Foetal position

File:Chair Louis XIII style 04.jpgI feared this counselling session. I did not want to come. I decided to start in the foetal position I had ended up in. I had various thoughts about how this would turn out, but did not anticipate how good it would be.

-Is that OK with you? She assents. So I lie down and curl up, facing the door.

I feel angry, so I state this. Then it matters less. I admire the door: it is wooden, and I can only see the joins between the planks because of the shape of the grain, not for any visible crack. I uncurl a bit, and notice the texture of the paint on the walls. I feel- playful. I feel curious.
-Relaxed. I throw my arm out.
-Relaxed. I look at the chair, which is the challenge. Yes, I ought to sit up. I discuss this internally, lessen my demand, and (having shown my ability to refuse) go to sit on the chair.

People are extraordinarily closed-minded. There’s Tim, asserting the Bible has no contradictions, and he knows exactly what to say to shut down anyone who asserts otherwise, to his own satisfaction. I say, God’s not like that, inspiration is not like that, I am happy that Gen 1 contradicts Gen 2, and the day Jesus was crucified is different.

Seeing how much effort people put into defending their errors, I am terrified of my own blind spots.


having that terror,

I am defended from blind spots.

File:Charles Rennie Mackintosh - Chair - 1903.jpgWow. I am glad to be here. Saying that aloud, and assenting to it, feels so good, though I do not see any assent from Yvonne.

At N. CAB, the management were wrong, demonstrated because funding was withdrawn before I was there five months. However I created the bullying situation because all I knew how to do was confront. My boss did not like me telling her what to do. Then I did Employment law, where the pressures I put on myself combined with the actual pressures from others overwhelmed me. Then there was the job in Swanston, with a wildly optimistic overestimate of demand for the service. I did my best to get it going, with little support (not communicating, not aware of support) but failed.

I find your screensaver distracting. May I turn it off? Or would you turn it off? She agrees to turn it away from me, but not to turn it off. OK.

I did my best. Failure does not mean I am useless, worthless etc. Though at the time I had all my gifts, and most of my current maturity. Years after it ceases to be an issue, I could perhaps see how to advise on an IB appeal averaging two hours, even perhaps passing peer review, but not how to communicate it.

God, people are so stupid. Could I just exploit that, channel Becky Sharp? I imagine whipping up a patsy’s excitement, and being gone before truth dawns. Not sure I fancy that…

I became aware of my rage and terror around 1999. I have been working on it since.

Now, sitting on the floor again, back against the wall, the screensaver distracts again, but she refuses to turn the monitor further on the spurious grounds that this may affect the cable. We agree another appointment in three weeks.

-It’s better than There. [the foetal position.]
-Sort of adolescent? I assent. I am doing teenage.
-You can think about getting into the chair before we next meet. (I do not express my revolt against that. I am happy enough on the floor for the moment.)

I had been out with friends, and when they dropped me home Steph came rushing out to ask if I could get her Blackberry to work. My phone is more primitive, and I had no idea. I offered my landline, but her Mum will be round and Steph could use her phone.

-Have you taken the battery out? asked J as if this is as obvious as rebooting a PC. So they stared and poked at it, trying to assist. I don’t want to draw a moral from this story, but it pleases me.

2 thoughts on “Foetal position

  1. It pleases me, too … and the secret to the longlasting nature of Alice in Wonderland is her contrariness. “That sounds an awfully lot like nonsense to me.” She is victorious, and with the same moral. “Have you tried liking the water?”

    This is frankly brilliant. People don’t realize the difficulties inherent in crisis, spoken or unspoken. One therapist kept asking me to talk to my father. I told him I was afraid of my father and wouldn’t ask him anything. Period. Then he tried to get me to “talk” to my father as he sat in a chair … and he pulled a chair into the middle of the room. I stared at it, then said, “If my father is in that chair, I’m not saying another word period.” I became Alice aux pays des merveilles. He never understood that I was rejecting him telling me what to do; it wasn’t really about my father. True, I wouldn’t tell my father that I felt anything. We didn’t do that in my family. Feelings were private and shared sparingly and with judicious awareness of the risk.

    The next therapist just sat on one side of his fireplace and I sat on the other. He simply stared. Finally he asked my opinion on my state of mind, “Etes vous un depressif?” I wanted to say, “Mais non, je pense que je sois President De Gaulle.” I slowly relented, knowing that every crucial thing I said, would be written down. I became Alice in Wonderland on purpose, “But you’re confusing me,” I said, “I find you very inquisitive, which is impolite. Could you tell me what you’ve noted thus far and what you are going to do with the it.” They weren’t used to having the Mad Hatter and his tea party at St. Anne Hospital in Paris.

    I don’t like Tim, by the way … I suspect he’s a troubled soul … but far beyond our reach.


    • Well, if you thought you were François Hollande, you would definitely be depressif.

      I find the empty chair a good exercise. Tell him what you think, even though he is not there, and it is liberating. Your inner father has been censoring you, and you would speak without that censorship.

      I am not really enjoying my middle-aged teen life. It mainly consists in negatives. Je suis Madame Non. Sitting on the floor might bring me out a bit, help me to enjoy it.


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