It’s got to endby Anna Blundy / September 18, 2013 / Leave a comment
Published in October 2013 issue of Prospect Magazine
I am not good at endings. During the “endings seminar” on my psychotherapy course I had to move my car, take the dog home and buy some salted dark chocolate. I was, therefore, sadly unable to attend the end. Like a lot of people, I defend myself against even the most mundane endings by getting out first, practically leaving my car running outside restaurants. A man on my course once said to me: “I have tried to talk to you but you always run away.” I was standing in a lecture theatre at the time, wearing my running gear. I smiled, put my headphones in and set off at a jog.
I spent my childhood waiting for a father who might or might not show up from a dusty war zone he was reporting from. When he did show up, he’d always leave too soon—an explosion, a martini, a woman, a sunset flight to a minaretted hell-hole. Now I have my own flight to catch, martini to drink, man to meet and… well, the explosions are more the emotional kind, but the carnage is real.
Yet therapy and psychoanalysis must end. It is almost the whole point. In therapy you recreate the childhood you never had (a good one in which you were always held in someone’s mind and you were loved even when you were awful), you integrate the “good breast” (nice and loving) with the “bad breast” (vile and rejecting) and become whole. Now you are ready to be weaned. This process is practised in “the breaks,” the time we spend without our therapist.
I am in five times a week therapy. This is a) very necessary and b) part of my training to become a psychotherapist. Every Friday my analyst says, “And of course we now have the break.” He means the weekend when I will sit all alone and he will live it up (or that’s the idea, at least). Before the summer he’ll say, “And we’ve got the very long break coming up.” Since I’m not really going to sit all alone and I don’t want to go walking in Wales (which is, I suspect, what he really does) I don’t think I mind too m…