Letters of Import: Private Writings to a Psychoanalyst
Welcome to My World Annie 4
By Jennifer Kiley
Illustrations by j. kiley
© jennifer kiley 2013
First Posting 03.19.13
Posted Early Tuesday Morning
Fourth Posting 04.09.13Tuesday Oct. 22th, 2007
There are many things I would like to get to know about you but I am afraid I would be intruding on your privacy. I will guess instead or make up by filling in the spaces from what you say in group or afterwards. I am quite the detective. When I was a kid, I read all the Nancy Drew books I could get my hands on. Then as I got older I graduated to Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers. I read others but these two were my favorites and the most intelligent. I, also, got into the British detectives Inspectors Dagliesh and Morse on PBS. Liked reading P.D. James and Colin Dexter. I am a real mystery buff. Love a good mystery in a film, also. The point being I know how to put the pieces together rather quickly.
I should get on finishing up telling you about the cancer. The group, including Mr. Xxx were rather cavalier with my health when I received the diagnosis of Uterine cancer. It’s also called Endometrial cancer. When I got the courage up to tell the group I had been told I had cancer and they found out what kind, I felt like I got totally shot down and shut down. Everyone, including our fearless leader, thought it was the best possible news. Their logic being, if I was to get cancer, getting Uterine cancer was the best one to get. There was nothing to it. In and out for the operation and back on my feet in a couple of weeks. They were not very understanding or consoling at all. So, I think that had a lot to do with why I thoroughly shut down talking about it. I felt rejected. Like no one cared about me. I thought if I died it wouldn’t matter.
So, I started not taking it as seriously but still worried. Then My OB-Gyn told me it looked serious to her. My uterine wall was quite thick. It was a bad boxing day. That’s when she called to confirm the biopsy from the Uterine tissue she painfully scraped from the insides of my body. It was positive for cancer. Nice Christmas. She was great. She went out of her way to get the news to me as quickly as possible. Next step was to find the surgeon. It ended up being the Da Vinci
machine. State of the Art. Two weeks after surgery Scottie and I went to the surgeon behind the Da Vinci machine to get the results. He had us take seats on the other side of his rather large desk. He sat behind it looking like he was having a difficult time finding the words to say. His face wasn’t the kind anyone wants to see when they are waiting for news of this kind. We all looked at each other in the long silence. The doctor finally spoke.
He cleared his throat. “I am afraid I have some rather disturbing news for you, Madison. It seems the cancer has spread outside the containment area of your reproductive organs. It’s in your lymph system. The good news is that we feel and are quite certain that we took the lymph nodes that the cancer had entered. What this means is you have a diagnosis of Stage 3 Endometrial Cancer with an attachment to the lymphatic system. It means your case is a great deal more serious then we expected. Originally, we didn’t feel you would need anything more than the surgery. But now it appears after all you will have to go through a full treatment of Chemotherapy and a full course of Radiation Therapy Treatment that accompanies it. You will need to start almost immediately. Do you have any questions?”
I was dumbfounded and so was Scottie. It was going to really screw with her schedule. Not that she felt that was important at that moment. I thought it was and worried about it. I was trying to think about anything but what I had just heard. I was expecting to be cleared to go home and to continue on living my life in a normal way. With No more Cancer to worry about. Instead it had really only just started. I had just walked into a nightmare that was going to threaten my life from now on. I was never going to be safe from cancer again. From the moment my first doctor told me I would have to see a specialist, that was the beginning. I knew there was a reason I was avoiding it. My unconscious knew I was so god damn bloody sick. But I wasn’t going to listen to any of the signs. They weren’t going to tell me anything was wrong. Stubborn. Scottie kept telling me to call my doctor but I kept putting it off even though I was bleeding to death all the time.
Scottie and I left after we worked out a schedule for my treatment. It meant traveling over 3 hours every visit. That wasn’t going to work. I took the matters into my hands, especially after we would travel the distance for scheduled appointments and then wait there and find out after a few hours of waiting that we were not even on the schedule. I decided to find a place closer to home to receive treatments. They told me that would be impossible. They were wrong. I got on the phone the next day and before the afternoon was over I had a new oncologist. A new cancer center to go to and I could start right away with my treatments. All was transferred and it was a much quieter and comforting place.
End of the cancer saga for todays letter. Did not know I had that pent up inside of me. There is much more but I will keep spreading it out. It is more than I can deal with, so I can’t even imagine you, Annie, understanding what I was going through. No one can if they haven’t been through it. Truthfully, no empathizing will take you to the same place at all.
