Oh good gracious me!!! I stumbled across a huge word file on my laptop today when I was looking for some writing I did around the time my dad died (it’s the anniversary of that horrid event this weekend). The document I actually found was writing I did 6/7 years ago during my NHS therapy with Em. It’s painful to read what I wrote then but also amazing to see how some things have really moved on and how other issues remain stuck. Therapy is clearly a long trek for me! I might get round to putting some extracts here eventually if I can bear the shame 😉 But for now – here’s the piece of huge cringe that I wrote to Em after my last session with her back in 2013 (and proceeded to send her in the mail!). The plan had been to see her in private practice after three months of ending in the NHS but it actually turned out to be three years before I got back into the therapy room with her… and last week was the anniversary of three years more work… I’m surprised she ever agreed to see me again after my teenage self clearly got poetic! Haha.
The dust of half a lifetime lies thick on the lid
Carefully, I trace the words ‘KEEP OUT’ with my finger tip-
Those words roughly etched into the surface
during in a time of past desolation.
As though it were some mystical chest
I gaze down and wonder at it
But I know this box
The one I keep my secrets in
Does not hold treasure
I know too, that finally, it must be opened
Still holds firm.
Even after all these years.
I look away…
turn the key…
The bolt gives way
Hinges creak loudly and the cool air
to fill the dark, silent space within
At the clandestine hoard.
It is not quite as I remember it.
Some items have been neatly wrapped and carefully placed inside.
Difficult to handle things, thrown in in haste, are strewn untidily.
Slowly, slowly I begin to unpack
each individual fragment of a memory:
A broken heart
A broken soul.
This jigsaw requires careful handling.
Piece by piece
one at a time
I free these parts of myself from the mausoleum
Some are so fragile they threaten to disintegrate
Others razor-sharp and still poised to draw blood
Little by little
the picture emerges.
Tentatively I hold out my hand,
“Look at this” I say.
I half expect you to run screaming out the door
I know I want to.
But there you are- still.
And for that, I thank you.