Clinical Cases


“Rosa” demands RESPECT (and adulation)! She’s abusive, insulting and a burden to her family; but, she thinks she’s coming in only for poor sleep and poor energy. What’s her remedy?

Hello everybody!  You’re going to love this case, a great picture of a remedy we all need to know more about.  My client “Joe” was telling me about his demanding, insufferable mother who lives with him and his wife.  (Yes, I know, say no more!)

That would be a challenge in the best of circumstances but…let me put it this way… Joe’s mother feels very entitled!  This woman craves an audience, attention, and adulation at an unending clip!  I said, “Joe, take heart; there’s bound to be a remedy for her!”

I sent Joe the questionnaire for his mother (“Rosa”) to fill out.  As I sometimes do, I asked Mati Fuller for her invaluable input.  Her comments are interspersed.  Here’s how Joe replied:

Elaine: black ink

Joe: Blue

Rosa: Red

Mati: Purple Italics

Elaine this was quite the learning experience for me.  I tried to write down her responses as she phrased them.  In some cases I provided my own remarks on how I see her and have experienced her.  You may think this is horrible, and that is exactly what it is!  She tries to keep a low profile nowadays as my wife “Marge” is back at home and my mom realizes she has no where else to go so she tries to control herself a little but overall she is quite the selfish, hateful, conceited, lying…..

I’m sure you mean that in the nicest way….

…”person” in the world, and I have actually toned it down quite a bit out of fairness to her.

You’re the very soul of equanimity.


That’s the way we like it around here!

Name: Rosa
Occupation: Retired
Height: 5 ft
Weight: 168 lbs
Age: 77
1. What is your Chief Complaint?

Rosa: I don’t get good sleep and have low energy.

Joe: She is fault-finding, condescending, rude, judgmental, complaining, and has no gratitude towards anyone who helps her.

So she’s a little off!

She also believes she’s extremely pretty and looks only 50, every man over the age of 50 is in love with her, according to her!

She’s HOW old? Almost 80, did you say? And everyone’s attracted to her?  Maybe I should re-evaluate my own appearance….

Mati: This is an interesting clue!  Obviously, being attractive to men is so important to her that she is in denial about the fact that she is no longer as pretty as she used to be.  And, although most women want men to find them attractive, there is a difference between “normal” vanity, and the delusion that every man over the age of 50 is in love with her.

Unfortunately she is obese and has bad posture.

Yeah, that’s the look I’m goin’ for!

She will never take responsibility for anything that goes wrong, and even though she knows she is dead wrong, has never apologized to anyone to the best of my knowledge.  If she gets into an argument she will fabricate facts to convince other people, I have caught her several times and called her on it, which makes her angry so I try to ignore it nowadays.

Mati: Fabricating facts to convince people is another clue.

2. When did these problems begin?  What was going on in your life around that time?

Joe: My dad showed me an evaluation by a Psychiatrist who labeled her as a “Malingerer”, defined as follows:

Malingering is a psychological term that refers to an individual fabricating or exaggerating the symptoms of mental or physical disorders for a variety of motives, including getting financial gain, avoiding work, obtaining drugs, getting lighter criminal sentences, trying to get out of going to school, or simply to attract attention or sympathy.

Mati: Her deceitfulness seems to be a strong part of her psyche, and should definitely be covered by the remedy we are looking for.  The interesting question is … what is she getting out of it?

3a. What aggravates your complaints?

Anytime she finds something not to her liking she throws a tantrum.

Mati: So, she can’t handle contradiction, you can’t say “no” to her!  Throwing tantrums in your 70’s is very peculiar; the remedy would have to cover that.

b. What brings them on?

Same as above.

c. What do you do to make yourself feel better or make the problem feel better?

She yells and screams and speaks ill of other people and then the next day she expects everything to be normal!  She pretends like nothing happened.

4. At what time of the day or night do you feel the worst?  Specify an hour or hours if you can.

No specific time.

5. What symptoms can you identify that accompany the complaints you have?


6. Environment: What kinds of weather or temperature makes you or the complaint worse?

Too hot or too cold makes life uncomfortable.  Fall weather is best as temperature-wise it is pretty moderate.

7. Is there a position which is uncomfortable for you?


8. a)Do you tend to be chilly or warm?

She tends to be chilly and usually it is her hands and feet that are cold.

b) Do you perspire a great deal?

