Lessons from the story of Cain and Abel: Can we be our brothers keeper? "The most important aspect of the story is the fact that the murderer Cain according to the Bible was the second man on earth and his victim was only the third" Morton Reed
A small innocent child has been killed.
Had the beautiful demur Melanie Wyatt killed her baby, or had something more sinister and unbelievable occurred causing her to wipe the awful deed from her memory?
Morton Reed gives just as much information about each of the characters to make the reader think that each could be culpable of the crime.
The first character I thought of as being culpable was the infant's policeman father who was either at his children's feet or their throat. He loved the baby so much he wanted to swallow (bite) her up. A black out drunk, he may have not even remembered if he had committed the crime or sexually exploited his older daughter Polly.
Sexually exploited children often are caught in re enactment to master the trauma either as victims or perpetrators. The child may have intrusive thoughts. They will often understand what the perpetrator was thinking and know what it feels like to be in his shoes.
Did Polly the physically, verbally sexually abused child kill her younger sibling Denise?
I thought she may be guilty due to the fact that during a play therapy session she threw the doll against the wall as she exclaimed "Daddy told me Mommy lies a lot and that is why God punishes her with bad babies. Mommy and Daddies fight a lot because of God"
I am wondering if a family sculpt exercise with Mom, Dad and Polly could have been a more useful therapeutic modality?
When Mother Melanie started to display features of paranoid schizophrenia, I thought that surely she could be culpable of the crime. Or maybe she and her eight year old daughter together killed the small infant child during one of her hallucinations.
This play is a show stopper and drama stopper because it was far more informative than scary (extreme sexual and physical violence)
Whenever someone asks me how does a court mandated therapist work with the resistance of involuntary clients: perpetrators, victims, accusers and defenders: physical, sexual, emotional and spiritual abuse, I will give them this book. It also serves of an example of the importance of not explaining away a child's feelings by caregivers and that these feelings need to be expressed and honored.
Shattered Lullabies needs to be required reading for graduate schools in the field of family and marriage counseling.
It leads to an examination of Object RelationsTheory and Klenian investigation into the fantasy life of the child. Therapeutic applications: Content vs Process. An exercise of family sculpting can demonstrated be a useful tool to replace doll and play inquiry.
Shattered Lulabies leads to an examination of what is aggression? Instinct vs. Learning? Frustration vs Aggression? Poverty theory?. The Cycle of deprivation?. Sibling rivalry theory and projective identification?
I will wait for the film to come out as it will be a sequel to Gone Girl. This time it will be called "All Gone" a comment children often say when they get rid of negative feelings by flushing it away the way eight year old Polly did.
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