En lycklig barndom ?

Jag har läst fattigdomsskildringarna i fel ordning, sådär rent kronologiskt. Började med Mathias Rosenlunds självbiografiska ‘Kopparbergsvägen 20’ från 2013 och tyckte att det ju är ett eländigt öde han skildrar.

En tid därefter kom jag mest av en slump över Susanna Alakoskis likaså självbiografiska ‘Oktober i Fattigsverige’ från 2012. Den träffar som ett slag i solar plexus. Väcker omedelbart minnen från fattigbarndomen i Åbo. Fattigdomserfarenheter är universella verkar det som. Och finskan på bakgårdarna i Ystad känns emotionellt nära besläktad med svenskan på bakgårdarna i Åbo.

Ja min mormor var förstås inte horunge och analfabet, hon var en femme fatale ur borgarklassen som sköts ihjäl av sin tredje mans bror. Vådaskott var den officiella förklaringen, svartsjuka lär det ha viskats om. Men har man aldrig träffat sina mor- eller farföräldrar så gör det kanske inte så stor skillnad. Det jag känner igen är utanförskapet på grund av att man inte hade råd med det som kompisarna hade, att man aldrig reste nånstans, att man inte hade nåt att berätta om hur sommarlovet spenderats, att man aldrig hade kompisar hemma, egentligen inga kompisar heller för den delen. Osv osv.

För trots att jag i teorin delar tre av de fyra privilegier Jotto räknar upp i sina blogginlägg som privilegier han föddes med, så betydde en mamma utan utbildning, som på grund av giftermål med olämplig karl förskjutits och gjorts arvlös av sin pappa, fattigdom. I synnerhet efter att hon skiljde sig och den olämpliga karlen sen heller inte betalade det utdömda underhållet.

I Ystad kunde barnfamiljer tydligen inte vräkas. I Åbo kunde ensamförsörjande mödrar med barn minsann nog vräkas när tillräckligt med obetalda hyror hade ackumulerats.

Jag börjar fundera på det här famösa uttalande av Ben Furman att det aldrig är för sent att skapa sig en lycklig barndom. Jag har tyckt att det är en alldeles ypperligt och elegant formulerad metafor för terapi; att man genom att i terapin arbeta med och igenom svåra upplevelser, oftast då just i barndomen, kan förvandla dem från energislukande svarta hål till energialstrande kärnreaktorer tänkte jag säga, men åtminstone energikällor då. Och just i den bemärkelsen då integrera dem och använda dem produktivt.

Men nu måste jag fundera till. Har Alakoski och Rosenlund genom skrivandet skapat sig en lycklig barndom ? Har det ens varit målet ? Trygve upplever Rosenlunds bok som, trots att den är djupt personlig, kanske den första genuint politiska boken på länge i det här landet. Alakoski är i sin bok mer uttalat politisk. Jag tycker personligen vi kunde adoptera henne, som t.ex nyfinlandssvensk.

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7 Responses to En lycklig barndom ?

  1. Ernst Mecke says:

    Well, I did NOT read those descriptions of childhoods in poverty, can accordingly not say so very much about those matters. But I do stumble over Ben Furman’s rather frivolous claim that it were never too late … .
    Ben Furman came to my attention as the Finn who was translating two lectures by Jeffrey M. Masson sentence by sentence to a Finnish audience in Messuhalli/Helsinki. This at a time when the three books which Masson wrote as his personal revenge on established psychoanalysis were already out and available. From the books any experienced therapist could have seen that Masson was (is presumably still, but he has since turned to other topics) incompetent about matters of psychoanalysis. – About the reasons why his ideas became so very popular at the time (with large numbers of destroyed relations and careers – and also a number of lost lives – as a result) I was in fact writing a paper (still available on request), but right now I feel like pointing to the fact that Ben Furman was obviously unable to see Masson’s incompetence and dangerousness. Which means that there are obvious doubts about also Ben Furman’s competence.
    All this does not change the fact that it can have its uses to think about one’s past, to consider in which ways it has perhaps produced some handicaps, and how to overcome them or what other possibilities to develop instead. But altogether I should think Freud’s formulation that “you will appreciate it very much if you can exchange your neurotic despair for quite normal unhappiness” very much more realistic and honest than Furman’s formulation that it is never too late for having a happy childhood.

  2. Bert says:

    Ernst, du har tydligen missat att det här med att skaffa sig en lycklig barndom tydligen är sagt med ‘glimten i ögat’ och säkerligen för att lite provocera det psykoterapeutiska etablissemanget. Leve oliktänkandet !

