Through a dual burden carried out over the course of years, a middle-aged woman had made the professional ascent of her husband possible. Meanwhile, he has been well-established professionally and the mutual children have continued to mature. She became depressive. He cared for her, provided her with relaxation and managed the whole shop without any effort. She developed a mania. Now he was desperate. During the course of a common conversation, these phases had already occurred repeatedly. I had a picture of a paternoster lift: When the one cabin goes up, the other goes down. And both meet one another only briefly. Both hung on the same wire and both measured one another according to the same norms and could no longer appreciate one another. Both desired nearness and nevertheless constantly raced past one another.
"The existing pace caused me to become dizzy, the futile struggle awakened sadness in me. And the apparent absoluteness of the standard "achievement potential" caused me to black out and become helpless. At the same time, both responsibilities implored of me that I should demonstrate "whatever possible" and provide whatever I could. However, the more I relaxed with this situation, the more surely I was convinced that one of my two ideas and efforts would be negated. To some extent, the manic-depressive topic had now established itself between us."
"Only after I had admitted my powerlessness, were we able to make our absolutely staid standard of the achievement potential to a topic. Through a detour by way of my own sensations, I was able to contribute and to reflect about the accumulated sadness and the futile wringing for closeness. And I began to suspect that the therapeutic work with manic-depressive individuals involves a walk on the tightrope in more ways than one - between the needs and standards of the members of the family and between the perception of one's own moods and the warding off of those from others."
(Source: T. Bock, Achterbahn der Gefühle, Balance – Buch und Medien Verlag, Germany)