by Anna Tenezi
As published in In Focus, Vol. 9, No 1, March 2012
Thursday, 28 July 2011
Dear Sir or Madame,
Anna Tenezi is my nom de plume, under which I have written a few books, the latest of which is entitled “My MemGram Experience”. In case you are not aware of what MemGram is, you can find a thorough presentation, more thorough than I could have offered you, on the relevant webpage maintained by its initiator, Dr Martin.
In this letter I only provide the brief version of why a) I wrote this book and b) I am putting it forward for publication. I happen to come from an underprivileged family of refugees and as a child I have had to suffer many adversities, among which beatings as well as physical and verbal abuse. Yet, despite everything, I have managed to pursue university studies, educate myself and become what I hope today is a human being with anything but negligible achievements to feel proud of: I’ve had a successful career as a Greek teacher at various lyceums, throughout the span of which I’ve maintained very good relations with my students and have been honored with the recognition of my supervisors; I’ve written a few books, held photo exhibitions, have had two great children and three grandchildren.
Nevertheless, for the duration of the past year I was in a state of “escalation”. To be precise, I was very irritable and vented mostly against my sister. This urged me to try the MemGram technique – and the results have been nothing short of spectacular. I traveled back in time and memory, discovering things which not only had I forgotten but had gone as far as to deny were ever “there.” By conjuring them back to memory, I was so to speak “forced” to see them; in other words, to discern their operation and the manner in which they have, over the years, formulated the way I behave.
It has been a spectacular process. The whole revelation has been soul-stirring but also therapeutic. In other words, MemGram has done what Psychoanalysis can do, but in the span of merely 15 sessions, at a cost of approximately 1,000 euro. Surely, this gives you an insight into how great this invention is and how many people can benefit from it – many more than would be helped with Psychoanalysis, which requires money, time and the ability to undergo it.
This is why I have registered my own experience, which I now put forward for publication and distribution. I believe that the science of Psychology has (finally) found the purely scientific basis it has been looking for ever since the early days of its effort to become independent from Philosophy.
Please find attached for your perusal an excerpt from my work, representative of the broader spirit in which the book has been written.
Hoping that my proposal will be positively looked upon, I respectfully thank you.
Anna Tenezi e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
MY MEMGRAM EXPERIENCE: SESSION 8
by Anna Tenezi
I have a very vivid memory of what happened to me when I was twenty four, the year I came to Cyprus. I came for a fortnight. On the twelfth day I had to be hospitalized. I had blood since I left from Salonika, but that was my normal period. Five days later, when it was actually supposed to stop, the blood became bright red, coupled with palpitations and aching low down across the belly, especially whenever I was on a bus traveling across a bumpy road. On the twelfth day we were in Limassol to attend the funeral of Marios’ grandfather, a very endearing old man with white hair and a proud posture, whom I am glad I had the good fortune to meet: the little time I had spent with him, was enough to make me love him to this day. Yet I couldn’t go to the funeral because my heart was really racing and at the same time I felt I was going to faint. And so, while the others bade farewell to the dead, I rushed to a nearby clinic – run by a well-known gynecologist whose diagnosis was ectopic pregnancy.
Never in my life had I heard that term. At the time, I didn’t know what it meant, but I found out later. And so the doctor said it was very urgent that I check into the clinic for surgery adding that if we waited, it could prove very dangerous. We had just graduated from University and were completely penniless. How were we supposed to pay for the clinic, surgery and the like? “Alright”, the doctor said. “In that case, you should take a cab and go straight to the Nicosia E.R.” – which we did. I won’t relay the events that preceded the surgery because what’s important is that I was indeed operated upon and saved.
But at the Nicosia E.R. doctors did not see eye to eye in terms of the diagnosis. The female doctor that operated on me said it was an ectopic pregnancy; but the head of the hospital’s gynecological department insisted it was a cyst. Their controversy lasted for a week, as the head of the department was supposed to be an authority and he would not tolerate any opinions that were opposed to his own. Thankfully, in the end he backed down and left me to the hands of the doctor, a woman to whom I am grateful to this day. So, what was wrong with me? At the time, the usual practice was for patients to remain in the dark as to what they had and how it had been treated, so I never found out the official ruling. But off the record, an intern I knew from Salonika, who was in the surgery room, told me it was indeed ectopic pregnancy. The embryo was stuck at the edge of the fallopian tube and as it grew it detached and fell down into the belly where it had created a cyst which eventually broke, hence the bleeding. Many years after that, during a laparoscopy, the doctor told me that both my ovaries were untouched and when I relayed what the intern had told me then, he found it very strange. Anyway, I’ve only mentioned this to explain what “cyst” means to me: a sac full of blood, water, hair… and who knows what else, that needs to be cleaned and thrown away.
Now, how this relates to what I was going through at the time… is an altogether different story. We lived in that beautiful house near the dividing line – the nicest house we had ever rented. Because of the situation – the area was considered dangerous and people fled from there en masse– it came at a low rent; otherwise we could have never afforded it. I took the bus to and from Larnaka, saw my therapist and was trying to bring my life into equilibrium amidst a situation that was anything but balanced.
