Letters of Import: Private Writings to a Psychoanalyst
A Look Inside 5
Written by Jennifer Kiley
Illustrations by j. kiley
© jennifer kiley 2013
First Posting 03.19.13
Posted Weekly Early Tuesday Morning
Fifth Posting 04.16.13Tuesday, October 29th 2007
In my letter this week, I want to open your eyes a bit wider on all of the people you are getting to observe in the women’s therapy group. My intentions are to do my own analysis for you of who I feel and think the people in this group and it’s fearless leader really are. Strictly from my point of view. I have a really good sense of people. A sensitivity that enables me to psychically feel what is going on inside of anyone I am in contact with in a close proximity. Sometimes I am too hypersensitive and pick up too much of what is coming off of people I am around. It is not a gift but an annoyance and makes me feel really anxious and agitated. There is no way to block out the bad from the good. I get all the emotions blasting at me all at once. It is extremely overwhelming and disconcerting especially when there are too many people all in extreme states of disturbance.
I should really start with the person you seem to be getting closest to first, Robin. She is someone who is difficult to get to know. My sense is her barriers are extremely high up. She doesn’t really like people , yet she gives the appearance of wanting someone in her life. Maybe more than one person but she can be quite negative about everyone who shows her any interest in wanting to get to know her. I get close to her but if I am truly honest, whenever we talk, I always feel so hyper afterwards and I often find myself shaking. She brings up too much information. Triggers too many memories in me. I’m not sure if we have very good boundaries in our relationship. She can be extremely critical of everyone I know, especially Mr. Xxx. She is right about him but it does under-mind that relationship just the same. I go along with the lambasting of his character and his flaws as a therapist.
We do have some similar issues we are coping or not coping so well with. It is not my place to go into her problem but I will talk to you freely about mine. I am open about my past. What I remember of it. It was severe and it was traumatizing. I lived the life of someone who exhibited the symptoms of autism. I didn’t speak or relate to anyone. I never talked. My introversion was extreme. Relating to other people, especially my family, was totally impossible for me. I was much older when I put that diagnosis together. It was wrong but I needed to have answers. I am part cat and extremely curious. When I first got high on pot I needed to analyze what exactly was the reaction I was experiencing. I wanted to understand what it was doing. A true scientist. I missed my calling.
Never developed the full picture on marijuana except that I loved getting high and it made everything enjoyable except the creeping paranoia. Otherwise, music, talking, writing, anything I did was on such a higher level of enjoyment when I was stoned. It opened up my shell of silence. The only other drug I felt the same way about was mescalin. Read the whole Bhagava-Gita in one session tripping on that stuff. Even went on a visit to McDonald’s on the same trip and came to the aid of a damsel in distress from a rather grumpy employee. I told him to show a bit more respect for people. That was cool and unusual behavior for me. It felt good to stand up for someone who was having the experience of being bullied.
It was just a year prior to my great discovery. I finally figured out or should I say came to an acceptance and acknowledgement of my true sexuality while I was attending college. I realized I was a lesbian and I was already living with the woman who became my first lesbian lover. We took forever to realize we didn’t need men to be sexual. She felt we did and when she said. “I would love to be sexual but we don’t have any men.” My rather stoned and wine laden mind responded rather boldly by saying without thinking at all, the following words were uttered from my mouth, “But we don’t need any men.” We had each other and some strong feelings of attraction and love for each other. We played around with our physical feelings all summer by playing tactile games, for example, lightly touching the bottom of each others feet. If you are ticklish, just get past it, because I will tell you it is one of the most erotically, sensual experience ever without actually having to be direct about your sexual behavior
I think I drifted a bit away from the topic. Warning: don’t trust Robin. I like you and I don’t want her to hurt you. She has a way of cutting into you behind your back. We may be friends but I am not sure why that relationship works. She does bring out the worst in me. It makes me critical but not in a constructive way. To criticize with truth is one thing but to assassinate a character is unkind and mean and cruel. That is what it is. She can be cruel.
I will tell you more later as we get closer. Now I feel I have said enough and need a break. I will go deeper as our relationship develops and I feel our trust growing. I am observant and I am willing to share my secrets with you within reason for now. I somehow think we are going to go deeper into a good relationship. My feelings for you resonate at nothing less than extremely positive. So I will close now.
More to come later. You can be sure of that. This is proving to be quite cathartic for me. I may never send these to you, so what I am writing is more to me like a journal than a confessional or a revelation for you to learn about this crazy group of people of which you have been thrown into the middle. We do all have some extremely good qualities and some not so kind natures. Maybe that is what is to be expected from such a group of damaged individuals.
I will follow up that statement of “a group of damaged individuals,” by saying we had the bad fortune of being situated with families who had no understanding of us and treated us in any manner of abuse that could ever cross your mind and then go even further and you may never come to the end of what may have been done to us in the name of abusive child rearing and abuse of every nature possible. What it did to our psyches has yet to be completely determined.
I am stopping now. It is beginning to feel that I am stepping beyond the bounds I feel comfortable. So to another time and for another letter. I stop right here.
Madison(This note is to ensure these are 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