Terry, I feel so bad, so upset.
Don’t you? That little boy, his crying, oh it’s bothering me so much. Isn’t it bothering you, making you feel bad?
No, it’s giving me the shits, I wish he’d shut up.
But he can’t help it, it’s not his fault. Look at him there, he’s harnessed into the trolly, he can’t do anything.
Yeah, I know, that part I don’t agree with, but it’s the noise I can’t stand, why doesn’t his mother do something.
She is doing something Terry, can’t you see, she’s totally ignoring him, she’s the one who’s harnessed him to the trolly. Oh I feel so sad for him, look at him, sitting there feeling so bad, so uncomfortable, he can’t do anything, he can’t get down... look at the anguish on his little red and scrunched up face... it’s heartbreaking.
Yeah it is.
Put yourself in his place Terry, how would you like it if you were like him, trapped there and with a horrible mother like that. She doesn’t give a shit about him, women like her shouldn’t have children, and all those other women fussing about him, trying to cheer him up, but can’t they see they are only making him feel worse. Look how he turns away from them, he’s feeling so awful Terry, so humiliated, I bet he just wants to disappear, to be anywhere else but there, I would. And his stupid mother, look how she just carries on oblivious to his crying. Oh I want to go over and pick him up, set him free of his prison, give him lots of love and cuddles, that’s probably all he needs, he’s crying his eyes out because she’s not loving him... oh it’s dreadful Terry. Do you still feel the same way about him making all the noise?
No, not now that you’ve said all that. No, I too feel sorry for him now, I see what you mean, but I feel very scared. I imagine being him, and oh shit that is scary, that puts the wind right up me. I feel like he is me, that I’m him, that I’m the one strapped in there like that unable to move. And now I feel angry with her, I feel like going over to her and taking him away from her, taking him away and out, outside somewhere, not somewhere like this horrible supermarket, out into a park, or to the zoo, or something fun where he can be free and run around and do what he likes... see all the animals, something like that. Come on Ann, let’s go, I can’t stand it anymore.
In the car.
Ann that was horrible, I’m still shaking, look at me, I still feel so scared. Shit I’ve been with children crying like that before, but it’s never made me feel scared. I’ve always been angry with them, with the child for making such a noise, but you’ve helped me see, as you said, that it’s not the little child’s fault, they can’t help it, that little boy had no say in it, it’s his mother’s fault.
That’s right Terry. And why do you think you’ve always blamed the child?
I don’t know... children are... are... children like that are a nuisance, they should be quiet, they should be kept under control. That’s how I’ve always thought about it.
And do you think that’s right, that’s how children should be treated?
I don’t know, I’ve not really thought about it.
But what if you were to have children, what if we did Terry, is that how you’d treat them?
God I don’t know. No, I mean, no, I’d be nice to them, not like she was.
But how do you know Terry. What if you were the mother, what if you had to do all the looking after, day in day out, and couldn’t get away from them. And what if they just cried all the time, like now out in public, and you can’t deal with it, and you had no one to help you, your husband or partner was always at work, or you didn’t have one; what if you had to do it all, all the looking after and with no one to help you, all alone, just you and a little person you couldn’t relate to.
Ah, I see what you mean. Yeah, I don’t know, I don’t think I could do it. Shit I’ve never looked at it like that before.
No, because your mother did her duty, she never complained, she was left alone with you kids, she probably treated you like that in the supermarket at times being unable to cope. And you don’t know, he might have been sick, he might have a problem, something that makes it even more difficult. Or he might not, and his mother just doesn’t care about him.
But she would care about him.
How do you know, it certainly didn’t seem like it.
No, I know, it didn’t when you pointed it out like that. But she’s his mother, she would love him, he’s her child.
And what Terry, just because he’s her child that means she loves him.
Terry, where have you been?
What do you mean?
Is that seriously what you think, that all mother’s love their children?
Well yes... don’t they?
