I've been in therapy a few times. Once was couple's therapy. The other times were on my own, trying to get officially diagnosed with ADD (getting diagnosed as an adult is damn near impossible) but really trying to find relief from my feelings of non-productivity. I felt like I wasn't productive; maybe I was, maybe I wasn't, maybe I'm still not (I'm still not). I felt like there was something keeping me from accomplishing the things I saw my peers achieving. I felt like there had to be someone who could do something about that because I was trying as hard as I could and couldn't keep up.
Or so I felt.
I have poems in the new issue of Menacing Hedge. I like the poems. They're pretty new. A different style than I usually write and a different style than I usually enjoy. Someone asked about the first one, Eating Is & Should Be A Joyous Occasion. They asked what I was thinking when I was writing it. It's very simple: I was watching No Reservations and Anthony Bourdain was chasing chickens and I was eating cereal. What surfaced were my thoughts about all these people that I have loved, that I've literally chased around the world, that are now gone from my life, and I now have no idea where they are, what they are doing, if they think of me, what they think of me.
One of my therapists was a grad student who was really into Buddism and meditation. One of my therapists was an Evangelical Christian who was not as big into prayer as one would think. One of my therapists was an older man who was really into psychoanalysis and often talked of our meetings as 'work'.
In the end, I'm ok with not knowing what my past loves are doing, thinking, being. I'd rather not know. The interesting thing is the presence of absence; the fact that we notice when things are missing from our lives.
During therapy I often was asked to recall or discuss traumas in my life. I'm not sure how this was supposed to help. It often hurt. Often, it hurt a lot. I'm not sure how therapy is supposed to help anything.
The loves are not gone, but have turned into an absence.
Sometimes, I feel like we need to talk things out, explain things to ourselves, and I can see how therapy could help with that. The problem is, that problems don't go away when we talk about them. Problems, even if they've been fully reasoned through, are still there; all my traumas still happened, even if I understand how and why they happened.
The trauma is a new event everytime it's recalled.
So, how does healing ever occur? I don't think it can from therapy. Even though the word 'therapy' means that it will cure or heal. For myself, I fear that you can't be cured ever. And yet somehow I haven't lost my mind. I think part of the reason that I don't completely lose it, is an affinity for NEW. I try to do and taste and feel and smell and see new things. The brain is finite after all, and if I add new things, eventually old things will get replaced or misplaced and thoroughly mixed in with all the new. So even if I don't lose all the traumas, I can squeeze them, make them smaller, by adding new things... much like the loves who were present and now absent are again present as an absence, the trauma is here, pushing itself into all these wonderful new things. The traumas are part of the new, not made new by recalling them.