Author: Maria Davits
Individuation with the Carbonseries
by Maria Davits
Individuation with the Carbon Series
I present this case because I had a lot of pleasure with this patient the last year. The pleasure arose form a few sources. The first is that we could look to her problems with the same kind of humor and we were laughing a lot during the consultations. That was already healing.
The second reason is that the treatment was so successful. In a years time she caught up with her individuation process that was blocked from early infancy.
A third reason was that the patient was open about her problems. This made the themes clear and obvious, so I didn’t have to struggle much to detect what was really going on in her. At the same time, her themes were known to me quite well, knowing the Carbonseries. So it was quite easy to find the right prescriptions.
A 28-year-old woman consults me with the following symptoms: tiredness, unhappiness and a general feeling of insecurity. She didn’t know who she was, did what others expected her to do and did not feel good enough, thinking others were better. Overall she expressed her condition with the Dutch saying "I don’t feel good in my skin".
The women who sat opposite of me looked like a tough guy, she had a punkhairstyle, she was childish and in a way funny. She worked as a carpenter on a shipbuilding yard and her colleagues were only men.
When I asked her about physical complaints she said that as a child she had eczema in the bends of elbows and knees. Now from time to time she had redness around her eyes. Sometimes eruptions on the palms of her hands and the soles of her feet, it could be like little vesicles. A year ago she had a crusty rash on chin and around her mouth.
She sometimes had a headache, not especially related to anything, bad sleep and from time to time eating fits, especially chips, cookies and ice cream.
Story of her life
Her parents divorced when she was 5 years old. After that she stayed with her mother. One year later she went to her father, because her mother didn’t take care for her anymore. After a short while the new girlfriend of her father gave birth to twins.
The general feeling she had at that moment was I hope I can stay here, I hope they don’t kick me out of this house. All the attention went to the twins and she adapted herself completely. She could never express her anger out of fear of being kicked out of the house of her father.
Meanwhile she saw her mother from time to time. Her mother had four other children with her new partner. She never felt save in her mother’s house, she was afraid, thinking "what do I do here? How must I behave?". She remembered that she always had a cough when she came home from her mother’s house.
I asked about relationships with men. Relationships with men came to nothing. She always adapted herself completely. She said: What does it matter, I’m already glad that somebody wants me. She felt as if she was thrown away. She always thought "maybe someone will pick me up and maybe I can stay then with him".
This is more or less her story, what to do?
The first remedy I gave her was Magnesium muriaticum MK. The idea was that she felt like an orphan, thrown away by her parents after their divorce. This is the remedy I start with in cases where the parents are divorced when the child is young. Magnesium muriaticum is the main remedy for this situation with its essence being "quarrels result in loss of care", this of course when no other remedy is clearly indicated. The prescription is also indicated by the fact that she never could become angry (Magnesium), otherwise she was kicked out of the house and would be without care (muriaticum).
Follow-up after Magnesium muriaticum MK
One month after Magnesium muriaticum MK she had the feeling she was more in her body. A few times she had even been angry at her work when someone didn’t respect her. But she still had the feeling of not being of much worth. She said that for the first time in her life she was aware of the theme "giving and taking". Before she just did what someone expected of her, but now she could make a choice. There is a general and emotional amelioration. So I repeated the remedy.
Follow-up after 2 months
She still felt unworthy, guilty and shameful. She felt that she wasn’t allowed to exist. She felt that she blundered in her job. I asked more about her birth and childhood. Her mother had a postnatal depression. As a baby she cried all the time. She had been breast-fed as a child.
Here we can see that her feelings of being without much value can be traced back to her early infancy. In general feelings of self-respect are the strongest in the Carbonseries. This series reflects the development of humans in childhood. It has to do with the development of the ego, the individuation process that gives people self-respect.
In this situation the problem started as a baby. Her mother wasn’t there for her due to the postnatal depression. This is a strong indication for Lithium muriaticum. Lithium is the situation of the baby, and as a baby she didn’t have a mother, which points to muriaticum. She missed the care that is essential in muriaticum. So I gave her Lithium muriaticum MK.
Follow-up Lithium muriaticum MK
The first week after the remedy, she was coughing all day and her body was painful everywhere. After that she experienced herself as a baby for a few days. It was a lovely feeling as a baby. She was longing for someone nourishing and caressing her. Even when she didn’t get it, it was good to experience it, and that she was feeling something. She said that she wanted to
experience it more, the feeling of being cared for and fed.
When she came back into reality she had a terrible fear of failure. She had the feeling that she couldn’t handle normal life.
My analysis was that she had developed further. She could experience herself as a baby with good feelings. This instead of her situation as a baby when she was crying all the time. I wanted to repeat the Lithium muriaticum, but her request for being cared for and fed made me think of Lac maternum. So I decided to prescribe Lac maternum MK, as an in between remedy, thinking to return to the Lithium muriaticum later on.
