The following case is about a child driven story, and how the metaphoric story designed the adult pathology.
This was a long case, so I have edited out quite a lot and changed some of the details to protect her identity. She has given her permission for her story to be made public.
Woman Aged 40
She came with chronic fatigue, and feels helpless about it. Unable to work because of her anxieties; helps her husband’s business. She is very close to her sister-in-law who stays with her when her husband has to be away. He mostly works at home. We moved to California from Britain. “I hate the rain.” Live in Bay Area from April to November, and the rest of the time in New Mexico. “I don’t mind the fog, but I hate the rain. I’m like the wicked witch of the west. I think I might melt in the rain.”
“I looked after my mother for years and I ruined my health. My brother was useless, but Mum thought the sun shined out of his ass. She got post natal depression after he was born and never recovered really. I could never do anything right for her. She used to shout at me a lot, maybe that’s why I don’t like to speak up.” (she almost whispers, speaks so softly I had so much trouble hearing her.) Thinks she might be sterile. Has heavy periods. Very anxious < alone.
“If only I wasn’t so afraid of being alone then I would be able to get away.
“Away from what?”
” I don’t know but I feel there is something holding me back. I want to have more courage. I want to work out what it is. I get so afraid sometimes when I am alone, that I will shake all over and then I get icy cold. Even in the dry desert of New Mexico I get these chills of fear”.
I asked her where she felt the fear and she said in her chest, clutching just under the bottom part of her neck. I can’t stand people watching me. I play the piano but I cannot play in front of anyone- made a tape of myself playing – played it for B. my husband. It made him cry to think that he had missed out on such a wonderful part of me. I tried to play for him but my fingers wouldn’t work and I forgot the music, and then I ended up in tears. I guess I’m a bit daft in that I don’t want to be alone but I have to be alone to play my music, which I love. The piano is in the barn where B can’t hear me. If I think he can hear me I won’t play.
I don’t trust him you know. I watch him all the time for signs that he’s going to leave me. I’m not jealous of his friends but I’d die if he left me. I would know the minute he even had the thought in his head. He’s very good to me, he works at home and when he’s away either his sister comes to stay with me or we get what we call a lady sitter, who comes over.
I want a child. I’ve had two miscarriages and now it’s been five years.
He’s very good to me about my condition.”
“When I get these funny turns of the wobblies. I have a friend who has had chronic fatigue (Homeopathy for Weakness and Fatigue) for seven years. I get so dizzy sometimes I think I will faint. I used to faint in my teens. My husband gets angry with me because he says I’m late, but it’s not my fault, my mother was always late for everything. I cry about the smallest of things.
â€¢ Parents divorced when she was 7
â€¢ Mother was depressed a lot, was on loads of valium and other tranquilizers.
â€¢ Mother also got horrible headaches and used to cry in daughters arms.
â€¢ Mother had a stroke 4 yrs ago, mostly recovered but has speech problems.
â€¢ Father died of heart attack.
â€¢ Brother 5 years younger
RX Calcarea mur 200
Lost her mother to depression, and the baby boy when she was 5. She is fearful, shy, withdrawn, doesn’t want to be looked at, cares very much what others think of her. She appears unformed, child-like. There is a fragility here with a strong sense of survival.
LOOKING FOR APPROVAL
DOESN’T WANT TO BE WATCHED
SENSITIVE TO CRITICISM
NEEDS PROTECTION (LIKE THE EGG SHELL)
NEEDS CARE AND NURTURING
Second visit: 2 months later
No change in energy but had dark discharge from uterus mid cycle. Then menses was more painful and again there was dark blood that looked almost black, and she got a chill. She got so cold that she was shuddering, and when she drank water it made her colder. She remained anxious and continued to have her “turns”.
I waited as I thought the Calc mur was perhaps precipitating some changes.