Doesn’t take much for her to sweat.  She sweats all over her body but no stain or identifiable odor.

9. What does your tongue look like?


10a. Describe your nature.

Rosa: I’m peaceful and lovable and people just admire that about me, plus I’m very cultured and sophisticated.  Five minutes with me and you can tell I’m highly educated.

Joe: Yeah, and modest too.

Mati: Again we can see how much she wants to be attractive to others.  She wants to be loved and admired by others, and it looks like her whole world revolves around this issue.

b. What would you like to change about yourself?

Rosa: I don’t think I need to change anything.

Joe: Miss perfect, I say!

c. What gets in your way of moving forward?

Rosa: Nothing

d. What are you most proud of?

Rosa: My knitting.  Everyone knows and recognizes how good I am at knitting and fast too.

Mati: Everyone knows and recognizes her.

This is where I thought of a spider remedy–knitting?  Spinning a web?  And she makes a point of saying “and FAST too.”  I think everyone is familiar with how “fast” Tarentula, for example, is!  They are very much in a hurry; and it was unusual, I thought, to make the point that you knit “fast”, since knitting is supposed to be a relaxing hobby, something you do in a leisurely fashion.  The word “fast” is, in my opinion, a key word in the case.

e. What role do you play in relationships?

Well Elaine, over the past years, people come to know her, and then slowly distance themselves from her.  She is 77 and has no friends.  Her siblings and relatives want nothing to do with her.  They find her critical of everyone and very unforgiving.

Mati: No friends?  Then we can surely eliminate Phosphorus!  Although Phosphorus wants attention from people, they are usually charming enough and beautiful enough to actually get it.  But in Rosa’s case, there seems to be more of a delusion of beauty and attractiveness, more like wishful thinking.

11. How neat or cluttered is your home, your desk, etc.?

She claims she likes things neat and orderly but her room is a mess!

12. What makes you cry?

Rosa: I don’t know.

She is right, I have never seen her cry.

13. When you are upset, what do you do?

Rosa: I think logically.

That’s new!  Usually she immediately blows up, starts saying hateful, hurtful things and is very condescending toward others.

14. What makes you angry?  What do you do when you’re angry?

Rosa: I don’t lose my temper.

Anything that doesn’t go her way, no matter how petty, she will blow up!

She will curse and swear and say mean things about others and it doesn’t matter if they are true or not.

Mati: She seems to say whatever she wants to say, regardless of what the objective truth of the situation is, just to make herself look more attractive to others, so the desire to be attractive must be her core issue.  She has to be attractive, as if her survival depends on it, and she will do whatever it takes to make it so.  So, her deceitfulness and malingering are part of her survival mechanism.  And if things don’t go her way, she feels threatened and blows up, and she defends herself any way she knows how!

15. Do you have an emotion that predominates?

Rosa: my compassion.

Hard for me to believe, I think it’s her intolerance/hatred for anyone who disagrees with her or doesn’t treat her like royalty.

16. What fears do you have?

Joe: None

17. What in your life should never have happened?

Rosa: I think everything went fine.

What???  It’s shocking!!!!!!  I thought she would say something about my sister’s passing away at age 25 after becoming a Doctor back in 1983!

18. What has given you the most happiness in your life?

Rosa: My daughter becoming a doctor.

Funny; she had nothing to do with it, she would beat up my sister.

Good grief!  So, the remedy has to cover “violence” too!

She was verbally abusive but enjoyed the attention she got in social gatherings when she would tell everyone her daughter was a Medical Doctor and it was all thanks to her (my mother’s) efforts.

Mati: Again, it all comes back to getting attention!  She is happy to lie and deceive, if that is what it takes.  (She probably doesn’t even know she is doing it!)

19. What was your childhood like?

Rosa: My childhood was great.

Elaine, this blows my mind.  Her mother died at age 2, her father remarried a year later and sent her to a boarding school till she was 14.

So she left a few things out!

20. What bothers you most in other people?  How do you respond to it?

Rosa: I don’t like it when they are condescending, I have to put them in their place.

What she meant to say was if her perception was that someone was condescending then she is mean and rude to them.

She must be great at parties!

21. What causes the most problems in your relationships?

Rosa: I have no problems with my relationships but if the other person doesn’t behave properly then I just tell them to go to hell and things are fine.

She is in complete denial.  Marge has avoided her for the past two weeks and mom doesn’t seem to acknowledge that.

