I was very pleased when I read the blurb for the How To gig to see that the copy mentioned how smitten I am with Dido and that a chapter in the book is called Dido’s Lament. While it is about Dido and all the other animals I have shared our home with it is also a metaphor for death and dying with dignity. In the meantime Dido is my daily consolation and in my eyes she is a work of art. Just as are these brave lines from Gerald Manley Hopkins:
O the mind, mind has mountains; cliffs of fall
Frightful, sheer, no-man-fathomed. Hold them cheap
May who ne’er hung there.
Yes, Dido is my consolation.
Jane Haynes met Christopher Prendergast after they were both invited to speak by the Royal Society of Literature on ‘What’s so great about Proust’ in 2010. They have continued a dialogue ever since. Jane’s interest in Proust was a later-life discovery, having spent most of it imagining him to be a bore. Regrettably, she has only read Proust in translation. Now he exists for Jane – along with RD Laing, Bowlby and Shakespeare – as a welcome internal consultant. Christopher Prendergast is a leading Proust scholar, the general editor of the 2002 Penguin translation of Proust’s A La Recherche du Temps Perdu.
Christopher Prendergast is Fellow of King’s College, Cambridge and Fellow of the British Academy. He is the author of Mirages and Mad Beliefs: Proust the Skeptic, published in 2013. His latest book, Counterfactuals: Paths of the Might Have Been is due out in 2019. He is currently working on a book to be called Living and Dying with Marcel Proust.
How to book: Tickets now available here.
Tickets: £12 (£9 concessions) including a glass of wine or a soft drink.
Thrilled to share space in the Jewish Chronicle with Candice Derman. Feels like I have come ‘Home’ after a long journey…
I liked this comment about my book by nutritional therapist Jeannette Hyde:
Also by Jeannette Hyde on 9th January 2019 in Welldoing.org:
If I Chance to Talk a Little Wild: How Emotional Health Affects Gut Health
“I’m a nutritional therapist. I meet a lot of people with gut issues – chronic loose stools, constipation, wind, bloating, heartburn, unexplained stabbing pains in the abdomen andstomach. Within five minutes of meeting we can be having a very open and detailed conversation about poo consistency, frequency, smell, continence (do you make it to the loo on time?).
There is ALWAYS a box of tissues in my office. Talking about this can be very upsetting. Often this is the first time many people have had a chance to share in graphic and painful detail what has been happening to them. Many have suffered for years in silence and feel great shame and pain. Their guts they say are “ruling my life”. Some can’t share a bed or office with other people. Some have shut down entire social lives because of their symptoms. Although they may have seen their doctor many times, the traditional 10-minute appointment hasn’t given them the space to talk about their guts openly. Many have been diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a label bestowed when doctors can’t find anything visibly wrong with the gut on a colonoscopy, a diagnosis which leaves many in limbo and frustrated. They are often told to “just live with it”.
So I was intrigued when I recently met Jane Haynes, a London-based psychotherapist and author of recently-published book – If I Chance to Talk a Little Wild – to discover a whole chapter entitled Gutted: The Loneliness of Pain where she writes graphically about the taboo subject of the bowels, and her own decades living with IBS.
Jane has lived through the decades of different approaches to IBS, the special diets, the raw diet, the cooked food diet, the one where the tomato “is akin to poison” while in another it is touted as the best thing. She points out that the latest hypotheses suggesting that IBS is connected with brain, spine, nervous system, and gut microbiome (our gut bacteria) balance. And this is where it gets really interesting to hear about IBS from a psychotherapist.
Jane describes the pain she lives in chronic company with as bowel contractions on the pain score level of child birth. She talks of the bowels being the most demeaned part of the body surrounded by shame and taboo. With the gut-brain connection becoming more recognised – there is a vagus nerve connecting the two – it is now becoming more accepted that early trauma can be a part of the picture. This is the category Jane identifies with.
She recounts her fear of colonoscopy and details the experience of having one after procrastinating for 10 years (camera up anus, paper pants and all that). In the end, she finds it wasn’t as bad as all that. Though the diagnosis was that all looked OK, so she was back at the IBS diagnosis.
In my experience of working with real people (as opposed to lab rats!) IBS is triggered by a whole raft of issues. You need to work through the whole list, as several factors are at play, and a different set for each individual. I often find the gut has a tipping point. It may function OK with one issue, but when several come together it’s like the perfect storm. The list includes breadth of diet, speed of eating, timing of eating, the type of birth you had, if you were breastfed, response to stressors in your life, how many exposures to antibiotics you have had, if you have a latent parasite or yeast infection, individual food intolerances, heavy drinking (many people are in denial on this one). This is the short list – every case is different. The most difficult cases are the ones where you work through all these, including using stool testing for clues, and still the symptoms persist. This is the point where I start to wonder if your gut is reacting to unresolved childhood trauma and I would recommend working with a talking therapist
The more people who are prepared to talk about IBS and the link with trauma, as one of the triggers, the better – and Jane does a daring and welcome job of this.”
If I Chance to Talk a Little Wild, A Memoir of Self and Other by Jane Haynes, published by Quartet Books.
I also liked Kathleen Baird Murray’s comments in her Vogue Diaries:
And this from Naim Attallah, publisher of Quartet Books:
“Jane Haynes can’t stop getting reviews. The latest, by Rebecca Wallersteiner, is on the medical blogsite, The Hippocratic Post and here it is:
‘Relational psychotherapist Jane Haynes’s compelling new book, If I Chance to Talk aLittle Wild, uses both ;personal and clinical experiences to explore complex issues such as parenting, emotional and sexual, abuse and unresolved conflict and is full of fascinating case histories and anecdotes. The memoir vividly explores Haynes’s early life and complex relationship with her mother who suffered a nervous breakdown. Haynes also writes about her own struggles with IBS and panic attacks and juggling motherhood with a successful career as a psychotherapist. In recent years, watching her grandchildren grow up, particularly her youngest grandchild, Bell, aged seven, has inspired her to “think more about the mysteries and magic of child development”.
