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CHRYSSA VELISSARIOU

SONGSOPTOK THE WRITERS BLOG | 7/15/2015 |



Songsoptok: “Marriage is a lifelong symphony with one central theme but the music is played in anew everyday” – this is a rough translation of a line from a short story by Rabindranath Tagore. Do you feel that this comment, made in a period dominated by Victorian romanticism, is true today?

CHRYSSA:  I really do not know what marriage really means today. I only know what marriage means to me, and I am not very sure even about this. Anyway I love Tagore; I am married for twenty years and I have four children. It would be a great thing if “Marriage was a lifelong symphony with one central theme and the music was played in anew everyday”. But I think there are problems to be resolved in the modern world before a couple even starts listening to this lifelong symphony. All I could say is that marriage should be based on love, which means that there should be an idealization of the other, a need to love and be loved without even knowing in fact the other person. Marriage can create a strong bond, the strongest we have after the relationship with our parents.

ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE

My dear one!
My life was transformed
since I met you
I loved to live
but I could not find a reason
to live for myself
I was leaving for others
You gave me this present
and helped me to live for my present

My dear one!
Our past will never be enough for me
Your absence is killing me
I can continue giving of course
But once you become full
you always know when you're in hunger
I do not care about our future
I never did, I just want back
our present, our everyday
It is so pity, this is not only upon my will
Since you are opposite for your reasons...
I let you free but know
Your absence is killing me...
Your absence deprived me of MY “NOW”!
Because YOU were the “now” I chose.


Songsoptok: What, in your opinion, is the real chemistry of an intimate relationship? Do you think that the social institution of marriage is based on that chemistry?

CHRYSSA: Being truly in love is to believe that the other says something true about yourself; he/she reveals your real form to you. To fall in love with him / her means he/she has the answer or an answer to your question: "Who am I?" When you fall in love, you have to admit you’re incomplete and recognize that you need the other one for what he/she can give you to feel complete. Lacan used to say: “To fall in love is to give something you have not”. This means: to fall in love is to recognize your lack and let the other take care of it, set it up on the other. Not to give what you possess, goods and presents, but to give something which you do not possess, something that is beyond you. To realize that, you must accept your lack, your “castration”, as Freud used to say. And that is essentially feminine. Someone really loves from a feminine position. Love feminises the lover. Love is not always mutual. If I fall in love, it is because you are lovable. I'm the one who falls and you dabble in it, because there's something in you that makes me fall in love. It is mutual, because there is a back and forth: the love I have for you is the contributory effect of the cause of love that you are for me. Therefore you are involved. My love for you is not just my problem, but also yours. My love says something about you that you may not know. This does not guarantee in the least that you will respond back to my love: when it happens it is always something like a miracle, it is not calculated in advance. In modern Greece we freely choose our partner and usually we decide together with him/ her to go into marriage. So it is a serious and conscious decision which is in our days taken after an enough long period of living together. As I said before, marriage should be based on love and when it comes, it should create a strong bond, the strongest we have after the relationship with our parents and so unconsciously sometimes it rekindles problems we had with our parents when we were kids. Eventually I do not even want to think that marriage is often some kind of social institution. I do not even recognize such kind of marriages as real marriages.

A NEW KIND OF LOVE

I keep you in my mind
the whole day through
not feeling firing passion
which burnt me before
that's concrete but
your love and presence in my life
makes me complete
Eros is torturing me for years
with horrible wars and
painful depression with
tragic hopeless suicidal obsession
I need your hungry but joyful lust
which heals the wounds and nurtures my wants
I need your steady spontaneous affection
which guides me to work on my being's perfection
I need you so wise as vulnerable you are
Perhaps you don't see it but you've stolen my heart.


Songsoptok:  What according to you are the main factors for keeping marital relationship alive and healthy?