Mati: Denial is simply protection from having to face the truth.  Maybe she just can’t admit to herself what is really going on.

22. Do you have any dreams that you remember?  What are they about?


23. What would you need to feel happy?

Rosa: I’m fine and I feel happy.

She needs to be the center of attention and everyone should talk to her about everything.  It is similar to wanting to be popular in high school, only she is close to 77.

Mati: My point exactly.  Attention is everything to her.  I wonder what happened in high school? Maybe that is where it all started, and somehow she got stuck in time!

24. What do you do at your job?  How do you feel about your job?

Rosa: I’m retired so I don’t have to do anything but watch TV and enjoy.

25. If you were made President for a day, what would you change?

Rosa: I don’t know, maybe give some money to the needy??

Compassion’s not her strong suit.

26. When people have criticized you, what was the criticism about?  Similarly, when people have praised you, what did you receive praise for?

Rosa: I ignore people who criticize me so I don’t know what they criticize me for but they like my sophisticated personality and my excellent knitting skills.

Mati: She doesn’t know what they don’t like about her, but she does know what they like!

27. How do you feel if you go without a meal?

I Feel better. If I eat I feel tired and heavy.

28a. What would you most like to eat if you could eat anything?


b. Is there a food you simply must have or you’d feel deprived?


c. Is your preference for tart, creamy, spicy, salty, or sweet food?

She loves to gluttonize ice cream, potato chips, and chocolate. So I would say creamy, salty, and sweets.

d. Is there a food you like which most of us would consider odd?  Like vinegar or lemons, etc.?


29a. What foods do you dislike and refuse to eat?


b. Are there any foods that you avoid because despite loving them, they don’t agree with you?

Lemons and milk.

30a. How thirsty are you?


b. What do you like to drink?

Cold water.

c. Do you have a preference for how cold or hot your drinks should be?

I do like them cold refrigerated but not icy cold.

d. Do you take your drinks with ice?


31. How is your sleep?  Does anything concern you about your sleep?

Rosa: I can’t sleep more than 4 hours straight and very rarely get a good night sleep.  For the past 35 years I have been taking Ativan ( a sleeping pill) but ever since I came here I take Benadryl when I feel like it and that works fine.

32. Do you do anything during sleep? (for example, throw the covers off, stick your feet out of the covers, pull the covers over your head, talk, laugh, shriek, toss about, grind your teeth, drool, snore, walk, etc.)

She snores LOUD.

33. What position do you sleep in?

On her left side.

34. Do you or did you have any trouble related to your periods or PMS?

She is almost 77 safe to assume NO

35. Any children?  Any problems with childbirth or after childbirth?

Two.  No problems with or after childbirth.

36. What medications are you taking at present?  Do you suspect that any of them may be causing what’s wrong with you?

None.  But she loves to pop Benadryl, Ibuprofen (for her knee pains after a long walk, she is overweight, 5 ft tall and 168 lbs)


37. How frequently do you get colds/flus?

3 to 4 times a year.

38. Have you had any childhood illnesses twice, or in a very severe form, or after puberty?

Claims to have Typhoid Fever at age 13 but somehow survived it back in 1945.

39. Have you had any vaccinations?  Have you ever had an adverse or unusual reaction to a vaccination?

Not that she can recall.

40. Have you had any surgery?  What and when?


41. Have you had at any time: warts, cysts, polyps, tumors, moles or any other skin problem? Where were they located? Were they treated with anything or removed?


42. Do you tend to have any discharges (nasal,
vaginal, etc.)?  What is the color, odor, and consistency?

Nasal discharge, clear watery and runny.

43. Are you sensitive to paint fumes, exhaust, dry cleaning fluid, fragrances, pollen, animal fur, drugs, etc.?

Dust and smell of fur ( dogs, cats, and lambs)

44. Family history: what diseases have been in your family?  Include your grandparents.

Don’t know of any.

45. Make a time-line of significant events in your life that have left their mark, that were very difficult for you, and your age when they occurred and tell how you responded to them.  We’re looking for the events in your life that might have been causations for what you have.

None really, I’ve had a perfect life, and lots of people are jealous of me.

Mati: Denial, denial, denial!  All wishful thinking!

46. When you have to stand in line and wait, how do you feel?

Absolutely hate to stand in line and wait, makes me very very angry.

Mati: Impatient!

Yes, this confirms the hurried feeling and the restlessness in the case.

