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9:02 p.m. - October 18, 2006
I've decided to look for a new therapist to work through some things I've been hanging onto for a long time. I believe I am ready this time. Funny how that works - yesterday I thought of Brad, my former therapist, and how much I'd like to sit down with him again to talk things over - while when I had that opportunity I fought him and pushed him away, avoided talking about those things that strangle me the most. I've been feeling angry, that quiet cold anger that frightens me with its overwhelming heat [is it going to be described as cold and then hot, or is both coldhot adequate and sufficient?] because I take it out on myself. My refusal(?)/inability(?) to direct that anger elsewhere was what kept me from benefiting the most from Brad (so he said) because as long as I (one?) play the I'm-fine-card the things inside compress further, roil more, heat up. Be angry at the Bogeyman, Spec, my parents - be angry and let it out, then begin to process it. At the time I thought he had too many lessons from Dr. Phil or Oprah, dismissing everything he said as popculture touchyfeely Ricki Lake psychology. But this morning while driving down the freeway I understood what he meant a little more clearly. Like with most things, I was slow to understand - it's only been a year or so.

With a therapist I'll talk about the book and how much I hate it because I just can't separate my performance, my interests, my skills, from what I had hoped the book would bring me from my family. I worked on this book for years and thought, I truly did, that it might bring me closer to my dad, you know? Maybe he would be so proud that he'd shake my hand, even hug me. It didn't happen and while on one hand I can understand childish fantasies are dangerously misleading, on the other I just don't understand why I even had hoped, and why it bothered me so profoundly. Present tense: Bothers me so profoundly. I mean, why can't I just chalk it up and move on? Why can't I pat myself on the back and be fuckin proud of my own self? The book was released in February and I've already made more than $125,000 in royalties. Barbara-the-Editor says my work has taken off in a way nobody anticipated and when I train ASL teachers I'm a celebrity of sorts. I have people fawning over me, asking me to autograph the book, people just wanting to be close. In Portland there was a ripple, if that makes any sense, when I entered the hall and that first woman saw my name tag and nudged another, saying "That's Jason xxxxx" and within a minute I had people surrounding me. Yeah, I like that attention far more than I thought I ever would but it reminds me over over over that I failed in what I thought this book would do. Of course I care about how teachers and students use it, but for me I thought it would narrow that chasm and it did not happen. Failure. I failed. So that coda part of me failed, and the hearing part of me is succeeding in that entirely other life I have going on separate from the book but do you know how monotonous it is to train practitioners about national foreign language standards week after week? There is no passion in that for me, only a fantastic income and the fun of traveling to different places every week. And that for which I do have passion is burnt black in disgust, and I don't know how to balance, much less remedy, that.

With a therapist I'll talk about my connections with people. Brad asked once what I was so afraid of people knowing about me and I didn't have a response that felt adequate. Is it being gay, or being fucked up sexually, or what? If he were to ask again today, it would be that I am as ugly on the inside as I am on the out, or that there is something so very wrong about me that people perceive that I cannot. I know I have my horrid moments, usually grounded in jealousy or envy, like when I see a physically unattractive person with someone beautiful and I wish I could wave my hands and say Look at me! I'm not half as bad as the dog trotting next to you! but quickly I'm reminded that obviously there's something inside that shines out and makes him beautiful on the inside, and I just can't compete. Point is, people pick up on my inadequacies whether they're spoken or not; that, or I never let down my guard because then those inadequacies would wash over me and anybody else in my vicinity. I don't know how accurate that is, thinking I don't let down the guard, but I'm probably not as open as I think I am. Or maybe I'm open about the wrong things, or maybe I just don't get people at all and I need to find that rock to crawl under and stay put. It kills me though because when I'm training people I'm master of my domain and confident, but I can't carry that over into my interpersonal dealings. It's probably axiomatic: Social misfit but has it together when he's getting paid.

With a therapist I'll talk about the bogeyman and the closet, keep talking about it. Once with Brad wasn't enough. How badly I wanted to bring it up each session over and over but when asked I would reply that I was ready to move on. I haven't moved on since I was 8 years old, that's a fact.

Where is all this coming from? It feels good to talk.

Running throug my mind is "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" performed by that guy with the ukelele. It's a beautiful song and an equally beautiful instrument, isn't it?

I'm feeling a little panicky because in the back of my mind I realize I've given up. That fallow period this late spring almost did me in and I'm not ready to go just yet. Yeah yeah, that old dream of suicide, a plea for attention or whatever. It's not that exactly, it's more such an alluring certainty of need, like purchasing life insurance. You do things that are in your best interest, all the while confronted by your own mortality. I know, just know, that it's getting harder and harder to get by, just when on the outside my life is going great by most measures. All in all, I want to be loved the way I love people, and be able to show it, and to accept it from others. Sure, romantic love would be nice, but I'm talking about those threads that bind us to each other, those lifelines of sorts, that shared laughter and pain and happiness.

Mondays. I am in town every Monday and can commit on paper and in deed to a therapist.


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