Impossibilities. Some we’ve crossed today and others have crossed us right back.
Today was therapy – it seems like it happens all the time lately, but that’s only because whole months fall away from me in perfect sheets. It is hard to quantify how to “push oneself” in therapy because how do you subdivide the thinking you do outloud about yourself into helpful and just mindless chatter? You just do it and wait for the feeling of knowing.
It was fairly mindless chatter. Me trying to not exactly say anything at all and yet still fill an hour with talk about my inner life. Stress about this, happy about that, striving in that way, failing in another way. It was just about par for the average course. Something about it was disconnected.
Then, Mildred, as a matter of course, was discussed. The therapist gently suggested that perhaps I could stop having such a negative reaction to her, that I could be kinder to that part of myself and recognize that much what her attempts to limit my life were about was simply protecting me. The inference was that the agitation I feel towards her is holding me back in some way.
And it rather surprised me when I said very clearly, in probably a voice more akin to the Faithful Light than anyone else (believe me, I know this sounds like some sort of masturbatory self-insert sci-fi personality swap novella), that I couldn’t do that. I had to deal with my anger towards her first.
And I meant it. Holy Christ, I meant it. I felt a rush of an honest, unfiltered emotion. No, I explained, she’s taken too much from me. She’s hauled me around like a dolly by the neck. She’s hurt me and I don’t pity her.
The therapist quickly saw that this was a thing and changed her tack. There’s work to do there. You could feel it. After a session of feeling sort of floaty and neutral, suddenly, there was struggle. Suddenly, something was cut open and inside was rancid, raw, begging for water and light.
She wants to own me. She wants to sit on my throat and murmur at me. She wants to wrap the thick blanket around us until there’s only room for a flashlight and a breath. Nothing can catch us there and if I struggle or pull, she’ll gasp, “they’re coming” and for the longest time, I couldn’t help myself from shrinking down, too. Trusting in the insanity of her fear. Mildred has, quite truly, been inflected in everything for the past twenty years and in that time, she’s slowly siphoned off opportunities, experiences, hopes, wishes. And I have made sure she’s never been made to feel uncomfortable.
I don’t want to do that anymore. To live by the illogical ravings of a shut-in pisses me the fuck off. The defense of the prey, to scuttle, shrink, sigh. Yes, it forces you forward. Yes, demands are made of you that aren’t made of someone who claims her fragility for convenience. Yes, you are failing sky-wide. But you’re doing it for you not the sicky in the basement who moans your name and when you come with a tea and cookie yanks it out of your hand and screams that you’ve burnt her.
Oh, Mildred, up yours!