The Sandbox

Amnesia, Art, Healing

2/3/17

5:32AM

Authenticity

A

S, how did therapy go? It’s been a while. 

S

It went fine. No hauling out of the laptop. No reading of transcripts. No crying. It was a pretty good, pretty strong update and session.

T

I was drilling down—trying to figure out what your goals are for your therapy. You seem so fucking GOOD I’m not quite sure what to do or what you need. 

S

We talked about what I think I needed when I first came in—which was easier to discuss in hindsight. Basically I think it was deep understanding—I needed to calm the chaos and the churn. And the pain of Eileen—and the confusion from all of that happened. 

I’m better now—much better. I’ve got a much better grasp of my story. 

But the Eileen piece remains close to me—too close—and I got a dose of it last night almost by way of immediate example. 

A

What happened?

S

Just waves of incredible, perplexing anger. And churning over what to do with it; would an appointment with her help to tell her how much I’ve struggled to recover. Or would just having my story up online—and maybe back into book format—be enough. 

I spoke to Teresa about how that whole package with the daughter haunts me—the nurturing of her trauma and then her blossoming into a trauma junkie. 

I think I am perhaps struggling with my own identity around my Sandbox—what I’ll do with it—how I want it positioned in my life. 

I want to show my work—and want credit for it. 

I want to not walk away from where I came—what I’ve been through—who I was and am which is a survivor. 

But…I am not sure the survivor/healing world is my gig. 

I am pretty sure it’s not. 

A

Our gig is?

S

I’d say if I had to choose a box it would be artist. My materials…clay and words. 

T

Now that I know you wish to be less hair triggered by the bad therapy trauma we’ll work on it. 

S

Thanks. That’ll be good. And I think the timing is perfect for me to move now to once/week. I feel out of the red zone. Interestingly—and surprisingly—to me this has taken a while—for me to feel that I do not need this net twice weekly. 

T

You barely need it at all—my Not Gods you’re about a thousand times more functional than I am. I’m kind of a mess—did I tell you that?

S

No. And it’s okay, T. We don’t need to discuss it. 

A

Go on. 

S

I mentioned that in less than a week I very casually, clearly and easily was able to talk about my story—and my practice. Two very different and good conversations.

T

This was your goal; to tell your story. 

S

Secondary goal, really. The first goal was to find the story. Eight thousand pages of flow—eighteen months of shrinking it—two months now of expanding and connecting it—a few days of bringing it back again and re-organizing it again. 

MLG

We shuffle ourself

Like a deck of cards

The work is daily

The work is hard

S

Anyway…the work I will do in therapy, maybe, we’ll see how this all goes, will be to make this Eileen piece more remote to me. I can feel it as still a little to close—a little too easily able to trigger me. 

Like last night. 

One conversation in therapy where I articulate simply the fact that the trauma, while much better understood, still feels fresh, and boom…last night. 

A

How long did it take to calm? 

S

I’d say about 45 minutes. A lot of breathing and counting. 

A

There is no longer chaos. In fact, it could be that the clarity brings more anger. 

S

I think so, A. I think last night I was able to really feel this clarity and isolation around how bad it was—truly separate from my stuff. Of course I’m me—and part of me is my trauma and past—but still—I was able to really feel clearly how incredibly lost and dysfunctional Eileen was with my therapy. 

B

S, up, up, up onto my park bench.

S

How is the view in PBP this morning?

B

Look out with me…it is not yet 6AM. It is pitch black still. Nothing to see…only our heart to listen to right now. 

S

What do you feel, B?

B

I feel the pain of a professional who abused us. Badly. And who got away with it. This is what we struggle with. 

S

Thanks, B. Thank you for your clarity. 

B

Of course. I am…you. 

S

How do we get better, B?

B

This is the question…this is the churn. What will help most to resolve this pain? We shall never forget but we can of course get better and better. 

S

What do you think will help?

B

Being honest with self—as we do each morning with intensity in here. 

S

Anything else?

B

Work on this with Teresa; work on this question and thought. 

S

I feel the pain of a professional who abused us. Badly. And who got away with it. This is what we struggle with. 

B

Filing a complaint could be re-traumatizing. 

S

I feel the pain of a professional who abused us. Badly. And who got away with it. This is what we struggle with. 

B

Meeting with Eileen would be useless; we do not want her in our life in any way, do not want reconnection. 

S

Are you sure? 

B

Well, it depends what our deep intent would be in seeing her. 

S

It would be to tell her what she did to me—and how long it’s taken to heal—and that the only reason I am there to talk with her is to see if a conversation of some sort might help. 

What helps survivors heal? 

Does an apology help? 

Would an apology give me what I need to finally close this chapter? 

Not forget…but to just stop being haunted?

 

B

An apology might help but…we may get the opposite. A person capable of what she did may be unable to render one. 

S

She loved—probably still loves—me. 

E

I got very lost. I said bad things. I did bad things. I reacted hugely to you. I messed up your therapy. I lashed out at you. I had no boundaries which allowed you to lash out too much at me. I told you you may never be happy. That I was in therapy my whole life and that it never worked. I rolled my eyes countless times at you. Minimized your confusion around Flood and Notice. Didn’t reach for you. Couldn’t empathize with you—told you you were like my abusers. I fostered huge dependency and transference and hung you out to dry with both. 

S

Thanks for acknowledging the damage. 

E

Of course. But I’m the E-doll and not E herself. This clarity in my apology is rendered by you—-not me.  You did all the hard work to understand your own trauma so that you could come to this moment here where you can, with clarity, see all the damage I did independent of it. 

I became overly involved in you because I was bored and lonely in my own life. I told you at least once that one of my responses to your email was generated when I was bored on a family vacation. And another time I said my life would be much less exciting without the Sandbox. 

I admitted to you that you were filling my needs. 

I got lost. 

It became too much about me. 

Mostly about me. 

I took your trauma. And doubled it. Tripled it on a bad day. 

Trauma a top trauma a top trauma. 

And I’m sorry, S.  I am deeply, deeply sorry.

A

S, how does it feel to have the E-doll apologize?

S

It hurts, A. It all hurts to think about. It makes me very sad. 

A

Allow, allow, allow. And breathe. 

S

I’m sick of allowing. And breathing. I want this thing dead to me inside already. 

B

I feel the pain of a professional who abused us. Badly. And who got away with it. This is what we struggle with.