ex-partner, a woman, had loved him and set him up, he believes, to be imprisoned, whereas I can think what’s for his good. However it ends, at least it won’t be perceived as rejection by somebody purporting to love him.

We were enjoying a spliff together at the bathroom window. He was telling me prison had saved him dying young from drugs, that his binging out of prison was in reaction because free from its constraints but that the drug-taking had to stop, he wasn’t going to be controlled by these crutches but be in control of them. I had my loving feeling and for the first time in the presence of the person I was having it for and not my heart endorsing what my head was thinking but what somebody other was deciding for himself. In the circumstances I suggested sex, since I was clean and unsmelly. Maybe later, he said.


About johnbrucecairns

I'm a retired history teacher who's written for most of his life with a book readied for publication.
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