I need to write, but haven’t in a while.
I got a little bogged down trying to create neat, unoffensive packages of psychotherapy. I sort of lost myself, and writing became a chore.
But I’m writing my way back home, thanks to a little rest and time with writerly friends. Now, my true self wants to say something . . .
- more interesting,
- more hilarious,
- more gut-wrenching,
- more real . . .
The stuff I’d want to read, that enlivens me and pushes me toward the edges of my comfort and into a new way to think.
Stuff that makes me want to get up early and write it.
For years, I’ve flirted with more candid writing, but reined it in, choosing a safer, more clinical voice. In the therapist’s chair, I listen to your stories, all the while knowing we’re alike in ways that blow my mind. Almost nothing truly separates us.
More Honesty = Less Separation Between Us
. . . and less separation sounds great to me.
My last post, about dealing with a narcissistic mother, brought me closer to what’s real. It felt risky and imperative at the same time. Some of you said, “Oh my God, that’s me too.” We both struggle with how to handle people we love who bring us down. There it is. Just like you, I need help with my boundaries and I need to know that I’m not a bad person for protecting myself.
There’s a censor in my head who says, “Shut up and act like a proper psychologist.” But another voice says, “Trust yourself. Write what you know. Share what’s real for you. Trust the universe. Allow yourself to be known.”
Even though I sit in the therapist’s chair, I’m a work in progress. And although our sessions are about you, sometimes I need to write about me. That feels more balanced, more genuine, more honest . . .
. . . and scary as hell.
(which is probably a sign I need to do it).
More Spiritual Growth
A few years ago, I wrote a novel about growing up and escaping fundamentalism. It’s fiction – but it hews closely to my emotional truth. Now, more than ever, I think you need to read my story. It’s part of your story too . . . Though you may not realize it yet.
We are spiritual beings who change constantly. We’re all moving toward more mindful spirituality, higher levels of consciousness, less restricted thinking, more love, more connection . . . whether we realize it or not.
I plan to share Wife Material in my 2018 blog, starting with this little scene of the 22-year-old bride, Elizabeth, straight from her Church of Christ wedding reception (Think receiving line, sherbet punch, mixed nuts, and pastel-colored mints.) Elizabeth is me. She’s the reason I’m for you getting free.
As always, I love hearing from you.
1988, from Wife Material: A Novel of Misbehavior and Freedom
The wedding night. My new husband looked like a mound of biscuit dough. He had a surprising lack of body hair and a pale form that slumped when standing or sitting. He had his mother’s hips. Unless you actually saw his private parts, you might not realize he was, in fact, a man. He waited for me under the hotel blanket as I tiptoed out of the small Vanderbilt bathroom in my white chenille robe, reluctantly exposing my skin to conditioned air as I slipped it off.
He smiled like a dimpled three-year-old about to eat pudding. The lights were out except for the fluorescent shafts that wound around the partially open bathroom door. I thanked God for darkness as I hurried into the stiff, clean sheets with him, a bit of moonlight misting in through a crack in the heavy sixth-floor drapes. The clock on the polished nightstand said 1:15 a.m. I missed my mother.
An hour ago, somebody else’s wedding party reveled in the lobby as we arrived at the hotel. The other bride still wore her finery, her updo falling in a sexy droop, and her friends laughed and glistened with perspiration in their cocktail dresses, like they’d been dancing for hours. They looked breezy and comedic, in the way of Eddie Bauer models. A hunky groom stood by her, joking with tuxedoed friends. Her gaiety gagged me—I had no idea why. At this moment in the sheets with Ted, I thought of that bride downstairs. She was happier than me.
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