This is a new adventure in psychotherapy which falls back on the Freudian trick of Free Association. Words hold power. Some carrying more strength of impact while others just giving you a twinge of familiarity. In my own therapy, my therapist came up with this idea on how to open up my Psyche by making a list of words. Words that hold strong meaning for me. Words that are connected to unresolved issues in my life. Words that will hopefully open up my mind and particularly my emotions or more my feelings, so that I will be able to release what is being well guarded deep inside of me. Feelings that I am unable to or cannot get ahold of or that I am just unwilling to allow to come to the surface. Fear of those feelings opening me up to unknown pain or buried pain or feelings I am unable to express out of fear and definitely for how they will make me feel on many levels, it’s not something I want to do so easily. I know it will not be painless.
When my therapist first brought up the idea she started by mentioning a few words. I stopped her in mid-sentence and said wait, “You know how my short term memory works, let me get out my kindle touch.” I did just that. On my Kindle I had an app called Notepad, which is a lifesaver. I use it to record all the things that I know I will forget if I do not notate them somewhere. It is also great for me, I use it to write letters but most importantly, it is great for writing poems. I am not sure if it is because there are so many great authors and books on my Kindle, that my muse feels right at home with such power living within it, but she blows my mind on how fast she feeds me words to write down when I am trying to create a poem. My fingers can’t lightly touch the keys on the screen fast enough. It’s like I am channeling a source from a spiritual realm. Who knows, maybe I am.
My therapist kept up with throwing out words to type into my Kindle. Then I started firing words out. It was like a session in manic Free Association. I feel this is like reinventing the way to do psychotherapy. Now, each week I bring in three words as I work my way down the list of over five pages of words that between the two of us and my trying to type a word in the Kindle on the way home from my last appointment that day, while driving. If you think texting while driving is dangerous, do not try to enter a word on your Kindle while you are driving. I was successful but I had lights that didn’t turn red and lots of 5pm traffic slowing down suddenly and then moving faster and I had several turns. I did succeed entering a four letter word but OMG it was more difficult then learning how to drive in the first place. Not a good idea and I do not recommend and I will not do it again. It’s just I do have a bad case of Short Term Memory Loss. Not as severe as the character in Memento but sometimes I feel like it’s getting close sometimes.
I will be reporting on this newer form of Free Association. To show whether it is successful or not. If it is helpful. It might be something anyone in therapy might want to suggest to their own therapists.
Now for the first word we choose together. The first word went on further than I expected so I only did that word alone. I will give my more clinical and some personal aspects to the definition and reaction to the word as follows:
love: This was my therapist idea of a first word to start with. Only the most loaded word in all languages of the world. Something most of us, if not all of us, strive for. My first experience of love in the purist sense of the word was with my grandmother. She cared for me so gently and showed me what love felt like by holding me. Sitting with me at the end of my bed, in a chair, while I would fall asleep. I always had problems falling asleep when I was a kid and I still suffer from sleep deprivation to this day. Now I just don’t want to go to bed. My therapist thinks it’s because that was when a lot of the bad things happened but I told her the bad things happened day or night and no place was safe except when I would stay with my grandparents. They took care of me for a week every summer and the whole family would visit them fairly often but only for an evening and for dinner. Those were special for me. I got to be close to my grandmother. She would protect me. I remember I use to put my head on her knee and she would stroke my hair while she would talk. Sometimes she would tell us stories but mostly I just like being that close to her. That was what love was to me. But I always had to leave and return to the nightmare. The abuse, which was rampant, emotional, physical, sexual and psychological. I would also include in their spiritual abuse. What is love? a deep and tender feeling of affection for or attachment or devotion to a person or persons. Words related to love: Passionate and tender devotion. Syn. affection, attachment, devotion, infatuation, passion, tenderness, tender passion, fondness, adoration, yearning, flame, rapture, enchantment, ardor, emotion, sentiment, amorousness, enjoyment, cherishing, devotedness, worship, desire, weakness.
Affection based on esteem. Syn. respect, regard, appreciation. ADMIRATION.
A lively and enduring interest. Syn. Passion.
A beloved. Syn. dear one, loved one, cherished one; LOVER.
fall in love (with). Syn. begin to feel love, adore, be infatuated.
make love. Syn. embrace, caress; see LOVE
Syn.- LOVE implies intense fondness or deep devotion and may apply to various relationships
AFFECTION suggests warm, tender feelings, usually not as powerful or deep as those implied by LOVE
ATTACHMENT implies connection by ties of affection, attraction, devotion
INFATUATION implies a foolish or unreasoning passion or affection, often a transient one .
To be passionately devoted. Syn. adore, be in love with, care for, delight in, hold dear, choose, be enchanted by, be passionately attached to, have affection for, be enamored of, glorify, exalt, idolize, put on a pedestal, hold in affection, deify, be fascinated by, hold high, canonize, think the world of, treasure, prefer, yearn for, esteem, be captivated by, be enraptured by, lose one’s heart to, be fond of, admire, long for, be oneself with, thrive with, flip over*, fall for*, be nuts about*, be crazy about*. CHERISH. LIKE.