Follow-up one month after Lac maternum MK
She said, "I feel as if I have passed my shame. For the first time in my life I feel like a woman, I don’t want to be as a man anymore. Maybe I’m going to paint my fingernails when I go to my job. I should like to have a
relationship, but I am afraid that I will adapt myself again completely and I don’t want to do that". I analyzed that her development is going fast. The need for care and nourishment isn’t a point of focus anymore. The Lac maternum triggered the process of accepting and acknowledging herself as a woman. The motherly aspect of the mother milk probably has to do with this development, but now the attention goes to relationships. These have always been troublesome for her. The sulphuricums have this in the highest degree. A confirmation for this group is the fact that she wants to paint her fingernails. This is very female, but also has to with attracting a man.
The sulphuricums have beauty and seduction strongly as symptoms, but she’s afraid of starting a relationship out of fear that she will adapt completely to a man as she had done in the past. She fears that she will loose herself in the relationship. This points
to Beryllium which has an essence of adapting and giving away your identity. So I prescribed Beryllium sulphuricum for her.
Follow-up Beryllium sulphuricum MK
One month after Beryllium sulphuricum MK she’s doing very well. Emotionally she is much stronger, and she feels more and more like a woman. She went shopping for fun with a girlfriend. She said, "I must confess that I did some shopping
and that I looked to woman things and I didn’t feel ashamed". She said, "I dared to show my womanly side, my soft side.
My analysis was that it’s going very well. Her female side is developing well and she can enjoy it. To keep the process going I repeated Beryllium sulphuricum MK.
Two months after the first Beryllium sulphuricum MK, she doesn’t dare to confess it, but she fell in love. In the beginning she was fearful and tried to hide her fear by being the tough guy again. She didn’t believe in the relationship thinking that it would lead to
nothing, but it went much better than she expected. She says, "I was afraid that I would deliver myself up again, but I was surprised that I could take my own space". She didn’t let herself be pushed into a corner. For the first time in her life she felt a kind of equality in a relationship. In her job however, she feels insecure. With the boys, her colleagues, she is no longer the tough comrade. She doesn't know how to behave, she no longer wants to be a carpenter, but in her relationship and in herself she has the feeling, I am home. So it’s going very well. For the first time in her life her love can be expressed. So I repeat the Beryllium sulphuricum MK.
Three months after the first Beryllium sulphuricum MK.
She has had much coughing during the whole month from time to time. Her coughing up was difficult, but every time that she had the feeling that people were listening to her, it became looser. Her eczema had come back. It was located around her eyes, nose and bends of elbows and knees, with many cracks, like it was when she was a child.
Her relationship was good, she feels very much in love and even thinks of the possibility of living together, but constantly she has the feeling that she wants to do things herself. "I want to do it myself, I want to do it myself". She said, "In the past I projected my "I feeling" out. Now I want to keep this "I feeling" to myself, I am afraid to loose it. I want to hold it, to anchor it".
In general she feels better and better. We see old symptoms from her youth coming back, the cough and the eczema, but again we see a shift in focus. Her relationship is going well and is not a point of discussion so much anymore, but now her "I feeling" is a problem. Her ego has become stronger and stronger with the earlier remedies, but now she wants to hold it, anchor it. One could say that she wants it fixed. This is an expression of Stage 10: balance, stable, unstable, fixed, rigid. Her "I" is there, but it’s still unstable, combined this leads to Stage 10 (fix) of the Carbonseries (I, ego): Graphites. The eczema is a very good confirmation for Graphites. The skin is typical for the Carbonseries, the cracks are typical for Stage 10. The prescription was Graphites MK.
Follow-up after Graphites MK
One month after Graphites MK everything goes very well. She feels very good emotionally and physically.
She has the feeling that further treatment isn’t necessary. Her eczema and coughing have disappeared.
She lives together with her boyfriend and is very happy. She says, "A year ago I would have laughed about woman who just wanted a house, a garden and children, but now I must confess that that is what I want most". Her appearance has changed much compared with the year before. She is "shining", her hair is longer and more female. Quite a contrast with the tough guy I started with.
A few months later she phones again, everything is going very well. She has a new job as a receptionist. This gives her some feelings of insecurity and that’s why she asks for a repetition of a dose of Graphites. Her relationship is going well and she has no more complaints.
Graphites MK is repeated.
This case is a good example of the theme of individuation of the Carbonseries. It looks as if she is going through the process of ego
development late in life. Three remedies of the Carbonseries were given in the sequence they are in the series: Lithium (muriaticum), Beryllium (sulphuricum) and Graphites. With each remedy her ego and self-respect became stronger.
Change of remedies, especially when done quickly, is a point of discussion in homeopathy, but for me the most important rule is to prescribe for what is there, here and now. I want to follow the patient, so as the patient’s goes to another problem, one has to prescribe another remedy. That’s according to the law of Similars. For me the change of remedies was like an experiment and I can only say that it was very successful.
This case is also an example of prescribing on themes and how it can be very reliable and satisfactory. I hardly used the repertory, but just analyzed the themes.
Another point of discussion in homeopathy is the "cure". Is this patient cured? My view is that she’s in development and has ameliorated in health quite a lot, but that doesn’t mean that she’s completely cured. It could very well be that she will return in the next year or so with another problem.
Life goes on.