Wednesday, July 25, 2012

love, therapy, cliche (iii)

Wednesday March 8

Poor guy.  I really think I scare him.  He takes such deep breaths, as if each inhalation is an attempt to preserve himself.  I tell him, I haven't been honest with you. I think I should be, but I haven't been.  I wonder if therapy can be effective at all if I am not honest with you?  He doesn't know.  He says he'll have to think about it.  And he does.  He comes back with this answer, he says, you know, I think even if we are in therapy forever, I still wouldn't know everything about you, all of your thoughts.  I say, that's true, but I'm not talking about just my thoughts or just anything. I'm talking about the thoughts that are relevant to the problem.  If I am not honest with you about the problem, how can you help me fix it, right?  Right.  Right, so I will be honest.  I show him my letter. 

It does not go well though.  I mean, it does, but at the same time, it doesn't.  I've let go of that burden, I've exposed the truth, and I feel relieved, free to not be hurt, free to not need anymore.  I always need to do this, confront them, expose them for what they are, then goodbyes are easy to do.  So that part works.  But the other part, the one I fear but hope not to happen, that part doesn't work.  I'm scaring him.  I overwhelm him.  He is too young, too inexperienced to fend off my emotions.  Now I've gone and ruin him.  He is left speechless, his feelings muted amidst the ramblings of my own. 

I try to explain to him that while he is the intended receiver, he is not the object of my emotions.  He is only the priest who forgives in place of God.  I know why.  I tell him, a disturbance has caused it.  I tell him, part of it comes from the victimized psychology of sexual violation.  That's why I, the subject that's been violated, think it's the only form of relationship available to the violated self.  And in red, I say, my obsession is for the body language.  Because my body was violated, I now love the body in place of the love I lack for my self.  I tell him, but it doesn't have to have a tragic ending.  From this, perhaps, we can arrive at an entirely different place, where the body speaks a language completely void of violence.  My body may have came from violence, but your body does not, and that is why I am so in love with it.  In your body, my violence does not exist.  Instead, it is where love begins.  That's why physical presence takes over me.  I confess, I cannot resist the body that is in front of me.  I notice every little thing, especially little things, like fingers, and eyebrows when they are raised.  Then I notice the length of the face and I compare it to the length of the torso.  The flexibility of the antecubital joints.  The smell it gives at different times of day.  The hairs on each knuckle, each arm, and from these I imagine the rest.  I cannot deny the presence of a body, it overwhelms me.  This is why no matter how much I want to love God, I cannot be convinced.  Maybe this is how it is possible to be free of our violent past even if we cannot erase it, through the body of another.


Friday, march 9, the phone call.

My suspicion is confirmed.  My fears have made me into a perpetual liar.  I lie all the time, everywhere.  This knowledge makes me feel more wretched, which compels me to lie in order to cover up my self hate.  I want to call him and tell him this, but I am afraid that he will find this truth to be repulsive, and then I will have no hope left of redemption. 


Saturday, March 10, the phone call I want to make but did not.

I want to call him.  I want to say, hi, this is quan.  I have a heartache.   I believe I am displaying  somatic symptoms of a heartache.  I can't breathe.  I have shortness of breath.  I feel a sternal pain.  I have palpitations, a heavy feeling like the mountains are lumbering on my chest.  I am fatigued, experiencing insomnia and loss of appetite, except I eat all the time because I feel so empty I have to fill myself up with food.  I also want to say, I don't know how I have survived these heartaches before, I have completely forgotten, and I have this intense desire to cry but I can't, it's stuck.  Help me get through it.  Stay, until I dont' need you anymore, then you can go, and I will have learned this lesson for sure this time and will not repeat it.  i swear i will not repeat it.  

