By Nana Twinkle-Eye, a pseudonym for a co-counsellor
Translated by Joyce Lukkes.
Once upon a time there was a bull who saw a red cloth. He then completely lost it. At that moment, luckily there was a co-counsellor who saw what happened and offered to do a session with him. The bull accepted and sat himself comfortably opposite the co-co'er. The co-counsellor firstly encouraged the bull to discharge all his emotions. Then he asked the bull whether he had been aware before of any pattern related to a red cloth and whether he had experienced losing it completely.
What followed was a dramatic story of the bull who as child loved playing with a red cloth. This cloth was given to him by his mother just after she gave birth; the red blood stains on it reminded him of his birth and the familiar smell of his mother. Whenever he had this cloth between his little hooves during the night it gave him a warm feeling of safety; the scent of his mother on the cloth made him fall asleep peacefully.
Then one day the bull went to his bed and to his surprise the red cloth was not there anymore. He asked his mother 'Where is my red cloth?' His mother laughed carelessly at him and answered, 'You should feel ashamed. You are not a little bull anymore. This morning I saw you had a hard one. It’s about time you started fertilizing cows'. And then his mother was gone. The bull stayed behind, alone in his byre. He released all his emotions by ramming his horns against the sides of the cage, snorted and bellowed, until he collapsed on the bare floor from exhaustion.
The bull felt relieved telling this story. Filled with hope he looked at the co-counsellor. He asked the bull 'So do you know which hidden need is related or connected to this pattern?' Then the lips of the bull started trembling and soon after he was crying like never before. The co-co'er calmed the bull down by saying things like ' Go on' and ' It's OK'. And suddenly the bull dried his eyes and said, 'That's it. Overnight I wasn't allowed to be a little bull anymore. And I just want to be a little bull that falls asleep every night with a red cloth.'
Then the co-co'er asked ‘Would you like me to hold you?’. ‘Yes, please’ the bull replied. He was still feeling a bit shaky. And then time was up.
The bull was given a coming out exercise by counting the bars of his byre. They then hugged each other and planned for the next session. The bull was happy with these sessions and with his renewed self-awareness. He now understood why he always reacted the way he did whenever he saw a red cloth.
So then the bull underwent ten sessions to resolve his feelings of anger towards his mother. It gave him a big relief. And with time it got easier and easier to make contact with his anger.
Then one day he had another session and he felt very upset. He told the co-counsellor that he had been at the cheese farmer’s shop and suddenly realized that the wife of the farmer looked like his mother. While in the store his anger came to the surface; he had felt ashamed and this had made him hyperventilate. The cheese woman then told him to stop behaving so strangely.
How would he deal with this the next time he went to buy cheese in that shop? His companion encouraged him to release all emotions relating to the cheese woman. So he did and he felt relieved again. ‘These sessions are such a safe place to deal with your emotions’ the bull said.
The next week he went over to the shop to buy cheese again. He now was careful and very aware of his latest insight. Even before he could say a word the cheese woman without holding anything back, said, 'And, are we going to be awkward again today?' This time the bull felt very strong and replied ‘If you dare to say such a thing one more time, I will drag you out from behind your counter’. The woman just pretended to be untouched. ‘I see you are not as easy going as you used to be, oh well, you are growing up.’
At the next session the bull was very quiet and found it hard to move. He felt depressed. His bones hurt; he felt in his body that he was getting older. And the co-co'er then invited the bull to discharge, discharge and...discharge.
Now a different story in the same context.
This time it is about a Scottish Highland Bull. This bull had seen a red cloth. And had gone mad as well. This bull too met a co-counsellor who offered him a session and asked if he would like to learn the Pain-to-Power technique. The bull was happy to.
Firstly, the co-co'er asked him to describe the situation in detail such as the exact spot where he had seen the red cloth and whether other bulls had been involved. The bull gave a detailed description of what had happened. It became clear that the red cloth had triggered something in the bull. They agreed on that.
Second step: They agreed that the co-co'er would hold up the red cloth in front of the bull’s nose. And while doing so, for 2 minutes the bull was allowed to say anything that came up while looking at the red cloth. Words kept gushing out like a waterfall. This was then followed by 2 minutes of a solely non-verbal release (funny noises, non verbal sounds, gobbledygook). And after that 2 minutes of complete irrational discharge followed.
