How Freudian theory predicts a civil war after Trump and Brexit. 

I Written the morning Trump won the election .

I woke up this morning to snow! If the snow had been sun I could have easily mistakes to the month as June! The same feeling of disparity and disappointment hung in the air just as it did as we woke up at the Glastonbury festival to find us leaving Europe in June. 

But as always I got thinking….When I was at university studying psychotherapy,  I was very interested in Freudian theory. Most of all the writing of Totem and Taboo. I got to thinking how it is SOOOO relevant in the world right now as we battle racism and purism… stay with me….

Don’t worry I’m not gonna get all clever and start quoting Freud and expecting you to know what I’m on about.. so here is the theory in a nut shell ….

There was a story about a brother who was cross with his dad, so cross he wanted to kill him! ( extreme I know)  but knew it was wrong to kill your own dad! ( dur… you don’t say)  HE WAS MAD but he didn’t and had no intention of killing his dad… cos it was wrong! 

But over time his brothers also fell out with their dad and after numerous chats where they moaned together about their dad, it turned out that they all wanted to kill him ! Cripes! They talked it through and they agreed that if they all wanted to kill him it can’t have been wrong! 

Anyway …the point was that as soon as the group all wanted to kill him it became ok, their moral code kind of changed and they  could justify killing their dad!  after all everyone else wanted to do it too!!! So they couldn’t be wrong and it wasn’t their fault! 

So they killed the dad! 

The point of the theory is that on their own they’d never have done it! They’d never have found the self justification to allow them to go ahead and Killed daddy! 

But as a group, where they all felt the same , it gave them strength, not just physically but emotionally and morally ! Their feelings of hate towards him were validated  by the others and it gave them permission to join in the dirty deed! Without guilt! 

So why is this relevant now? Well Angry , frightened and upset people  are very unpredictable as we know,  so as soon as they are blessed with the realisation that they are not alone in their powerful feelings and they are not wrong , they are able to feel strengthened by the knowledge they are not alone and MUST BE RIGHT! 

This realisation gives people permission to openly show their anger and behave in ways that alone the couldn’t have done so  easily and safely. We don’t need to look so far to see many examples of this! 

Think about bullies? Never so strong when they are without their gang , football hooligans rarely fight alone, kids at school rarely misbehave without others playing along with them….

I think about Brexit and now with Trump… as soon as folks with such angry and passionate thoughts and feelings ‘win’ a voice they start to behave openly in a way they never did before. 

All of a sudden those with racist and sexist or whatever other ‘ists are relevant have been told that they are not alone! In fact they are in a majority! They are safe to speak out.. they have strength as a group to act in a way they could never do on their own! 

We have seen a huge rise in openly racist attacks in the uk since the Brexit victory gave them a voice and now with Trump taking the wheel,  we are seeing the same and more.. racism, sexism, body shaming, greed and aggression to ‘outsiders’ has be given the green light!  There is a certain giddiness to express something which was previously frowned upon.

People have been told ( indirectly) they are in their right to hate and abuse! And it is only going to spread across the globe… all those who realise they have a band of like minded brothers will draw strength from them and act! 

As half of the country here and across the pond furiously feel the ‘opposite’ of these ‘winners’ and totally mourn the loss of humanity and as our anger and fear will grow, together  too we will too come together to fight. Will we ( the anti Trump and pro Europe and free movement) join our brothers (and sisters) and act in a way we could never do on our own? 

What permission will we give ourselves as a group to protect our beliefs? Just like them? Just like the Freudian brothers? How far will our fear and numbers take us? 

Splitting countries and nations into two camps of such very opposite sides of the coin is a very dangerous thing, we have created two strong groups of now powerful opposite voices… 

So what , where and when will they agree to kill ? 

Who or what will be the father? 

Which group will decide to act first? 

Maybe the now openly expressed hatred towards muslims, Mexicans, Jewish, polish, refugees, inegrants…( oh the list goes on….)that is now freely acted upon by the Trupexit brotherhood will create the justification for these oppressed  communities to join together in a mutual brotherhood too? 