So many things I want to tell him.  For example, I want to tell him too about the improvement that I must have made because of therapy.  My husband tells me I seem much better, less combative, less angry, more open to reason and discussion.  I know what he will say.  he will ask me, how that makes me feel.  i will tell him, it doesn't make me feel anything.  i don't have a feeling to respond.  i only have a thought, as i listen to my husband praise my progress in therapy.  i think, i am a very good liar.  i have fooled him.  and it seems, i will have to continue to be an even better liar.  i still have myself to convince.


Monday, March 12

I am an asshole.   I call and call and call, because I feel an intense immediate need to tell him that I am an asshole.  I need forgiveness.  My congregation of disappointments.  Actually, before I think I am an asshole, I first think I suck, and I'm depressed.  My congregation of disappointment paid me a visit.  I feel like my legs have been chopped off, and now I am even shorter than before, except I am not any closer to the ground at all.


Wednesday, March 14

I tell you, I am an asshole.  I tell lies.  And my husband congratulates me on being a better, happier person.  I tell him, my therapist will be happy to hear that.  In fact, my therapist doesn’t say anything about that.  Instead, he asks me how I feel about that.  I say, I don’t feel anything.  Just like I said before.  In fact, I think it makes me a very effective liar.  He asks me what I mean.  I say, my husband thinks therapy has made me a happier person, more reasoned and logical, less angry, less confrontational.  But I am not any of those things.  I simply don’t care enough to be sad or angry, and that, funnily, is making for a better marriage.  My therapist asks me, what do you mean you don’t care enough?  I say, simply that I don’t care enough about my husband or the marriage.  I don’t care to invest my emotions into it.  Therapy didn’t make me different in the relationship.  My therapist asked, what about being different for yourself?  Do you feel any different for yourself?  I think he is right.  Yes, I guess so, I say, I feel I am different, even if it is only because I don’t care, but whatever the reason, the fact that I am not so emotionally invested and taxed all the time makes me happier for me.  And that was good.  That was a good ending to a good session.  The better ending was after the end, while on the way out, I said again how nice the weather outside is, how warm.  He said, yes, spring is here.  I say, it feels like so, but there are no flowers.  I am always pessimistic.  He says, not yet.  He is hopeful like that.  And he is right, of course.   


Thursday, March 22.

This week spring begins, so you leave to go on a hiatus.  I am left to survive my weeks on my own. 

This week I was sick.  I got sick on Sunday, the day you went on vacation.  It is now Thursday, one week and one day since you've been on vacation.  I am still sick.

This morning, the sun is a big round dish of red facing me at the end of the road.  It seems to say that if I can just drive to where the road ends, I can touch it.  So I make myself large, then reach out and pull up all the telephone poles and electric lines and radio towers and railroad tracks and sad sagging houses and cold dark buildings and blinking traffic lights, the criss-crossing of wires on more wires, pull them up like weeds until there is nothing left except me, the road, and the pulsating sun rising where it ends.

I keep thinking, when it's a choice between music or church on Sunday, I would choose music.  You're more likely to know God that way.

Bây giờ bạn đang làm gì vậy?  Bạn đang nghỉ mát ở đâu?  Bạn đang ở cách tôi bao xa?  Hay bạn đã không đi đâu cả mà đang ngồi ở nhà đọc sách?  Bạn đang nằm, hay đang ngồi gác chân lên ghế?  Bạn có nhớ tôi không?  Tôi thì nhớ bạn lắm, và không biết làm gì với bản thân trong những ngày không có bạn bên tôi. 


Monday, March 26.

I've decided that my therapist looks like an ape.  In real life he doesn't look like an ape so much, but in pictures, he does, especially when he takes it standing next to a gorilla.  He's quite ugly, in fact.


Wednesday, March 28

I want to bake him a cake, but that would be too cliche.  Very traditional, in fact, when I'm trying to be anything but traditional.  I come early, sat in the car for twenty minutes, smoked my cigarette.  I want to slow my breathing down, to take it easy, to prepare myself for when I see him again.  it's been two weeks.  and i have not died, my self has not dissolved, neither in ecstacy or in pain. 

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