The Sandbox

Amnesia, Art, Healing

5/9/17

6:47AM

Authenticity

Well. 

I was doing my usual check, something I thought I might even soon be able to stop. 

A

Check?

S

To see if Eileen was going to renew her license. She was up for renewal April 30th. Around May 2nd or 3rd the account became delinquent. I figured she was going to let her license lapse and there was some comfort in that; one, I didn’t have to make a decision about filing the complaint and two, she wasn’t harming anyone else if she wasn’t practicing (assuming she wouldn’t practice with a lapsed license.)

A

Okay. 

S

But I checked last night and it says her renewal is now pending. The language: 

Renewal Pending - Renewal fees may have been paid; however, the licensee has not complied with all the renewal requirements or the renewal may be delayed pending verification/completion of name or address changes.

A

How does this feel?

S

It brings me back to feeling the difficulty of the decision again—where I was a few months ago while writing it. 

A

Any direction you’re leaning in?

S

I’m leaning in the direction of filing it. My biggest concern is turning what should be background into foreground. I’m very conscious of working more deeply with Teresa on my memories, my fish that swim in and out of my mind. And I am glad for it. 

But I also know that there’s business at hand too. 

I truly feel torn and oddly responsible for this. Like it is my fault that this option to file a complaint—this muddying of waters that were finally clearing for me—is something that I caused. 

A

Keep going.

S

I remember back in February talking to Pete. We were at a diner and I remember saying to him that not doing something, being silent, just isn’t me. I cannot just do nothing. 

I could let it go and be silent when it looked like there was no place to file a complaint. And there was, as mentioned, some level in peace knowing that she took herself out of the profession. 

Now…the landscape has changed and my silence becomes a decision that wrests on my shoulders. 

A

Would you like my opinion?

S

Of course. 

A

File it. And continue fishing with Teresa. Both should be done. 

S

That feels hard—perhaps impossible—to do but I hear you. Monkey?

MLG

File with a smile. 

File with a grin. 

E renews her license.

And oh the trouble she’s in. 

S

Shard?

Shard

Please. You need to ask? She’s a moron. An incompetent moron. The fact that she’s continuing with this nonsense, even going delinquent and then renewing? Moron, moron, moron. It’s just another whiff of the incompetent a-hole she is. If you think we’re the only one she’s fucked up, think again. If you think we’re the only one she’s flattered into dependency, think long. Think hard. 

And by all means…hit fucking send. 

S

Blanket?

B

Oh Not Gods, S. It is something we must do now that the option does exist. 

S

T?

T

I will ask the same question I always ask: what do you think you might achieve by filing…and by not filing it? 

S

I think there is this feeling very deep inside me that says that something wrong should be declared and reported. That passivity is…wrong. That silence is…wrong. I easily find that same line that I drew on March 7th

***

The bad therapy—Eileen—never was family. She teased me into thinking she was more than she was—consciously or not. And it confused and damaged me. 

As I travel these mornings I see better the difference between bad therapy and a painful childhood. 

***

And I say to myself once again this is not about familial abuse; the equation is different. 

What happened to me long ago is about family—and how I choose to manage what happened, how it impacted—and still impacts me—is one thing. 

And what happened in that therapy is different. The two are related to some degree but there’s a huge difference in that this was a professional I went to for help who was exceptionally unprofessional. 

It took two years to gain that clarity and for me to make that distinction. 

Now that I have that clarity, and now that I see she plans on continuing with her practice, I feel nearly obligated to my own self as well as to others, to do something. 

T

What result would you like to achieve?

S

I want the Board to hear about a very messed up therapy and how long it’s taken me to get better from it. I want them to know. Mostly that. 

T

So if you went to the police to report a crime and they took a report and that’s all they did you would be happy? 

S

No. I would want to know and to feel that my complaint was taken seriously and taken to the offender. And that something was done: a reprimand—something. 

T

Okay. 

S

Also, I draw a line and say Eileen isn’t my friend nor was she ever my friend. She treated the relationship as if it were personal. When I was on the positive end of that I seemed to get more than my fair share of attention, love, admiration. On the negative end of it I was abandoned, reacted to, hung up on, yelled at, treated without care and consistency. 

I draw a line and say none of this should have happened. That her caring about me should have been her being alert in assessing what I needed most and getting it for me. 

Instead, she took advantage of me. She was bored and wanted to read about "S" and thus began a slippery slope that cost me two years in the therapy and another two recovering from it. 

A

We are clearer than we were about this person. 

S

I think back in February I still held the notion that there was this love from her I needed and wanted. But I think that’s faded. Or at least this morning it feels this way. I remember working my fairytale with this--trying to figure out why that painter in the forest was so scared to mail his complaint. 

***

B

He is worried, S. Worried that the formerly wise woman will hate him for it, that if he were to ever run into her in the village, that she would hiss at him. He worries that if he mails his letter to the authorities, whether she is arrested or not, she will know what he did. And the love she once had for him will turn instantly to hatred.  

And this hatred, S would be, perhaps unbearable to our painter. 

S

So he cannot mail the letter for he cannot bear losing her love. 

B

Yes. 

S

Did he ever have her love?

B

Oh indeed, S. Indeed. And herein lays the rub. Her love—and the pain and damage she caused—are things inextricably intertwined. To let go of one he must let go of both. 

Which is why he cannot walk to that mailbox. 

***

S

I am clearer that I don't want or need her love now. That real love in a therapeutic sense is what I have now with someone like Teresa who is fighting very consistently for my benefit. 

I also feel relatively clear and strong that my complaint is hugely warranted. That just in the writing of it I was able to help myself and others—and perhaps in the filing of it there is more that I can achieve for both myself and others. 

A

Than it’s, in a sense, good news. 

S

I think it is, A. I think it is. 

A

Anything else this morning?

S

What is so either ironic or sad or good…I can’t decide…is that yesterday I had such incredible clarity about foreground and background. How the memories that were swimming in and out of my mind three years ago—things that should have been foreground to my treatment became, because the treatment was so difficult, became background. 

I was crystal clear that foreground and background got reversed. 

And that my therapy now is on track—that foreground is where it should be--on me. 

And now this. 

A

Our clarity helps, however, in seeing that the reversal of foreground and background was…wrong.  Very wrong. 

And that this, S, was not our fault. 

S

I began to see what was hurting about the first batch of fish too. I’d lost the expression of many of the pieces because the background was too dominant—the patterning overpowered the piece’s personality—the background became the foreground like these two below: 

I instinctually adjusted the work by the weekend so that the patterning had a uniformity to it that did not pull away from the piece’s essence and…there I was…much more resolved. I found me again. 

A

We have worked tremendously hard to put this bad therapy in its place and get perspective. 

S

Which has required giving it so much more than I should have had to. 

A

This is life. This is what happens. Our next steps lead us to new places in healing from what has happened…with all of it.