CHRYSSA: As I said first of all marriage must be a serious and conscious decision which is taken after an enough long period of living together, which is based on strong love and because it rekindles problems we had with our parents when we were kids, it needs on this point a very serious attention. The children cannot cope with feelings of rejection by the mother or oedipal problems and because they cannot cope with them, they push them to the unconscious, under the carpet. These operate in hidden, the unconscious does not make them disappear and usually we operate in everyday life with our more adult part. But when we create a strong relationship, either marriage or an intense love or a child, this rekindles all unconscious feelings and problems we had before. These are projected on the partner and often we cannot even understand why we fight. Most marriages do not have substantial problems; people cannot simply withstand each other, projecting things that are from the past, which make it for them difficult to love each other, etc. If you have problems, then you choose a partner who does not suit you. So you continue to have problems. To conclude, marriage for me is a bond between two real adults, who have first resolved their psychological problems in their biggest part and so they can feed emotionally the one the other as long as they live. I do not believe that, if things are as I described them, a marriage would ever have any problem. It cannot remain always in the state of passion but as Aristotle said the best destiny of conjugal love is an affectionate friendship. To maintain a difficult marriage the couple should create a triangulation, which means either a third party that is not necessary to have erotic-sexual relationship with the wife or the husband of course, or the couple to be involved in an activity as art, benefactions etc. or also be occupied with their jobs. The triangulation in the past was succeeded through the extended family. Nowadays the dangerous is the mother to triangulate her bad relationship through marriage with children. Mothers who sleep for example with their children, they do much harm to them and unfortunately it happens often. Otherwise either they are driven to divorce, or there are constant quarrels.

WISH HAPPINESS, A DELPHIC MAXIM

It is so simple to be happy!
Forget for a moment yourself and
meet the joy in the eyes of your loved ones,
now, before and after,
all that you've collected in
the balconies of your mind.
In Antonis's when you were kissing him,
in Thanasis's when you were nursing him,
in Despina's when teaching together ,
when Melina enjoyed the sea,
when Catherine wrote her first poem,
when Vasso was meeting you on Sunday in church,
when Costas was confirming in front of you
with a paper the laws of fall like Galileo,
in Pericles's when you were sitting next to him,
in Kiki's and Maria's when you were returning dizzy
from your student nighters,
in Vasilis's when married,
in Costas's when you tickled his nose,
when Fotis were analyzing to you ancient philosophy,
in Stella's when she was talking to you about her big love,
in Spiros's when he was dreaming.
Happiness is an endless puzzle full of memories,
which accumulate yet,
so you still can smile.


Songsoptok: Very often we see that a happy marital relationship results when one of the partners surrender to the other’s ego. Do you think this is how it should be? Especially since it is most often the woman that surrenders to the man, or more generally to the patriarchal system?

CHRYSSA: No, I reject any kind of surrendering to the other’s ego. This is not then a marriage, this is slavery and I also reject the patriarchal system. I think in fact that the matriarchal system was more near to the nature of the humans. The patriarchal system is a fake system to me which was rooted and cultivated by the instinctive possessiveness of men and the violent imperialistic civilization. That’s why as more women become educated and thoughtful in a society as a whole, the more patriarchalism is beaten and disappeared. In Greece the patriarchal system is almost eliminated, although it was dominating in the epoch my grandmother was a child. To this helped the progressive egalitarianism by law between men and women in all areas and the uniform education of the people no matter gender and without overt sexist discrimination. Small population of Greece and the increasing population of old people also helped to this, since the financial progress of our economy needed both men and women in their productive age working equally.

HOME RAPE

Woman, wife, dame, little girl!
Rose, open rose, red rose, bud
Did you ever really know how fragrant you are?
How many of you really? How many of you?
Could a happy and satisfied mother
give birth to a human beast?
I doubt! You don't take the love you need...
I see trampled roses all over the earth
Some they just lay there waiting their death
Did you ever suspected of how much you've deprived?
Did you ever imagine with how much evil your
daughters and sisters on your ignorance collide?
How many of you have you even let yourself
touch your body?
How many times did you feel raped by your hubby?
How many parts of yourself
you sacrifice on the altar of family peace?
Tell me the truth!
Did you never feel at least a slave of your deeds?
What did they try to teach you?
Your needs and your body are filthy
Your pleasure a danger! Your paradise orgasms a trouble to the ego of your “baby”
Some old witches in Africa or else dare
to cut and mutilate you
in the name of their bias,
of the old terror your lust corrupts your morality
You better never feel it,
that way you are more convenient utensil Glory
You stay pathetic...Your sweetheart can take all he needs
why then to  worry?
Let me ask you something...
Why God offered this festive triumph in your body?
Learn to enjoy it! It's your part of creation's feast!
It is given to promote your power to bear that
you are the columns of life, you deserve to be full at the least!
Dive in your intrinsic given joy, love and ecstasy
so you can bear sperms grafted with buds which have at last
human excellence's identity!


