The Sandbox

Amnesia, Art, Healing







S, tell of your yesterday and of what is in your heart this morning too.



A, I think we should revise this to: S, tell of your churning in the middle of the night and what is in your heart this morning too. 



Rough night?



Same night as most nights. I get up at some point and there’s a churn. It’s my process come to life, or come to its peak life during a twenty four hour cycle. Last night it was this memory around my father…a confirmation of things painful. 


And then the reflex, the memory police, the cold muzzle of a gun against my head for having such thoughts, for writing them, without proof—without evidence. 


If only I’d been raped. 


How much simpler. 


I could then triumph over something known. 


And external. 


Instead I clutch onto the few memories I can grab: a vaguely remembered spooning session with my father, and an apology from my brother, dated twenty years ago, taking full responsibility for my not choosing to be with men.


Question marks, denial, amnesia, brief flashes of memory, silence, suicide ideation. 


These are my words. 


This, I declare, is home. 


I remember these words I have written in the book. They’ve been hunted down over time, carefully crafted to speak my truth. But truth that lays silent on a page, unspoken, unread by others, leaves me still unhealed, still churning in the middle of my nights, still somewhat disconnected, unowned. 






I realize yesterday that this work can be given to Teresa, to be held, to be recorded, to be remembered with and for me, to be brought up to help me. To ensure that I won’t gallop away on a horse made of another one thousand pages. To slow me down.



To help you heal. 



I note the grief ball that lives inside of me, in my stomach, at least last night, seems to feel a bit higher, as if traveling north for an exit. It feels closer to my heart but not yet there. Slightly below my ribs. 


When I speak about weather I know more closely what I mean. It is code for sadness, for grief, for confusion and probably for anger that’s buried deep.  


I seem to find this weather all the time; my weather inside tied to the weather outside, to clouds and to sun, to rain, to wind. To rough surf. Or calm seas. It is tied to colors sometimes, the smell of a particular flower I cannot identify as I run around the lake. 


It is tied to certain days, how they fall in the week. 


It is tied to specific holidays. And to certain seasons, certain times of the day. And to a combination of both, where the sun sits during the day, depending upon the season. It is tied to sunrises now, how they too have joined me from nearly the beginning of this meditation, a nod to my initial discovery and conversations with Monkey in late 2013. 


My weather is tied to Stella’s gait, how she still walks funny. Every day I find this weather when I walk her. 


My weather is tied to the news I no longer read or watch. 


The movies I can no longer go to.


It is tied to…everything. 


I am…surrounded. 






The painful conflict of trauma within a family, of coming to terms with my situation, healing from it—and it being buried so deep for so long—feels perhaps doable but steep to say the least. 


It has taken nearly every day of these past fourteen months out of the therapy with Eileen to begin to focus. 


I must and I do believe that the work I did in that therapy and after it was not wholly unproductive. I view it in this moment as perhaps a workout of sorts, a way to warm up, to get strong, to exercise the mind and heart. 


On November 21, 2013 I instinctually grasped to develop a container and through eventual lack of containment from my therapist I learned the vital importance of containment in healing. 


I left because I was not being contained. 


I have now a container that doesn’t leak and a process that, while not exactly comfortable, is familiar. 


I also now finally feel that there is a method to the madness, that things make sense, that I’m not crazy, that I use language and writing to find and express. Thislanguage I find or that finds me is not dissociative but, rather, explorative, creative, necessary and a gift from the Not Gods.  



For a moment there we feared the Sandbox was splitting us in two. But we view this work as a morning meditation for finding and working through. For process and for art both. 






Can I send this to the real T?








I comfortably and confidently emailed my transcript to Teresa. This is work…this is authentic…I show her me through my transcripts. I work towards goals that she feels will heal me. And she receives what I am sending. 




Your words were beautiful, moving. Let me know if you need any support between now and tomorrow's appointment. I am here. 




And I respond back… 


Thank you for reading, for containing, for teaching me even when I'm a jerk and for always being honest and authentic. I appreciate and benefit from who you are and the work you have chosen to do. 


I realize I am skittish, an animal of prey, a highly tuned race horse ready to bolt. It is hard to sit still, to trust, to confront. 


But I'm trying every day to give it a shot.