Tension between Marios and I had become so thick that one day I grabbed the fireplace poker, raised it, ready as hell to smash it onto his head. I would have killed him. Given my state of mind, I don’t think I could have controlled myself. For my good fortune, on that very day – it was Sunday, I think – a friend of ours, a gymnast, happened to be there. He stood in front of me, grasped my hands, lifted them up and used his bearing to immobilize me and cut my access toward him. I was boiling with rage. I tried, but couldn’t escape our friend’s grip; until I finally admitted defeat and surrendered the iron poker to his hands. Numerous have been the times since that day when I thought of how easily a person can commit a crime of passion.
During that same year, after this event had taken place, we were in the bathroom together. I said something that irritated him, I don’t remember how and why. He raised his hand and struck me across the face. You can imagine what ensued. I began screaming “Who are you to dare raise your hand against me…” and I don’t know what else, while at the same time I raised my fist and punched the bathroom door with all my might. The pain spread across my bone all the way up to my elbow. He left, terrified. I knew he was going to bring my doctor and I told him not to. He said he wouldn’t. However, a bit later, he came back with the doctor. At first I refused to see him but it was so embarrassing, keeping the man waiting, so I went to him. He was sitting next to the fireplace, his head lowered, waiting. “Why are you here?” I asked him. “He said your face went black, you were foaming at the mouth, screaming, didn’t know what you were doing…” “Is that so? Did he tell you why?” “No, he didn’t”. “Well, you should’ve asked him”. In any case, I told him what had happened, he saw for his own eyes that I was fine – “always polite with those who are polite” – that I was at no risk and then he got up and left.
Now… why am I relaying all this? Why have these memories sprung to mind? Probably to show you that the entire situation itself could be described as a full cyst… that needed to break and be cleaned.
– Which feeling or feelings relate to this experience?
– What can I tell you… it was so intense. I mean, it almost drove me insane… I felt I was slowly unraveling… It was then that I wrote my first book. I thought I was going crazy. There was no way I could communicate with this man. We were supposed to come to an understanding, be in harmony or at least feel for each other; but no. And so I sought refuge in the psychiatrist who claimed he was also a psychotherapist, but instead of making me feel better, he made things even worse. What is more, based on a few things he had told me, I was afraid lest they shut me up in a psychiatric institution and so I began writing, to hold onto something, to at least converse with myself; but also to prove that it would be unfair and ungrounded for me to become institutionalized, as I would be driven to that point by adverse conditions and against my will.
– What kinds of messages does this give you with regards to what you really want?
– I want… what I’ve already said: clean, humane relations. I want to be able to come to an understanding with people, to… I don’t know how to put it, but it wears me down, not being able to communicate with people. I remember my doctor saying, “Why? People sitting at the coffee-shop can communicate with each other. Why can’t you?” What was I supposed to answer to an “argument” of this sort? I said: “I’m not interested in coffee-shop communication!” “Well, what are you interested in?” Anyway, forget it. It makes me sad, to even think about it. It should be noted, though, that as much as what I describe seems completely unbelievable, it could only happen here in Cyprus where there was no control and anyone could claim any label, any profession they wanted. After I had stopped seeing him, I found out he had indeed begun studies in psychotherapy but he had never got round to completing them. Perhaps that’s why he had helped me during the first year and a half. But afterwards therapy reached a point where it was more damaging than helpful. Then, instead of having the decency to admit he could not help me anymore, he opted for an imperative, castigating pronouncement: “You are completely incapable of forging relationships!” And this because he had made it clear from the beginning that his philosophy was that humans suffer because for some reason they cannot forge relationships. Therefore, if the patient could enter into a relationship with their psychotherapist, then they would become able to forge relationships with other people too. “A paid relationship?” I once asked and he was annoyed. He rejected it claiming that how else would he be able to offer his time; and of course he was right. The question was… was he skilled for something like that?
– How does cyst relate to you at the time when you were four years old?
– Look… I won’t refer to a particular age, but… when I was a child my skin would very often break out in these thick pimples, full of puss. At the time, it was quite common among kids, I don’t know why. So this particular pimple broke out very near my right eye and it was so deep that I almost lost my eye – or so they said. The mark is still there, along with a similar one on the knee. But later, too… in adolescence, just like many kids of that age. When I was married, for a time I used to pop my spots and poke them and as a result they would become infected, like open wounds. I know the sight was repugnant but I felt that somehow that was the visual expression of what I kept inside. I would pop my spots and press them to pour the pus out just as I wanted to do with the wounds I kept inside my soul…
– What feeling or feelings relate to this experience?
– Hmm… I can’t tell. Everything’s so… I suppose it’s what I’ve just said. I wanted to pop open the cysts in my soul and rid them of every impurity so as to finally cleanse my soul…
– What do you know today, but didn’t know then, that would help you make great progress in the way you would react and respond to this experience?
– Look, there’s nothing much to tell about my childhood. But for when I was thirty two… I wish I could… Oh, I don’t know. I don’t think I could have done anything different. I was so confused.