Sunday, March 25, 2007

"The Eyes Are the Gateway to the Soul"

Good news, I passed whatever "Psychological" testing there was. Although I might I have failed it depending on your perspective, as I found myself sitting in TGD's office for the third visit.

Today would be "Family History Day." HA! Maybe I should just bring in Tad Browning's 1932 circus movie, "Freaks," and we could watch the DVD together. The cast of characters there should just about sum it up. This was going to be a walk down memory lane like no other.

As I walked in TGD's office and took my appointed seat, all attempts at humor disappeared again. Once again I tried to keep the humor in my head to keep the sobbing at bay. What was it about this f%$king office that provoked tears and sadness even before one single word was spoken? What was it about TGD that provoked the feeling of my soul turning inside out whenever I sat across from her? Fear? Oh yeh. Mistrust? Not exactly, but turning myself inside out to someone you've met three times for only 45 minutes at a pop, left me with complex feelings of sadness and an overwhelming sense of not wanting to leave there.

I had been in therapy before and knew what the drill was, but this was different. Was it the process? Was it the room? Was is too much attention focused on me? WHY? Was it TGD?
But then I realized it was her eyes. Her eyes held you. Piercing softly through my soul as if she already knew everything about me. That was it! You knew TGD was listening, and listening hard. You could see that in her eyes. But at times all I could do was to focus on her shoes. Her shoes! Why her shoes? True, they are very stylish and I started thinking how much the dogs would love chewing on them and how much I would have to pay for that very expensive chew toy.

But my thoughts didn't stay on her shoes for long. TGD's gentle voice with the explosive questions snapped me back to my own bizarre reality. "If you don't mind, could you please tell me what you remember from the earliest memories of your childhood"?

As I started to spiel off a fairly rehearsed rendition of what my childhood was like, I sat there fairly pleased with myself for being somewhat coherent enough to give her the history. As I finished the synopsis, TGD looked at me and said, " Yes, those are the facts from your childhood which seem quite clear, but I would like you to please tell me what you remember feeling as that little child and please start with the earliest memories of your feelings. I would like you to describe if you were feeling pain, sadness, confusion or whatever you were experiencing."

WTF??? My feelings as a child? I looked at her and said, "you mean if I was happy or sad or scared, right"? "Yes, please," said TGD. I stopped dead in my tracks. I know how I felt as a child, but describing it and putting it to words was different. I could tell stories about my childhood, but to have to actually go back and think how I felt as that child and go inside "that child's" mind was overwhelming. Never been down this road before. Nor had anyone ever asked. A "child's feelings" were somewhat of an oxymoron.

I'd have a lot of sessions learning about her shoes at this pace.

15 Comments:

Blogger Kim said...

Your writing is so amazing, Suzy--you are able to show us how closed you felt then, how cautious, and yet you show such brilliant, soaring courage in your honesty. That is not an easy balance to strike.

Yes, TGD is truly amazing, and yes, her eyes (and her shoes?) drew you forward, but it was YOU who were ready, YOU who made it all happen. She is a deeply powerful part of this picture, no question, but YOU are the savior Suzy. YOU.

9:47 PM  
Anonymous s (no longer) @ bd said...

expensive toys indeed.

(but worth it, i think)

9:53 PM  
Blogger Terry Whitaker said...

I am mesmerized by TGD through you. I can feel her listening.

10:54 PM  
Blogger kario said...

I am so glad that you found a doctor who finally validated your feelings. I am sweating bullets with you in her office as you try to come to terms with a new way of looking at your past.

Terrific writing!

11:51 PM  
Blogger Carrie Wilson Link said...

You've got me in that room. I'm a fly on the wall. Don't keep me waiting! MORE!

9:40 AM  
Blogger Jerri said...

You've put me right in the room, watching TGD's shoes and waiting for the stories to begin.

Fabulous, Suzy. Love Kim's description of your brilliant, soaring courage. That's what it is, you know. Brilliant and soaring.

love.

2:16 PM  
Blogger Deb said...

Oh, Suzy, I'm sitting right there with you. To finally have someone ask the right questions - what a terrifyingly wonderful gift. I am in awe of how you've used humor to make me laugh while I travel with you, but more how you let us know that the humor kept you breathing and in that chair. I love TGD for what she's given you. I love you for your courage and strength and vulnerability. And so the feelings. . .

8:29 PM  
Blogger Prema said...

I love the focus on the shoes. Somehow the shoes seem central, or could be - the way a child sees things like that. Great description of her gaze. So much is conveyed by these details. Can't wait to read more...

12:59 AM  
Blogger holly said...

brilliant Suzy. I feel right there with you - so get that feeling of wanting to joke through the hard stuff. Of keeping the monolgue running even when you aren't saying it.

And, i'm so curious about what kind of shoes TGD was wearing.

1:13 AM  
Blogger Mystic Wing said...

Suzy: There are other writers, including some published Names, who are perhaps a little more nimble with language. But somehow you manage to portray an honesty and open-heartedness that is much more genuine than any of them.

Quite a lot of writers with horrifying life stories to tell are just barely hiding enormous rage, hatred and bitterness under a very thin veneer of spirituality.

You, on the other hand, show a genuine fondness for people that comes through utterly in your writing. It's remarkable, considering the nature of your story. It is a genuine gift that transcends mere talent with words.

Quite honestly, I find your story and voice a good deal more interesting than those published by Names. No need to copy anybody's style, Suzy: tell your story, your way.

3:31 PM  
Blogger grammer said...

i'd call that teary thing that happened to you a "watershed moment." literally!

you've got me thinking about childhood feelings. true, the facts are in place -- but where are the feelings? what were they? hm....

this is good and generous work you are doing. thanks, suzy. and thanks, TGD. xo

9:14 PM  
Blogger Michelle O'Neil said...

Because you were too busy surviving the first time through to feel.

Brave, brave, brave Suzy!

You are beautiful!

6:46 PM  
Blogger Monica said...

Suzy, I love how you concentrate on her shoes. So understandable and human. But when you contemplate being asked for the first time in your life how you "felt" as a child, that is just an enormous moment - so touching. Heart wrenching.

11:43 PM  
Blogger jennifer said...

Great writing, getting clearer every day.

AND...be careful of investing a dime of your creative energy to "editorial" feedback at this time. I know your site is open to the general public and I appreciate your growing audience (this will help come time to sell the work, right Kimmey??) but those who are not students with you may not know this is supposed to be raw and that what you are burning out here is a second draft at this stage. You are in the tender, early stage of "creation" which cannot be seriously analyzed or shaped into some standard or form by an outside observer (even me). The reader who thinks it is time to comment on your craft, in comparison to published writers, is under the impression you are creating something that is comparable to "published" work. You are not in that place!

ONE RULE: Do not analyze while you create.

Just write and keep writing and be held by the love.

2:13 PM  
Blogger Ziji Wangmo said...

I'm checking in everyday -keep writing- keep feeling- keep sharing! Thank you.

12:43 AM  

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