I hate what comes out of my mouth: a case of Corvus corax
A 54 year old lady was referred to Bristol Homeopathic Hospital by her GP, suffering with menopausal symptoms and hot flushes. She has a striking appearance, dressed all in black.
Patient (P): I have hot flushes and mood swings. I get extremely angry – I mean really, really angry. There is tension that I can’t cope with. You get used to it when you are having periods, but once your periods stop, you don’t understand what it is. It is horrendous, very difficult, so very challenging.
Fight or flight
P: I teach 16 to18 year olds. My God, the number of times I have thought of resigning. I am one of the last few who don’t tolerate bad manners and rudeness. If you don’t hit the mark, you don’t get funding, so you end up having to teach them English and maths – it becomes a fight or flight situation.
I’m tired of working like that, but I’m not in a position to be able to consider not working. I also teach 19 year olds and that brings its own problems. They are single parents. A teacher should help all the kids, all the downs and outs. I’ve done what I can. I had to be tough. It is not just the job, there are other problems.
P: I lost my mum four years ago. It’s still very difficult. It’s crazy, we all knew it was going to be very hard for me, very emotional, but I can’t not survive. I’m trying to come to terms that I have not got a mum. I’ve got to be grown up. I always turned to her and burdened her with my problems.
It has split the family since she has gone – I think I have something to do with that. My sister is strong natured, you can guess how bossy she is, and my brother is a teacher. I met my husband ten years ago. My parents divorced when I was 13. My mother went between us all and linked us and since she is no longer with us, that has all gone.
P: I have always been so opinionated and it’s always getting me into trouble. I always tell it like it is, maybe I shouldn’t.
I have one daughter, she is beautiful, lovely, but does not pay a penny and she shows no respect. She was very close to my mum, she was doing well, then my mum passed away suddenly, and then she was not going to college. She didn’t take her exams. She got a full time job, she tried to hold it down but she cracked. She is lazy and I’ve shelled out (= spent) so much money on her.
P: I have a great husband, he is very supportive. Sometimes I just don’t get it, he is so good, I’m not sure where I’d be without him. I have suicidal thoughts, I am such a burden. My daughter is in debt, this is not a good start at 21.
I don’t see my brothers and sisters anymore. It’s not right, we are blood, but we don’t get on. I’ve tried, but my husband was made redundant, we are so broke (= no money) but do you charge your family (to do some work for them)? I beat myself up all the time.
Helene Beaumont (HB): Tell me about beating yourself up?
P: I hate myself, I hate what comes out of my mouth. It’s like I’m two people.
I hate myself, why do I say it? At work, it has become a “joke” in inverted commas.
It’s like I’ve got Tourette’s – I have a way of stating the bleeding obvious – everyone might agree with me but I have to be the one to say it.
My previous boss admired my teaching skills, but I am a firer, they load me up and point me, and I fire the bullets. I get my way or it’s the highway. I stick to the rules but I am forceful.
Black and white
P: I have to teach this little lad whose mum is an alcoholic, but he doesn’t play the game. I tried so hard to find a way in. He loved black music. My husband can relate to kids. He played him music by black artists. I found him a work placement in a barber’s shop that did black and white hair. I have good links around the city. But he said he didn’t want to work with black people, and I got embroiled in it and he said I had called him a racist. He arrived late in lessons and I got all agitated and shouted, “You can’t break all the rules”. He went mad, swearing f***ing this and f***ing that and said he would punch me in the face. I said: “Get out!”
To tell the truth is overriding
P: He got suspended, there was a tribunal, I had to give statements. He lied about what had happened and was allowed back in to my lessons. I was totally disrespected. They said off-the-record I was right but they said I had become intimidating. I used to smoke and gossip in the smoking area but HR has become embroiled and the union has no clout at all. I need to remember to protect myself, to tell the truth becomes overriding for me but I expose my vulnerability. I become defenseless and open to attack from others.
P: I want to leave and I can’t, I’ve got into debt and it’s all my fault. My husband has been made redundant four times in six years. I am on a debt plan but it will take ages to come right. I’m too frightened to tell my daughter, as she will think I am crap – perhaps I am?
