by Bárbara Espeche, edited by Jann Garitty
Editor's note: This is a narration of a case presented by flower essence practitioner, Barbara Espeche, Buenos Aires, Argentina, which has been edited for publication. It was originally presented in Spanish at the last Floral Congress in 2007. The fundamental essence in this case is Glassy Hyacinth.
Maxi — Male, 21 years old, only son of elderly parents, 1,75 meters tall (5.74 ft.), white, blue eyes and blond hair. He walks wearily, bent and with a balancing movement from side to side.
Maxi is seeing me due to his mother’s decision; she knows about the benefits of flower essences and wants to try them, because she senses that Maxi suffers a lot and she can do nothing else to ease his pain. Her son is at a "crossroad" because the psychiatric medication he has been taking has reached its upper limits and she hopes that flower essences might help him at this point of crisis, at least until his case is reviewed by a medical clinic.
His first episode occurred when he was 3 years old; prior to that, he was not able to adapt to and/or integrate with other children or groups. He almost stopped talking with his already basic vocabulary.
Maxi experienced crises during all stages of his life, and was always treated with psychiatric medication. He attended a special school since he was 4 years old up until now, where he hardly learned to write his name, “mommy,” “daddy” or other words. His means of expression and communication were drawings and colours.
Following this diagnosis, he had several stages of full hospitalization for about 4 to 6 month periods, and other periods of time in day-hospital. What is most shocking and frightful is to listen to the guttural and terrifying sounds he makes, groaning like a wounded animal.
At the present time, he is provisionally in day-hospital and might be hospitalized for an undetermined period of time, according to his doctors´ decision. Most of the symptoms were controlled by increasing the medication:
It is expected that during the next medical clinic assessment, the drugs will be changed.
In view of such a depressing evolutional picture, his mother asked me for an appointment, attended alone and narrated this story. She says that she needs more than “hope” for Maxi and herself. Her husband prefers the hospitalization, and that could be for life!
His mother took with her the first flower formula for Maxi, without my having met him personally; the essences were:
Star of Bethlehem – for the traumatic aspects
His mother called and asked if she could come for an appointment with Maxi, and said he was more quiet and less aggressive.
Trapped in darkness and great suffering
I met Maxi. He is hand in hand with his mother and does not greet me. They both sit. While his mother talks and talks, Maxi moves his hands compulsively as if fluttering. I give him white paper, crayons and colour pencils. He stops trembling and draws in black his first piece; all of it in black. He then takes his drawing, puts his head back with his mouth open and makes guttural sounds— “OOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.” In his drawings I perceive he is trapped in his darkness and in great suffering.
His first drawing automatically reminds me of the black sketches of “The Scream” by Edvard Munch, that enormous mouth in an “O” shape, sunken in a wild and desperate shout.
Artwork as a vehicle of commmunication
This was the second meeting with Maxi and his mother. They sat, he was quiet, and his mother referred to being hopeful because Maxi is not aggressive nor hurts himself.
"Now I listen”
We had the same basic routine. His mother told me she noticed some soft but very important changes. Maxi grabbed my hand and shook it a little (he is asking for paper and colour pencils). The mother relates having seen him looking through a window; after eating he cuddled in the armchair and was very passive, sleepy and silent. He already had an appointment to visit his psychiatrist.
Maxi handed me his third drawing, which follows the E. Munch standards for drawings made by psychiatric patients during stabilization periods. He colours the oval face, mouth and eyes with yellow strokes. Amazingly, in his new drawing, he adds red in the ear zones, which in our communication code tells me, "Now I listen.” Then, he rests his hands on the desk and does not move them until I realized what it meant, and then I placed one hand on his; so he stayed until the end of the session.
Serenity comes forth
Maxi handed me his painting, and I saw that he had used more colors—orange, red, green, brown and a lot of yellow, resembling waves coming out of his ears.
A new being emerges
We went through the same routine. Maxi drew using colours with great intensity, and for the first time paints his eyes blue.
He has qualified to attend a special school for 6 hours everyday. Although he has drastically improved, he is still inhabiting two worlds. He has a better quality of life, has not lost control again, does not attack nor shout painfully; he has come out into the sun, laughs, interacts with some people, dresses and bathes himself, and is not ashamed to be seen.
Maxi is continuing to take flowers; all of them are important, but I think that Glassy Hyacinth helps him live with a delicate balance between his two worlds, a certain light has flooded his soul, and it’s possible that Maxi knows more than I have access to knowing about him. Maxi is a special adult, but not unhappy; he is now “illuminated.”
I considered using Black Cohosh essence, but I didn’t dare to, because it is a complex psychiatrist case, with violence and self aggression.
See all of Maxi's drawings here.
About Bárbara Espeche
P.O. Box 459, Nevada City, CA 95959
800-736-9222 (US & Canada)
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