By Phil Le Brun
Dark Thoughts Part 2
Quick recap. Thoughts can be dark and confusing. We return to the story of a chiller surfer who kept having violent thoughts after seeing City of God.
It was like the movie had triggered something deep inside of him. And the thoughts just got worse. Strangling children on the bus. Smashing people over the bonnet of his car. Killing his own dog.
If his wife was cutting carrots for a salad. In a flash, ‘what if I grab the knife and I were to stab her?’. Children playing in the street, ‘what would happen if I sped up and mowed them all down with my car?’.
Though he never actually acted on any of these thoughts that he was having, he was convinced that one day he might. So he started to avoid things. He wouldn’t hold knives. He stopped going out with friends. But still the thoughts persisted. They were everywhere.
Which meant he was having to split himself in two. For example, he works in retail, so he has to work with people all day long. So he’d have these experiences where on one level, he’d be smiling, chatting away with a customer. And on another level, he is cutting down her body with a carving knife.
Standing there looking in the mirror, his only explanation is that he must be having some kind of psychological breakdown.
So he and his wife turned to the Internet, searching for answers. But the things that they find were, Bipolar or schizophrenic. None of them seem to fit.
There were a series of nights where he told his wife, ‘maybe I’m just better off if you put me in the psych ward’.
It was around this point that he actually started thinking about killing himself. He was that scared of what he might do. He was thinking, what if he was the next Newtown killer or the next Aurora killer? And to know whether he was or he wasn’t, the thing he had to understand was, what is the relationship between these thoughts and me? So finally, he decides he goes to a therapist.
This Therapist, we’ll call Dr No.1 had had a similar patient with violent thoughts, but his were all about water. These gruesome images of people being waterboarded, choking and gasping for air and suffocating. And they seemed to come out of the blue. He had never had thoughts like this before. He couldn’t get them out of his mind. He didn’t know why they were there. So Dr. No.1 says to this man, tell me about your thoughts. Describe them vividly. Let’s explore why they are there, let’s see where your thoughts lead.
So the guy starts talking, and eventually it came up that his sister had recently died. She was walking across a frozen lake – across the ice – and she had fallen through the ice and got trapped under the ice and drowned. And where his thoughts led were to horrific images of what the last few minutes of her life must have been like, where she was trapped under water and gasping for air. And it was obvious that what he was describing about his sister and these gruesome images of people being waterboarded were almost identical, except he had never made the connection. This view puts a lot of weight on the significance of dark thoughts. Part 3 of this SCAB will challenge this theory. Stay tuned if you really have very little else to do and I’ll make a half hearted attempt to get to the bottom of this issue.