Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Unser Haus, 1918-1922
Some months ago I was struck by the sense that my life had become unmanageable. Not unmanageable bad. Just that I had lost an ability to get a handle on it, that my own emotional life was bewildering to me. So I started going to therapy. I thought of therapy as a place where I could sort of air out my internal life without judgment so as to speak, that it would be a way for me to release stress. I guess I was sick of being alone in my own mind.
That’s a big running theme in my life, a sort of ongoing dream: this idea, or ideal, of being able to share all my thoughts. Or, like, 90% of them (I’m a supporter of retaining some mental privacy!). But honestly, sharing has never gone well for me. We can do a multi-factored analysis of why next week, but for now I’ll just say: it doesn’t go well!
So instead of vomiting out all my thoughts, I edit. I don’t tell—I narrate. And the thought I had in therapy last week was just that: I’m narrating. I’m sanitizing. And is that my fault or hers? I guess it doesn’t matter. I think it’s hard for therapy to work when I’m always narrating. It’s hard for life to work when I’m always narrating.