Songsoptok: Tolstoi said in his story THE KREUTZER SONATA “... a marriage without love is no marriage at all, that only love sanctifies marriage, and that the only true marriage is that sanctified by love”. We all agree that this is how it should be. That there should not be a tragic end to any marriage. What is the reason then for the increasing number of divorces in all societies?

CHRYSSA: Simple. The same as the increasing number of people with psychological disorders and mental illnesses. I think that if a couple before to decide marriage makes psychotherapy the same way they make premarital medical examinations there is hope to make healthy relationships and solve problems in marriage. If someone makes a good psychotherapy he clearly understands better his internal world and makes much better choices. The hard part is that if we have problems and we are immature, which happens to the most modern people -who overestimate  the outer material world and neglect the soul- we choose a mate the same immature with equally same problems as we have. So if I am, say, a little neurotic, a little immature and I can find a mature woman/man, this could really help me to improve myself. But because of my problems my option is also neurotic, so I choose a person at the same level of maturity or immaturity as me.  And of course then I destroy myself more and I also destroy my marriage.

I V/S YOU

I do not mind solitude
I seek it
I 'm not disturbed by silence
It heals me
I cannot bear the wish for
fended souls
Tearing for thought I
make you grieve
I suffer from a deadlock
of soul's touch ...
Eros, you selfish tyrant!
Self's cheater!
You let me in two “I” 's fusion
false to hope
ignoring “You”-catalyst
of fission !


Songsoptok: By the word “marriage” we generally think of a well defined relationship built on the tenet of spending the entire life together. Do you think that this in itself creates a type of suffocation which leads to break-ups and divorces?

CHRYSSA:  Well, I think it is really difficult to meet the soul of another person. A whole lifetime is not enough but this, as I already said, presupposes a real love and two well constructed mature personalities. I met men or women for whom the only purpose they could think to make a close relationship with a person of the other gender was sex or make kids... This is not even a close relationship for me.

“THE REAL BELOVED IS THAT ONE WHO IS UNIQUE, WHO IS YOUR BEGINNING AND YOUR END. WHEN YOU FIND THAT ONE, YOU'LL NO LONGER EXPECT ANYTHING ELSE”. ~ RUMI

Once a girl was living near her soul mate and he was unaware of it and blind
Once a man was living near the only girl who could make him happy but he tried to pair with other girls and hurt himself
‘cause he didn't see, he just was blind
He left her go and he travelled on the sea
marking himself with tattoos of sorrow
It just was fatal, blame only fate,
sometimes we're so near happiness but we suffer from blindness
He stayed always a son though he was eager to become a father
She became a mother for every son, even for the father of her sons
She never lived as the woman she dreamt to be
That was the way Fate decided to make them see
Don't blame anyone else, it was just fatal:
the eager father recognized the sole mother
when time had passed and none of them could be saved anymore
Sometimes someone really is your beginning and your end
but blame Fate you miss the in between...
What could we say?
Sometimes that is just fatal...


Songsoptok:  In a very general way, marriage is understood as the cohabitation of man and woman with a view to reproduction. Can this narrow and very physical dimension be the essence of marriage? Doesn’t the success of marriage depends also on a communion between the personality, psychology and above all the soul of the married couple?
What is your opinion? Do you think that in modern society such a definition of marriage is relevant and realistic?

CHRYSSA:  I think I already answered the question. Marriage is based on some form of love, which means that there is an idealization of the other, a need to love and be loved without even knowing in fact the other person. Marriage creates a strong bond, the strongest we have after the relationship with our parents. It is not only for reproduction or only for sex although both of them reinforce the bond and help the marriage, enough the couple is mature to pass from the “I” to “You” and further to “Us”.  Anyway, in my opinion a marriage without love, some kind of strong love between the couple, should not continue to be a marriage.

ISOLATED IN HER MIND’S CABIN

When she returned in the isolation of her room
she supported her head in both hands and wondered
how odd is to lament for what she has lost
how odd is to insist that a human relationship
can rise up from the ashes of a passion
which has been assessed as useless

Her mind was wandering all around this:
Is there love, when you deny love?
May you delete the presence, if you continue to love ?
Does the notion of “To love” contains
the ones of “To accept” or “To correspond”?