47. How do you respond when a family member is sick?

I feel bad for them

But notice she doesn’t DO anything for them!  Very unusual.

48. Are there any issues with sex or the reproductive organs that you need help with?


49. How do you react to consolation and sympathy?

I hate consolation and sympathy!


50. What sorts of things do you consider to be ordeals that you hate to have to deal with?

When people don’t give me the proper respect and recognition.  I simply must put them in their place.

She is kinda paranoid about the whole world being against her and is very suspicious of everyone. She believes everything is about her in a social gathering and is quite the center of the universe.

Mati: That is what she wants to be!

51. What are your hobbies?

Knitting, I’m very proud of my knitting.

She is very very good at knitting sweaters, scarves, and hats.  The kids love her hand knitted sweaters and hats.

52. Where would you go if you could go anywhere, and why?

Maybe to a garden ’cause I like flowers but other than that I don’t think I wanna go anywhere in particular.

Interesting that she picks nature, and I certainly have two animal remedies in mind.

Her siblings and relatives avoid her like the plague and so do her neighbors as she tried writing to them but no one wrote back.  Every time I get on the phone with her acquaintances they seem to get in a hurry when I mention mom wants to talk to you.  One of them bluntly told me that all your mother wants to do is to talk bad about everyone, she has nothing uplifting to say!

53. Is there anything noteworthy about your face?  

She has some moles on the right side of her face.

54. Is there anything noteworthy about your voice? 

She will interrupt anyone in a heartbeat, LIKES TO TALK REALLY LOUD AND FAST.  Occasionally she will finish other people’s sentences.

Mati: Interrupting and talking loud and fast is another great way to get attention.

55. Who in your life is a very difficult person, and why?  How do you react to this person?

Anyone who doesn’t recognize me or respect me.

Recognize you as what?  Respect you in what way?

Recognize me as a very intelligent capable person; disagreement is a simple example of disrespect.  I simply will tell this person off and not talk to them or if the need arises, I can really raise my voice to humiliate them.

She is right about that; she is confrontational and absolutely impolite although compared to 6 yrs ago she has improved somewhat.  She will also fabricate stories to prove her side of the story or make people think she is superior.  She once told my daughter that she used to live in a Palace and was the daughter of a nobleman (her father was a constable in the Indian police, I doubt if he could afford a Palace).  She also told Marge that she was a lawyer, however, she forgot that I knew she didn’t finish High School!

Yeah, there’s not too many high school drop-outs in law school these days!

Mati: Being confrontational and impolite is also part of her survival mechanism that kicks in when someone doesn’t give her the right kind of attention or recognition.

56. If you won the Lottery, what would you do with the money?

The money is mine; I don’t owe anything to anyone.  And anyway, people respect you when you have money.

But Ma, they respect your money or expect something in return, they’re not actually respecting you are they?

Well I can let them expect something in return and respect me while I give them nothing.

(I didn’t say anything more as I wanted to avoid an argument.)

Mati: Money always gets people’s attention!  You can see how everything she does has some connection to the issue of getting attention, so these are all core components.

57. Describe your energy.

I’m low energy in the morning.  Two hours after I wake up i.e. around 11:00 a.m. I feel energetic, but by 3:00 p.m. I’m pretty much done for the day and like to rest and watch TV

( she watches TV about 5 hours a day and does not even take a walk or exercise).

58. Is there anything that really gets on your nerves?  How do you react to it?

I don’t like when people don’t respect me and give me proper attention.

Mati: Attention is like food to her!

How would you know if they are disrespectful, they could be busy or shy and not open to conversation?

No that’s not how it is.  I go into the room they should welcome me and be nice and respectful.

Mati: She must have it, it’s like an addiction!

59. Are there any topics you seem to be obsessed with?


60. What was your ambition in childhood?  What is your ambition now?

Mom, what did you wanna be when you grew up?

Nothing really, I really didn’t have any ambition, I mean I was pretty and spoke English so I was educated everyone knew I was special why would I wanna be anything else?

Mati: Being pretty gave her attention, so why would she want anything more?  Any other ambition simply wasn’t needed in her perception of reality.  And this is what we need to understand.  We need to look at how she ticks at her core level.  In this case it has to do with getting attention.

Answers to follow-up questions:

Joe, how was your sister treated by her?

