Attachment and the Psychoanalytic School of Psychology

What makes you think we have time?

I have a client.  A targeted parent father.  He so very much loved his daughter.  She’s nine.  Her mother created all sorts of barriers to the father’s love for his daughter.  Most recently was an effort by the mother to replace the father with her new boyfriend.

The father was set to actively fight for his love in court.  That’s why he contacted me, he wanted my help.  He has a very strong case. 

But then he had a massive stroke that left him paralyzed, conscious but not able to communicate.  It’s severe.  He’ll wind up dying eventually from this stroke and its aftermath, maybe six months, maybe a couple of years, but he’s not going to recover language or the ability to move.

What makes you think we have time?

My heart breaks for his daughter, the love of this dad’s life.  She will never know ever again, the kind words of love from her father, her father’s warm embrace.  Because the mental health people thought there was time, “She’s not ready” to be loved they said.  She needed time, they said.  There is no time.  Don’t they understand how this life thing works, time slips through our fingers, sand flowing away even as we try to hold onto the passing moments.

She had no time, and what little time that little girl had with her father was stolen from her by her mother’s pathology and the therapists’ ignorance.  Now, she will never be able to fix things with her father – ever.  She was robbed of that opportunity by the mental health people and their ignorance.

What makes them think we have time?  We don’t.

What really grieves me is the thought of this little girl at 18 and 25 and 35, for the rest of her life.  Her final memories of her beloved father will be of her cruelty and rejection toward him.  She’ll never have the chance to fix that.  She was robbed of that chance by the ignorance and incompetence of the mental health people who said we had time.  They were wrong. 

We have no time, only now.  We need to fix things now.  The father-daughter bond is too special.  A son’s bond to his mother, or a father and son, or a daughter’s bond to her mother, these are all too important to risk.  We need to fix them, restore love, now.  Not tomorrow, not some imaginary time when things are “ready” – ready to be loved?  How absurd.  Being loved, receiving the love of mom or dad is always a good thing.  Today, yesterday, now, whenever.  A child receiving a father’s love, a mother’s love, is always a good thing.

And we don’t have time.  Don’t you understand how this life thing works?  Children are only children once, and they have only one mother, and only one father.  The love of a father, the love of a mother is too important.  There is no time.  We need to fix things now.

We don’t have time to restore the parent-child bond.  What makes you think that the targeted parent won’t develop cancer, or have a stroke, or die in a car accident… tomorrow.  And then the child never has an opportunity for her father’s love – ever.

And her last memory of her beloved father will be of her cruelty and rejection of him.  A memory for the rest of her life.  Why did they do this to her? The mental health people.  Why did the mental health people do this to her, prevent her from loving her father and receiving her father’s love.  Now, she has lost the chance.  Forever.

It breaks my heart.  And makes me so furious at the ignorance and incompetence in forensic psychology that creates such widespread suffering, grief, and immense tragedy.   The mental health people that prevented this little girl’s bonding with her father are despicable for their ignorance and incompetence, and for what they did to this 9 year-old little girl, robbing her of her father’s love, and burdening her with a tragic final memory of her cruelty and rejection.


We die.  We leave, so that our children can have their turn.

I’ll be leaving at some point.  Of course I will, you didn’t realize that?  You did, but you’re in denial just like those mental health people and the little girl.  They thought they had time.  A fixed and false belief that is maintained despite contrary evidence – a delusion.

It’s the way we cope with our fear and anxiety about our fragility, and our tremendous grief if we ever allowed ourselves to recognize how time will take from us all that we love and everything we hold dear.  Of course it will.  Didn’t you realize that?  Nobody is getting out of this alive.  And I wouldn’t want it any other way.  A world without children would be a terrible place to live.  Our children merit their turn on the rides, their turn at courage and struggle, victory and failure, and love.

I’ve had my 20s and my 30s.  It’s our children’s turn.

I’ll be leaving at some point.  I’ve already had two strokey things, I’m 64 and I never have taken very good care of myself – I’ve had my 20s and my 30s and my 40s, I’m okay.  And reality is real, time moves inexorably forward, for us all.

At 64, I figure I only have one more round of active work in me, if that.  By the time I’m 70 I’m going to be pretty toasty and ready to watch sunsets on my front porch with my whiskey and cigar.  You’re on your own.  And seeing the generation that’s arriving, they’re magnificent.  Your turn.

I’ll be headed over to Barcelona and the Pyrenees in September to scout possibly nesting for my final days in the Spanish Pyrenees.  My next phase is to write books.  I have four or five or six books in me.  There’s two more in the AB-PA series, Foundations was the first, but there’s still Diagnosis, and Treatment to come.  For the last two, Diagnosis and Treatment, I’m just waiting to pull the trigger on those because the time wasn’t right.  No point talking to people who aren’t listening.  I’ll wait til people are listening.

Then I’ll have another four or five books after that.  Writing in the Spanish Pyrenees with a home city of Barcelona… things could be worse.

But that means I’ll only be actively around for a bit more here.  If you want to make use of me, I’m here.  Otherwise, I’m headed off to write and watch sunsets. 

What makes you think we have time?  We don’t.


That little girl misses her father.  She’s lost him.  Forever.  Because the ignorant mental health people thought they had time.  They didn’t.  They were just ignorant, and because of that, she going to suffer for the rest of her life.  Without escape.  They took that from her.

What makes you think we have time?  We need to fix things now.  Today.  Immediately.  Love is always a good thing for a child to receive.  Especially today.

Craig Childress, Psy.D.
Clinical Psychologist