Why people who said they loved her abandon her?
Was she ever been loved or even did she ever love?
Do they love her who stay by her
or are they pushed by the need or the habit to do that?
How long does love live finally?
She believed that it lasts forever...
She believed that “to stay near someone” cannot
be meaningless , when you love him


Songsoptok: It seems that in today’s society the clash of personalities, especially within marriage, is an unpleasant reality. Almost 100 years back, D.H.Lawrence said in Lady Chatterley's Lover “The modern cult of personality is excellent for friendship between sexes, and fatal for marriage”. In other words, he thought that the development of woman’s personality is actually a hindrance to successful marriage. What is your opinion? Do you think that it is the inability of the patriarchal society to tolerate the independence of women the main reason for the marital conflicts in today’s society?

CHRYSSA: I think I already answered but I could say something more. First no, the independence of women in a conscious and not a neurotic or a psychotic base is no reason for marital conflicts. The problem for me is the patriarchal society, because no matter what, woman is suppressed in such a society and this does not go with my ideas. In a psychological base now and speaking generally of love and not only marriage, the more a man is dedicated to a woman, the more he tends to accept a parent label for her: so she becomes more disembodied and unapproachable than beloved. And when a woman hangs on a man then she castrates him. So the path is rough. The best destiny of conjugal love is friendship, as I said and Aristotle basically first said. The problem is that men say they do not understand what women wish and women do not know what men expect from them... So what comes as an objection to the Aristotelian solution is that the dialogue between the two sexes is impossible, as Lacan said. Lovers are doomed to continue to learn the other's language indefinitely, palpating, seeking the keys, keys that are always changing. Love is always a labyrinth of misunderstandings, without any output. Therefore, as I said, to really reach the soul of your man or your woman and be bored by him/her takes over a lifetime, enough in advance you are both prepared for it with strong and stable personalities.

THE GOLDEN CAGE

I'm just alone into the crowd!
Choking myself with presences,
That I need but cannot support,
I loved, but I'm exhausted now,
I am a good public benefit Unit...
I cook and clean up right...
I wash dishes and I caress...
Available when they wish it
As vessel of one way pleasure...
Occasionally I get mercy
“Profusely”, “extravagantly”
Do not be underclass, my made!
We don't want that, do we? No, no!
What else could you... Oh no! Do you
Possibly desire more though?
You're covered, secure, unharmed...
Give, give and give! Will you shut up now!
Do not breath, do not do excess! You
Are made for fine, innocent things!
You aren't allowed of...Don't even think!
Falling in love! Oh, what a shame!
Ah... So that it was demon!
You deny the law, the right!
You throw bombs in what we possess
As pillar and hope, as holy blessed!
In the outer fire immediately!
Ought not to exist insufficiently!
Duty! Do not feel! Do not desire!
Adapt! Accept! Switch off right now!
Wipe out yourself! You can, can't you?
In another life you will see,
You'll be paid back... Oh, yes! You do!
In this one it is forbidden
For you to find pleasure again...
Adapt! Accept! Switch off right now!
Duty! Do not feel! Do not desire!


Songsoptok: Do you think that society perceives a divorced man and woman in the same way? Most of the time we see that the woman is blamed for not making the necessary compromises. So the implicit assumption is that the success of a marriage is directly related to the woman’s capacity to compromise. What is your view?

