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Management of Kim

It will be clear how ineffective Mother was in managing Kim's interference of the baby. Everything was verbal. The picture was usually one whereby the mother appealed for understanding in Kim, as if at twenty months she had sufficient resources of her own to draw upon. Ideas about gentleness and being careful were for discussion after the event. Baby was to become safe from Kim by post-event reasoning rather than protected from injury at the time by Mother's actions. This failure to notice, to take in, to act, left Lucy at risk. As mentioned earlier this mother possesses an alarming passivity which, in relation to the adequate management of Kim and the protection of Lucy, accounted for an experience of inertia that was, for me, at times often very hard to watch. In my observer role I felt at moments identified with the baby, battered by the onslaught from Kim, helpless to prevent the interference and bewildered that Mother seems not to notice or act when needed. These thoughts might very well be in Kim's mind. I have put emphasis on Lucy's needs for protection from Kim but what of Kim's need to be helped to contain her feelings and behaviour? What of her need for Mother to act in such a way as to feel rescued from her impulses in an actual and physical way, to know that these experiences would lead her to a Mother with whom she could be in real contact at that moment; an experience of a mother who could hold and understand the situation; who could be seen to be able herself to act and function in a helpful way. I often felt that Kim must have felt terrified by the internal vortex of her own murderous feelings towards this new baby. It is a terror that I think she is largely left to manage by herself. The relation of this experience for Kim and the state of the mother's own internal world are, I think, central to how Kim deals with her own difficulties.

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