To express love by caresses. Syn. cherish, make love, embrace, hug, take into one’s arms, hold, soothe, stroke, encircle with one’s arms, press to the heart, draw close, remain near to, bring to one’s side, look tenderly at, look deeply into one’s eyes/ CARESS, KISS.
To possess a deep and abiding interest. Syn. enjoy, delight in.
These definition, I feel I have experienced them all in my life. But, with great limitations. It was and is extremely difficult for me to allow myself to be intimate with another person. Even though I have had multiple intimate relationships, they were always awkward when it came to my recipricating the intimacy. I was terrified of the closeness that was expected to be returned from me. Because of the all of my abuse, I was trained to experience what was a skewed form of intimacy where I would just leave my body and dissociate. I’d hang out on the ceiling and any other place I could find to go which was not where the abuse was happening. It was a way of saving myself. It carried over into my adult life. In some cases it did save me in some of my adult relationships. Before I realized I was a lesbian, I dated boys, then men. But it was never satisfying and there was never any attraction but I thought that was what was expected. I hated to be touched by them in any way. I especially hated kissing. I knew I felt something going on inside of me for woman, even when I was still a kid. I was always attracted to some teachers and when I was older, as a teenager or older, I began feeling something inside for the same sex. I had no idea what it was. I had no knowledge that there existed anything like same sex attraction or same sex relationships. It was well hidden from my awareness. In college, though, my attraction and strong feelings for women manifested itself in my intense attraction to several of my female professors. I ended up extremely drawn and getting close in a relationship with my psychology professor. Eventually, I was able to tell her what my feelings were but I still didn’t know what my feelings meant.
Eventually, I did come to the realization that I was a lesbian but it didn’t help me feel any better about being close physically with women. Without going into too much detail at this moment. I realized I loved women but it didn’t make it any easier to express my intimate feelings but at least I had feelings. They weren’t acting interested in someone of the opposite sex because that is what was expected.
Now I just want to be close to friends. To learn intimacy without the expectation of it being or going further than a close relationship but not a physically active one, hugging is okay if that is possible. I feel passion and intimacy without it having to go further than conversations and words through my poetry. When I am writing I can get as passionate as I wish and feel close to who I may be writing about it to. To me that is more passionate and with the person I write about I am learning to express my feelings more openly and trustingly. A friendship can be extremely close and passionate.
That’s as honest as I feel I am able to be right now. But let me say love can be expressed in as many ways as you can invent in your mind. I am working on a theory about love that some day I will write about more publicly when I have developed the theory enough to be sure that it works. I write about love on my blog all the time. It is one of my favorite subjects for my writing, my poetry and my other fictional writing. I love love. I love to feel love for special persons. It is one of the tenderest and most painful experience one can have in ones life. The pain can be excruciating but the reward of feeling loved and loving someone special is the most spectacular feeling in the Universe and also can make you feel the most intense pain. But I will never give it up and all that comes with it.
Well, love took up a lot more space then I imagined. The words below are the next in line for the Free Association talk therapy sessions. I think my therapist and I need to rethink using more than one word when we are discussing love. It carries a long lived part of all our lives and is the most discussed and written about word in any language. Poems, novels, plays, films, screenplays, theatre, essays, paintings, photography, sculpture, music, journals, letters, and so many other forms are used to express the many facets of Love. I know for myself I am in love with love. The theory I mentioned working on about love, I think it is novel in its approach to such a devoted topic of interest to most of the world in nature, humans, animals, plants, and who knows what other creatures of the Universe are interested in the continuation of such a phenomenon.
The next words up in this order are:
rejection: jealousy: friendship: relationship: doubt: trust:
Until next time we approach the Free Association series: the next word will be Rejection. If that doesn’t take up so much space we will move onto jealousy. Plus I will write about the success of this process in my therapy. I hope it works as much as I want it to. It seems a very curious approach to getting me or anyone to open up their feelings to themselves and their therapist and eventually to other parts of one’s life.
The following videos are connected to the most romantic love story ever written in a book and adapted to film, the film “Somewhere In Time.” It stars Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour. It is magical and mystical and if you believe in love you will be enraptured by this tale through time. A memorable line near the beginning of the film is: “Come Back To Me.” The first video shows the most heartwrenching lines ever read of what it means to experience love for the first time and realize the depth it can take you.
Somewhere In Time “The Man of My Dreams” Theatre Scene
Christopher Reeve & Jane Seymour
Rachmaninoff-Rhapsody On a Theme of Paganini
Their Favorite Piece of Music-In Book it was Mahler’s 9th Symphony
Somewhere In Time-Memorable Moments with Richard and Elise
Somewhere In Time-Maksim
Theme From Somewhere In Time-Roger Williams
John Barry-Somewhere In Time & Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini
Somewhere In Time-John Barry-Ending-Closing Credits