CHRYSSA: A proverb of Greek people says “A quarrel is not evoked by only one person” so a woman only by herself cannot destroy a marriage. There are reasons sourced to both the persons of a couple which destroy their bond even when they are hidden. Anyway I never thought that the gender only could ever be the source of evil in a marriage. This is one more patriarchal prejudice that tends to incriminate and degrade woman as a human being. On the other hand if one looks at the statistics of divorce he will see that the majority of divorces are requested by women. I saw many researches supporting that about three out of four divorces go after women's initiative.  In the (admittedly rare) cases in which it is the man who asks for divorce, the reason he asks for it (whatever it is) is usually clear in both husband and wife. But where the divorce proceedings are instituted by the woman the reasons seem to be unclear sometimes, especially to the man! The man claims in such cases that his wife “went crazy” and asks “suddenly” a divorce. He argues that their relationship “is fine” and he ends up wondering whether the woman has found another man and full of anger he asks again and again: “Oh well what happened to you suddenly?  What is your problem?” It would be very easy and convenient to blame the divorce on a “crazy” woman who grew tired, indignant, woke up one day deranged and suddenly wants “to shake all away” but it would certainly be more useful to try to understand her behavior . The best way to achieve this is by describing the journey of her “madness”. At the beginning of marriage, women are who usually take the “responsibility” of the relationship. Women are who take care not to lose the contact and to maintain proximity in the couple. In case something threatens to spoil the relationship, the woman is the one who runs to make up things. This is because the woman is so programmed to feel that she must take the responsibility for the relationship. She adopts by nature a maternal attitude. But if the partner does not respond to her efforts, the woman begins to complain about everything. For the obligations of the house, for the obligations towards children, for how long they spend together as a couple. Unfortunately, the more she nags, the more her husband goes away. And the more the man goes away, the more she nags, so they baffle to a vicious circle without end. After a few years, where the woman persistently but unsuccessfully tries to correct the relationship, eventually she begins to believe that things are not amenable to change and she declines. She ends up believing that there is absolutely no solution, having tried everything without ever accomplishing anything. This is when she begins to think that the only solution is divorce and begins to carefully plan the details. As long as a woman is planning her “escape”, she stops trying to fix the relationship and the husband and she's absorbed by the practical details of her own life. She turns her lens on herself and tries to help herself and correct the circumstances so they become so favorable that a divorce is possible. This whole shift in energy toward her inner self is accompanied by a seemingly pleasant change: She stops nagging. Unfortunately the man perceives this silence as a message that “all goes well”. This is the main reason that when she finally feels ready and precedes to divorce, the man falls from the clouds.

TO PUT ABOUT MY SOUL

It’s Late! I did all
the unnecessary; but I'm crawling...
To please whom I love!
My man always dissatisfied...
He would prefer the superwoman,
who suited him until recently...
But it's too late! I cannot stand it anymore!
I'm consumed! I'm collapsing!
It is hard to see
The eyes of my children
rounded off  by sadness:
“Will it be again nice
as in the past, Mom?”
They are the reason I must fight.
This task was freely given to me
So I'll continue to insist!
But I need new perspective
and another color spectrum!
The chrysalis is hatched in the cocoon...
Wait! Spring always returns.
As long as we really want to live...
Besides, what more is beyond life,
except nothingness?
Sorry ... I'll take the first!
Life! As long as it lasts!
It is so wonderful, so
Exciting, the communion of life!
There is always something to feel!
Ears and soul meet
The incessant, the enjoyable
chirps of the beings!
My lost half, you will be echoing
Constantly in there! You've been incorporated!
In the before, the after and the forever.
Your tones, though monotonous,
Are essential in the synthesis of
My happiness's Melody.


Songsoptok: Do you think that divorce affects the conscious and the subconscious of the children? What, according to you, could be the effect of a divorce in their adult lives, positive or negative?

