Saturday, May 8, 2010

Closing and Opening Pandora's Box

Bad News First: 
I lost traction on the road to serenity and health. My therapist is leaving. She was a grad student, a little older than me (how is that for inspiration? starting anew, right?) and is now moving on to the next stage. Once again, I face the unknown--a new therapist. I start over. Another good-bye. Don't hack me off and say it's another hello, too. It's a loss. 

All the pep talks in the world (self-administered) are not working. Those don't work.

But I see what happens. The lid goes back on. I can't talk about it, not even to myself after awhile. Then all demonstrativeness fails for a demonstrative me. Once the demonstrating stops, progress stops. Pandora's box with a lot of darkness trapped inside. Screwed-down lid. No trouble to anyone but myself.

The Legend of Pandora
We mis-cast the legend of Pandora as a silly girl, a disobedient child who opened the jar of the world's ills out of simple curiosity (kind of like Eve in the Bible, but not exactly). Immediately, the Seven Deadly Sins, disease, bad attitude, and shame fly out of the box like malarial mosquitoes, infecting mankind. After everyone blames her, she finds Hope in the bottom of the box. I always thought it was stupid to call it an emerald. It had to be a flying thing too, like all the rest. A thing of the spirit.

What I think is this: I think the Names of these things were locked up. Nobody could see the ills of the world until Names were attached to them. When Pandora (name means "giver of all") opened the box, we were somehow able to examine these things, decide on right and wrong. And Hope for better. Privilege virtues over faults. Examine them as abstracts and in ourselves.

There's a huge invitation out there not to see right and wrong. Keep the lid on, Pandora. Until somebody opens the box, attaches the names, people can just go on willy-nilly: no wonder they were mad at her. They had to realize they were sometimes weak, cruel, diseased, and oblivious. 

There's no Hope in Oblivion. Only Inattention and False Remedies.

So, no more slippage. No more False Remedies, no more, no more. I am naming names and kicking ass again, starting today. 

Good News Last
The good news is I have had a few victories in the meantime. Kept on with some good rituals. Now I just keep adding.  And you see why pep talks don't work? Or was this one? 


Bob G. said...

Marvelous post.
(Very insightful)

If I were to venture a guess about any type of "pep talk", I would say that the ones we wind up (unknowingly) giving to ourselves are the best ones.

While we encourage others, our "mind's ear" (if you will) is listening just as earnestly. as those folks we seek to reach out to.

I know I'm often guilty of not paying better attention to myself...even at my age.

We're all still works in progress.

Ann T. said...

Dear Bob,
I think for me, most pep talks start with a heavy dose of the 'shoulds', and that just crushes me further.

Once I figure out where it fits with the meaning of my life, I can get going. So that's today: meaning in the life.

Thanks for the compassion,

The Bug said...

I remember not long after Dr. M & I started dating his therapist moved clear across the state (in NC that's quite a distance). He was bereft. He liked the new person, but he really didn't want to start all over again - tell that story again. It felt like a definite setback.

LOVE the Pandora discussion! It's so true that we think if we don't name something that it doesn't exist. I think this is why my mom wouldn't press her doctor to find out what was really wrong with her - if she didn't hear the word cancer then it wasn't there.

But in almost every case, naming the thing is better. Know thy enemy. And know thy friends too!

Gia's Spot said...

Ann T. it was a great pep talk! Keep those victories in the forfront until the fails?(?) become victories for you! You can do this too!!

Ann T. said...

Dear The Bug,
Your comment is exactly right--starting over Does feel like a setback.

And thank you for the Pandora comment. My mom did the same thing--although she is a survivor. She had a best friend who learned from her and did not wait.

Thank you for telling me a little more about your mother. I always see a little more the way the departed can still live with us, whenever you talk about her.

Ann T.

Ann T. said...

Dear Gia,
Trust you to be cheering! Yeah, I'm going to win . . . .

Momma Fargo said...

Kick butt, ladY! I'm with ya!

Ann T. said...

Dear Momma Fargo,
Can't help but kick it right, with all this support!

Ann T.

The Observer said...

Ann T:
I was looking back, trying to remember whether I had ever had a therapeutic relationship end from the therapist's direction. The answer is no. Even the time I had a student therapist, we both agreed I was ready to move on and so it felt more like mutual termination. So I have no words of wisdom from this end of the wacky head ward.

I like what others have said already: concentrate on the positive. Avoid false fine-fine and other false paths to health and wellness. And if needed, fear not starting a new therapeutic relationship.

And remember, us electronic neighbors are all here supporting you, as well as your friends in the non-digital world!

The Observer

Ann T. said...

Dear The Observer,
All good advice. And, thank you for the support!
Ann T.