The Sandbox

Amnesia, Art, Healing






After a week…maybe more…the Eileen storm, this one anyway, finally passed.  I now know to say that it’s one storm, that there will be more, that there will be days and perhaps weeks that are difficult. 

Eileen genuine loved me—and lashed out at me. She forgot, lost her professional boundaries. She wasn’t thinking clearly, properly—or at all. She was unwell. And perhaps, honestly, even if she were feeling better she just may be not that nice of a person, a very unhealed person, a very angry and out of touch person, a person without empathy. 

But that's all about her. 

For me, she was more than a hint of everything I ever wanted; a woman to witness me as I found myself—in the way that I needed to—in words. She began to meet what were enormously unmet needs in my past. This was glorious and unbeknownst to me, extraordinarily dangerous too. 

It created for me a dependency like no other along with chaos for I did not know exactly what was happening inside of me. I could not understand nor break away from this attachment to her. She did not guide me through it, perhaps didn’t fully recognize it or my pain around it. Perhaps part of her used it as a way subconsciously to prop herself up, to give her own self power. 

It was complicated but the power belonged to her. And the only way for me find my power was to leave the dynamic. 

And when I did I probably leveled the playing field. 

But not in my heart. There would be work to do to and there still is work to do for bad therapy is like a cancer, mimicking your own DNA so it can live inside you for as long as possible. To heal from bad therapy is to have to heal from both it and whatever brought you to the therapy in the first place—at once. But also separately. And then together.  And separately. 

It’s a seemingly endless dance…of iterations and switching perspectives done thousands of times over again to get it right. 

And still, you may not get it right. 

I know I’ve not yet gotten it right. 

The lesson I learn is that this healing of messed up therapy takes time because youare forced you to take another few hundred pounds of luggage with you on your journey. It is if you are climbing a mountain and someone throws another backpack on top of your existing one.

It has taken and continues to take a hell of a long time to work through this therapy for it is tied up, knotted up, in my past. This is precisely why healing from therapeutic abuse is so painful and so arduous; it’s a double load all at once with an extra scoop of gas lighting/denial thrown in; someone stabs you in a dark alley, runs away and when you catch them they say you are mistaking them for someone else. 

In order to heal from bad therapy you need to accept that the load you carry is heavier. You need to accept that one will always come along for the ride with the other. You need to accept that because you now have another backpack to haul up the mountain that it does not mean that either of the packs are more or less important than the other.  

You need also to acknowledge that each pack is a bit different despite the fact that you are carrying them at once. You need to accept that you might need to take one off for a while and carry only one. And then switch. And then carry both. 

And you need your present day therapist to understand it all. You need them to learn every day just like you are learning, how arduous and painful it all is. And you need them to honor the pain and complexity in what you are trying to accomplish. 

The EMDR a few weeks ago I believe served to deliver to me this clarity that I find now today; that healing from amnesia layered on top with therapeutic mismanagement is like a psychological Everest. 

And by Not Gods I try and I will continue to try each and every day to climb.