CHRYSSA: Yes, I definitely believe that a divorce affects the conscious and the subconscious of the children but this does not mean that a hypocritical marriage does a lesser damage to the children souls. Children should not be used as weapons. This can be done cross-ways too. Perhaps a mom says, for example. “Wait now, when your Dad goes out, I'll give you the chocolate.” Children always understand the negative atmosphere at home when parents quarrel. Children also are aggressive. A person by being aggressive understands aggression. They also perceive lack of love between the parents by not looking at each other, by using an aggressive tone in their voice, by negating each other. And then the children get confused. The child often does not sleep. If you ask the child, “why don't you sleep?” he/she says “I'm afraid”. After a while perhaps he/she continues, “Mom and Dad, do not love one another”; and I speak for children in the age of 2 years... They understand the atmosphere in their home. Children need both dad and mom. They do not know whose part to take. Other children try not to listen! They close their ears. For a divorce the best age for the children is between 6-7 to 12. Afterwards a divorce is better to happen after the end of the child’s adolescence, a much difficult period of his/her life, meaning after he/she is 17 years old. When your child is in the latent age from 6 to 12 i.e. when the child is in school and he/she has more repressed erotic feelings, then the problems of a divorce are softer for the soul of the children. The difficult age is from 3 to 6 in the oedipal phase. Say a girl, in that age is in love with her dad and her dad suddenly disappears. The girl then thinks she is not a good kid, that her father does not want her... The key role for the child's upbringing belongs to the mother, or to that person who will take care of the baby. A good mom reassures the child with her eyes, the little one gets a kind of admiration and acceptance. She caresses the child in his/her first year as much as he/she needs it. If he/she does not get it then, he/she asks for a life for it and he/she will have problems in his/her marriage as an adult. The mother has to care for her child first and not herself without projecting onto the child her own hopes of course. A good mom, if she also has gotten enough love as a child, understands intuitively when the child wants something. The child understands the sound, interest, look, his mom talking... Then he/she becomes calmer and there is no fear of death. Something which is happening in all the animals i.e., a linkage within the first 2-3 hours of life, differently they are abandoned and eaten by predators. It is essential to the baby to be cared by the same person with the same touch, or smell so the child to feel secure in the world. One defective mom is better than five different good ones. In the first months of baby's life, a dad supports the mom practically and psychologically. He becomes a mom's mom by doing housework etc. But often men in that period lose interest in their woman and, while it is doubtful if they themselves got love as children, they compete the baby or make extramarital relationships and destroy their marriage. Dad is needed to the child after his/her second year of life. If your child does get love from his mother at first, he/she learns to abandon his oedipal desires. The boys say subconsciously. “I want to get married, with mom. To have my mom I should kill my father”. You can avoid this instinctive hostility towards the father with a good relationship between the father and the child. If it is so, it is hard to make bad thoughts for him because he loves him. The same happens to the girl. Further the oedipal phase can be wrongly encouraged by the parents themselves. When the couple is doing well, the oedipal phase finishes there and the child says subconsciously, "I’ll find myself a woman like Mom to marry. She belongs to daddy, she loves him and he loves her. A boy understands when mom does not love dad and then he gets the hope to fight for her love subconsciously. Mom can encourage that in various ways. This is wrong, a child through the love relationship which he/she creates with both his/her parents learns to limit his introsexual oedipal feelings in his first two years of life. How to talk to children about the divorce if the age is appropriate? Tell them that “we split because we do not fit, as you may not fit with your girlfriend but it is not your fault. We love you and we will be your parents for the rest of your life. Divorce is not your fault” This must be repeated by the parents to the children a hundred times until they get used to the idea of the divorce and accept it.  All the kids say “I was a bad girl” and you know the “bad” girl has not to do with evil deeds only. The children may masturbate, boys or girls, and they feel this is something bad. They may have done bad thoughts. “I want my mom to die to have my Daddy”, for example. So they consider that for these “bad” deeds and those “bad” thoughts are punished through the divorce of their parents.

AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL

The bright lights,
which were adorning the cities,
were passing in various unique formations
in front of the opaque glass window
of our farewell train's wagon.

I was admiring my seedlings,
for the sake of whose love I still can live,
who were peeping just before
as they were praising the same view
which enthralled me magically.

Who, Almighty The Time, has felt Happiness
the way I had felt it
or the way I avidly conquered?

Yes, I admit it!
My spirit is too
ungrateful and restless
I'm not complacent on the laurels and the glory,
which were or are given to me

Insatiable lioness, my heart!
You forget that your experiences were so many!
Are you justified to still desire to feed your dreams?

Do not fight the nature!
You're here, thanks to your sagginess and to the struggle
which you fought, for which
you prayed to have the strength to live.
You always ought to return back in tears
what was given or was allowed to you,
Your eyes are taps, from which
nobody quenches his thirst.
NO ONE! Only you, you are drying.
Look up! The end is coming galloping
and you were not found worthy
to fear it yet! Think!
You haven't enough time
to explode by emitting light!
Where you searched, you received
thick darkness and loneliness and grief ...

You called for light, then shine!
Go back to your hearth
with your tail between your legs
like a beaten dog.
Ha, you never have been
self lighting, you scatterbrained!

You only were some fuel for the fire...


Songsoptok:  Generally it is the mother who takes care of the children following a divorce. Although children need their mother more while growing up, what kind of impact can the absence of a father figure have on a growing child? So what according to you should be the role of the mother?