Third visit: 3 months later
Dark blood continued almost every two weeks. Went to doctor for a biopsy with fear of uterine cancer. No cancer cells. Doctor recommended a course of hormones. She didn’t want them as she was afraid she would be sterile. I decided maybe not best RX. I looked again at her case and snakes popped up their reptilian heads. I felt that although this woman was terrified of something, she had found good ways of protecting herself. She had the guardedness of a snake, and its sharp perceptions. Looking at all the snakes, Elaps was an amazing fit.
FEAR OF THE RAIN
GREAT CHILLINESS – BODY SHUDDERS
COLDNESS < DRINKING WATER
THE SUSPICIOUSNESS OF SNAKE
DREAD OF BEING ALONE
DESIRE TO BE IN DEEP CAVERN WHERE NONE CAN SEE HER
(SHE RETIRES TO A DISTANT ROOM TO WORK)
BLACK DISCHARGES BETWEEN PERIODS
RX Elaps cor. 200. Single collective dose, repeat after 3 weeks
There is a psychic aspect to snakes which was historically understood by early humans. At the oracle of Delphi, pythons were kept and the sybils tuned into the psychic energy of the snakes and interpreted what they had to say. Maybe this knowledge represents an instinctual understanding coming from the reptilian brain.
4th visit: 3 months later:
The oracle came from the snake in the form of a very very vivid dream and her anxiety worsened.
Dream: “I was inside a conservatory and there were all these plants and it was night and they made strange shapes like they were monsters or maybe dinosaurs and they were walking around and I was shouting to them to be careful of me but they couldn’t hear me because my voice was only little. I could hear the rain on the roof and the monsters started to grow and they grew so big that they broke the glass and I began to get wet. And the monsters started to laugh and the rain dripped down and I was made of glass too, and the rain started to fill me up and I got more and more filled up until I thought that I would burst because I couldn’t breathe anymore. I woke up in horror and was in a complete sweat.”
She had an old symptom return:
Terrible headaches which I used to get, feel as if my whole head would burst. It gets so intense that my nose bleeds. I was afraid I would have a stroke. I have dark dots in front of my eyes, everywhere I look and jaggy things. Tried not to take anything but I took some Advil. Headaches mostly before period (which now is better color and more regular), the pain gone but the headaches come before my period, like they used to until (some migraine medicine). I asked: Does your headache get better when your nose bleeds?
Better when you have your period?
“Yes as soon as I bleed they go away, I reckon it’s as if I have too much blood on board.”
I was worried about her high blood pressure symptoms, and as some time had passed and the snake did not seem to be dealing with that aspect, I went again against all the teachings I had been given about sticking to a remedy if it is working and I changed the remedy.
Rx: Melilotus 30C three doses on alternative nights. 3 to hold.
MELILOTUS OFFICINALIS – Honey Flower – Sweet Clover
FEAR OF DANGER
WANTS TO RUN AWAY AND HIDE
FEAR OF BEING ARRESTED
FEAR OF TALKING LOUD
DELUSION: THINKS EVERYONE IS LOOKING AT HER
HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE:
TENDENCY TO HEMORRHAGE
TENDENCY TO NOSEBLEEDS
FLOATING BODIES BEFORE EYES
HEADACHES PREMENSTRUALLY < WITH THE FLOW
Melilotus has a sweet smell and when dried it becomes much stronger and more agreeable. It contains the same chemical principle as Coumarin. Here my herbal knowledge came into play. The plant was fermented and used as a rat-poison, as it caused rats to have strokes.
Among other things it was an ingredient used in the bath to clear melancholy, used in scented snuff and smoking tobacco. It can act like camphor and act as a moth deterrent. An ingredient in the green swiss cheese, Schabzieger. It’s called curd herb, as it stops the putrifaction of the cheese at the time of introduction. It then acts to preserve the cheese for a long period of time.
For a long time now, I have been spending several months a year on the Greek island of Lesbos, which is the birthplace of the beautiful poet Sappho C. 720 BCE. At one point I learned all the remedies from the plants she mentions in her few surviving poems. This is how I knew about Melilotus. Here is the poem where she mentions melilotus.
