Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Oh, the many ways I remain a child!


I prefer to dry myself while I’m still within the glass shower enclosure, because the air in the room is too cool for my fragile skin. I want to stay huddled in the warmth. * I like the emotional melodies and harmonies of some Romantic classical composers. The more pristine Mozart, the more dissonant Bartok and the more abstract Modernists are too adult for me. * I chew on my fourth finger like a pacifier. * I grow my hair way too long and bushy for a sixty-five-year-old. Short hair feels ugly to me. To others, it looks more appropriate, and actually makes me look younger, but to me it looks and feels hideous. * I wait for and expect others to talk to me, rather than make the overture myself. * I feel a spasm of specialness whenever I use a big word. * I wish there was no work, just an eternity of coffee shops and mild adventures. * I remain purposely oblivious about our money situation; I let my wife handle it all. * I often sport a lost puppy dog affect and manner and believe that others find it appealing. * I feel like a lost puppy dog. * I like pretty pictures. Guernica and abstract paintings are very unattractive and unnecessary to me. * I much prefer time travel stories about the future to those about the past: The past happened, is factual and un-modern and therefore boring, while the future is a fantasy dream. * I have mocking contempt for radio hosts who talk about finances, stocks, hedge funds, etc. How pathetic they are, acting so fakey grown-up! * The idea of being “old” will always, always be unacceptable to me. * A big part of me still thinks my adoptive grown daughters should reach out to me, even though I was the parent, and a lousy one. * I sometimes still think I should write poetry, while knowing I have no ability to do it, and that it is an effete, childish wish. * When there’s free food at the office, I steal as much of it as I can. At one place, I’d wander into the break room under false pretenses, stuff French pastries in my pants pockets, lock myself in the restroom and eat them. * At night and sometimes upon awakening, I snuggle under the thick comforter and blanket like a baby trying to get lost and unconscious in his mother’s womb. * I think about my old elementary school peers more than I think of my college peers. * When I get a facial blemish, I rip it to shreds. I need my beauty, not my adult soul. * I’d actually like to sing Kumbaya around a campfire.

Is this childishness my real self, or is the adult me my real self? The best answer, I think, is that the two fuse into one reality, creating a very wounded salvation. As a therapist, I know that most and maybe all of us are these two facets. I’ll say that beyond a certain extent, it doesn’t do me a whole lot of good to know and accept all these regressive components – not to mention, to know they’ve endured more from failure than from healthy holism. I’m sure, though, that it helps the client to have her injured child respected with open arms. It is, after all, a little more real than her adult.

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Comments are welcome, but I'd suggest you first read "Feeling-centered therapy" and "Ocean and boat" for a basic introduction to my kind of theory and therapy.