The psychiatrist-psychotherapist, Eleni Karagianni, approaches the heroes of her book with humanity and sweetness.
- Mrs. Karagianni, as a psychiatrist and psychotherapist you have met many people and lived many stories. What request do most people come to you with today?
People come to the therapist's office when something happens that they cannot understand and make sense of, according to the way they have been taught to perceive life. It seems as if there is a crack in the self-evident, which requires new answers, as it raises new questions. It destabilizes them and worries them at the same time. It is the occasion for the first step in self-awareness. Interpersonal relationships are very important as they are often cause of unhappiness and cancellation, the cause of completeness and irreplaceable inner joy. This is the most common reason that leads the steps to the psychotherapist's office. The longing and desire to restore disturbed relationships is great, the simultaneous turning to the self to answer the questions is inevitable. That is, while people begin by considering how much others are responsible for relationship problems, they then explore their own personal responsibility as well. It seems paradoxical, but it always redeems and liberates.
– Miltos, Anna, Alexis and his mother, Irene, George, all the heroes of your book, are all people who have been "educated" in their lives. Who is your favorite hero?
I love all the characters in the book. I greatly appreciate the bravery they display as they face life's hardships. I rejoice in their creativity, their longing to dream, the power to start again.
Regarding the fact that "educated" I would say that they are educated as much as corresponds to the furnace of life. Sometimes one comes out of this furnace stronger, wiser and more mature and sometimes it can be dissolved.
I really love the child stars. I stand in awe of the "Wolf of Solitude" and long to join him on his way back to the speaking arena.
I admire the courage of Petros and I wish that he persists in getting angry so that he can lead his life differently from his parental failures.
I like the moment when the heroes become independent and lead to the climax of the ending, in a way that corresponds to the process every time.
But there are times when I feel my heroes approach me anxiously and always ask the same question: "Is there hope?"
– I was impressed, in some of your stories, by the atmosphere in which you transport us. It is the old Greek household with working hands and a needle. You speak fondly of "a generation lost in transition." You describe the change of an era where, as you characteristically say, "heavy woolen blankets were replaced by light and warm quilts." And did interpersonal relationships change?
It is important to know the history of our family, the history of our place. To realize how much our family tree affects us and how much it will continue to affect us, the patterns that repeat, the family myths that require perpetuation.
I think it is important to look at the previous generations with tenderness and respect their difficulties, as they had to face wars, poverty, lack of opportunities for education. To appreciate their creativity, their longing to produce beauty with meager means.
It is true that there are differences in the way people related in traditional communities in earlier times. Then the need for survival and the way of organizing life emphasized the group, often at the expense of autonomy and individuality. Today we rightly support freedom and personal development, but we are in danger of living alone. It is worth proceeding with the composition of the staff and the collective.
-Forgiveness is at the core of your stories. Because it is
important to forgive?
Forgiveness is primarily the decision not to let the trauma we have suffered continue to hurt us. In Medicine, trauma is defined as the disruption of tissue continuity. Something similar happens with psychological trauma. Therefore, the longer we persist in the trauma, the more our inner harmony is disturbed and at the same time personal growth is hindered.
There is also the danger that the trauma, as long as we keep it, is perpetuating it ourselves. For example, a parent who has suffered abuse may also abuse his children.
When we talk about forgiveness, it does not mean that we do not condemn the act. However, it is necessary to shift to the position of the other, which made it difficult for us the understanding of his personal history.
Forgiveness is a brave act of transcendence that leads to freedom, as it frees itself from the shackles of evil, and regains creativity. Forgiveness reconciles us to human imperfection, helps us understand our own failings, allows us to maintain tenderness towards others and ourselves.
He who forgives looks to the future, he who dwells on trauma dwells on the past, dwells on death.
– "Individual heaven does not exist. Heaven is others and interpersonal relationships," you say in your book. What do you advise the readers of ertnews.gr, how to find their own paradise?
To utilize and enjoy interpersonal relationships. To approach every important person in their life from the beginning, with a spirit of expansion, open to learn from them. Don't be afraid of disagreement, as long as it becomes an occasion for a comprehensive understanding of life. Not to think that they really know others, but on the contrary, that there are always things to discover. To risk to love.
It is the decisive moment when the new mother realizes that she does not just have to take care of her children, but she has the right to participate in the daily miracle of their development, she has the right to enjoy them. It is the moment when others become Heaven.