Fictionalized autobiography as personal therapy


The fictionalized autobiographical story of my journey from loveless detachment to loving-kindness and happy marriage

By Jim Byrne, Doctor of Counselling, December 2022


On this page, I want to present the words I used to introduce my new book on my long and difficult journey from maternal deprivation, through relative autistic dissociation, to reasonable emotional intelligence, and delightful loving-kindness and happy marriage:


Author’s Preface

Kindle coverBy Jim Byrne


“Childhood is a nightmare. Children are vulnerable to emotional distortion. Take good care of them, if you know how to love.”

Micky J. Moran, A Very Peculiar Tragedy. (Page 4).



To those who say it is extremely vain of me to write my own autobiography – as if I was “somebody” – I must retort that I did not write this story to enhance my battered ego, but rather to try to heal and recover from a very sad case of childhood developmental trauma.

To those who say it was unfair, unreasonable or paranoid of me to hide behind a fictionalized account of my life, I have to say that I have used fiction to reveal my life rather than to conceal it!

How could that be?

Well, as a matter of historical fact, I retain very few conscious memories of my childhood, as is normally the case with developmental trauma disorder. My childhood is stored in black boxes, in the basement of my mind – beyond direct conscious inspection.

So, since it is impossible to directly inspect my childhood, to see what went wrong, I had to ask myself, “Is it possible to indirectly inspect my childhood, to maximally reveal what went wrong?”

And it was that question that caused me to consider the possibility that, if I created an ‘alter ego’[1], and walked him through what I assume to be the phases and stages of my childhood, this would throw up many insights into how I was deformed and distorted by my childhood experiences.

Kindle coverSo I “created” Daniel O’Beeve – (or was he “given to me” by my non-conscious mind?) – and I walked him through many of the pages which constitute the present book; revealing many interesting insights and stories.

But if that was all I had to go on, it would seem a bit thin, as a personal history; so I also considered the possibility that my dreams and reveries might also contain clues as to what had gone on in my family of origin; and so I began to collect my dreams and reveries in my journal.  It was Sigmund Freud who argued that “dreams are the royal road to the unconscious mind”, and so that is good enough for me, as a justification for that strategy.

Then, thirdly, I decided to write a more straightforward “psychological report” of those aspects of my work on my past which I did beyond the age of 22 years.

The strangest development was that my therapy work – described in Part Two – gave me a couple of visual “archetypes” – or “literary devices” – known as “the little blue bear” and “the yellow-haired rag doll”.

Later, I was “given” other archetypes: Professor Valises, a little blue alien; Sheikh Exal Rambini, a strange sage and spiritual guide; “the little white goat”; and a whole host of others. Each of those archetypes evolved their own stories.

Then I worked hard, for a number of years, weaving all those strands of data into a coherent story of who I was as a child; how that affected my development; and how I escaped from the “stink pot” into which my birth and early life had thrown me.

Finally, by reflecting on my own journey, I was able to extract some guidance notes for readers of this book who might want to work on the healing of their own childhood wounds; and especially their mother-wound.


For more information, go to ABC Bookstore…


The impact of early childhood on adult life

Kindle cover“The child’s first relationship, the one with the mother, acts as a template, as it permanently moulds the individual’s capacities to enter into all later emotional relationships”.

Dr Allan Schore, in The Allan Schore Reader.[1]


When an individual experiences a significant disruption of their bond with their mother, in the first two years of life – or even in the first five – they are highly likely to be marked for life, unless they have a successful curative relationship, including the possibility of a healing experience of psycho-therapy.

The kinds of marking for life that I mean includes the inability to relate successfully to a sex-love partner, in a marriage or marriage-like relation-ship; plus mood disorders and substantial unhappiness. Plus career difficulties.

And the cause of this marking is what some would call a “deep mother wound”, or mother-inflicted emotional damage. (And, it seems, from the research and writing of Dr Allan Schore, that infant boys are more susceptible to being damaged by an unskilful mother than are infant girls).