So, what I really wanted to talk about today was what has been happening inside me. More specifically, my feelings toward you. There’s just something that draws me into wanting to tell you everything. That must seem overwhelming I imagine. I started talk therapy when I was a teenager. It seems to have been converted into my confessional. My conversion into psychoanalysis. It’s a strong urge to understand my self. What’s the reason everything has happened the way it has. Why my life has been so fucked up. I need answers. I need to talk for all the years I was never allowed to. I was a silent child. I thought for quite some time that I was autistic. I was really convinced. I began studying autism in school. It seemed to fit all of my symptoms but I eventually figured out I was just a neglected and a severely abused child instead. Which was worse? I think both are.
Now I am living with another major setback attached to my psych problems. Have you ever heard of agoraphobia? Well, I am an agoraphobic who is not being treated and have never been treated for it or what it does for me except to have pills thrown at it. My fears are being allowed to grow. I don’t object because I don’’t want to experience the panic and anxiety that goes along with going out of the house or interacting with people. My partner, Scottie has her demons with dealing with it.
The pressure between us has been growing when Mr. Xxx started with his lack of support. Denying me my sense of reality. Making me feel like I am unable to interpret my feelings accurately about certain people I feel are treating me like shit. He defended Angie rather than supporting me. The problem comes in that we are both his clients but when he is in a session with me it is my time. That is when I should be getting his support, not her. He should be trying to understand what I am feeling and not Angie. He should be trying to help me understand why she is treating me with such vitriol. What I was feeling about what he was doing made no difference to him. He felt he had to protect Angie from me. I’ve been nothing but cordial to her and she just jumps all over me. Fuck Angie and Fuck Mr. Xxx.
I want to know why I am feeling so hostile. It’s always such a contest to battle out who is right rather then trying to figure out what is wrong. He just doesn’t feel like he cares or wants to understand the effects the group is having on me. I’m really hating to be in that room alone with Angie or him. It is becoming such a toxic place. Its only redeeming quality is that you are there and I feel you protect me. Otherwise I don’t feel safe at all.
You give me support. I wish you were the leader and that Mr. Xxx would resign from the group. He’s threatened to do it enough times. Why doesn’t he just do it and turn the leadership over to you full time. I’d like that more than anything else. Maybe Angie would leave with him.
You’d be so perfect. You could rebuild the group and maybe we would actually talk about something relevant and we would lose him monopolizing every session with his damn stories that haven’t any relevance. We could actually do therapy. Oh, do think about it. Maybe you could work on him and make him decide he is not right for the group any longer or the group is not right with him, that it needs a woman leading a women’s therapy group and not a man.
That is probably enough for this letter. This just exhausts me. I promise I will talk more about it. I just want you to know that I am really beginning to trust you. It’s because I want to and I am believing you will come through and live up to deserving that trust, I think you have already. I do trust you. I want and need to.
I’ll have more to tell you next time. Maybe we can talk some about the individual members of the group besides Mr. Xxx. You need to know more detailed information about them to better understand the dynamics between everyone. It is quite an interesting group broken off into its’ segments. It’s all too depressing to me.
Until next time I will leave you with one secret. Watch out for Robin. She is not your friend. Do not trust her. I don’t want to see you get hurt. That is all I will say for now.
Madison(This note is to ensure that each letter is written in the strictest of confidence.)
At this moment I am not trying to be a coward, but I feel if I hold back now or never send this to you, then I am freeing myself up to write whatever I wish without need of censorship. Maybe someday, when I am feeling more familiar with just who you are and what you might mean to me, this parameter will be altered and a copy of this and future letters will be relayed to you. For now I want to maintain secrecy, to protect you, Annie, and to protect myself from over testing the barriers or boundaries of what the potentials could be between us and the development of our relationship.
I am adding this in order that you, Annie Haskell, will know that I am trying to protect you and also myself from any humiliation. It will free up my words as I speak them upon the page. And on some future date, if I feel trusting enough, I will release to you what I write in honesty, but for now I will keep my words confidential. On my honour, no others shall see these pages, I promise you that.
QUOTATIONS from: LETTERS of IMPORT: Private Writings to a Psychoanalyst
The beginning always starts out with a dream.
It is all a dream
And we are all players
In our own nightmares”
— Madison Taylor
“For that fine madness still he did retain,
Which rightly should possess a poet’s brain.”
“Who ever loved that loved not at first sight?”
Christopher Marlowe for “Hero and Leander”
“A therapeutic relationship is often more psycho-emotionally intimate than a marriage, or a romantic attachment. I know things about my patients that they would never dream of revealing to their spouses or families. Why is that? One word — trust. If you do not have a connection with a therapist, you cannot trust them. If you do not have trust, you will not expose yourself, and if you do not expose your innermost being, what good is the therapy?” — unknown but ask any great therapist
“Men have called me mad, but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence…whether much that is glorious–whether all that is profound–does not spring from disease of thought…” — Edgar Allan Poe