Will the oppressed join the fight within their group  strength based on anger and fear? Ironically becoming more dangerous that they were ever accused of being in the first place!!!!!

 Their joint strength allowing and justifying attack?

What about gay men and women? Will they find their collective inner Freudian brotherhood too? 

Will they find strength and justification to loose their moral code and attack too? 

What about women? 

We’ve seen women joining together already.

Will they find their inner Freudian brotherhood too? 

Will they justifying attack as a group ?

Will they behave in a way as a group they would never behave in alone? 

As recent shows of democracy has stood in the form of two sides of the coin… polar opposites to each other. 

Right or left

In or out

Controlled or free

Catholic or Protestant 

United or City

Yorkshire or Lancashire

Rich or poor

Girl or boy

Black or white

Trump or Clinton




So are  two groups of angry frightened Freudian botherhoods forming? 

How many other brotherhoods are within them? 

As anger grows and the brotherhoods strengthen through fear and despair,  it is only a matter of time before our actions spill over into the streets and we all kill our fathers. 

As we fight against our own community, brothers and sisters, families and friends we will believe it’s ok, because we are not alone.. we have strength to do what alone we could never carry out. After all There is no I in team! 

This year has divided the world.. 

I have no answers or crystal ball but as Freud illustrated, a  group of people with likeminded anger have a voice and it’s not just a voice… it’s a desperate wail ! …  they will be heard and seen and it won’t be pretty !

When in Rome

IMG_3841.jpgLast February I had the most random of emails. It was an email from the ED society asking us if we would like to go to Rome on behalf of the Uk society to meet the Pope with other ED families from across the world! Well that doesn’t happen very often does it???

Needless to say we jumped at the chance. To be honest I didn’t quiet believe it would happen and I don’t think anyone else we told believed us either…. I mean meet the pope? us ? really?

As the trip came closer we started receiving emails from the organiser of the trip in Italy, we were to all stay in a large hotel on the outskirts of Rome and there would be various social events happening. It all began to feel very real.

A month before we were due to depart I had an even more random email, I really didn’t think the former could be beaten but I was wrong. We were asked to bring a gift to present to the Pope. Yes… I know…. what on earth does one give to the most holiest man on earth? After much discussion and support I finally worked out what I as going to take..  Rev Shelagh ( our family vicar and friend) had advised how His holiness was very passionate about reaching out to those in need particularly at the time he was reaching out to the refugees.  I wanted to think about giving something symbolic and relevant to us as a family, having a link to the results of war as well as placing a human face to it.

I have an old case full of my grandfathers old letters, books and papers from his time fighting in the second world war and one of the items that came to my mind was his soldier book. The tiny leather bound book has a page at the front where he wrote out the lords prayer. The writing is beautiful and albeit faint it shows how important his faith was during this dangerous part of his life. I copied the page and printed it out, framing it with a photo of Grandad as young man and one of William, I am an artist by trade so it was a pleasure to create a lovely piece of art work with my family heirlooms.

I was having to travel alone with William ( 11) and Kitty (3) I am pretty good at travelling and I am always the lead when we go anywhere as a family. But Id never travelled abroad with the children with out my husband and we had never really split up as a family either. I was going to miss them all terribly and I was so sad they couldn’t join us on such an important life event for us.

(We are a large family, I married my husband 23 years ago and we have since have four children: Libby (18) not an ED carrier and was busy working, Grace ( 16) an Ed carrier but has just started at Leeds College of Art and it was too soon to take time off. Keith of course need to stay at home to look after them while I took William an ED carier and Kitty who we suspect is a carrier also.)

IMG_3713.jpgSo the day came, The gift packed, the clothes ironed and stowed in my case, we set off to the airport. Landing in Rome we trundled excitedly though the terminal and straight out through security with no problem ( the joys of hand luggage) we jumped in our organised private transfer and enjoyed our ( rather hair raising journey) to the hotel.

The hotel, The Church Village, was a real contradiction in terms. The reception building was modern and bright, but the outside was typically Italian. Simple and reminding me of a youth hostel. I soon realised it was a hotel for pilgrims, a simple accommodation especially for those travelling to worship at papal mass. This brought home  the enormity of the trip and I really think William picked up on it too.

