Europe Edition

2019 Number 1


A refuge

for real

Living in periods of war, or under any regime that imposes by force a degraded condition of our basic rights, that restricts our most essential freedoms and our dignity, implies an adjustment to our habitual way of functioning.

Fear becomes the engine and driving force of our actions. Our body adapts to function with a permanent alert system, in response to imminent, unpredictable, inevitable danger.

When it is our peers who exercise this violence or coercion, we must look for another group of belonging, which is our benchmark. It is what Don Tirso, owner of the Circus, offers to his collaborators; a new home, with its own rules or laws, that protect them from the enemy.

This allowed love and friendship to emerge, conflicts between them to follow a course until a clarifying resolution; that creativity be developed, that its members regain their dignity and be loyal to their group.


The persecutor was left outside, which always facilitates cohesion, but also imposes a prison character on the refuge, which has become claustrophobic.

The reality did not feel true with the long-awaited family of origin so close and so far at the same time. This encourages Mario and Jaime to seek contact, to recover what was left out, even risking their lives and that of their loved ones.

And they meet with the most feared: Jaime with horror and death; Mario with the truth that was missing.

As a survivor, Mario must assimilate the loss of all illusions since reality turns his destiny again. It is the moment when the circus ceases to be a refuge and becomes a space of freedom and life, a real family.

Sometimes the human being prefers to be hanging off a cliff and knowing the truth, which will give coherence to his feelings, rather than living in something safe, which more or less works, but which keeps him in an illusion.

This also occurs in normal social times with family secrets and the non-transparent handling of information, which segregate a part of the truth, leaving what is feared and rejected in the “beyond”, while limiting thinking and feeling. It is what we seek, we take refuge in closed groups or in fanaticism, where we share an idealization, and at the same time we have the illusion of controlling the harmful.

Often, discovering a certain inner truth, a forbidden feeling or thinking or with fearful consequences, is so painful that we prefer to divert our internal pursuits to other areas (or enemies), losing coherence in thinking and connection in feeling, sacrificing our freedom to love or live.

Carolina Bórquez / Psychologist at the University of Chile. Training of psychoanalyst (e), of the Chilean Psychoanalytic Association. Member of the CEF Center for Social Phenomena, collaborator of the Chilean Center for Human Sexuality.

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