Like a moon at sunset rising
dewy-fingered among the stars and
shedding her light on the salt filled sea
and over the flowery fields
where the lovely dewdrops lie
and the roses rear
and the lacy chervil blooms
with the many flowered melilotus,
so she wanders remembering
again and again her gentle Atthis,
till her tenuous heart is hung
in her breast with a weight of longing;
till she cries to us; “Come!”
and we hear it,
and the light petaled night
with its thousand ears
catches it, and brings its
whispering over the moon-mirrored sea
that lies between us.
Five weeks later, my client phoned me and asked for an appointment.
She related to me the memory which the snake had unleashed and the honeyflower had completed.
These are her words:
“I woke up one morning just before dawn and I had a very very clear memory. It was like seeing a story. For my fifth birthday my mother bought me an umbrella. It was one of those clear ones you can see through. I loved it so much. I played with it all day. My mother told me to put it away. After tea there was a little shower and I took my umbrella outside to play. My mother said to put on my coat but I was so excited that I went outside without it. I played in the rain, and just before dark it stopped. I put my umbrella down and I broke it. I cried and went inside. My mother was furious, She took the umbrella and hit me over the head lots of times, saying I told you so, why can’t you ever listen. I want to kill you. Then she put me outside the kitchen door saying, ‘You can just stay outside all night, maybe that will teach you a lesson that you will never forget, and if you make any noise and let the neighbours know you are out there, I will call the police and they will arrest you.’
All night I huddled in the dark and it rained all night long. I was afraid to shout because the neighbours might hear, so I cried and I shivered and I cried and I prayed to God to keep me safe and make my mum love me.”
Her headaches are gone. Only one small attack of the shakes. She said she felt as if a whole layer of weight had been lifted from her, the wheels had clicked into place and it all made sense somehow. She felt she was a different person.
One year later I gave her Calc mur. again, which she has had several times since. So the first prescription was right, but she needed the others first. She needed the animal and the vegetable to prepare the way for the mineral. Perhaps she was so broken she had to be put back together with a remedy from each kingdom. (All the king’s horses and all the king’s men…).
When I first wrote up this case she was pregnant, and she and her husband spent part of the rainy season in the Bay Area. I suspect that we may not yet be finished, as the child may bring up more for her. I have hopes that the Calcaria muriatica will be her friend through the next coming years.
I call this my “Rain Case”, and the theme running through all three remedies is rain. Elaps has a morbid fear of the rain, and melilotus only blooms at the end of the rains and by the way, speaking of the wicked witch of the west, Calc mur does actually dissolve in water so would melt in the rain.
The child within this woman was making itself known in a very dramatic way and limiting her life. Once its story was released she was able to be an adult and perhaps this allowed her to become a mother. She has two children now. Through this case I learned to listen for the story and to help guide clients in allowing the metaphoric story to emerge. We also see here how biography can become biology.
Melissa Assilem MNCHM, RSHom, FBIH
Melissa Assilem began her involvement with homeopathy in 1982, when she was 40. She has been teaching for 21 years and practicing for 25. Her first book, “The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party“, explores how remedies reflect the way we relate to the homeopathic substance culturally and spiritually. Melissa has focused strongly on women’s health issues, and especially the harmful effects of hormone abuse. She developed the remedies Folliculinum (oestrone), Lac humanum, and Luna. Her second book “Women Ripening Through The Menopause” was an outcry against this rite of passage being treated as a disease.
She has conducted provings on Usnea, Apple, Silkworm, Lac lupaninum, Octopus, Venus, Amniotic Fluid, and Umbilical Cord. Her latest book, Matridonal Remedies of the Humanum Family (see review in this issue) focuses on the remedies Lac humanum, Folliculinum, Placenta, Amniotic Fluid, Vernix, and Umbilical Cord.
Visit Melissa @ her website: www.Melissaassilem.net