After a quick drop off of our bags, we set off to the bus stop. We were catching the bus into the centre to meet the other ED families at the vatican museum. As we arrived at the meeting place we saw a family who’s children obviously had the ED traits. We hadn’t even been to any of the gatherings with the ED group and therefore hadn’t come across anyone like us. It was quite a heart stopping moment as we approached them but within a few minutes we had been introduced to around 5 or 6 other families from around the world, all with ED and all excited to be on this trip of a life time.

We entered the museum and had a long wait while the tickets and passes were sorted out. It seems the Italians don’t have the same approach to organisation as us Brits, and although the end aim is always reached there tends to be some chaos and waiting around first. This turned out to be an on going theme of the week but it was endearing and kind of added to the atmosphere .

As we were waiting in the busy reception area, William started to flag. It had been a long day already, we had only flown in in the morning and now the hour and half wait was starting to take its toll. I made an executive decition to take William and Kitty back to the  Hotel and rest. After all we had a very big day tomorrow and we needed to ensure we had all our energy. Apparently the families had a wonderful time at the museum and we are still gutted we missed the Sistine chapel , but hey… we were going to see the pope  in the morning!.

We arrived back at the hotel, we grabbed a bowl of pasta in the reception, I had a beer and we bought ice creams to take back to the room. The kids showered and I managed to find an english cartoons channel for them to watch while I got everything ready for morning.

As I realised I needed an iron to give everything a once over, I called reception to find this basic of all hotels didn’t have one.. agh!!!! I ended up snuggling up with the kids while the shower steamed out clothes for morning.

We work up Early and excited, all dressed in our finery we made our way to the dining rooIMG_4005.jpgm for breakfast. What a shock we had to find the quiet hotel had turned into a buzzing mass of pilgrims,
Vicars, nuns and hundreds of groups proudly supporting the national colours huddled in groups everywhere we looked.

The atmosphere was electric as we grabbed our breakfast, we spotted some of the other ED families all dressed ready  for our special day.

After breakfast we gathered the gifts we had brought and met with the other families to wait for our coach. We took photos or each other and I was touched by the support everyone gave me as I struggled with the children and the pushchair. It was a hard moment, seeing all the families and I felt really lonely, missing the rest of our family. But the excitement took over and we settled on the coach on our way to the vatican.

As we arrived the crowdsIMG_3764.jpgIMG_3770.jpg were huge! it was a daunting moment as we ( a large group) tried to stay together ( with the Italian lack of organisation) We had to go through a different entrance to the crowds, passing through airport style security and bumbling through to our area at the front of St Peters square.

I don’t really want to talk too much about the morning as it was simply so very special and been in the company of his holiness was emotional and wonderful. William and I were moved to tears and neither of us will ever forget it. no amount of words will explain the moment.

When mass started we were sat right at the front of the audience so we were really in the thick of it. But I had to have a little laugh at us allIMG_3779.jpg, as the sun creeped around to shine on us, I turned to see all the ED families frantically feeding the children water and stripping off their layers. Oh the joy of not been alone! For once in our life we were one of many.. what a wonderful feeling.

We came away from St Peters square emotional and hungry. Thankfully we were ferried back to the bus and driven out of the city to a farm style restaurant, were we enjoyed a wonderfully rustic meal in the shade of a barn.

TIMG_3816.jpghe children ran around the meadow together and parents were able to chat and share notes of how they were coping with the children with the condition.

IMG_3825.jpgI learned loads! We have been coping alone since we got our diagnosis and it was great to hear from families with much more experience. We were coming away with lots of knowledge and support.

The day after our big day we spent the day exploring Rome, the kids and I grabbed a tour bus pass and we hopped on and and off the bus at the various sites.

IMG_3832.jpgWhat an adventure!!! Not only did we go see the pope but we met so many other families from across the globe all like us. How wonderful it as for William to meet other children like him and to become the majority rather than the minority for a change.