香山リカのココロの万華鏡:いくつになっても /東京

(Mainichi Japan) October 9, 2011
Kaleidoscope of the Heart: Seek your parents' attention, but also learn to be an adult
香山リカのココロの万華鏡:いくつになっても /東京

There are many people who hold grudges against their parents all their lives.
 「親子問題」をいつまでも引きずる人が目立つ。

In my consultation room, I often encounter cases when patients in their -- let's say 60s -- discuss issues they have with their parents.
 診察室でも、「80代の親への不満、怒りを訴える60代」に会う機会はめずらしくない。

"I understand that you were deeply hurt by what your parents told you in the past, but, see, your mother is getting quite old, isn't it time to bury the hatchet?," I used to say, but one time it struck me that I wasn't perfectly grasping the situation.
Those people are not blaming their parents -- they are just seeking their attention.
「昔、言われた言葉に傷つけられたのが忘れられないというのはわかりますが、まあ、お母さんも高齢なんだからそろそろ許してあげても……」などと常識的なことを口にしようとして、あるとき、気づいた。「この人は、親を責めたいのではなくて、親に甘えたいのではないだろうか……」。

I realized that behind the anger in their faces, every time they talk against their parents, there is a child who says, "Mom, please look at me!"
親への怒りを語り続ける人の顔に、「ねえねえ、お母さん、こっち見てよ」と親の気を引こうとする子どもが見えた気がしたからだ。

As much as it sounds unbelievable that people in their 60s would still seek their parents' attention, it may be that such feelings are rather deeply rooted.
 60歳にもなって「親に甘えたい」だなんて、とあきれる人もいるかもしれないが、この感情は思いのほか根が深い。

After all, we all need someone to whom we could totally rely on, someone who would listen and understand us, someone who would always protect us.
親に限らなくてもいいかもしれないのだが、私たちはいくつになっても誰かに全面的に頼りたい、わかってもらいたい、守ってもらいたい、と望むものなのではないか。

As I was thinking about this topic, I became interested in up to what age people long for their parents' attention.
 いったい人は、何歳まで「親に甘えたい」と思うものなのか。

In search of an answer, I began reading Toyo Shibata's most recent publication, "Hyakusai" (100 years old).
 そんなことを考えながら、柴田トヨさんの新刊「百歳」を読んだ。

Last year, Shibata published her first book -- a poem anthology -- at the age of 99 and it quickly became a bestseller.
トヨさんは昨年、99歳で初の詩集を刊行し、それがいきなりミリオンセラーとなった。

In her second book, "Hyakusai," apart from poems, she has also written a few biographical essays, where she often refers to her late mother.
In one of the essays, Shibata writes about a dream she had of talking to her mother about this and that, while her mother was standing beside her sleeping bed.
「百歳」には詩以外にも自伝的エッセーも載っているのだが、そこに亡くなった母親が夢枕に立つ話が書かれていた。黙って自分を見つめている母親に、トヨさんはあれこれ語りかける。

Shibata then concluded the essay with these words -- "No matter how old I get, I'll always miss my mother."
そして、こうきっぱり述べているのだ。「いくつになっても親は恋しいのです」

So, in the end, even at the age of 100 people would still miss their parents and would still want to be heard by them.
 そうか、百歳になっても、人は親が恋しい、親にあれこれ聞いてもらいたい、と思うものなのだ。

If Shibata feels this way, then there is nothing abnormal about my elderly patients.
トヨさんでさえそうなのだとしたら、診察室で60代の人たちが、「先生、私の親ったらひどいんですよ」と思慕の裏返しのような不満、怒りを語ったとしても、おかしくないかもしれない。

The next time when a patient comes to me and complains about their parents, I will tell them the following: "I understand, after all you are only 67 -- you are still at the age when your parents' words mean so much to you."
 次にそういう人がやって来たら、こう言ってあげようか。「そうですよね、あなたはたった67歳ですものね。まだまだ親の言葉が気になる年齢ですよ」

Having said that, I think people should acknowledge that there is a time when we all need to start growing up.
 とはいえ、やっぱり私たちはどこかでおとなにならなければならないのも、たしかだ。

We can still miss our parents and still long for their attention, but at the same time we should be ready to step out on our own feet as adults.
「親が気になる、親が恋しい」という自分は認めつつも、きちんとひとり立ちしていく。

Then, if the situation requires it, we should shift roles and become our parents' caregivers.
さらには、必要があれば今度は親を守る立場を引き受ける。そんな覚悟も必要なのだ。

Becoming an adult is not an easy thing to do.
おとなになるって、たいへんなことだ。

(By Rika Kayama, psychiatrist)
毎日新聞 2011年10月4日 地方版
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by kiyoshimat | 2011-10-10 05:43 | 英字新聞

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