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8:09 p.m. - December 21, 2004
It is uncomfortable: My nose is cold and I shiver, and resolutely keep the window open
The last session with Brad was tough on me, and I was angry with him that this classic replay of my impotence and rage concerning abandonment had manifested. I had shut down prior, steeled myself against the confusion of uncertainty, assumed the professional face of the Can-Do Jason. Cold, distant, like leaving me at home and bringing only the shell that feels nothing into the room, the me I passionately despise but that calls the shots. Brad mentioned one hope he has for my future, of my being able to let down the guard and tell people when I hurt or am scared, to take the hand or shoulder that may be offered. Practice until I believe and my life would very likely begin to change. Rather than seeing in black and white I may chance upon the spectrum. It was a pretty and tantalizing image.

I asked him if he would miss me and true to psychoanalytic form, he in turn asked whether it was important to me if he would or would not. I said it was, in a small way I was uncomfortable admitting, and soon it was time to wrap up. One thing he did that threw me in a comfortable, warm, way that showed me how much he truly gets me: Since beginning individual therapy with him I was the one that terminated our sessions, keeping an eye on the second hand as it neared the 12. This last time, however, when I half-rose and said Session's up he smiled and said no, he had set the clock 10 minutes fast for this session. I started to cry some. I don't think I've ever felt understood by anybody and while I resisted and fought Brad I'm not blind - I sought him out and worked with him far more than I thought I could. When the session was in fact over and I rose, I shook his hand and smiled, wished him and his wife well and he said that yes, he will miss me.

I've always been the throwaway guy, the one that passes by thoroughly non-descript, blending perfectly into the atoms. Like a Jain I have a brush but instead of sweeping insects beyond reach of my foot, I dismantle my impact, my footprints, constantly keeping an eye on the past and removing all traces. I disappear but I don't. My rituals and aloofness are insulation and distracting enough for me to pretend all is well but the truth is, I am a throwaway. Whatever human element it is that enables contact and friendship and feeling I just don't have, and people don't exert friend-energy into a black hole. I understand this and don't take it personal (a lie!), but with repeated washings one becomes inured to the sting of bleach, right? So for Brad to say he will miss me means a lot. It is one connection I made successfully by letting down my guard and being vulnerable, and not running away when the ghosts started weighing in. But maybe I can't count Brad as a successful connection given he was my therapist and frankly, it is his job and sexually-abused boys his professional interest. Regardless, I like thinking that there is at least one person out there, whom I'll likely not see again, who got me.

Each time I fly cross-country at night, I love to watch the lights below and each one is a family gathered around a dinner table, couples snuggling at the park, dogs chasing cats in the twilight. There are so many people, so many lights, and each one has a story, you know? The terrain I trod is dark, there aren't many lights at all and the ones present are dimming as we speak, but maybe it's okay to think of Brad as being a light that I can't see while I'm on the ground, though it's still there and visible from above. Just because I can't perceive it does not negate existence. There is neither antonym nor antidote for throwaway but there is such a thing as perspective.

I'm still a throwaway, though. But I'm gaining perspective - not on the whys but on the now whats? If Brad's preliminary diagnostic suspicions are right, then these labels I resist and reject may in fact be stepping stones to somewhere else. PTSD, slight OCD, suspected Asperger's and a smattering of other influences. It's like a calculus or chemistry equation, something infinitely familiar to me and not daunting at all. It's putting the pieces together and unraveling the bogeyman who skulks in the dark.


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