Therapy Thursday…

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…Which happened on Friday, and I’m writing about on Saturday. It’s summer; this is how we roll.

So, the primary reasons I chose Richard are that he was recommended as a queer-friendly therapist and he’s EMDR certified. EMDR, or Eye Movement Desensitization Processing, is a method of psychotherapy used frequently in treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder and trauma in general. I know my understanding of PTSD was informed primarily by the dramatic cases you see in movies or hear about in the news, but it can also be the result of “small” incidents repeated over a long period of time. Some people best served by EMDR are survivors of childhood abuse, sexual violence, and abusive relationships in any capacity. As a triple winner, I’m a no-brainer candidate.

Last night after the two-week catch up, Rich and I got back to work on my EMDR prep. Every practitioner does things a little differently, so the details aren’t really relevant – what really struck me was what a fucking hypocrite I am. Let me ‘splain. No, is too much; let me sum up. (ETA: what follows is *not* a “sum up,” but I couldn’t resist the Princess Bride reference. You understand.)

Fairly recently, I met someone who I’ve spent quite a bit of time with over the last month or so. One topic that came up shortly after we met, and which has been more of a conversation piece of late, is passion. Life’s passions – the things we would do all day, every day, if reality wouldn’t interfere. Her passion is photography – particularly landscapes, nature and its mysteries and intricacies. And she’s good. Really good. And beyond the technical aspect of capturing a moment, of manipulating the image, of creating – her passion for the whole art is palpable, electric. Her eyes darken as with lust when she sees a particularly stunning image, she loses herself in time when she’s setting up a shot. To see it is to feel it in the air, to taste it, to be swept up in what so clearly moves her, possesses someone who otherwise tends to seem enigmatic and stoic. I encourage her to find the path that will allow her to pursue her passion, all the while stifling my own. Telling myself I can’t, it’s silly, that life was lost to me when I was 17 years old.

What bullshit.

I know most of you who know me probably believe that my passion is writing. Or reading. Or both. And that’s absolutely true in one sense, but the way I define passion involves a pain, a longing, a struggle. Nothing in the world will ever stop me from writing – it is as much a part of me as breathing. But the passion I left behind, the passion I think about daily and feel loss around on a regular basis, is for music. Singing and dance in particular, though I miss playing instruments, too. Tonight I met a young man, a friend’s son, who does musical theater. In a brief conversation, memories of shows I’ve seen and performed in flooded back, and before I even knew what I was saying, I told him how much I miss it. This kid, 21, maybe 22, said to me, “So, do it. What are you waiting for? Come back.” So often I think, maybe I should just go out for a show. Maybe I should take that belly dance intensive. Maybe I could do burlesque. But it never gets beyond the research stage. My excuses are many, but the reality is that it all comes down to one: fear. And goddammit, I am TIRED of fear controlling my life. When I’m sitting on Richard’s couch and start sobbing just to think that I haven’t been on a stage in 15 years, that should tell me something. Maybe I’m ready to listen.




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