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Cambodian experience

Reflections concerning parental projects

During our stay in Cambodia in December 2012, the question of parental projects was placed between my hands.

In Europe we are all sensitive to this notion and several groups and associations are working on it. Everything must be done so that the child is included in a project without going as far as parental projection on him or her.

Almost 200 children, either orphaned or living in extreme misery, have been treated by Dr Van Acker and myself. These children are not the result of a parental project. More than half of them released major emotional suffering in our hands.

The children talked about the sleeping difficulties, headaches, stomach pains, tightness in the chest, yet most of the time made no complaints.
Our Osteopathic hands perceived significant tensions in the structures of the body, like a wall, a stone or block, underlying suppressed anger, deep sadness, disappointment, great distress, fear too, and always terrible resignation.

These children expressed the history of a people destroyed by genocide in the 1970s, and thirty years of war. As a result, society became totally unstructured, families split up, and moral standards and longstanding systems of solidarity were lost. Cambodia is finding it difficult to recover from its deep wounds. And the main victims are the children.

These children expressed their personal history of being born in social and moral misery, with a lack of parental love, sometimes raped, intoxicated with drugs, with disease or attempts to abort. These children opened their wounded hearts of children abandoned once by the death of a father or a mother, twice when the family was no longer capable of looking after them and entrusted them to the orphanage, and three times when they were separated from their siblings.

Osteopathic treatment has managed to remove the tissue blockages, and will enable these children to integrate this terrible emotional memory into their present. As I write these words I remember the fable of La Fontaine, “The Oak and the Reed”, and with all my heart I hope their bodies remain reeds for as long as possible.