My new book has arrived! I’m super-excited to present “Paint Your Way to Health: Using Art as Therapy for Patients Living with Neurological Illness.”
Please check it out on Amazon– it’s free for Prime members, 99 cents if you’re not.
If you don’t use an e-reader, you can easily take a gander using your computer; it’s really short. Please leave feedback for me on Amazon. I’d love to hear your thoughts, as I am working on the second publication in the series right now.
Many more New Year’s Eves came and went, never with much of an impact. Resolutions made, resolutions broken, resolutions forgotten. Auld lang syne.
When I had one baby, then two, New Year’s Eve became a very quiet holiday. My husband and I would go out to dinner with the kids early, before the expensive prix fix began, then get into bed, inevitably falling asleep before the ball had been dropped in Times Square.
More recently, we had spent the holiday at a friend’s house while my sister Maggie agreed to stay at my place to watch the kids. It was a small gathering to enjoy food, drinks, and chatting amongst a few couples. My husband and I had been going to marriage counseling at that point, but no one knew.
Remembering that one of the therapist’s suggestions was to “act” like a happy married couple, I tried my best, though it seemed unnatural, to sit close, feigning affection and tenderness.
At midnight, after I kissed him, he looked at me with disgust. There was venom in his eyes.
When we got home, we fought, then took our spots the bed, lying as far away from each other as possible. The next morning, on New Year’s Day, we went to brunch with my family, who were all still visiting for the holiday.
They say hindsight is 20/20. Looking at things “in retrospect” is never good for the psyche…
I just had such a typical reaction. As with so many in the situation, I blamed myself. If there’s one thing I hate, however, it’s being so regular.
When our ninth Valentine’s Day together rolled around, I received no mention, no card, no delivery of over-priced bouquets and chocolates sent to the door. That isn’t to say that couples who don’t celebrate the day are destined for relationship trouble- we just always HAD.
Sappiness is a quality that runs deeply through my veins.
I could sense that there was something awry. As the days went on, I bought pseudo-informative literature on being a better wife to peruse on my kindle, and put some of the ideas into practice. Telling myself I was crazy, and that nothing was wrong, we went back to our lives as normal: me taking care of the kids, him taking care of the bills.
In lieu of therapy (which I am clearly in desperate need of) I am writing down my random thoughts in the hopes that, once purged, they will be irrevocably gone from my mind.
For that reason I will begin with what seems like it would be a quite ordinary query from a person in the psychological field.
Dr. Shrinkowitz: How would you describe yourself in three words? Be honest.
Me: (with a sappy, yet bashful, smile) sweet, helpful, nice.
It baffles me that the subconscious can be so misguided.
A few years ago, these are the exact adjectives that I would have used to define myself (as long as I was feeling generous with the niceties), both now and in the past. All of that changed, however, in the last few months. It’s not that I suddenly became a bad person; in fact, those traits that I had said before are ones that I would use to characterize myself today (again: don’t think me an egotistical ass, the personal unpleasantries of my personality will come through soon enough). It is the memories that I have of my past that have come creeping back slowly, infiltrating my every thought. At unexpected moments, new (often disturbing) recollections of events that happened during my adolescence seem to manifest themselves in my brain, causing sudden anxiety: my fingers tingle, my stomach leaps about, and I begin to feel sick.
Lest anyone perceive this as an admission of illegal practices, let me assure you, dear reader: I was simply being a bit, well, tart (for lack of a better word) throughout these years. Could it have been the all-too-conventional daddy issues? Perhaps it was a call for attention? Acceptance? Whatever “it” happened to be, the solution wasn’t found until adulthood, when I finally felt content. How, you may ask, did it affect others.