My sister was a child prodigy as a student, she finished high school at the age of 16, and took a board exam in which all the city children competed (averarge age was 18 for them).  She came #1 out of 43,000 students, quite an accomplishment.  She finished med school by the age of 23!!! and one year later was awarded Fellow of Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons.  She was quite the lovable person, kinda goofy and funny, not stuck up at all, neither proud nor pretentious.  Of course everybody in our little town loved her and my mom was a bit pissed about it as she was proud and pretentious.  She would try to control my sister who was also pretty timid but intelligent enough to see through my mom.  My mom realized that too, but at the same time my mom liked to take credit for my sister’s achievements.  She would physically and verbally abuse my sister and try to dominate her.  However, I believe my mom knew that my sister would never actually believe nor bow down to her, she would only do so to avoid confrontation or to keep my mom away from her.
My sister told me that when she was 12 she decided to run away but my Dad sensed it and caught up with her and talked her into staying home.  She also thought that our mom had adopted the two of us since we are nothing like her and we used to joke about it all the time.  I remember she once slapped my sister on the face so hard that she ruptured a blood vessel and her eye turned red.  I gotta stop here, Elaine……..

More info about lemons?

She tells me that she loves lemonade and lemon chutney and lemon over a number of dishes but claims it gives her joint pains now.

Joe, it can’t be that she has no fears; think!

OK, as I remember, she is scared of thunder and lightning, live or dead snakes, and she also admitted something weird, she is afraid of waves in the ocean but likes pond water if that makes sense.  We live on Meadow Hill Ave. and the street is sloped, she is afraid of falling down or losing her balance.  She is also afraid of accidentally locking herself out of the house, she only goes outside if somebody is inside the house or at least that’s the excuse she uses.

Although she denies it, she has always been afraid of snakes as far back as I can remember.  Last weekend my bonehead teenager accidentally killed a snake (with the lawn mower) about two feet long and wanted to keep it as a souvenir ( yeah that’s why I refer to him kindly as a bonehead) but she nearly had a heart attack.

Is your mother the type who has an intolerance for anyone moving at a slow pace?  Does she try to hurry people up?

Like you said, nowadays she is slow but loves to go on a car ride with me as I drive a bit fast.  She claims back in her day she was quite the fast driver or Miss Leadfoot.  But intolerance for anyone moving at a slow pace, I haven’t observed that.

Does she feign illness to get attention?

All the time!!!!  Every other day she is sick or has a fever that is not detected by a thermometer!  She told Marge once she had stroke, so Marge took her the hospital.  The doctors after a complete and thorough check up concluded she NEVER had a stroke in her life.  At this point she changed her story and said some doctor told her she had a stroke, she didn’t know anything about it.  She also told Marge she had a heart condition but guess what?  The cardiologist didn’t think so, stories go on and on and on………………………

Mati: Feigning sickness is another great way to get attention!

What about music and dancing, any feelings about that?

She does like music and dance.  She likes to watch the stupid Indian music videos and listens to the songs and turns up the volume.

Does she speak fast, eat fast?  Move quickly?  Of course, she’s old now, so think back to earlier times.

She does speak fast and she used to speak fast.  She chews at slightly faster rate than normal and when she was young she did try to move fast even though she was not quite light on her feet.

Desire for chocolate? Vinegar?

Not that she mentioned.  She does like chocolate but I don’t think she craves it.  Nothing about vinegar.

Does she complain about noise?

Only if she is watching TV.


Problem with constipation?

Yes.  She does complain about constipation almost on a regular basis.

Did she always perspire?

From what I remember YES

Was she always overweight?

She was always on the heavy side and quite a lazy person from what I recall.

Does she have arthritis?

She has pain in her knees but she is also obese.

Does she like to talk?  Does she talk on and on and on, not letting anyone else into the conversation?

Oh God!  She can hold a conversation all by herself and yes she goes on and on and on and on.

Any issues with jealousy and envy?

Big time.  The last outburst she had was when she was ticked off that I went to the grocery store with Marge but didn’t take her to WalMart.

Mati: You mean, you gave Marge attention instead of her???  No wonder she was upset!

Is she suspicious of people’s motives?

Extremely, everybody is under scrutiny.

Cold hands and feet?


Desire for alcohol?

She doesn’t drink, never did.

Was your sister beautiful?  Did she steal center stage away from your mother?

My sister was pretty, not a geeky looking girl at all. Every one talked about her, so yeah she stole center stage alright.

Does your mother think she’s beautiful, or did she in the past? Was that very important to her?

