Today would be the day I go to therapy, but I have cancelled. I left a message for Eileen. I said that I would not be coming in tonight and that I would let her know about next week in a week or so.
I’ve not heard back yet from Teresa, so I feel like I’m living in this space of in-between-ness. If Teresa does not take me … I will remain with Eileen.
I allow myself to relax this week, to let this period of time where I don’t know what is happening be a place to rest my heart.
Yesterday I received a call from Teresa. Along with lots of boundaries, she delivered to me the news that she could work with me. Her voice was very businesslike.
It is the news I wanted and hoped for. But now that it’s here, I do not think I have ever been sadder. I cannot move. Frozen in a pond made of tears.
Practical matters need to be covered and clarified: no email, no phone calls. You need to terminate with E in order to begin with me.
You say, yes, you will terminate for you must move on and move out. But things feel wobbly.
You call E.
And you tell her that you need to end. You feel numb and detached, and you talk about the number of sessions you need. But your voice feels fuzzy because you can’t believe this moment has come. But you realize this moment must come because things cannot go on as they have.
You go to ceramics class and glaze a large set of bananas chained together, your shackled bananas representing you and Eileen.
And on the way home, a blow hits you in the gut.
It is how much you love E. How very, very much.
You feel that you resisted her suggestion on the phone to terminate in four sessions
because you cannot imagine that much fighting after all the fighting you’ve done.
But you resist because you also cannot imagine ever saying goodbye.
You email her when you get home, after reconsidering.
I wanted to say that however many sessions you think is best is fine. I think I just reacted to four sessions relative to how rough it has been for me these many months. But whatever it takes to do the work properly is what it should be.
I'm of course really sad. You have been my only person. I've not done this before.
She writes back just a few moments later. She tells you that she is glad to think that you feel sad like she does.
She says she feels very, very, very, very sad. That’s four very’s worth.
I do not think I have ever been sadder in my life: Nothing seems to touch this. I do not want to get out of bed.
Our journey has been about love but we lost our way. I got lost in you, you in me. There were arguments, misfires. The arguments were productive for you, S, until, one day, they were not. And you began to put on your boots and walk away.
It seems lately I could only feel anger toward you. And maybe I needed to find that anger and stay with it to catapult me out to something safer. I could not see us living out our days together in the ramshackle house at the end of the road. I felt like my mind and heart would be trapped there, and while it was fun for you, a place for your work, a way to safely sublimate your sexuality, for me it is where I live out my days, inside. It is not a game. The Sandbox for me is my life.
Can we still have our E-doll?
Come with me, and you’ll be in a world of pure imagination
Take a look, and you’ll see into your imagination
We’ll begin with a spin traveling in the world of my creation
What we’ll see will defy explanation.
I know how much you love that song.
If you want to view paradise, simply look around and view it
Anything you want to do it
Want to change the world
There’s nothing to it
You never intended to, but you’ve changed the world. The Sandbox has changed my world.
I feel horrible about my anger, about my criticisms, about making you sad, about making you sick — about changing your world.
ThereThere, S. Do not apologize for your fire and your power.
Our heart is splitting and tearing into an uncountable number of pieces so as to not remember anything, only to wake one day feeling its full weight in our hands. These words, S, are yours from long ago in the moments where you finally begin to see your dissociation, the prison you’ve been trapped inside of your whole life. You will, someday, better understand this weight. With time away from the firestorms Eileen served only to inspire but not quell, we will feel our heart with more clarity and acceptance.
Oh, A …
S, this is a sad journey, a rough road. Teresa says that you have made progress, that you are not starting from ground zero. Oh, but make no mistake, this journey, unchosen, wrenching journey, spilling out into thousands of pages is no fairytale. It is a deeply dark, painful journey. And these hours now are filled with some of the darkest moments. For we begin to leave a person who helped us to discover our own self.
Are you leaving us, E?
It is you that is leaving me, Monkey. And it is you, Monkey, that I will miss most.
Please Not Gods, NO. Please do not make E disappear from our lives forever.
Not Gods, we will be better, we will be good. Please tell us this all never happened. That it was all just a two-year dream filled with love and anger and pages bursting from us like flames.
I don’t know what to do. I can’t send Monkey to Jupiter. All flights are booked.
Do not fear, S.
A, I am so scared. I am not sure I can go ahead.
This is a hard climb, S, but a necessary one. Hold on tight. And breathe.
For a brief moment I thought I could not terminate with Eileen. I wrote and told her I might hit the pause button on everything. And to stay tuned.
But after reconsidering I know that I must say goodbye.
I have made my decision.
I upload The Long and Winding Road to our shared space.
And email her for the final time.
I feel clear about what I want. It all sounds so simple, but it has been a long and winding road for me to get here. I want two things: open door, open heart.
We are unique, amazing, complicated. And, oh ... aren't we a pear.
I must go and untangle our knots – my knots – elsewhere – but deep down ... I want ... you … there ... open door, open heart.
I will see you tomorrow.
Last night I drove to Eileen’s office for the last time. And I said goodbye.
I now sit with this fact this morning, knowing somehow I may never quite grasp it completely.
That I might only be able, at times, to grab a snippet here and there, that the goodbye might feel more often like weather than memory, because it is just too painful to face ever again, all at once.
I can, however, remember crying in her office, can feel Monkey in my chair, weeping, begging, negotiating.
Can’t we, he cries out, write to you just once a month? Isn't every kid, he argues, allowed to write home?
I give him his tears, and Eileen’s face looks like it, too, has shed many before this day has arrived.
She tells me she will never ever forget me. That it will be impossible.
She tells me again that I am choosing the right road. That I have enormous fortitude for getting myself to this place in time, to this decision I’ve made to leave. She congratulates me for my work and says, despite all the pain, that I showed up.
For all of it.
She goes to a cabinet and takes out a small object, a piece of turquoise from her riverbed box. She comes over, sits next to me and then hands me the stone.
She confesses she’s not sure if giving me the turquoise is okay, but we both laugh and agree that I should have it.
I cry. And as I do, as the tears flow like never before, I thank her for giving me life. For helping me to see that my way could be a path made of words and imagination.
The minutes go by quickly and slowly. I watch the clock move from six until our usual ending time, seven thirty.
I never thought this day would come. But deep down, where there is enormous pain and a sliver of light now shed, I see that this day could not be avoided.
I then get up just as I had done for so many years and walk out the door. I do not look back.
And I am gone.
This morning, I find myself drained of what feels to be everything I’ve got. I am unable to get up and out of bed, as if this ending and beginning are too heavy and too much to hold.
More than I think, honestly, I can bear.
Oh, Not Gods, it hurts so much. And I wonder what exactly I am to do.
S, I think that it is time now for us to pray. To put our head down, quietly. And just pray.
You can do this, S. We are here. We are here. We are here.
My Dear Not Gods,
I have asked little of you for my entire life. But I ask now that you help with the gift of your presence as we journey toward something new. A place, perhaps, of more understanding and of more peace.
I ask that you keep an eye on Monkey, especially, that you hold his beautiful heart close as he weeps, with Leon by his side at night, as I know it is going to take a very long time for this pain inside to calm.
Not Gods, I thank you for the courage to date. And I ask for more if possible along this new road.
Not Gods, keep us safe.
And please watch over us as we step out, finally, into the light and life we deserve.
A life, Not Gods, we have always deserved.