Doing the dirty
P: I had an awful boss, people say don’t mess with her – she will tell you how it is. I needed to override the boss. It was a battle of loggerheads, I opened a can of worms. I took her to a tribunal, she had bullied me. I did all the late nights, I had a horrific timetable but people now say everyone is afraid of me and they can’t put me working in any centre. There was a disciplinary hearing. No one had tackled this woman before, the union have to get this woman. It became a witch hunt, but then no one would speak to me. It was like I had done the dirty even though everyone was frightened of this woman.
Feeling poor and ashamed
HB: Tell me a bit more about the hot flushes?
P: I feel hot and then I snap. I can’t say I feel hot, why am I such an idiot. It always happens, as soon as I think I’m in charge, better at something – I’m always irritated by stupid drivers. I’m irritated, I shout. I’m so sorry I’m like this, I can’t justify it, I’m disgusted with myself.
I have to say it as it is, everyone expects it of me. I feel loaded. No one else will say it. My husband is more diplomatic. Yesterday I pulled up outside the house and I got SO angry. We can’t do what we want to do with the house. The kitchen is not done, it is only half done, I feel so poor and ashamed.
HB: What is it to be poor?
P: So ashamed, so humiliated, so pushed out by your family.
I need to learn to live without money, I need to learn not to love money but to
make it work.
P: I want to be with my husband, he does something great for me. He cheated on me before, I worried about it and we finished.
Men are men, they are weak, women are not. The same thing happened to my mum. My husband has worked on it, he knows it’s wrong, but it’s difficult to control. We worked it out after a long holiday in America.
He has had nothing but bad luck with his jobs. He has been brilliant but he has got this weakness – he is a bugger. I am determined to work with my husband, to get over it, to fight for him. I’m never afraid to bring it up, we have cried together.
Can I forgive him? No one is perfect, I have made him suffer, but we have to move forward. I can forgive but I can’t forget. If we don’t have sex every four days, I’m worried. He swears he has not done it since but he still goes on internet chat rooms. He is pathetic – not me.
I say “what’s WRONG with you?” But he says he feels unloved
by me because of my moods. No one is perfect, I am lucky to have this man, this
link, this depth, but there are flaws. He has cheated on me and it is hard to
forget. He never knows what mood I will be in. My dad did the same to my mum.
Concern for the planet
HB: What are you passionate about?
P: The world – I am so scared about what is happening out there, the planet, the environment. It’s crazy, we are running out of stuff, you are up to here, and you die, and then you have done nothing. I want to go and live in the country and ride horses.
P: I feel so jealous of some people. My mum left all her money to her new husband, he called me a bitch.
I am so confused by it. I feel as if I don’t trust my judgment now. What was real, or was it just my imagination?
I felt unvalued. I had cared for Mum and there was no respect at all.
I have a crap daughter, a failing job, and a cheating, shit husband. I not sure who this person is any more [herself]. I am just a wife, a mother. They do what they want with me.
Fear of birds flapping
HB: Do you have any fears?
P: Birds – I hate birds, they totally freak me, all their flapping. Seagulls are massive, getting bigger from living off MacDonalds. I can’t believe what is up there, they totally freak me out.
Imprisoned and tortured
P: Big lorries – make me feel panicky. I feel I will be crushed, suffocated. I have dreamt of something bigger than me.
I will be imprisoned, and tortured, how do we escape. I can’t breathe, I can’t see.
I deserve it, it’s all my fault. I feel crazy sometimes. I do the attacking, I scratch, I fight, then I cry.
P: Never a week goes by when I don’t cry, on my own. Something has happened and I am so sorry, I feel such remorse all the time. I do say sorry, I am renowned for it. I say sorry to my husband for my moods.
Alone versus close
P: But if you are misunderstood it is very challenging. How do you react? I bear the scars of upsetting people but I would never be mean to people.
I feel like a loner; no man is an island but I have made this for myself. I don’t do girly things, girls get on my nerves. I have one great friend, we are close, she knows my soft side. She’s a heavy smoker, then I have a fag even though I don’t want one, it calms me down. I’m addicted to smoking. I joined a gym and lost 2 ½ stone since Mum died. It was a family wedding and we were all on show.