She still thinks she is Miss Pretty.  She colors her hair, wants to wear bright colors, shirts with deep neckline to show cleavage and claims all the younger men (we’re talking age 50 and up) have the hots for her.  It is really quite disgusting!  She has always been like this, every other man wants her and she is the most beautiful person around.

Mati: Bright colors and showing cleavage is also a great way to get attention.

What about open air, does she need fresh air/windows open, worse closed rooms?

She tells me she likes open air/fresh air.

Any issues with choking, trouble swallowing, dislike of anything that constricts the throat like turtlenecks or buttoned collars, waking with a feeling of suffocation?

She told me that she has a lot of issues with swallowing and choking.  Also quite often with breathing and that she does feel suffocated.  She does feel very uncomfortable with turtlenecks and buttoned collars.

How did your mother and father get along?

She accused him of loving his brothers and sisters more than her and got mad when he would go to his friend’s house for a cup of tea sometimes in the evening.  He would only go for an hour maybe twice a month to three houses down from our house but that was too much!

Father was an intellectual kinda guy, a navy commander, well built and not fat at all.  Even though he has been dead for 8 years, she still bad mouths him.

Mati: Again, she is worried that someone else is getting more attention than she is!  When dealing with core issues, we can see how they go through the whole case, like a red thread, and that everything else is connected to this issue in some way.

In what way does she bad mouth your father?

She claims he did not take her out and did not want her to go out and socialize. Of course nobody wanted to do anything with her in the town as any conversation turned into random bad mouthing of some random person!  She once told me she just felt like saying bad things about my best friend; I asked why and she had no reason whatsoever!!!!!!!!!!

What would she say that was bad about your father?

Like he gave all his money to his brothers, sisters, nieces, and nephews etc.  Of course that is why she had a paid-off house and substantial savings to live off of.  He had everything in a joint account with her so when he died she did not go through any financial hardships.

But he was an honorable man, he took the ‘until death do us part’ seriously.  He told me several times if he divorced her, where would she go?  Who would wanna take responsibility for her?  And that it was his responsibility to look after her.

How did she react to his death or illness?

She initially blamed him for his bad health (he was 82 and was very active).  She didn’t cry and wasn’t too impacted by his death.  However, a couple of months later it hit her.  She would go to his grave with flowers and say prayers for him.  I found this out from my friends who were around so I guess she had some remorse for few months.  But not enough to prevent her from bad mouthing him.

Mati: I think what we are dealing with here is Tarentula.  The core issue in Tarentula has to do with unrequited love.  The core story is a person who is in love with someone and trying to get his attention.  Because he isn’t interested, he doesn’t respond, and she has to do all kinds of things as she gets more and more desperate.  She may wear bright colors, talk fast and loud, turn the music up, laugh and dance, and so on.  If it still doesn’t work, and the person still ignores her, she might get furious, curse and swear, and slander him.  She may complain and get very negative, and people will want to get away from her.  She still believes that if she can just get his attention, he will eventually become interested in her, so getting attention becomes almost an obsession, and her whole life starts revolving around getting attention.


Can I add something here?  She did not like the plate of food Marge made for her last time (back on Aug 2).  Of course she expected Marge to make a plate of food for her and serve her while she was watching TV.  That night Marge just left her a sandwich and some fruit.  She called Marge into the living room and started yelling at her.  “You want to starve me?  You treat me very badly, I will cook my own food, I want nothing to do with you, who do you think you are?  How dare you treat me like this, there is no food in this house to eat or cook!”  When I got to the kitchen I saw chicken with stir fry vegetables on the burner, and boiled rice in addition to the food Marge had left her.  When I pointed that out to her she yelled, “Why are you taking her side, you should put her in place, Marge treats me very badly, she told me I’m not allowed to take a walk outside, and she tells people bad things about me, what kinda of son are you?”

Here’s the problem; your mother should enroll in the Ida Morganstern School of Jewish Mothering.  She will learn to rattle off easy phrases like: “Oh, I don’t want to be a bother!  I don’t need to eat really; this little sandwich will do just fine, please don’t make a fuss over me, I’ll just leave the number of my doctor here on the table in case anyone ever needs to call it….  If I’m dead in the morning, my will is in the shoe box under my bed, I’ve left all my money to you….” 

See?  Controling the family through guilt; much more effective!

The kids were so scared when they heard their grandmother yelling, they all ran to my bedroom.

