“Is there any such thing as a healthy relationship?’
His curious and caring eyes are not robust enough to penetrate my armor today, no matter how much I hunger for them to be.
No matter how desperately I crave for them to be.
The setting of my therapy has changed.
I pull up on the gravel pathway nowadays, usually in the rain, open the car door, letting my feet fall on to the stones outside and I sit for a while, staring up at the old Victorian building that time has ravaged.
There is no doubt in my mind that this building used to be majestic, stunning and warm, but what time has left behind can only kindly be described as an ugly shit hole.
I wonder if time ever has to answer for all the hurt it causes?
It takes me a little longer to find the courage to enter therapy these days without the backdrop of the hospital guiding me in, and without the security of anyone knowing where I am.
It takes me a little longer to trust.
Sometimes, as I sit on the eccentric purple sofa in this new room, trying and failing to find a restful position, that gives both the impression I am supported yet uncomfortable, facing James, I vividly imagine releasing bucket after bucket of tears and pain, with slow methodical like actions on to the thick cream carpet, that swallows my feet, between us.
I imagine, almost dream like, not being able to stop as the gushing of the pain and the tears soaks the space between us and the carpet becomes so sodden that it can no longer hold anymore and like the giving of a dam, I then imagine that we each begin to float away from each other in the tide, him in his comfy one seater with his new converse on with the labels turned down, and me, barefoot on my lonely three seater.
And then once again I can be alone, and will be able to escape his annoying questions, questions that I do not want to answer just yet, thank you very much.
I imagine calling out ‘WILSONNNNNN!’ like Tom hanks does in Castaway, except it won’t be a baseball that is floating away sadly, it will be a bottle of wine that I have drawn a smiley face on. A smiley face that looks exactly like my therapist.
‘WILSONNNNN!!!!!!’ I daydream, wishing the hour was up but knowing it has just begun, ‘if only you were here!!!’
Because I honestly do think, my therapist and I would get on a hell of a lot better over a glass of wine, or maybe a bottle.
I would definitely be more honest that is for damn sure.
I rest my head on the hard sofa arm and toy with the idea of picking up my coat and throwing it over my head.
I do this sometimes when he makes me feel uncomfortable and it makes things easier to handle.
Sure, I must look like an idiot, but hey, I am paying him £40 an hour so if I want to act like a lunatic I bloody will.
One day I may even pretend to be a ghost just to see what he does.
‘Oooo James, BOOOOOOO!’
Not today though. Instead I look up at the gilded angels carved in to the horrifically decorated ‘dildo’ rail scaling the four corners of the old Victorian ceiling, and I sigh.
I want to be able to say no, that I don’t believe there is any such thing as a healthy or happy relationship but I am too frightened, because I don’t know if I believe that answer to be true deep down and I also know this will inevitably lead to more questions, that I really don’t want to answer.
‘Well?’ he asks again as I studiously try to ignore the little black box sat to the left of my head, recording every word I say probably for when he needs therapy to get over my therapy, and try not to think about wine.
I didn’t want to talk about relationships today.
I wanted to come in to this room and bury myself beneath the Latin scrolled cushions, curl up and have him tell me I would be ok.
I wanted him to tell me that it wasn’t me who was bad in relationships, but everyone else, and that telling the Irish one he was a Loser and a Bastard and deserved to die for forgetting the milk was understandable. That he was a bastard as milk is vital. I wanted him to confirm to me that nobody liked me, that people hurt me on purpose.
I wanted him to tell me that I was right, everybody left in the end, or died, or betrayed you, and I was right to trust nobody and pushing people away was the only sensible thing to do.
I wanted to be understood, but instead, I found myself irritated by a question, at the root of it, I was unable to answer.
Because at the root of it, I know it is I, who is unhealthy, who is unhappy and who is unable to forgive herself.
I wouldn’t choose to live in my brain if the choice were ever offered, I wouldn’t choose to have to drive over the 60 foot bridge that 7 years ago my brother collapsed off, twisting and hurtling in the dead of night, all alone, in to the icy waters below, so exhausted by living in his brain that this terrifying action seemed an easier thing to do than live, and I wouldn’t choose depression.
Every day I cross that bridge in my car and I hear his fear.
I am not normal, we are not normal, I am evil, we are evil.
I sense his pain.
I hear his core beliefs echoed in my own.
I touch the back of my head and I shiver as the water fills my ears and the ice stings my lungs.
Some days I cross with my foot down and I block it out with medication, with singing, with hopes and dreams of a life I one day hope to live.
A life where my core beliefs don’t tell me I deserve nothing.
Some days I feel free, I feel loved and supported.
Like today, I don’t realise I am sobbing until I feel my neck wet and my soul drain.
Another bucket of pain that wont seem to empty, no matter how hard I god damn try.
Some days I wish I could just drift away.
I can’t answer his question today, so instead I ignore it and do the only sensible thing left to do.
I pick a fight with him instead.
‘Four days respite I got on holiday. Four fucking days of being at peace. I wasn’t happy, although god knows how much I tried to be, I was at peace, only four days that’s it, out of Fourteen! Four days that the illness granted me a respite, a peace treaty. AND THIS ILLNESS IS SEEN AS A CHOICE? Is this how it is going to be for the rest of my fucking life? Fighting with myself? Blaming myself? Feeling selfish and not being able to explain why I am the way I am? Feeling the disappointment deep in my heart, the disappointment I see in etched in to my loved ones eyes when they see it is back? Not being able to pretend? Feeling hopeless? Feeling like a god damn failure? When will therapy start to help? I hate therapy and I hate you.’
He smiles from beneath his slow shock.
‘There is no such thing as therapy Lexy.’ He states clearly. ‘What we have is a relationship, and I can hear you.’
When the feeling of wanting to strangle him passes and I am once again safely ensconced back in the car on the way home, it hits me what he has said.
He is always there for me.
I talk to him.
I cry to him.
I ask for help.
I tell him how evil I feel.
He doesn’t judge.
He gets to the root of me.
He pisses me off.
He sets boundaries and he offers me advice.
I feel uncomfortable, but maybe there is such a thing as a healthy and happy relationship.
Maybe he is teaching me they do exist, maybe he is showing me I have more than one in my life, even if I do think I am evil and don’t deserve anyone.
I owe him a lot.
My THERAPIST who gives me THERAPY.
How in the hell can therapy not exist???
God he is so annoying.
‘WILLLSOOOOONNNNN!!!!!’ *Slurps wine.*