Freud, Mammy and Me, fictionalized autobiography of Irish country boy

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Updated on 17th May 2020

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Freud, Mammy and Me

The roots and branches of a simple country boy

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Volume 1 of the fictionalized autobiography of Daniel O’Beeve

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Foreword

“I was just a little piece of irrelevant history.  A small fragment of unimportant story. Collateral damage of the viciousness of the class war. Nobody cared whether I lived or died. My story was not appealing, and nobody wanted to read it. The very idea that I would offer my story to the world met with a wail of contemptuous incredulity”.

Daniel O’Beeve, from a letter to Mickey J. Moran

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Front coverDaniel O’Beeve was a child for the dump. A child to be thrown away – wasted on a life of servitude to the shabby God of the Irish Catholic Church of the nineteen-forties and ‘fifties; and to employers who needed unthinking wage slaves.

To prepare him for this ‘role’ – this discarding – his parents were perfect: two servile, psychologically damaged individuals with minimal education and no conception of love or kindness, for themselves, for each other, or for their children.

His birth was painful, for him and his mother, and she swore she would never forgive him; rejected him at birth; and made him suffer for years, in retaliation for her torn-ness.

His childhood was testimony to the ubiquitousness of cruelty and ignorance in his culture, which, strictly speaking, was a cultureless-culture-shell.

If he’d been taken to see a psychologist at the age of seven years, the assessment would have shown that he was suffering from an anxiety neurosis, linked to physical and verbal abuse; that he was autistic; and switched off from normal emotional processing of his social environment.

On the other hand, to their discomfort, some people saw in him a kind of detachment from the social status of his family of origin. A kind of alien intelligence, which looked in horror at the mess that was his social environment.

He once had a dream in which he climbed over the high stone wall of the prison in which he was incarcerated, and found, outside, a field of yellow buttercups, glinting in the rays of warm, yellow sunshine, which bathed him from a clear blue sky.

For a few moments he stood in the calm, peaceful stillness of a wonderful, spiritual day.  And then it was gone, and he was back in the cold darkness of his normal life.

He wanted to get to that field again.  But how could he ever hope to get there?  After all, he had no map to help him find the wall again. And he had internalized the harsh injunction which denied him the right to climb the lowest of walls, in case he scuffed the toecaps of his little, second-hand shoes.

This is the story of a boy who should never have achieved consciousness, of himself or his surroundings, because of the traumatic nature of his early family and school life.

The story follows him through his painful, stumbling steps towards consciousness; but he then has to somehow make up for eighteen years of social-emotional deprivation. That would take him, at a conservative estimate, a further eighteen years.

But could he make it?  Does he make it? And if so, how?

This is the story of a brave coward…

A timid adventurer…

A ‘basket case’ who ardently, but mainly blindly, sought escape from the basket!

Jim Byrne (Witness) – April 2020              

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Whole cover

Preface

“The truth will set you free”.

John 8: 31-32

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I had a strange dream last night. I was in a TV studio, and I was feeling dreadful – with a kind of sick feeling in my heart, lungs and guts.  And dreadful ‘emotional sensations’ for which I had no names.  I had no words to describe or understand the entire experience.

Nearby, I was aware that Claudia Winkleman, a young, dark-haired, British TV presenter, was setting up a tray of cup-cakes to display to the camera, and, presumably, to a national TV audience. I was unclear as to whether the TV viewers could see me, standing there, like a lost child, shoulders drooping, and eyes downcast.

I was standing within yards of Claudia, but she felt totally remote from me – inaccessible.  I felt rejected and alone: like I used to feel as a teenager; and perhaps earlier, in the first years of my life. Claudia was too busy preparing food to display on TV to even notice little me.

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Back coverWhen I awoke, I still felt sick in my stomach.

Now, I sit at this table and try to write about my dream, in my journal.  What the hell does it mean? 

I think it’s about my mother and me, when I was a little boy.  That’s my gut feeling.  It might also relate to a quote that I have read many times from Rumi, the Sufi mystic. This is part of it:

“Don’t look for it outside yourself.  You are the source of Milk.