But her way works too, apparently.

They slept there that night.  She then continued the next day, “I know Marge goes through my things and monitors what I do, and your daughter constantly watches for incoming calls for me!!”  I replied, “But you don’t have any incoming calls and your grand-daughter uses that phone to call her friends, also Marge is out all day and comes home around 6:00 in the evening, how can she go through your stuff?  You’re here all day aren’t you?”  She got upset and replied, “You’re accusing me?  I pray that your daughter dies and you have to bury her!”  I got up and left.  Since then Marge hasn’t talked to her and she hasn’t apologized either, but then again, she never apologized for anything.  If you need more info Elaine, let me know, I’ve got tons more stories to ruin your day!

Great, I’ll get back to you!

About closed spaces which you asked me about, I talked to her last night and she (mom) reminded me that she has gone in elevators with me several times, in hospitals and malls, some of these are pretty crowded and dimly lit but she was fine.  I asked her about small rooms with a lot of people and she is fine with that too.

You know, regarding the accusations about going through her mail, etc., often, what a person does herself, she attributes to others.  When she says “You go through my things” she means, “I go through people’s things–that’s why I assume you’re going through mine.”

I absolutely agree, and you’re not the first one who has told me about this.  She herself complained that Marge was talking on the phone outside where my mom could not hear her.  She always wants to know what everybody is doing and every single day inspects the mail.  She doesn’t open the mail now after I had a few words with her about it.

These are the rubrics I used:
1) Mind/cruelty
2) Mind/deceitful (this rubric is essential, since she keeps lying about everything)
3) Mind/music amel (I would have preferred music, desires, but couldn’t find that in my rep)
4) Mind/sexual behavior/lascivious, lustful (sex is definitely on her mind)
5) Mind/colors/reaction to/charmed by/blue/green/red/yellow/black (this is the best I could find for bright colored clothes)
6) Mind/speech/abrupt
Platina goes through 2 rubrics, followed by anac, bell, lach and nux, but only Tarentula goes through all the rubrics.

And of course Tarentula covers the hurriedness and violence.

Lachesis is another possibility, but Lachesis is more competitive with others. As I understand this case, she is not competing with others for attention, she simply has to have it all the time even if nobody else is stealing the show.  The other thing that differentiates Lachesis from this case, is that Lachesis likes to be up all night.  They work better at night.  Tarentula doesn’t like being sleepless. So, I’m not leaning towards Lachesis.

The final nail in the proverbial coffin is “cunning and fox-like”.  I always noticed she was pretty sharp at learning new things or exploiting issues that might work to her advantage.  Too bad she wouldn’t use her cunning for something positive.  I’ll order Tarentula hispanica 30c today.

After the dose: Even though she didn’t sleep, according to her, her energy was good in the morning and she felt active.  Her hands and feet were not cold anymore.  Lack of sleep did not cause nausea or headache.  Her knee pain and back pain were less.  She felt hungry.  Irritability gone.  Her nose didn’t dry up, which she usually complains about.  No problems breathing.  She is still interrupting me and still talks loud.

Hi Elaine,
Her Potency is 30C, and she is taking it once a day in the morning.  She wants to take it twice a day, she claims her knees still hurt.  I think she is making progress slowly but surely.  She is definitely more active, she regularly wants to cook in the evening and go out on the weekends for shopping etc. and I realize five days are not enough to change her but she thinks she will be young and beautiful in two weeks.  I guess at this point my concern is, should I allow her to up the dose to twice a day or make her stay at once a day?


Joe, it’s more of a judgement call on your part.  If you think she’s making progress, keep it at once a day.  If you think the case is moving too slowly or relapsing, go to twice a day. Needless to say, you’re giving it in water with succussions before each dose, right?


I’m sooooooooooooo sorry for being delinquent.  You know this is not typical of me, but I changed jobs and had a lot of running around and paperwork to do.
As far as mom is concerned, she increased her dosage to twice a day but complained that her “rash” was coming back.  So, we made it twice every other day since she still complains about knee pain. But she has been doing pretty good so far and I see progress.

She has stopped complaining about breathing problems and claims they just “disappeared”.

Yeah, I know, it’s never homeopathy!

She is not sure if the knee pain is weather related or not but she still has it, although she can walk just fine, plus she’s more active in the kitchen and around the house.
Behavior-wise she is pretty laid-back, I like that, and no emotional outbursts at all!

