The Sandbox

Amnesia, Art, Healing

December 23, 2016 - February 19, 2017

 

This is the first set of Sandbox entries to become public real-time nearly daily while I was creating them.

It is my first wave of daylighting my process as it unfolds. 

Entries over the holidays had to do with a strong revisiting around the pain of bad therapy. The work on this bad therapy ebbs and flows. During the holidays I found it to be...flowing. 

Heavily. 

As I emerged I from this period of time I began the consideration of therapy moving forward and of potentially leaving in the new year. 

Early in the new year I also explore deeply and work on daylighting, what it feels like to be seen, to have other eyes on my Sandbox and to share the work. And in mid to late February I begin the consideration and development of a complaint to file about the trauma I suffered in therapy, how to externalize and move forward with that trauma and become more cleared of it. 

This section completes with the consideration of heading towards new horizons in my climb, the goal to be inclusive of healing but also to move in new directions. 

***

12/23/16

7:36AM

Authenticity

I did something unwise and self destructive last night for unknown reasons. 

After six months of making sure I looked at nothing Eileen related online…last night…around 11pm…I looked. 

(Read the entire entry by clicking here.)

***

12/24/16

7:24AM

Authenticity

 

I dreamed last night

That I could fly

But no one cared

So neither did I

(Read the entire entry by clicking here)  

 

***

12/25/16

7:30AM

Authenticity

A

S, how are you feeling? How does two days ago look now that we are two days away from it? More importantly, how does it feel?

S

Oddly—or maybe not—it feels like all that reaction to the Eileen stuff online is mostly my trauma. I mean yes, the therapy trauma but beneath it, my very deep trauma. 

The hardest part I feel with clarity is feeling silenced. Feeling crippled.

(Read the entire entry by clicking here)

***

12/26/16

A

When the climb is steep there’s not much in the way of plateaus. Not a lot of resting spots with magnificent views.

S

Not at all. 

B

This is the nature

Of this kind of healing

Appreciate the relative

Departure from reeling

We sit more with truth

We do not gallop away

We may feel more somber

But we’re wiser today

(Read the entire entry by clicking here.) 

***

12/27/16

S

So this all somehow does relate to this painful gap I feel; the gap between what my Sandbox is, this world I live in inside my mind and on the page on now one that I also put up and onto my website—and…the rest of the world. Me and all that I am in this Sandbox…and the world. 

What do I show—if I show anything. And how do I show it. 

But, most importantly…the question is…why do I show it?

A

Correct. 

(Read the entire entry by clicking here.) 

***

12/30/16

6:58AM

Authenticity

I am not sure what is going on these days. The only thing I know is to keep it moving forward, keep listening,  keep looking up at that mantra. 

A

Yes. 

S

I thought last night as I looked at my own website that perhaps this exercise of putting self up online is also about…reflection. 

Seeing self reflected back perhaps with more clarity. 

It is one thing to write onto a page, another to put that page up in a place within some kind of relative context. 

And still another to consider that someone else, a stranger, might read it. 

It forces reflection, I believe. 

(Read the entire entry by clicking here.) 

***

12/31/16

This piece, my Sandbox Confidence, is…huge. And so elusive—for so long so elusive. 

It is one of those silver fish that swims quickly, that I can see but can’t quite catch. 

Do I have the tiger by the tail? This mediation on trauma, dissociation, a therapy car crash? 

Or am I just some crazy person ranting. 

(Read the entire entry by clicking here.) 

***

1/2/17

I feel that I have failed, that I have nothing to show for all the effort, for the city I’ve built, the mountains I’ve climbed. 

I play now a pretend game that I do have something to show…I pretend that having a website is that something. 

And see something still missing. 

A gap between me and what I need or want. 

Me and…health. 

Me and…happiness. 

And it makes me want to walk away and consider that the only way to remove the gap is to remove the effort. 

I consider what the Sandbox will look like if I freeze it all here, in this moment, in this volume, at this page count, at this stage online. And what it would feel like to come back to it years down the line. 

(Read the entire entry by clicking here.) 

***

1/3/16

6:37AM

Authenticity

I cried up a storm yesterday.  And I arrived for dinner in tears.

Pete skipped his Monday night poker and took us both out for pizza. 

And it was just what the doctor ordered. 

We drove to San Francisco in the cold and ordered a hot, gooey pie. 

Afterwards we held hands as we walked to the car and when we began driving home…rain. 

Fat cold drops from the sky. 