“Don’t milk others.

“There is a milk fountain inside you.

“Don’t walk around with an empty bucket!”

That’s it.

And the meaning of the dream seems very clear now.

For the first 35 years of my life, I walked around with an empty bucket, like a lost child, looking for a connection to a mother figure.  I was unaware of the milk fountain inside of myself.  I felt totally abandoned and alone.  Also, unworthy of connection to others.

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~~~

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The truth may set us free – but it is very difficult to face up to some truths, perhaps most; and so we turn away from them – and then we are lost!  We learn to lie about who we are trying to be, and what is going on in our daily experience.  We hang all our hopes of the possibility that one day the lie will become true!

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It is very difficult for a man to write about his own childhood: growing up; relating to girls (or failing to relate to them; or frantically trying to figure out how to relate to them; or to get one of them to relate to us; to notice us; to care); and desperately trying to make sense of life in general.

What the hell is going on?

Front coverInstead of trying to understand ourselves, most men create a ‘false self’, and then they practice acting out a role.  This is a kind of empty, hollow, unfeeling public performance.

The unlucky ones succeed in keeping up that act, right up to their death-bed scene, when the crisis finally hits.  Life is ending for them, but it has not even had a chance to begin!  It’s over before it can be felt and understood; experienced in the heart; savoured through the emotions.

I was one of the ‘lucky’ ones.  Long before I could get to my death bed, I hit a personal crisis so intense that it cracked open the brittle shell of my public performance – my act.  I was reduced to a kind of psychological Humpty Dumpty – shattered into little pieces of painful story which refused to cohere.

But the upside of this trauma was that I had a chance to start over; to build a Happy, Feeling Me, from the heart upwards; if only I could figure out how to do that.

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I write this book for you, dear reader, to help you on your way.  You know who you are – hiding out in there, in that brittle little shell – acting and performing!

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Daniel O’Beeve, April 2020

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Extract from

Chapter 1

“If we do not teach our children about love and why it’s so much healthier than hatred, what will become of them?  If we do not teach them about their journey towards healthy sex-love relationships, in maturity, who will teach them?  And if we do not know enough about love and sex, and relationships, and how to manage our hatred and rage, what hope is there for any of us?”

Micky J. Moran, A Very Peculiar Tragedy…

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  1. The journey begins…

Front coverStrictly speaking, I should begin this book with these words: My name is Daniel O’Beeve, and this book represents the story of half of my life.  Or, this book represents the first half of the first half of my life.

That would accord this text a certain kind of credibility as a straight-forward autobiography.

But this is not a straightforward autobiography.  I tried to write a straight autobiography, many times, but the memories locked themselves away in a vault in the basement of my mind; and refused to be winkled out into daylight.

Eventually I realized that it was easier to get hold of some truthful memories if I wrote as it I was writing fiction.  In time I came to realize that there is more truth in the average novel than there is in the most ‘objective’ history books.  Indeed, history books are full of fictions; and fiction books are full of truths.

For these reasons, I gave up trying to write straight autobiography; and this book is, instead, an auto-biographical story; or fictionalized autobiography; and so it requires a different kind of beginning.  Like this:

The mystery really began with the arrival of the email – if you can call it an email.  I’d been working hard all day, and right into the evening.  I was trying to write up a dream sequence – or was it a daydream sequence? – involving some strange men in a strange landscape.

At last, in total exhaustion, I switched off the computer and began to ‘palm’ my eyes.  I kept my eyes open, and cupped my hands over them – fingers close together – so I could stare into total darkness.  That was a blessed relief.  My eyes were tired and sore.

Suddenly there was a bright flash, which shone through my hands: revealing my black bones, surrounded by pink muscle and flesh.  I was so startled that my hands fell away my eyes.  And there, on the computer screen, was a strange email.  The text was like flickering, blue gas flames; and the background was a kind of mucky cream smog.  Despite the poor contrast between them, I could easily read the message, which said:

Front coverFrom the scratchpad of Professor Nuveen Valises, Head of Research Team, Planet 3EX771.  valises@IFspaceship29.fed

Dateline: 3619 APV

Daniel: You have completed your mission admirably; and so, I thought, had I.  However, I now realize that if you do not write the story of how you did it, my mission will also have failed.  So I must strongly request that you get down to writing up where you have been, and what you have experienced, so we can both rest easy knowing we have completed our historic missions.

