…continued from the previous post.
E. So you always sit like that now, with your legs crossed like that. It’s difficult to talk to you. I’m going to try it.
R. (not changing his posture) OK.
I sit up, cross my leg over the other the way Ron does, and fold my arms, fingers interlocking.
E. Hmm….OK, tell me something and I’ll analyze it for you.
I look at Ron expectantly. I do feel more in charge like this.
Ron now says something, but it’s about me, I can’t remember what.
E. So….I feel all professional like this. I feel all objective.
I quickly get out of the pose.
E. Naw…I don’t like to feel professional.
Ron grins at me, the way he grins at the kid. Maybe it is the kid who is fooling around.
E. I guess I’ll talk about the rest of the group, what happened before.
E. It kind of seems like….
I’m not sure I want to say this, because I know Ron will deny it, and it’s a little sensitive.
E. It seems like you always talk to A in a special way. As if only you know how to talk to her.
E. You totally uncross your legs, and lean towards her, and there is all this intense eye contact….
R. So how do you feel about that?
E. Of course it’s always all about me. I’m too old to merge with someone like she does. Well, when I was younger, I used to…..
I don’t finish the thought. I’ve decided this is too embarrassing to discuss, and Ron doesn’t seem particularly into this topic anyway.
R. A part of you is young.
E. Oh yeah. That’s a good point. I guess I am a bit jealous. But…it’s as if you think she’s too fragile for regular feedback. I was kind of arguing with her.
R. You were arguing?
E. Yes, about her not giving much feedback because she thinks on a time delay or something. I don’t think so.
R. Um, yes.
E. And there’s R. At first I really liked that he liked me. I believed the positive things he said about me. Now…I don’t. I think he’s practicing.
R. What is he practicing?
E. Talking to women.
R. How did you decide this?
E. I just think it. And he’s not here to ask, so I can’t know. It’s a very artificial situation.
E. It almost seems like you’re not real. It’s like you’re not really here.
R. It might be the flip side of the depersonalization you experience sometimes.
This is quite a frightening feeling for me. I realize I’ve had it to some extent throughout – a feeling that Ron is a cardboard cutout.
E. Well, if it’s that, I must be scared. What am I scared of? I didn’t used to think you weren’t real.
R. I’m more important to you now than I used to be.
E. So if you’re important, why am I scared?
Now Ron actually does meet my eyes, and his eyes kind of glitter, and I can see inside them for a moment. We actually do connect, right there, for some reason. I don’t know what he is thinking….but it seems like this is a key point of some kind. It is a relief to remember this, because there he was a real person looking out at me, just for a few seconds. Full of intelligence and things he wasn’t saying.
E. So I brought a dream, but I think there’s no time.
R. Why don’t you tell it to me, and I’ll sit with it till next time.
For some reason, now I forget that the session is almost over, and want to tell him how I feel about the ice floe. When really there is no time. Usually I track the time much better.
E. I think I’ll tell you how I’m feeling instead. I’m feeling the ice floe scenario. My head is tingling, I’m feeling really lonely….
I get into this for a minute or two.
R. I’m afraid we have to wrap up now.
E. Oh! Sorry!
I look at the clock and see it is exactly time.
R. It’s OK, you did nothing wrong. But it’s time.
I feel really stupid. And I’m sure Ron thinks, why on earth didn’t she do this at the start of the session when I asked about this. I’m embarrassed.
R. Just before you go, can we talk for a minute….
Now I don’t remember what Ron said, because I was once again in the ice floe experience. I get up and head out the door.
E. OK, bye.
I don’t look at Ron, and don’t say thank you. I’m kind of emotional.
Ron’s door is still open, and he calls my name while I’m still in the hall.
R. Oh Ellen….
I go back to his door.
R. Did you want to borrow a book?
E. Oh yeah, sure. That would be great.
So Ron looks through the books in his office. He’s looking for something in particular and doesn’t find it.
R. Have you ever read any RD Lang? (not sure of the spelling)
E. No. Didn’t he write about schizophrenia?
R. Yeah, but other stuff too….
Ron turns to his other shelf.
R. How about Love’s Executioner?
E. I’ve read it.
R. OK, How about Healing the Soul in the Age of the Brain?
E. I’ve read it. It’s really funny, where he analyzes his own writing….(reading the titles on his shelf) Well, how about Severe Personality Disorders – what do you think? No?
Ron doesn’t respond to this.
R. So you have read some things. OK. How about this? He gives me a penguin paperback, A Shining Affliction, by Annie Rogers.
E. OK, great.
I take the book and put it into my backpack.
E. Thanks! Bye.
I head down the stairs. We had a whole different dynamic going on when Ron called me back into his office to look at books. I liked it. It was more as if we were two regular people who had an interest in common. And of course I like that he lent me something as it’s like a sign that he cares about me.
I stop on the last flight of stairs and look down. Someone is standing outside the front door and I can just see her boots. I think I recognize those brown high boots. I stand and gather my wits before going out the front door. Yep, it’s E. This time I talk to her.
E. Hello E! I thought I recognized those boots! I was on the stairs and just saw your boots, and I thought, that’s E.
E. smiles in surprise. In a bit of a fake voice, she responds.
E. (other E). Oh hi! Well, have a wonderful weekend!
And she heads up the stairs. She can’t say I ignored her.
I drive home. I’m distressed and don’t really know why. I hate that Ron is going on vacation. I don’t like that he doesn’t seem real. He hasn’t offered me a phone call to tide me over as he did over Christmas, so I’m sad about that. I am upset about R. liking me in the group. I feel abandoned somehow. Completely irrational. I mope, I can only eat kid food (hot cereal with strawberries). I go to bed and nap.