Archive for therapy
Let me tell you about the day that I ran away from home. I know that sounds dramatic but my little life had its dramas as I am sure do most fifteen-year-olds. My parents were normal enough. Well thats what the counselor said. He said it was normal for adults, after 15 years of dedication to a child to go through what he called ‘separation anxiety’. This was supposed to be something that involved them imagining that I would soon be leaving home and therefore preparing themselves for the event by largely ignoring the object of their pain. Pity I hadn’t rammed home the point to them that I intended, like most of my friends, on staying around until much later. Why give up free food, a reasonable allowance, my own room, for the third world conditions my older sister lived in when she went to Uni. My parents, reasonable people apparently, went out and bought an AIBO which was supposed to replace me. Symbolic that they would buy a programmable robotic dog to replace a warm human being. It was disgusting to see my Dad the day it arrived going into raptures about the 250 movements and the personality that would develop, as he read the instructions on the side of the box. It struck me that the $5000 was a tad much for what turned out to be a dumb piece of metal that, after three months of not so brilliant entertainment, ended up back in its box and thrust into the back of a cupboard, gathering dust.
My counselor had a name for it. Autophobic he called me. Said it could be fixed but he didn’t really understand that I wasn’t scared of hurting my parents, I just wanted to get out of that crazy house before the next installment of their own madness came along. The dog was followed by a venture into culture that saw us all listening to Mum doing a reading from ‘Doctor Zhivargo’ or ‘King Rat’ every night. You imagine it. A plate of perfectly good food waiting to be consumed and you sit their for five minutes listening to some dumb Russian or American going through some personal angst. This is where the counselor picked up on the phobia thing.
‘The rage inside of you built up to an extent that you could no longer deny it. And paradoxically the love you felt made it unacceptable to manifest that anger’
Jeez! Sure I was pissed but …… well lets not go there. Then next it was overseas travel. The evening conversation was filled with cut-price this, wine trail that, and no mention of my airfare or whether I would have a separate room. It finally dawned that I was destined for my sister flat while they cruised around the world. The writing was well and truly appearing on the wall. I talked to Mum about it but when I got to the bit about feeling neglected and unloved she sort of choked up and rushed from the room, shoulders heaving. I heard the keening from her room for nearly an hour until Dad got home and then it was all my fault.
‘We’ve always done our best for you. Your becoming more and more selfish. The me me me generation. Don’t you know we love you?’
I reeled from the ambiguous logic of it all but you don’t argue with Dad when he’s on a roll.
The straw that broke this camel’s back came about two weeks after the me me episode.
Either We are sitting at the kitchen table, Dad, Mum and I. Me secretly pleased we are not reading Gravitys Rainbow which had been scheduled for this week and Mum and Dad on the other side of the table looking very uncomfortable but also pleased.
‘I’ve got something to tell you’ Dad says very confidently, suddenly clutching Mums hand.’We’ve got something to tell you’. Mr and Mrs Jameison, Edna and Fred are moving in to Janets old room. He paused, waiting to gauge the effects of this.
‘Fine’ I responded quizzically, thinking whats the big deal.
‘And there will be some different sleeping arrangements. We want…’
I didn’t wait for the finish. I could fill in the blanks.
I was sitting in the shrinks office. Dark, as usual. Always kept the blinds drawn and that tiny little light shining down over his shoulder. Raised any higher he could have shone it in my eyes and we would have the real deal. And those stupid paintings. I had given them the cursory and nodded. ‘My son did them. Good aren’t they. He has some real talent’ Implying that I was a useless nothing piece of shit. Anyway, I’m sitting there and he kind of looks queerly at me and says-
‘We haven’t talked much about you and your sister. Perhaps you could tell me how you feel about talking about her. Stacey isn’t it?’
What’s this all about? Three months of wriggling around Mum and Dad and I am feeling I can handle this therapy shit and now this.
‘You should know that I had a talk with your mother and father after our last session. How do you feel about that?’
The walls groan a little closer and I can feel a bead of sweat rolling down my back and sliding in into my crack.
‘You can tell me how you feel’
I think of those two shits sitting probably where I am sitting right now or did he do a double act on the pathetic sofa he keeps wanting me to lie on. And spilling out all sorts of garbage. I didn’t have to fill in the blanks. I was out of there.