What follows is a single sentence summary of the abstract of my report to the Intergalactic Federation:

+We-an hipotiste Daniel’s mirt skurpt anstrazhan toll Daniel valay rasoltav ohum rurlattah ugg gir andluttay im oan positatay oneroot cun higga uppanparon oan dazt vurlt dit zoon moedhuur haast lowershowal-zan wur mit gut wan sexoullarm ditch ihram Faltaar.+

Oh, sorry.  I should have realized… I will have to translate that for you.  When you get down to writing your story, I will send you a full transcript of my report, translated into English. That may help you to fill in some of the blanks.

Good luck!

Nuveen Valises

Professor of Psychological Research

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The problem with this message, of course, was that the computer was switched off!

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Front coverSo I switched it back on and was relieved to find that the piece I had been working on was still intact.  This is what it said:

I don’t know if this was a dream, proper, or a daydream.  But I could see the two drab men walking around the mounds of ash and rubbish.  There were three mounds.  The men always walked alone. Sometimes one would walk a figure of eight around the two rubbish mounds on the left; while the other man walked round and round the mound on the right.  Then they would change over.  Every so often they would, inevitably, meet, at the front of the site, in my field of vision. Then they would speak briefly to each other in monotone voices.  They had no news for each other: good or bad.  They bemoaned the nature of existence!

Away to the left, the director of the piece sat all alone on a three-legged stool.  He had a face like a crumpled page of newsprint.  He seemed happy, or satisfied, with the general depressive tone of the scene.

Between me and the mounds of rubbish stood a little boy in short trousers with tousled hair and a short sleeved shirt.  His feet were bare.  He scratched his head constantly.  After a while he spoke to the little white goat, who stood quietly beside him.

“What is the significance of this grim routine?” asked the curious boy.

The goat, of course, made no reply.

“Why has the director made the scene so barren?” he persisted.  “And how has this illusion been perpetrated?”

Front coverFrom the right of the scene, a very tall, dark woman, with long black hair, tied back with a black ribbon, stepped into the frame.

“He has taken away the work that would bind them to sanity!” she tells the curious boy.

“Ah!” said the boy.  “Loss of meaning!”

“Yes”, said the tall woman.  “Meaning and structure, both! But not just the meaning that is derived from work; but also the purpose that is derived from family relationships”. 

“Yes”, said the boy.  “I see.  No partners.  No children!”

“And how could the audience understand what these men are up to unless the director includes something about their childhood?” asks the tall woman, rhetorically.

“Their childhood is that important?” asked the boy.

“Their childhood defines who they are!” said the tall woman.

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~~~

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Where do these ideas come from? I am plagued by random thoughts and strange visitations!

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Front coverSometimes, when I’m dreaming, I become aware that the feeling of my feet walking along a solid surface is a reality, and that I am walking through a concrete reality and a dreamscape at the same time.  And sometimes, when I am wide awake, and walking through a perfectly normal scene, I realize that I am also progressing through a dream sequence in my mind.

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Professor Valises wants me to write the story of my life; and the tall woman wants me to be aware that my childhood defines who I am.  Who am I to disappoint them?

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Available right now as a paperback.

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Get your paperback copy today, from one of the following Amazon outlets:

Amazon US and worldwide Amazon UK and Ireland
   
Amazon Canada Amazon France
   
Amazon Germany Amazon Italy
   
Amazon Spain Amazon Japan
   

~~~

Or you can buy a Kindle eBook version of this book from one of the following Amazon outlets:

Amazon.com, US+ Amazon UK + Ireland Amazon Germany
 
Amazon Spain Amazon Italy Amazon Nether-lands
 
Amazon Japan Amazon Brazil Amazon Canada
 
Amazon Mexico Amazon Australia Amazon India

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