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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Fuck That/Everything Tomato

Wednesday. This morning final phone session with Kaveh. He and I both agree we're ready for the final in-person good-bye. In the next several weeks I'll drive to Louisville for closure with him. This is momentous. It's really hard to imagine my life without him and yet our work is done. He's that rare therapist who actually wants to make you better and send you on your way to live a better life. He says, "therapy is to live - you shouldn't live for therapy." I'm toying with the idea of making it an annual tradition between now and the year I die, to send him eighteen presents at Christmas (they don't have to be big). It would be a tongue-in-cheek reminder of that very difficult year when I needed to speak with him several times a week. And, sometimes that wasn't enough - there was a time when I had to hear from him every single day or I would plummet into despair. That's what happens when you've climbed Mount Doom and are looking into the chasm of your terrifying past. Without your guide holding your hand, it feels like you could lose yourself completely, fall into a dark abyss. So that year, when he went on vacation with his family for eighteen days, I deflated a bit each day, decayed into muteness. It was Christmastime and despite the warmness of the holiday, every day got darker and sadder without him. I started out brave and determined to get through the eighteen days - I understood his need - was glad he was getting refueled, but by the end of the first week, I knew I couldn't make it. He understood and, when he got back to the States, he called me and we resumed our sessions over the phone even though he still had a week plus left of his vacation.

When he got back, there were eighteen presents waiting for him, each wrapped obsessively, each one more glorious than the next. I've talked about this before in this blog - you who read, know this story - know that I told him in a fierce whisper, "If, next year, you don't want eighteen Christmas presents, don't fucking leave me for eighteen days." So, eighteen presents - makes me smile now because we got through it. Mount Doom didn't swallow me. My past is mostly tucked in bed, right where it belongs - the past. He and I took the journey and walked a careful path between molton lava flows. He knew where to step. I followed. I'm fine now.

So, oh my......these days it feels like such a victory and accomplishment to hear him tell me that I am living la dolce vita, even if there is sadness in my life. If I had to put my finger on the therapy experience - why it was transforming, I would have to say, the healing occurs as a result of being "held" by someone who creates a really safe space with strong and loving boundaries where you can go a little crazy. I also believe in the power of therapeutic love. Kaveh loves me, he really loves me. I know I will live in his heart forever, bubbling up in his consciousness many many time a month when he sees or hears something that reminds him of me. Unlike some therapists he is not impervious. He would be the first to say, knowing me has affected him deeply. It will be a very bittersweet good-bye. Little Grasshopper is ready to leave home. (He once told me he loved that series with David Carradine).

And if you noticed, I removed yesterday's blog about Henry. First James (Convex), then Liza (Lucas) and then Liza's husband Jason all called in a flurry demanding that I remove the offending blog. Their outrage - the allusion to the hilarious and dark-humor about child pornography. I get it - it was over the top that we even had that discussion to begin with and, yet, we were all laughing hysterically the night before, spinning dark upon dire scenarios, each more horrific than the next. By the end of the discussion we were all but exhausted with having spent ourselves laughing - out of breath. So the fact that the dark humor may not have translated well in this blog - that my readers may not be as twisted as we are - that our darkness shouldn't be for popular consumption - I get it. Maybe people don't get that, at our core, we are as conservative (maybe even more so) than the average Joe about this stuff. Having said that, we're writers and it comes naturally to explore the dark side of human nature.

So, I was totally OK with being asked to remove that reference - it was the way I was asked that irked me. A curt text, "Remove that joke, immediately."  Nothing more. Really? Not something like, "Read your blog and while you and I think it is hilarious, it might not play well...would you consider amending it or removing it?  Nope, just a shaming comment with the troops being called out to barrage me with phone calls (which I didn't answer -was having a great day and didn't need my parade rained on). And then thoughts of , "I'm one of the good guys, remember? I'm the one who just told you I'd give up an afternoon a week to care for your left-behind daughter, even though my work load is ramping up. I'm the one who said "yes" to a request to cook with her and make dinner for the left-behind family once a week for the next two to three years, even though there was just an assumption that the cost of that would be absorbed into my own budget. I'm one of the good guys here - not the person who should be shamed and censured." Fuck that.

Josh had an interesting take (he was also part of the original discussion). He said the reason people read my blog is because it IS unfiltered and edgy. It was very clear that what I wrote was in dark jest which is why it was funny. He thinks it was a post that people would chuckle darkly about and pass on with a comment like,"This is hilarious....thinking we should send this desperate mother some money."  He said it could have gone viral because it wasn't saccharine - could have been a vehicle for raising a lot of money for Henry. Josh is a social networking expert which is why that was his first thought - that removing it is a missed opportunity.

Anyway, all for now. Challenge today is a stretch. I'm going to keep licking my wounds, try not to burn bridges, make it a kick-ass productive day, work the huge list which, when done, is a magical balance between immediate self care, dusty old projects that have never seen the light of day, new work projects and cooking everything tomato (Josh brought a huge bucket of quintessential garden tomatoes, some caked in garden dirt). Your challenge could be the same - making a list that encompasses ALL the areas of your life that need attention - identifying the next steps and then diving in.


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