– Jan Scholten
We know the picture of Nat-c. quite well. Vithoulkas (1991 b, page 32) has described beautifully how such persons react. They are very helpful, but after they have taken care of everything, they retire gracefully. They are gentle and very dedicated. But they don’t want any public appreciation of this. They prefer to be alone, or in the company of a few very close and dear friends. It is especially difficult for them to be with people whom they don’t accept.
Grief and depression Giving meaning
Closed, alone Stating values
Restriction Self worth
Denial, forbidden Dignity
Holding on Worker
Graceful withdrawal is a term that can be directly deduced from the group analysis. It is one of the main themes of Nat-c. They would rather be alone in dignity, than feel denied by others.
This leads to a second variation on the theme, namely the idea that they are being slighted, that they are thought worthless. He is alone (Nat) in the appreciation (Carb) of himself. But he holds on to his dignity in silence. He does not need the appreciation of others any more. There is a total denial of his being. He is the only one left, who appreciates his worth. His reaction to this is withdrawal. He feels that he has to carry his dignity on his own and in silence.
A third variation on the theme is denial by society. The idea of not having any value, is expressed in this case as not having any value in society. The social environment just doesn’t notice you, doesn’t think anything of you. This is the same as the picture painted by Sankaran (1991, page 244), Nat-c as the outcast. The typical delusion is the separation between himself and others.
They feel rejected by society and they would rather not have any contact with it any more. They are afraid of people. Also of robbers, who might take away the little that has been left to them. One patient described it as follows: ‘the worst thing that could happen to me was to be ignored’. It is the idea of the ‘persona non grata’, the person in a small community who is completely ignored, because of what he has done. The only thing you can do then is to retire gracefully. There is no sense in getting angry, to start screaming and shouting, or whatever, because nobody is taking any notice. It is as if you don’t exist. You can only go and sit quietly on your own and not react to anything any more. You withdraw in a modest and civilised manner. A typical symptom is (Kent, 1983 a, page 708) ‘Feels a great division between himself and mankind, society, relatives and strangers’.
A fourth variation on the theme is not having a father. Or being abandoned by your father. It is as if he denies your existence by ignoring you. This may also be expressed by the feeling or the idea that your father is dead.
The great sensitivity in Nat-c to atmospheres, people and music is understandable and fitting with the above themes. As is also the gloomy feeling, which they will not show, however, because nobody will take any notice anyway.
A woman of 35 has agoraphobia. She is very tense, it gets worse at the end of the day and she does not dare to go home. The complaints started two years ago. She was head of a nursery school, which was going to be joined to a primary school. The head of the primary school was not very good, but he was still made head of the joint school, because he was a man. This stunned her and she felt very unappreciated. She is an easygoing, open type of person. She has no relationships, she wants to remain free. I had given her Nat-c, because of her local complaints and the keynotes: (