Wow!  It’s so quiet in here…..

A little bit of whining here and there but that’s pretty much it.
She also is more tolerant of the motley crew around here and is interacting with them more.

Wow!  Interacting?  It’s amazing!  At 77 a person finally becomes human!  It just goes to show you, it ain’t over ’til it’s over!

email Follow-up report 10/15/08:

How is your mother?

She still complains about her knees and backache (she is overweight) but she is very active.

And this is unusual, right?

Yes her being active is unusual.  She is cooking for my sons almost every day.

Is that new?

Yes that is something recent after tarentula.  She is also socializing more with my daughter too.

How was she before?

she would do small talk as she saw fit; so, I’d say she is making progress.



You can tell by the extreme nature of the case that you’re not going to waste your time looking for common remedies like Calc-carb for desiring ice cream and sweets and being fat; nor Phosphorus for the thirst, nor any other average remedy like Pulsatilla, Lycopodium, or Sulphur.

When you see violence in a case, shamelessness, having no friends, feigning illness to get attention and being delusional on a grand scale, you can be sure you’re looking at a remedy that’s way off the beaten path, something really odd, something quite bizarre!  So, I started thinking about insects and snakes!  The restless hands (knitting) was a big tip off for Tarentula.  It wasn’t just that she knitted but knitted “fast”!  Spiders are very busy, very restless, and of course, they kill!  They kill even their own kind!  As Dr. Mangialavori says, “With few exceptions, they are not social animals but cannibals who will kill each other.” (Bitten in the Soul, p. 43)

The lack of a social sensibility was very noticable in Rosa.  Remember this?

Well I can let them expect something in return and respect me while I give them nothing.

Wow. It’s just “me, me, me, it’s all about ME!” The “other” is missing from this equation.

Mati hit it right on the button when she said the whole case was about getting attention!

More from Dr. Mangialavori:

“Complaining is one of the main strategies of the Tarentula hispanica personality.  Their need for an audience has led to Tarentula being described in the literature as a hysterical personality.  Receiving attention through complaining is one of the most fundamental characteristics of this remedy.  Their experience of pleasure is so deeply inhibited that they can only perceive what is not working, what is wrong; they complain about almost everything around them.  Other people are perceived as obstacles about whom they display a faultfinding atttitude. … Tarentula’s hypochondriasis manifests as complaining. They use it as a coercive tool to get attention and make others take care of them.  The worse their emotional state, the greater is their hypochondriacal complaining; every day they find something new.  Not only do they complain but they also project a strong sense of persecution. … [They] have a great difficulty receiving pleasant external stimuli, which they perceive as hostile…. They experience their bodies as sorces of uneasiness, pain and tension.  They are mentally and physically oversensitive and cannot endure being touched. … The constant search for attention; the rebellious and sulky attitude if not appreciated….” (Bitten in the Soul p. 57-61)

Well, I think you get the idea.  So, here you have summed up in a few words, Rosa’s case:




Can’t tolerate contradiction

Need for an audience

Need for appreciation





Delusion of persecution

Demanding respect


Me, me, me





What more could you ask for in a spider?  I know… you could ask, “Where can I buy Mati’s book?”  Funny you should ask!  I happen to have a copy right here, it’s called Beyond the Veil of Delusions and you can order it from and other places, such as Amazon, or, just click on the book.  P.S., Mati has changed the cover artwork since this cover appeared below:

Beyon the Veil of Delusions. Understanding Relationships through Homeopathy.

Do you think you’ll remember Tarentula now?  Here’s something to help you, the Tarentula theme song by Lady Soul herself — Aretha Franklin:



Elaine Lewis, DHom, CHom

[email protected]

Mati Fuller, DIHom (Pract.)

[email protected]

About the author

Elaine Lewis

Elaine Lewis, D.Hom., C.Hom.
Elaine is a passionate homeopath, helping people offline as well as online. Contact her at [email protected]
Elaine is a graduate of Robin Murphy's Hahnemann Academy of North America and author of many articles on homeopathy including her monthly feature in the Hpathy ezine, "The Quiz". Visit her website at: and

About the author

Mati Fuller

Mati H. Fuller, DIHom (Pract) was born and raised in Bergen, Norway and came to the United States in 1985. She lives and practices in Colorado and is author of "Beyond the Veil of Delusions, Understanding Relationships Through Homeopathy." [email protected]

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