I was anxious when i left for therapy. I was not sure of what had happened the previous week, with me bunking office and cancelling train tickets. I was scared it was a relapse and that Ish, my therapist would confirm my fear.
When i read the aftermath [what Ish calls these writings], Ish told me that i had got the postcard idea wrong. It was not necessary that the postcard had to be to people whom i hated. [I had failed to come up with results for this definition.] It could be people i was angry with or people who hurt me a lot. That was easy, i thought. I was to do it on the Saturday before the therapy Sunday.
It was a relief when she said that my sleeping and cancelling plans and not working were not signs of relapse, but of a sense of relief. When i had gone to the psychiatrist, she had reduced the dosage of one of my pills – Lithium. When she gave me the feeling that i had gained weight, it didn’t not affect me as much as it usually does. These were positive signs and proof that i was improving. May be my mind wanted to relish those moments by not doing anything.
Sex still continues to be a problem. When i think of it i think of a tortoise. I feel that it is a part of me that cannot be penetrated – [the choice of word is intentional because i am a genius. No, it was accidental.] There is a difference in the way that therapy has become ever since i started discussing this problem of mine. As always, i shall try to express the feeling in words so that i get more clarity myself.
Up until now, whenever Ish told me what she thought of what i thought, i had been able to distance myself from myself and think of it and see that it was true. Even her suggestions like asking me to try to talk to Mother about her – gave me hope. Here, however, like a tortoise, i felt that i had this thick shell on me that even Ish would not be able to crack. It was something only LJ could crack, i felt. But then again, LJ too was a victim and an asexual being. So speaking to her about sex would just make me feel even worse. I mean my life’s goal is to be asexual like her.
The problem is that i don’t think the way i feel about sex is something that came to me naturally. Like me being sexually attracted to women – it came naturally and it was not introduced to me by anyone. But penile penetration was ‘introduced’ [read rape] though violence. It was common that through such experiences of violence you started to get pleasure out of the act itself.
Me thinking that my partner only wanted my body, constantly checking what he would do if i didn’t have sex with him. Perhaps it was related to LJ. She, when she said that her husband loved her, also spoke about how he waited for her at night, a man who is used to sleeping early. About how much he loved her even though they had sex maybe just once a year. Yes, in previous therapy sessions i had realized that there was no point in seeking a perfect kind of love but still i yearn for that, i feel.
Ish told me about trust. Like a litmus test, i used sex as a test where i would be able to tell if the man is right for me or not. Where i was most vulnerable. This made a lot of sense to me. It really looked as if i used sex for the said purpose. May be this was why LJ once hurt me so much by telling me that i slept with people at the drop of a hat.
I liked it when Ish said that she took care to constantly remind me that i was doing good. I realized how that had actually helped me. I would come back home and squeak to my partner that Ish had said that i was making progress. To see the smile on his face. I wish Mother was able to see me too, going through this process of healing. She would also then be able to understand, looking at me, that healing is possible. I know! I should tell her whenever i see that she is making progress! Wow! Why didn’t i think of this earlier!
Han asked me something: Why don’t you ask for things? Why don’t you ever ask for help? With luggage, internet, everything – i don’t know when this started.
Me getting startled when people call me, touch has always been a problem – but when a co-worker always answers to your call with a start, it looks awkward. It just struck me because i am interacting with more people and so more occasions of them calling me are arising. I do have one memory of this happening in degree and how Athulya had said that i was making it up.
Good thing – resumed reading.
I have started seeing Mother everywhere. Like on the road, i would think that Mother was walking when i saw someone with hair plaited, wearing salwar kameez.
I am having a great time talking to Mother now. But i realised that she is a broken human being. May be more than me.
She wants to do things to people who abused me. It is not just about them having done things to me. It is that she holds them responsible for ruining the family life she and her husband had envisaged for us. It might be her way of running away from taking responsibility, something i do too, by blaming these men. She wouldn’t blame her husband whom she loved and lost. It was better channelizing her anger to these men who in any case deserved to be punished.
I told her how i had, through therapy, gotten over abuse. How i look at those periods differently now. I didn’t want to hang the abusers or ruin their lives. It was the victim’s prerogative after all. Mother didn’t seem convinced. She has, in the past created ruckus in places in public where she had spotted some of these men. It was highly probable, with Mallu land being an even smaller world than the already small world.
How can she be healed, i thought. And i felt that it was up to me.
However easy i thought it would be for me to draw a picture postcard to person or people who hurt me, i drew a blank on Saturday when i sat in front of the book. I drew a copy of a photo from long ago, in which Mother and baby me were there. She was carrying me on her shoulder and looking at me with so much love in her eyes that the whole photo was about that love. I just wrote ‘aren’t we both awesome’ in the message part.
Did i just realize that i have nothing to say to those people who hurt me? I’ll find out soon, i guess.