Psychotherapy

I want a heroic failure rather than a paltry success.

I want to heal my hurt. Analogies which seem useful include digestion: old emotion needs experienced, valued, worked through, digested, so that it can pass through me and heal. Dumbledore drinking a cavern-ful of poison, and processing it, comes to mind. I do not cling to my analogies: when they cease to be useful and make reality appear other than it is I want to let them go and find a better one.

My life is quiet, and as you see I am fighting for my life. I could say that, sometimes, to some people, and the judgment that this was ridiculous, which is projected but may be echoed within them-

I want to stop treading water. As you see I am fighting for my life, and I want not just to be fighting, which is wearisome, but to fight better so that I can do something, anything, else as well.

I want to speak from the heart. It is the Real Me. It is my Inner Light. It is truthful. It is strong and beautiful. And something in me judges it as useless, worthless, stupid, unrealistic, totally unsafe.

I expect of you the skills to be like a physiotherapist would be with walking- to see what is precisely the right exercise to take, so that I develop as efficiently as I can. Under your guidance I would push myself in the right way, so that I get stronger, without retraumatising my damaged psyche.

With you, I want to speak from the heart and explore the possibilities of that- to state desire, I said, and look what I am doing now in the hour following. I want to explore the restrictions on that, the judgment, and find ways of lessening them.

The judgment and the hurt exploded in me this morning, and you helped me with that. So, what happened? You asked me to talk about my life beginning with my childhood, and I did not get far.

I want something I can build on.

I said, “My parents loved each other very much. They fitted together beautifully. My mother wore the trousers, and was terrified of anyone finding out. I want [positive language for that, rather than mocking language, language so that I can accept my [pansiness] in myself].” The bit in brackets is the bit I could not say.

If I had a complex fracture of the ankle, such that I moved along on my right foot and my left knee, with a walking stick, and had developed particular muscles to execute this “walk” as quickly as anyone could, we might admire the muscles and see how they might be used better, and note the weakness in unused muscles. The aim would be to walk normally, possibly even to run, but not to put weight on the ankle immediately before finding what it needs. Here the analogy breaks down. We can take the ankle to bits and put it together. We might heal it one bone at a time (not really possible with a real ankle).

So there I was in my state of inner conflict, wanting to use the time profitably and communicate what was needed, needing to hold the pain down in order to do so, barely able to hold it, paralysed. And you told me to open my eyes which would bring me back into the room, because with my eyes closed the emotion would build up (or something. That’s why I want to record this, to analyse, to understand completely.) I thought making eye contact would be good too. And later I turned away and closed my eyes and cudgelled my upper back to open my eyes and turn towards you. And after that I turned away and coaxed myself to turn back.

I thought, OK, that’s a useful tip. I want more like that. Your particular presence may help me with it and I want to trust the world and myself-

Oh fuck. Trust the world and myself??-

and do it generally. So I want exercises and I want homework and I want more tips.

You saw “enormous pain” in me and said “You are living with that all the time.” I don’t know what should be hard or easy, and want together to see that, so that I do it myself better. Most of the time I am not conscious of any pain, really, but always tired, and do little.

There is a beautiful real self, fey, playful, mercurial, hurting and untrusting, and held down by- self-protective impulses in me which want more than anything that nobody sees that self. It’s far too dangerous. I don’t see it myself, properly. I don’t know what it can do. I want to find it, to know it, to value it, to liberate it, to be that mad dancer (and at the same time to negotiate a world of other folk, many lulled to sleep by convention, oppressed by kyriarchy in the interests of kyriarchy, where I may trip up or hurt someone). There are strong impulses in me that fear it and want it to shut up, and it feels those impulses and the Self are diametrically opposed, futilely using all my energy against each other.

In “A Beautiful Mind”, John Nash played by Russell Crowe does mad things prompted by imagined personalities within himself, then takes drugs to suppress them which suppress everything else in his life, and then goes without the drugs learning to ignore those personalities. Possibly I can do that with the impulses. There is just enough evidence at any one time to keep those impulses working, to make their desires seem worthwhile. Possibly with your help I could find better evidence that they are not.

I want to learn to be myself in society, and go out my own front door.

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