P: I felt great but at 54, things have moved to a new level. I am addressing problems and coming to terms with who I am.
I am in a total trap, I am totally disrespected, as if I am on a totally different planet, but I know I am right.
I end up crying in the classroom – do I need HRT? – and then, shouting and shrieking. These hot flushes come back with such vengeance.
The patient had already had Lachesis without any improvement.
There is a lot of conflict, disputes, the tribunals are a me-versus-you scenario. “I become defenseless and open to attack from others.”
There is also sexual jealousy and insecurity. The case is in the animal kingdom.
Which type of animal?
She is hard-working and fears poverty; worries about debt
come down to survival and she feels she has been bullied and disrespected at
work. These could be insect themes.
She mentions travel, feeling suffocated and fearing being crushed; but the main thrust of her case is not tubercular miasm but exclusion by her family and work colleagues. She feels “so ashamed, so humiliated, so pushed out by my family.” “I’m disgusted with myself.” This is an animal remedy in the leprosy miasm.
Far from deceit (snake theme) she is so open about what comes out of her mouth – even if it gets her into trouble. Gossip and issues with communication are themes of the bird kingdom. Concerns about family and the state of the world are bird themes and she also used a bird-analogy – having to “shell out” money.
Besides the fear of flapping birds, her vivid fears can be repertorised. “I will be imprisoned, and tortured, how do I escape. I can’t breathe, I can’t see…” Imprisoned and tortured are specific themes of Falco peregrinus, but bearing in mind that Falco is the only bird that is well represented in the repertory, it can also point to other bird remedies.
The main issue in this case is not the hooded, tortured imprisonment of the falcon, but there is the unfair disciplinary, conflict, humiliation, and blurting out verbal attacks. Jonathan Shore in Birds – Homeopathic Remedies from the Avian Realm says Corvus corax also has dreams of imprisonment, but their outward response is outrage and confrontation. “I deserve it, it’s all my fault. I feel crazy sometimes. I do the attacking, I scratch, I fight, and then I cry.”
Peter Fraser differentiates the crow Corvus splendens and the raven Corvus corax in his book on Birds – Seeking the Freedom of the Sky. Corvus is described as very irritable, anger flares up from the least provocation; “shooting at people with words”. Despite this, Corvus has a desire to help people and has feelings of being blamed unfairly, a keen sense of justice. Corvus is materialistic, even being prepared to steal to have more money or things.
Raven feels tricked out of money or inheritance and feels humiliated and trespassed upon, and tired of having to constantly protect herself from attack. Raven feels not valued by others, not recognised, validated or respected for what they say or do, or who they are. This makes them mad, screaming at the injustice. There is anger, yelling with rage, wanting to cry.
There is a theme of unreality and being unsure what is real. Their reality and truth are denied by the outside world, and this leads to shame and a sense of worthlessness. Jonathan Shore emphasizes the environmental concerns and mentions a theme of black and white in Raven. A suicidal mood came through in the proving.
Otherworldly metaphysical aspects of Raven, harbinger of death and floating between realms, is not apparent in this case.
It is a close call between Crow or Raven.
Prescription: Corvus corax LM3 daily
P: I am fine, I feel so much more reasonable. The job no longer gets to me. I feel more positive and I have made changes. I am thinking of opening a shop.
I have learnt loads these last few months; it is possible to have a goal.
I forgot to mention, I suffer from herpes, the lesions used to take forever to heal. After taking the remedy, I had an attack but I was able to get it under control and it healed so quickly. I am going to aerobics and I absolutely love it.
My family are all ok; it is so much better with my daughter. I am being so reasonable, I am not crying so much. I have been in touch with my Dad and my brother. I do not need to take the drops very often now, I just take them if I feel out of sorts.
HB: What about your hot flushes?
P: Hot flushes – what hot flushes! Laughs!
Flickr: Angry woman; Floyd Brown; CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Wikimedia Commons: A raven (corvus corax); National Park Service; Public domain
Keywords: hot flushes, anger, outspoken, cursing, misunderstood, disrespected, undervalued, cheated, imprisoned, unreal
Remedies: Corvus corax