Third step: connecting with underlying feelings. The bull felt sadness, anger and a feeling that the world was no longer safe to be able to feel small. Also a feeling of loss, and being pressured to achieve sexually. The bull remembered how his mother had taken away the red cloth and had told him to become sexually active. He made contact with different chains of feelings without provoking a strong release of these (at this point the co-co'er asked the bull to make a picture of the memory of his mother that he could use later in a video session)
Fourth step: what options do you have? The co-co'er asked the bull to think about the various ways he could respond when seeing a red cloth in future (the co-co'er would still hold up the red cloth in front of his nose).
At this point the bull uses his reason, logic thinking or plain creativity:
1. to walk away
2. to keep breathing calmly and looking for a different focus in the landscape
3. to paint the red cloth in a different colour
4. to spit upon the cloth
5. to masturbate on the cloth.
The co-co'er then asked ‘What's your heart's desire? In other words, choose one of your options just created’. The bull chose option two.
Fifth step: to dis-identify the co-co'er. In this case this is not a necessity because the red cloth was the trigger. So instead the bull got a coming out exercise by counting the yellow flowers in the meadow.
The bull was not ready yet for a follow up session. He felt strong enough to face the world, without even having had a very intense session. That night he dreamed about himself and his mother. He had a massive erection, and his mother was dressed in red. She was standing in the grass on the other side of the stream.
When the bull woke up the next day he decided to phone the co-co'er to meet for a video-session. He knew he had to do something like that. They agreed to meet each other the following week.
The co-co'er came and taught him the video-technique. On an imaginary video screen the bull could project his memories. The first question of the co-co'er was ‘What picture do you see there?’ The bull saw himself as a little calf in the byre ramming his horns against its bars because his mother had taken away the red cloth and had said things about his erection and fertilizing females. The co-co'er asks him to talk in the present tense and to use the third person. It became clear that this (traumatic) picture had not been processed yet!
The co-co'er then asked the bull to go to an earlier picture where everything was still OK. Memories came up of how as a young bull he used to play in the meadows with other calves and how his mother protected him with her warm, round body. The co-co'er asked ‘Can you say something loving or supportive to the little bull you see on the screen?’ The bull started to cry a bit while looking at this picture and said ‘You are simply a wonderful innocent Highlander’.
Next the co-co'er asked him to go to the next picture. The bull saw himself lying in the box; through the window moonlight shone in. He was lying comfortably with his red cloth between his hooves. Again the
co-co'er asked him to say something loving to the little bull: 'You are so innocent and actually also very sweet' the bull said.
Next picture. He saw his mother saying to the little bull that he should feel ashamed that he still wants to sleep with the red cloth. He felt this shame instantly whenever he got an erection. Again the co-co'er asked him to say something loving to the little bull. The bull couldn't do it. He felt so angry with his mother who treated him so insensitively. He now saw that he did not deserve this. ‘You don't deserve to be treated like that’ he said softly. ‘What does he deserve?’ the co-co'er asked.
‘He deserves simply a mother that leaves him sleeping with the red cloth, even when he has reached 50’.
‘Can you say to the little bull: I love you’ asked the co-co'er. The bull said these words ‘I love you’ and a blur blocked his eyes. ‘Right’ he said, ‘something is damaged there. This is where it happened. I do not enjoy getting an erection. I can never really enjoy it.’
The co-co'er said ‘What would you like to say to the little bull?’ The bull: ‘In one minute your mother has taken your childhood away and has pushed you into the adult-sexual-bull role. That is awful for you. And she even has told you to feel ashamed!’ The bull started crying. Co-co'er: ‘Can you say: I love you’ Bull: 'Yes, I love you and you don't have to be ashamed for anything. Not even for responding to your mother with an erection in a dream’ and he started laughing while the image of the dream came back. Enough for today.
And so they finished the session by going through all the pictures that passed by and pointing them out on the fingers of the co-counsellor’s hand. After a coming out exercise: ‘How many spots do you have on your skin?’ they said goodbye. The bull's final words were 'I’ll call you when I want another session'.
He felt strong and ready to encounter life. Happily he bought his piece of cheese from the farmer’s wife at the farm’s cheese shop.