In my last post, I made mention of something I called “ID-Brain”, meaning the state of mind where the irrational, emotion-driven, Freudian-ID-child that lives deep down inside our subconscious mind (the brat) decides to stage a coup, wrests control from the conscious mind and makes life unbearable for us. Things are always problematic when decisions are being made by an irrational, emotionally-driven child! For added fun, the ID-Brain is very literal and can be extremely stubborn. Let me give you an example.
A young woman, let’s call her Molly, came to my office a few years ago with shy bladder syndrome. The issue was not only very awkward for her, but was also getting to be a serious health risk. Bladders can and DO rupture! After some gentle probing, she admitted that she had no idea where the issue had originated or why. She just knew she’d been dealing with it for a long time and the problem was worsening. The coping strategies she’d adopted were exhausting as she struggled to navigate everyday life. Public washrooms were impossible unless there were private stalls that were completely enclosed but only if there was no one else in the washroom. She would go miles out of her way to find a bathroom that met her criteria and the trek could be excruciating. Unfortunately, even if she DID find an enclosed toilet and began to relieve herself, if someone came in, her body would freeze up and she couldn’t go anymore. She would have to leave and find another bathroom.
Molly had tried psychologists, psychiatrists, prescription drugs and all manner of alternative wellness practitioners. Nothing helped. She tried to talk herself through it. Didn’t help either. She felt trapped by this irrational behavior and more than a little like a freak.
Blocks like Molly’s are nearly always caused by the deep subconscious taking an innocent remark or innocuous suggestion quite literally and running with it... ID-Brain!
Clearly, since she’d already tried every appeal to her conscious mind, we had to find and eradicate the root of the problem in the subconscious. With permission, I quickly relaxed her, put her into a hypnotic sleep and took her back in time to when the issue started.
Turned out Molly was a farm kid, at least originally. She’d spent the first four years of her life flourishing in the wilds of nature… but then, the family moved to town. Can you see where this is going? Outside on the farm, she’d urinated wherever she happened to be—just dropped her drawers and peed. No one was there. It didn’t matter. But, the family moved, and little Molly didn’t know the rules had changed. She tried to do the same thing on the front lawn with the entire street watching. Her mother’s response was predictable—half trying to protect her innocent child, half worrying what the neighbours would think—and Molly’s subconscious got the message. ID-brain was humiliated! Urination is embarrassing. Urination must be hidden. You mustn’t pee in public. And Molly’s shy-bladder was born.
Once we knew how the problem started and the message that had been implanted in her subconscious, the solution was simple. With directed discussion between the conscious and unconscious mind, the issue was resolved quickly and easily.
I’m happy to report that Molly is now happily peeing in public toilets all across Canada.
Janet Nahirniak, BEd., MSc.