The Reason

N asked me this morning about my new blog. I hadn’t told N about it until yesterday, when I decided to syndicate it and make a bigger deal of it than I had planned on originally. I was blogging at MySpace, but it’s not the venue I want to continue in, and I wasn’t sure what this blog was going to end up being about. Now, I have more of an idea, and it’s going to involve a lot of emotional purging about crap that I don’t get resolved in the more traditional cathartic arena of therapy. Ironic, since I am grad school to become a therapist.

I have sat in therapy offices a variety of times, and quite frankly, I haven’t accomplished what I needed to in them. I get to a point where talking isn’t going to do me a whole lot of good. Sitting with one person who hasn’t felt what I feel or experienced what I experience isn’t going to make a difference in my life. Blathering on about my problems, while someone trained in the art of active listening, doling out advice here and there, asking me what I could have done differently, simply doesn’t help me.

Writing does.

It’s given me a lot to think about while in school. What kind of therapist do I want to be? How am I going to help people in a system that I haven’t been too helped by? I mean, I am eternally thankful for the therapist who scratched her head at me after a year and said: I think you have Bipolar Disorder. That was brilliant, and changed my life remarkably. And I have been thankful just to have someone to listen, to bounce ideas of off when no one else would. In that way therapy has been helpful.

But when it comes to the nuts-and-bolts of my life, the actual change-making, talking doesn’t do it. Going in for an hour a week and talking about my feelings and thoughts, crying about my hurts, which are many, doesn’t make me feel any better. I leave more confused, my thoughts racing out of control worse than ever. I leave with a sense of dread, not knowing if anything is going to get better. I leave thinking: This isn’t fucking helping me. And: What are we even doing here? What was the point of all of that? Now I’m splotchy-faced, and my mascara’s a mess, and I have to go be seen in public, my shame exposed to the world? Fabulous.

I usually quit therapy before I even get to the real issues in my life, which are fat and family acceptance. These are things I can’t talk about with therapists. I don’t want to hear the therapeutic catchphrases: “That must be so hard for you. Tell me how that made you feel. What could you have done differently in that situation? How can reframe that experience?” These words make me want to throw the cup of drug rep pens at my therapist, using them as my own personal dart board. They feel pandering, not genuine. Ironically, I use those phrases all the time in my work in the system. I imagine I sound as pandering as I hate.

I want a messy form of therapy. This is what I love about the ritualism of goddess spirituality. It is dark and magickal. It allows me to connect with something base and primal and real. It does not ask you to talk about feelings, it asks you to feel feelings, to connect with them, to own them, to live with them, and to purge them. The ceremony behind it is immensely healing in a way talk therapy has never been for me. Taking a scale and crushing it with a hammer, stating experientially and ritually that I am done being measured by my weight has a value far greater to me than does telling a therapist, behind closed doors: I want to reframe my life by thinking I am not a bad person for being fat. For me, I need the dark, the tangible, the real. I need the Jungian connection to the collective unconscious. I need to be moved.

Writing allows me to tap into that. Being able to share, among even a group of people  I don’t know, I don’t see, who have shared similar pains and hurts because of a prejudice that makes no sense, is the Freudian catharsis I need. I feel less alone. In a postmodern world, none of us experience anything new. But when trapped in our own neuroses about our bodies, we can feel so shamed into thinking: No one feels this way. Simply writing about my weight, writing about my fatness — the most visible part of me — makes me less shamed. It makes me more human. It makes me less stigmatized. It makes me more connected. I add to the collective unconscious by putting my voice out there, by saying: I am here, and I am fat, and I will not be ashamed.

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