CHRYSSA: A father’s love is as important to a child’s emotional development as a mother’s. Dads are not there only as support for the mother and to support the family financially but are required for the healthy development of the children. The dad’s influence is as great, and sometimes greater, than the mother’s especially during children adolescence at least in my home, but it seems this happens generally as many large-scale studies have confirmed. A Greek proverb says “a father is the pillar of the house” meaning a father who is near the children, who spends enough time with them, gives them the best sense of limits, stability and security than anyone else. The relationship between two biological parents determines a lot about how fathers will be involved, and that determines a lot how kids will be in the future. If parents get along, their children tend to be more psychologically and emotionally healthy. Moms who feel their child’s father backs them up are better mothers through all stages of the child’s development.  If my marriage was ever driven into a divorce I would not even imagine that my children would live permanently away from their father or me. The first thing I would reassure would be the best way the children to be deprived of no parent and have the possibility to access the one or the other easily when they need them. Because I can choose my partner, but they do not choose their parents and when you have children it is your duty to be first a parent and then a man or woman with free will. I understand though that the “convenience” the children not to live away from any of their divorced parents, often is not realistic. Then a good mother should find a way to replace the missing father model by means of an adult male (a grandpa, an uncle, a willing and sensitive step father or even a psychologist) who may be near the children throughout their adolescence without the children to lose his support one more time during their childhood. 

AH  DADDY!

The one with the white horse, my Dad,
You said he'd come and make me happy...
Here he is, but he, my Dad, he came late
With his horses exhausted and thirsty...

Fairy tales to me were you saying, Daddy...
You told me there is hope for immortality!
That possibly in my lifetime they'd know
The pill that heals “every disease or sorrow”

You said it, Daddy that we are
The most beloved our gods ilk;
That the defeat and pain unknown they are
To our great perennial kin of the league...

You may have been right, in the end,
To dream about this likely story.
But I’d preferred omnipotent, my Dad,
not to be again to my next worry ...

I can't stand to be always avant-garde;
To get and kill all alone the snake out of its hole;
To remain the last strong leopard,
Alone to lick bleeding wounds in my soul...


Songsoptok: What according to you could be the impact of the growing number of divorces on the next generations? Or do you think this is the way tomorrow’s society will evolve?

CHRYSSA: I think that a society without stabilized families will not evolve well.  We must find ways to improve the situation and not to see the number of the divorces growing further. Today 30% of people need psychotherapy because of problems that begin in childhood and this makes difficult their adulthood too. Beyond the genetic 'dowry' that we have when we are born, we are influenced mainly by the experiences of our first five years, especially our first year. A good marriage is the happiest and the healthiest relationship that we could have in our lives. People are living longer, so they do not get often sick. But because childhood is difficult, usually we do not have good marriages. In every family there are deprivations, frustrations etc which affect us all our lives through. It is impossible all people to make psychoanalysis. I propose, therefore, in the sense of schooling to leave aside useless things and be taught, even since kindergartens, life lessons, namely how to enter in life, how to fix our inner world, to make our relationship, how to choose a partner, a profession and how we become in our lives happier finding a meaning in it.

Thanks a lot for the opportunity you gave me to express my opinion in such crucial themes as marriage, divorce etc in our modern society. My thoughts were enlightened and inspired mostly by the articles about these themes of the great Greek neurologist-psychiatrist Matthew Josafat and others specialists that I refer in my interview. The poems in the interview are my work.

WHAT A LIFE!

Hey life!
You are so beautiful!
I always look at you
just like a fifteen years old adolescent
looks at the woman of his dreams
Although I've learned a lot about you
although I 'm old enough to tame you
I'm still incapable to conquer your heart...
I tried so hard, so many years
to touch you, to catch the sense of you
Useless! You always slip through my fingers
I fight to approach and when I get there
you’re gone, you disappear...
So many times I thought
That’s it! I can stay serene from now on
to enjoy the fruits of my labor
to feel the happiness
which your charms promise
My expectations are unfulfilled by you though
I've never been your protégé
I collect the crumbs under the table of your guests
I'm in the multitudinous underclass crowd of
“Les Misérables”
who beg for mercy
from my birth until shortly before you perishes from my sight.
I never saw the sun zenith
I only enjoyed the sunrise for a while
filling me with hope and
then I found myself watching the sunset...|
I am in hustle
because the little is left to me from you
I will not let it go to waste.
Even so, even though you never noticed me
I'll yell to you
“You're so beautiful!”


CHRYSSA VELISSARIOU: Professor of Physics, specialized in Space Physics, candidate Doctor in Education.  Published in Greek and English in over 20 Anthologies, internet magazines and two personal books. Activist for Peace. World Poetry Canada and International Ambassador to Greece 2014-2016 for Peace.


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