The Sandbox

Amnesia, Art, Healing

1/6/17

7:10AM

Authenticity

A

How did therapy go yesterday?

S

Getting self hoisted up onto the website…

A

Go on. 

S

I cried at the effort of it all. The fact that it is each failure that acts as a lily pad in the healing pond. The general direction of erupting into everything I am—-understanding it—and surfacing—seems to be right—but it’s only in failing, it seems, that I seem to make progress? 

It makes the whole process, feel, most of the time, endless and devastating. 

A

Go on.

S

I didn’t quite understand the whole session; it felt a little outside of my grasp. Daylighting…power dynamic in therapy. 

A

What would help?

S

My fairytale. 

A

The man in the forest filled with paintings was, long, long ago a young boy. As a near baby he was mesmerized at the paint brushes that his father had for his father too was a painter. He gazed at all the dollops and dabs of paint that his father had placed onto a palette next to his canvas. 

S

The very young boy wanted badly to explore with the paints. He was taken by both the pure primary colors and all the combinations of colors his father could make with them. 

A

Was the young boy given a brush? 

S

No. 

A

Why not?

S

I don’t know. 

A

So he was not allowed, not taught how to paint?

S

No. 

A

He was asked to watch his father paint, in fact his father liked the audience. 

S

Yes. 

A

But he was not encouraged to paint. 

S

No. 

A

Does this help?

S

Yes. 

A

Tell. 

S

It sounds basic but I think my mother just wanted an audience for her stories, her writing, her many different personalities on display. 

She wasn’t interested in coaxing out her child’s gifts. 

It was…about her. 

A

That’s basic. Telling. And about right. 

S

Yeah. 

A

And what message does that send to the child—to the young painter if he’s never given his own brush? 

S

That if he is deep down inside a painter that he is on his own to find his path. 

A

Yes. 

S

It is not an active message. A “you’re good or bad” message. 

A

It’s called abandonment. It’s what hurt so much with the Flood and Notice in the therapy that went up in flames. 

And it’s what we grew up inside of. 

S

Okay. 

A

It’s why we could never forgive Eileen her abrupt Notice; for she gave to us what we never had and then took it away without reason. She felt that giving us six weeks Notice was enough time to…what? 

Find a replacement for her? 

S

It was devastating. 

A

It would be as if the boy was suddenly given a nanny who loved him, who lavished him with brushes and paints for six months and, low and behold, canvases began to fill up with colors and imagination spilling out in endless buckets. 

Until one day the nanny who loved him pretended that she barely knew him. And said she would no longer look at his work. 

B

Until one day the nanny also became abusive. 

S

Yes. 

A

How are you feeling?

S

This hurts. This is correct. 

A

Your creative gifts went unattended to. Not to mention the physical abuse from your mother herself. And the abuse at your brother’s hands as well. 

S

I begin to find my creativity unleashed many years later. Eileen’s a mom surrogate like no other. 

But she really turns out to be a very sick person. 

Who ultimately abused her power and harmed me. 

A

We try and surface and we are struck down for a very long time with the abuse of power—at a very young age and in once again in our therapy with Eileen too. 

But this surrogate parent’s cruelty is no match, ultimately for the powerful adult inside disallows for this and we remove ourself from her clutches. 

We will, we must, be everything that we are. We move forward. 

We find kayakers and we continue our journey. 

We must break the surface, we must emerge, we must…live.