Her entertaining, unpredictable book is filled with literary references and discussion of the…” View original post (121 more words)
REVIEW FROM THE TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT:
‘If I Chance to Talk a Little Wild’ reviewed in the Hippocratic Post
“Relational psychotherapist Jane Haynes’s compelling, unpredictable new memoir; ‘If I Chance to Talk a Little Wild’ uses both personal and clinical experiences to explore complex issues such as parenting, emotional and sexual abuse and unresolved conflict and is full of fascinating case histories and anecdotes. The memoir vividly explores Hayne’s early life and complex relationship with her mother who suffered a nervous breakdown.
Haynes also writes about her own struggles with IBS and panic attacks and juggling motherhood with a successful career as a psychotherapist. In recent years, watching her grandchildren grow up, particularly her youngest grandchild, Bell, aged seven, has inspired her to ‘think more about the mysteries and magic of child development’. Her stylishly written book is filled with literary references and discussion of the author’s controversial first mentor, the legendary R.D. Laing and his wife.
Born into an orthodox, Ashkenazy Jewish family, in 1944, Haynes grew up in “bomb shattered London” and attended boarding school in Surrey. In her book Haynes explores her early life and her complex relationship with her mother who suffered a nervous breakdown.
“I found myself parented by a father who was suffering from undiagnosed neuro-syphilis and a vulnerable mother who had developed bi-polar disorder,” she writes. Her refuge and comfort became reading. Later, her isolated and troubled childhood helped in her professional life as a psychotherapist to understand the dilemmas of others.
Haynes originally trained as an actor at the Royal Court Theatre, but after reading ‘The Divided Self’ and working with the psychiatrist R.D. Laing at Kingsley Hall, she trained as a psychotherapist. Like Peter Pan, Laing felt a great deal of frustration with mothers. “I have an image of him sitting cross-legged on the floor, gazing around a room of ‘disciples’ and friends and provoking us with the question: ‘Whose womb would you like to have been born from?” By which she understood him to be reflecting on the lottery of existence and regretting his own genesis.
She achieved her ambition to work with R.D. Laing and became his P.A. during the Dialectics of Liberation Conference at the Round House, in London, in 1967. This brought her into contact with some fascinating characters such as the Beat poet Allen Ginsberg and the Civil Rights black-power campaigner, Stokely Carmichael, who after delivering his subversive readings was banned from returning to the UK.
In the mid 1960s, R.D. Laing was controversially using LSD to unlock both his own and his patients’ unconscious processes. Hitherto Haynes had not seen the idea of a drug-induced transcendent experience as being compatible with motherhood. “I had listened with great interest to accounts of other people’s ‘trips’ and was acutely aware that for some it had not been a taste of Huxley heaven but of Huxley hell; it was clear that there was no knowing which way the drug would take effect until it was too late to turn back.” Her family and older grandchildren listen in fascinated horror when she relates to them that one occasion her curiosity got the better of her and she took pure lysergic acid “as another opportunity of a Laing-assisted trip might not be on offer.” This experience of a transcendent reality and how it felt has continued to feed her imagination ever since.
She goes on to discuss how the instability of her own early attachments have been responsible for an overdeveloped sense of responsibility and need for order which sometimes frustrates her. “If I could be granted some more foolish wishes, I would choose to be reincarnated as a vodka-swigging, sun-worshipping, gender-bending courtesan who could sing in tune. Such wishes will not be well received by my family but I cannot eradicate them,” says Haynes.
Haynes’s book also deals with complex issues surrounding children: “My book is not primarily about child sexual abuse but I hope that it does have some important and different things to say about this tragic and forensic susceptibility that is endemic within human nature. Despite the violent revelations that have continued to erupt in the media since the Jimmy Savile scandal, child sexual abuse is not a twenty first century phenomenon; sadly it has been ever thus. I ask my readers to consider ways in which we can better educate our children to recognise and report sexual transgression, whether it be from family members, professionals or strangers. I suggest that as soon as children learn to use language they should also be taught to speak about their bodily sensations without shame”, explains Haynes.
Haynes spent ten years as a visiting consultant to the Eastern European Institute for Psychoanalytic Studies after Perestroika and was responsible for contributing to the return of psychoanalysis to the academic curriculum. She writes vividly about the Russian obsession with the paranormal and hysteria. “There was the phenomenon of Rasputin, a Siberian peasant who like his contemporary Sigmund Freud, was fascinated by hysteria but, unlike Freud exploited the power of sexual hypnosis. Rasputin thought of himself as Christ like. He manipulated his followers, in ways that Putin now imitates.”
A highly entertaining, unconventional and enlightening read, full of surprising, quirky detail and literary references that makes you think, even if you don’t agree with all of it. I tremendously enjoyed it.
Jayne Haynes originally trained as a Jungian psychotherapist but then ‘defected’ and now refers to herself as a relationship psychotherapist. In 2008, her book Who is it that can tell me who I am? (Little, Brown) was shortlisted for the PEN Ackerley Prize for literary autobiography. She lives and practises in London.”
If I chance to talk a little wild: A Memoir of Self and Other, published by Quartet Books Ltd, November 2018, Priced at £20
Rebecca Wallersteiner is a health and arts journalist, who writes for The Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday, NetDoctor, Telegraph, The Times, Traveller and
The Oldie magazines. She also works for the NHS and is the Hippocratic Post’s roving reporter.