Friday, September 05, 2008

Extracted from and intruded upon

What’s fascinating about talking with Amy is that I'm talking with someone who's very similar to my mother in so many ways -- same profession, similar class privilege, lives in a wealthy DC suburb, and I'm guessing she's about the same age. And she still seems to understand me, even to offer insight -- she says: I really sense your desire for some financial settlement with your mother, I would even use the word need -- for some financial settlement that you could rely on, and everything else pales next to this. And: I'm one in a long string of therapists by whom you feel extracted from and intruded upon, and if we’re starting out from this place it’s already corrupt -- even if you feel some connection to me, you’ll always be distrusting and paranoid on some level. You'll always wonder what I might be telling your mother.

She says: the only way I could possibly be of service is if you could find a way to talk to your mother, for you to talk to one another in a comfortable way. That's when I say that yes, that's a desire for me but actually getting her to create an account would mean a lot more because it's something palpable, something that's not about her power -- I mean if she would do it in a way that created autonomy, that would really lay the groundwork for me to potentially feel more trusting and then when I interact with her -- I mean I already give her advice about her life and listen to her and I do feel genuinely engaged, but then afterwards it feels like part of her manipulation. And at least if she could create that account to ensure my basic needs, then I would feel like she was actually doing something to help me, not just using money like my father, for manipulation and control.

Amy also says that she felt warmed by my willingness to be so intimate with her, even though I have no reason to trust her, last time when I was sobbing. She says she was touched by my clarity and vulnerability. And, about the time when I talked to her several years ago: you helped me understand a dynamic about your parent’s relationship that I couldn't understand before, the way your mother is vague with everything but the vagueness is really about control and it's almost like she has this inability to think about the dynamics of her relationships and you’re more articulate about what's going on with your mother than she is -- and your mother even said that you would understand better than anyone, and it was when you are talking about what dinners were like, that's when I understood.

Amy means when everything became a battle for control of my body, a battle I'm still not sure that I'm winning.


gina said...

i'm sorry about this struggle, mattilda. but i love that you articulate it every step of the way as you move through it.

and mostly,

i love your intimacy and your sobbing.

maybe we can carve out some sobbing in san francisco time on your couch looking at your beautiful view through your beautiful windows with beautiful you.

i love love love you. and i miss you.

so many people don't know how to be intimate, you know? or it takes so fucking long to get there. and some people, like dates maybe, would say that about me. but it's not true. at least i know you know.

i love you,
and i love all that sheltering emptiness...
i break out the 500T tomorrow!


mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Gina, darling -- so great to hear from you! Yes yes yes for subbing in San Francisco on the couch, before or after hotel lobbies, we have a date for sure...

And you are so so right about the ways that people don't know how to be intimate, so many ways not to be intimate, help!

And yay for the 500T, let's hear it for the 500T!

So much love --

gina said...


SUBBING in san francisco on the couch?? well, i don't know about you, but i will be subbing on the streets of the folsom street fair! couches are way too soft and pretty for subbing. give me a cold and dirty cement floor, honey.

i know, i shouldn't really be making jokes about your voice software....

but i can't wait to sub together. it's a date for real.


mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Oh, no -- not sub sub sub in something something something no I'm saying not something not subbing there we go what we want is sob sob sobbing YES there it is sob sob sobbing and love love love yes it gets love right away yes love LOVE love love I'll just keep saying that and then maybe it'll all be okay...

Love --