A 50-year-old man suddenly finds his psychic life shaken by an unexpected discovery: a chance conversation with an elderly cousin of his father’s reveals the latter had not died of natural causes, as he had believed for 42 years, but had committed suicide. This dramatic shock leads to an intense process of dissociation: on one hand, the same 50-year-old adult now has to deal with the realisation that his father had not died in the way he had always thought, on the other, the 8-year-old boy, becoming personified again on the imaginal plane, reveals himself as he discovers his father has hung himself. The adult reflects and understands, empathising with the drama that overtook his father – the child is overcome with despair, anger, incredulity, trying his heart out. He is inconsolable for what has happened. Fragments of memory and images explode in the emotive chaos of attempting a new recomposition of the episode. The man turns to the judicial authorities to try to obtain an “objective” report of the facts, as for some years he has had no contact with his mother, the only direct witness to the suicide. After reading the Carabinieri’s 1974 report, the man quizzes family and friends to find out whether others knew of the events and to what extent he has been kept in the dark. The bitter surprise is that everyone knew: his ex-wife, relatives, acquaintances. He realises he has been living in a real-life Truman Show. Our intention is to address these events catamnestically highlighting and analysing through psychodrama the trauma’s imaginal psychic evolutions taking place during the course of psychotherapy.
Of particular interest are the dissociative phenomena and the dynamics of the complex between the parts of the personality involved in the process of reaction to the trauma, in addition to the implications of the family “secret” in the structuring of the personality itself.