And when we arrived back home I did something different; small—tiny—but different.

(Read the entire entry by clicking here.

***

1/4/16

MLG

I want to call the new section Leaving The Mini Couch. 

S

We’ll consider it, Monkey. But other people might not know what that means. 

MLG

It’s not about other people. Our website is shaped around us. Remember?

S

Truth. Okay. It’s under consideration. And we’re not even sure we’re leaving yet. 

(Read the entire entry by clicking here.

***

1/5/16

MLG

Flow, Understanding and Daylighting

A trifecta, a dance

We work with all three

In our morning Sandbox trance

(Read the entire entry by clicking here.

 

***

1/10/16

T

You’re leaving me?

S

I think I need to begin packing. I need to begin considering a landscape that looks different, one that is clear of therapy for a while. 

(Read the entire entry by clicking here.

 

***

1/14/17

A

Welcome, Anger. We will try and remain open to you. Do have any words of advice?

Anger

A little of me

Just a sprinkle each day

A little of me

Goes a very long way

(Read the entire entry by clicking here.

***

1/15/17

When I think back to the book writing effort which was years long and relatively recent, I think mostly about how intensely lonely it was. And also how impossible, too. There has been enormous shame in being unable to write a book about it all. To just summarize it with the right “voice”, to balance the trauma I experienced as a child with the trauma I experienced as an adult in therapy. 

I seemed unable to find the voice—the one voice—the one way—to express everything. 

I seemed unable to contain it in a traditional book form. 

I felt failure for years. And perhaps, if I were to view things more broadly, I have felt failure for an entire lifetime to express myself. 

(Read the entire entry by clicking here.

***

1/17/17

Give it time. 

It will get better.

Let it rain--

Let it get wetter.

The sidewalks are covered

In what hurts the most.

We are strong enough now

To confront—-to get close.

(Read the entire entry by clicking here.

***

1/18/17

MLG
The climb is endless

The mountain keeps growing

We think we are done

But then the anger starts flowing.

S

Yeah, it’s mornings like these when I do wonder if we’re even going to summit this mountain. 

MLG

The summit is tricky

It rains and it’s slick,

One day we’re healthy,

One day we’re sick.

But we must keep the faith,

We must climb the climb.

We must be authentic,

We must give it time. 

(Read the entire entry by clicking here.) 

***

1/19/17

S

So T, how exactly does it work? Do I get mad about some severe trauma from long ago like twice weekly? 

T

Grin. 

S

The other thing too: I’m not sure exactly what “healed” means. 

MLG

The Healing Pond feels like an Infinity Pond. 

(Read the entire entry by clicking here.) 

***

1/22/17

S

It feels instinctual—all of it—no instruction manual except the tick tick tick of the heart. When I’m working in the clay I am listening to podcasts, ones about trauma, about treating it. I am absorbing information. But I have no idea toward what goal; only that I’m interested in it.

Or that, and this scares me more, that there’s nothing else to do with my life really except to sort it out. Like figuring my shit out has become not even a job but an obsession.

A

There are worse things to be obsessed with. 

(Read the entire entry by clicking here.) 

***

1/23/17

Lots of PTSDish feelings yesterday; towards the end of my run I felt trapped, a caged animal jumping, clawing, reaching toward a small window for escape. This, I see as me, and my Sandbox work, desperately somehow trying to be seen, heard, released. 

This is me trying to see who I am by getting some sun onto my face. 

This is also me, very young, in a closet, trapped. I feel myself trapped as I run, knowing completely this is not me now, but I can’t seem to shake the feeling in my gut. 

I try looking up, focusing on my surroundings, shifting internally any way I can but…I can’t. 

(Read the entire entry by clicking here.)

***

1/24/17

S

First came Flow, then Understanding. I’ve been working on Daylighting and now…the fourth thing that I add to the mix?

A

I’m listening!

S

Is Happiness. 

(Read the entire entry by clicking here.) 

***

1/26/17

S

I’m trying to focus on being happy—but that doesn’t seem to be working. 

A

Being open and alive to what is in our way, what isn’t making us happy, helps. Being honest about what we want—perhaps not yet getting—helps.

(Read the entire entry by clicking here.)

***

1/30/17

 

Violations don’t fade, 

Though we try for years. 

We work hard in therapy,

And in our Sandbox in here. 

Yet dreams still taunt us,

Our life does too,

We did not deserve

Violation times two.

