Bert’s therapy: Holes

Bert 1

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What’s with the hat?

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I just felt like wearing it.

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“Hole”?

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It’s how I’m feeling lately.

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therapist 3

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Like something’s missing.

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Something in you?

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Yes.

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What triggered this?

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Remembering my childhood.

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Oh.

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Dad’s drinking.  Mom’s depression.  How they fought.

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therapist 7

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How they weren’t really there.

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And the hole that left in you.

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Right.

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Well, I have a present.

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A present?

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Yes.  See that box by your foot?

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Yes.

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Open it.  It’s yours.

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Thanks.  Not sure it fits.

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Just listen for a moment. 

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Bert 13

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We all have holes.  All of us. 

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bert

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But you’re nobody’s kid now.  Your parents are gone. This is your life. 

 

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Bert 14

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And you can wear any hat you want to.

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Really?

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Really.

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I don’t know.  This still feels a little large.

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You’ll grow into it.

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……………….  * * *

 

Being born is like being kidnapped. And then sold into slavery.

 ~ Andy Warhol

 

All of us start out weak in the hands of the strong, and a parent inclined to exploit that discrepancy can teach a child that any transgression of rules will yield pain and humiliation. Such an early education can bring it about that in later life, long after the tyrant is dead, any tentative reaching for power will be aborted by anxiety.

 ~ Allen Wheelis

 

Are we driven by fear or by joy? Are we driven by a terror of the magnitude of life and an attempt to make our lives small enough that we feel safe? Or are we driven by a longing to become big enough and strong enough to endure the larger life that is possible for us?

 

~ Donna Farhi

 

A bit of advice
Given to a young Native American
At the time of his initiation:

“As you go the way of life,
You will see a great chasm.
Jump.
It is not as wide as you think.”

Joseph Campbell

………………. * * *


6 responses to “Bert’s therapy: Holes

  • Clare Flourish

    For me, claiming my adulthood, the relationship with my mother has had four stages. First, this is perfectly normal. Second, this is vile treatment, I HATE her. Third, “she did not understand. She did her best.” Fourth, feeling sadness for the childhood I did not have. Fifth will be moving on from this, when I am ready.

    • Steve Hauptman

      Thanks, Clare. Yes, that sounds about right. For me the fourth and fifth stages bled into each other, and I found myself moving on despite the sadness, some of which I still carry. Cost of doing business.

  • The Field | New Heaven on Earth!

    […] Bert’s therapy: Holes (monkeytraps.wordpress.com) […]

  • releasing lunacy

    But, I’m still my parents’ daughter. During my darkest hours, my only reason for living was to save my parents from enduring their child’s death. I feel responsible for my parents -responsible for their happiness. My entire identity is wrapped up in being my parents’ daughter.

    I’ve come to understand this isn’t healthy. Ironically, I know my parents want me to be happy. But the only thing I know will bring me peace is ensuring their happiness. I don’t know how to want anything for myself. My self doesn’t exist. No whole. No hole. Just nothing.

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