    • Ernst Mecke says:

      I do in fact doubt a bit this “glimten i ögat”. Ben Furman is in the profession known for his dislike of psychoanalysis, and that he was promoting somebody as incompetent as Masson seems (to me) to indicate that he is willing to go pretty far (irresponsibly so) in his campaign against psychoanalysis (and FOR the less time-taking forms of therapy which his own enterprise is advertising).
      Altogether I am not inclined to join you in your exclamation “Leve oliktänkandet!” Just about matters of psychology and therapy there are by far too many people around who have very strong opinions while not knowing a thing. Which in turn discourages those VERY many people who could profit from some reasonable therapy from seeking professional help.
      Thus, quite independently from whose eye it was where you discovered (or suspected) some “glimten i ögat”, I do think the whole topic should be handled with quite some seriousness and care.

  3. Ernst Mecke says:

    Thank you indeed for the link to Masson’s blog! And already a short look at it makes me stumble about something which he writes in the context of Woody Allen (about whom I do not claim to have much of an opinion either way): “So here is my question: How can you be happy when you know that you have caused and are still causing immense suffering and unhappiness in others?” Yes, how indeed, especially considering the effects which Masson himself was producing with his books against psychoanalysis …
    If you are interested, I can lend you a copy of the paper which I was writing about mechanisms of opinion making (and in which I was using Masson’s production about psychoanalysis as an example). I have it only on paper (not in electronic form), but once I am back in town (at the end of June) I can gladly send you a copy.
    About Masson: there is in his blog again a lot of claim (and little proof) about things which are certainly fit to provoke rather emotional responses. Do you, e.g., believe him that no orca has ever killed another orca? Of course it may in fact be so, but from where would he know? Have they told him? In what language? And IF they told him, was it fact or rather a piece of orca-flattering orca ideology (we have also heard often enough that e.g. humans are “basically good” – while in fact being more complicated that that)?
    Thus, what about having a look at my paper …

  4. Bert says:

    I believe orcas – even if deadly predators – are much less aggressive and violent against their kin than humans and I assume this was also Masson’s point, and not an attempt to prove scientifically or philosophically that no orca ever did harm another.

    Wikipedia: “Killer whales are highly social; some populations are composed of matrilineal family groups which are the most stable of any animal species. Their sophisticated hunting techniques and vocal behaviors, which are often specific to a particular group and passed across generations, have been described as manifestations of culture.”

  5. Ernst Mecke says:

    Well, quite possibly orcas are in fact living in family groups, and I do not doubt that the members of such a group are behaving in quite friendly ways towards each other. But there remains the question how they behave to members of OTHER family groups. They might in fact behave in similar ways as do the members of human tribes, or tribes of rats, i.e. friendly towards group members, very nasty towards outsiders.
    But my criticism of just Masson is basically another one: what I dislike about him is that he is selling myths. In reaction to his experience with representatives of psychoanalysis he was selling the myth that the profession were suppressing evidence about the sexual abuse of children – by that at the same pushing the other myth that there were masses of fathers who are abusing their daughters. And about his formulations concerning orcas one could say that he is offering the orcas as the most recent edition of “the Noble Savage”.
    The Noble Savage was launched, once upon a time, by some philosopher (Rousseau?) who had seemingly discovered that the North American Indians were sharing certain values with the West European gentry – e.g. that a man should carry nothing but his weapons, also refrain from “lowly” activities (like household work), but be any time willing to risk his life in the defence of his own or his tribe’s honour. And tribes (e.g. in the South Sea) who were not living up to these values were, logically, NOT accepted in the category “Noble Savage”, but condescendingly (or worse) considered as “ignorant savages”, barbarians, and similar. Anyway there developed in general the idea that there were, somewhere outside one’s own circles, “better people” (embodied by the Noble Savage, wherever he might now be found).
    Since then, the Radical Left has been discovering (in 1968 and a few years after) the Noble Savage in the form of the proletarian (upright, straightforward and honest, non-hypocritical, non-decadent). And now Masson is discovering the Noble Savage in the waters of the American West Coast in the form of the orca … .
    Psychologically this may be quite interesting, but a myth is not a correct description of reality. Rather, it is some piece of information which has been processed in the brain (mostly in the many brains of the individuals among whom the piece of information has been circulating as, e.g., gossip) until it found a form which was felt to be acceptable as “emotionally satisfying”. And as a rule, the initial piece of information has after all this processing only very little any more to do with reality – but is all the more fit to rouse emotions. Which had in the case of Masson’s myths about psychoanalysis pretty disastrous consequences, and is in the case of the Noble Orca of really not much help in any discussion of the very real problems which we are facing in political life.
    Of course such emotion-rousing books as Masson’s sell very well (same as the emotion-rousing Yellow Press). And whether he is himself aware of what he is doing (psychologically) is up to now an open question. During those two lectures which he gave in Helsinki he was anyway VERY CLEARLY NOT refraining from twisting facts and manipulating his audience skilfully and quite consciously.


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