***

2/3/17

A

S, how does it feel to have the E-doll apologize?

S

It hurts, A. It all hurts to think about. It makes me very sad. 

A

Allow, allow, allow. And breathe. 

S

I’m sick of allowing. And breathing. I want this thing dead to me inside already. 

(Read the entire entry by clicking here.)

***

2/7/17

B

We weigh all this…an unhealed therapist becoming increasingly unhinged before us…we close our eyes and leap from the burning building on April 22, 2015. 

S

Yes. 

B

Do we let the authorities know? Or do we let this story fade into the darkness. 

S

Right. 

B

We do not have our answer…but we are getting places with our question. 

(Read the entire entry by clicking here.) 

***

2/7/17

 

MLG

We finally emerge

From our painful haze

The decision is close

Just a few days

Do we shout out to the world

That Eileen was a mess

Or do we privately honor our clarity

And leave all the rest

***

2/10/17

MLG

Send Teresa this transcript. She’ll hate you for it. We stab at her holy EMDR gods. We stab at it all. We take this mountain we call Therapy, bring all the sticks of dynamite we can carry, and we blow it up. 

How sick we are of all of this. Of this being woken early, this churning, this feeling had by an industry of mostly unwell, “practitioners.” 

Oh how we wish to blow up this mountain we call Therapy, with all its unhealed, full of shit inhabitants, how wish wish to blow it up, burn it down, dismantle it, take it to not the Board of Behavioral Sciences but to a higher place of authority somewhere in the sky—somewhere in our sky—somewhere we’ve never been before—a place—a pinnacle yet to be imagined. 

How we will take our anger and frustration—our fear—our enormous fatigue—-our sadness—how we will take it up into the sky, far away…journeying towards…

(Read the entire transcript by clicking here.) 

***

2/11/17

Today feels like a watershed; one where I begin, after almost two years, to let my therapist know more who I am—deep down—the vulnerable, hurt, struggling individual who has been trying so hard to make something out of what happened to me that I can’t seem to stop and clearly somehow acknowledge it.

(Read the entire transcript by clicking here.)

***

2/12/17

Something extremely significant has occurred—but honestly something very significant has been occurring for years now. Though painful, I see that I am waking up. 

And it’s so powerful. 

Every day is not like this but this morning…oh this morning. 

(Read the entire transcript by clicking here.) 

***

2/14/17

A

Our mountain climb this morning gives us beautiful and new perspectives. 

S

It does. I can see and feel the climb, the strength that I’ve been gaining, my lungs and legs used to the work as I’ve been steady at my process. 

MLG

1516 days, 8026 pages. We are higher than Everest!

S

We are Monkey!

MLG

We’ve been climbing four years

We look back at our view

We breathe in our strength

Exhale our pain too.

(Read the entire entry by clicking here.

***

2/16/17

So Pete, somewhere deep down where I currently cannot quite access things, I want to say that I love you and that life without you would be just, well, no life at all. The fire of my dependency on you, though, is so hot it is something I cannot touch right now for fear of burning up completely. But maybe in a few pages –– or more likely a few thousand –– I will find you again. And maybe, if I ever get there, you will be my final chapter.

(Read the entire entry by clicking here.)

***

2/17/17

MLG

Complaint or email

Or say nothing at all.

Our choices are ours,

What we drop, what we haul.

***

2/18/17

Remain true. Even if truth isn't pretty or poetic or the color you want or the exact sentence or image handed down from the Not Gods. Be true to the garage and what it is whispering to you. Be true to the nine-year-old that is calling out to you now. Be true to the day in front of you.

(Read the entire entry by clicking here.)

***

2/19/17

A

We are…catching up would you say?

S

Yeah, maybe. An artist who wakes up four decades later has a lot to do?

A

Indeed. Is there a place where or fairytale could be of assistance this morning? 

S

I could try?

A

The man in the forest filled with paintings…

S

He’s begun and grown a practice that incorporates painting in the morning but also he spends time in town too. He is more open, more social. No longer dependent upon any wise women in the village to validate his worth. 

A

Go on. 

(Read the entire entry by clicking here.) 

***

2/19/17

We went yesterday to the art gallery and I saw five Joan Mitchell paintings. And what a thrill. It was the first time in my life to see this woman’s work I'd been admiring for a while live and up close. I was shocked to learn too that I was allowed to take pictures which I did; my photos so close I was nearly making out with her brush strokes. 

(Read the entire entry by clicking here.)