This book is about such a deep mother-wound, and how it affected the life of one male person; and how he sought to recover from this wound.


For more information, go to ABC Bookstore…


Honest fictions and fictitious truths

Kindle coverThe simplest way to express what is going on in this book is as follows:

This book represents the autobiography of Daniel O’Beeve; but Daniel is actually an imagined alter ego of mine.  So this is really the fictionalized autobiography of Jim Byrne.

However, “fictionalized” does not mean “false” or “untrue”. All of the fictional elements of this book are true. And every true statement in this book is fictional.

None of the characters in this book can be shown, beyond all reasonable doubt, to have lived on planet Earth, or elsewhere.

However, by the same token, none of the characters in this book can he shown to be total fabrications!


For more information, go to ABC Bookstore…


The problem of human memory

Kindle coverTo explain how this structure came into being, and why it has to take this form, I must clarify the fact that there is an objective problem with human memory that has to be got around, in order to access my childhood memories.

The best way to explain this is as follows:

Human memory is not only essential to our daily habits and decision-making. It is also potentially a disrupter of our daily activities.  If all of our memories were activated at once, we would not know what to do, or how to act, or speak or think or feel.

Memory has to work selectively, automatically, and non-consciously in order to helpful.

The way our brain-mind manages the selection of useful memories is to repress out of awareness all those memories which are not currently useful.

And traumatic memories from the past are definitely not helpful in managing our day to day lives. (The automatic actioning of learning based on those memories is important, but we know how to do that non-consciously!)


For more information, go to ABC Bookstore…


My approach to retrieving childhood memories

Kindle coverSome years ago, whenever I (Jim Byrne) set about retrieving my childhood memories, my brain-mind self-protectively closed down. I could not remember anything much from any stage of my childhood, and especially not from the first seven to ten years.

But then I came up with the idea of creating an alter egoDaniel O’Beeve – who is “just like me” in almost every respect; but who is not connected directly into the emotional centres of my brain, or my guts. Therefore, I could “walk him through” some of the experiences that I know I must have had, to see how he makes out. And thereby I can feel a milder form of my own personal history vicariously, by observing his journey and his suffering. And under these conditions, my mind does not go blank or close down.

So that is what I do in Part One of this book. I follow Daniel through the corridors and dungeons of my own rotten life, and observe how he gets on; and I loyally record what I see and hear.

Then, in Part Two, I use a more conventional “psychological analysis” approach to writing a report about my relationship with my mother, which was central to my childhood developmental trauma. Part Two illustrates all the therapeutic techniques that I used to heal my broken heart.

In Part Three, I will present four chapters, as follows:

– What I learned about love and relationships;

– The historical transmission of trauma through ‘races’ or ‘peoples’;

– How I got in touch with the deep pain of my mother’s own childhood developmental trauma;

– And how you can heal your own mother-wound (or father-wound).


For more information, go to ABC Bookstore…


Daniel for cover - 001Then, at the end of this book, I present three updating postscripts; followed by an appendix which will teach you nine ways to process your own mother-wound (or father-wound; or other childhood trauma).

But first, let me introduce, in Chapter 1, the (fictional) “person” who watched over me (from afar), and took a real interest in me, throughout the first forty years of my life: Professor Nuveen Valises (who is almost human; and almost real!)

Do not worry! All will become clear as we proceed.


Jim Byrne, Hebden Bridge, November 2022


You can get more information about this book at your local Amazon outlet, from the following list:, US+   Amazon UK + Ireland  
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Buying from Singapore   Flycrates  

Or: For more information, go to ABC Bookstore…



[1] An ‘alter ego’ is a ‘second self’ or different (hidden) version of oneself (like Superman and Clark Kent; or Jekyll and Hyde).

[1] Rass, E. (2018). The Allan Schore Reader: Setting the course of development. London: Routledge.