Do you think that mother loves that little boy.
Well no... not in that situation, but I’m sure she must love him, you know, like when they are back home and she can be with him, when she’s not having to be out shopping with him.
And you think that how she is now will change when she gets home, that she will turn back into the good angel mother person loving her child so much, adoring him, being with him, letting him be free. And then when they go out into the world together, she turns into the horrible, evil mother person from hell.
Yeah, well, I see what you mean. Ah, that makes me feel very bad Ann, I don’t want to know about it.
Why Terry, because your fantasy mother picture is being threatened.
I suppose so.
Anyway, you should speak more about your bad feelings. Express them more, how are you feeling now?
I don’t know, sort of stunned I think, that shocked feeling. I don’t know what to say, what I’m feeling. It’s all too much for me. I feel scared, I feel angry, confused, anxious, nervous, I don’t know, all those things, too much.
What do you feel like doing, is there anything you feel like you want to do?
Run. Running away, yeah, running and running as fast as I can. Escaping, getting out of there. I don’t want to be there, I don’t, no, don’t make me be there, don’t force me to stay there... oh I feel so scared, like I’m going to be sick, afraid, scared, as if something really bad is going to happen to me... Run away Terry! That’s what I feel like shouting, and I’m off, I’m running, running as fast as I can. You’re not going to catch me staying there, no way, not in your life. No, No, no, I don’t want to do it, I’m not going to do it, I’m not, no, NO, you can’t make me, NOOOOOOOOOO - that’s what I feel like screaming. No, and then running away. I want get down out of that trolly, screaming no and run away, and as far away as I can.
Where do you want to run away to?
...I don’t know. Just run away... oh wait, on... no, I do think I know where, that’s funny... to Grandma’s house, yes, to her house, to go and play with her dog - Albert. I want to be with Albert, to go and play with him. I loved playing with him. We didn’t have a dog, we didn’t have any pet when I was young; we had a dog, Oscar when I was older, but now all I want to do is run away and escape and be with Albert at Granny’s. Oh Ann, I don’t think I’ve told you... I don’t think I’ve ever told anyone before, but I loved Albert, I loved being with him. He was a black Labrador, and he was my friend, yes, my special friend. Oh shit, now I feel like I’m going to cry; oh Ann, I’ve never said this to anyone before, but I loved him, and I know he loved me. I loved being with him, and I’d play with him in the back garden, he loved chasing the balls and sticks, and I’d throw them and he’d bring them back to me, and we’d roll around together on the grass. And we’d sit together looking at the sky, the clouds, and the birds that would come and eat the bread Granny would put out for them. It was so good being with him, I can’t tell you. Gee, you know, I haven’t thought about him in years.
What happened to him?
He died of old age. And not long after that so too did Granny.
You first called her Grandma, then Granny, do you know why you did that?
No. We used to call her Granny, that’s what I called her. But it was talked about that I would go or we’d all go to Grandma’s house. Yes, I’ve never thought of that, but when mum and dad said it, it was always Grandma’s house, Granny lived at Grandma’s house. I think I even have them as two separate people.
You know, since we’ve started doing this feeling thing, haven’t so many weird things like that come up?
And you’d never know, I mean I’ve not thought about it or Granny for years. But I guess that’s what it’s all about, our uncovering the truth of it all.
Yes, and all the weird bits, all the bits that don’t make sense, that don’t add up, are all coming to light for us to see. I read that in one of the books. We are meant to see it all, all what our life was about, every little bit. And all based around and focused on the relationships we have with everyone in it, and especially when we were young. And even as you said with Albert, relationships with our pets if they were influential. And from what you said, you obviously felt a lot of love for and from Albert.
I did. And right now feeling it all again, I feel like Albert was the only one who really loved me in my early life. I know mum and dad loved me and I love them, but not how it was with Albert. I can’t quite tell you the difference, but with Albert it was all just him and me, there wasn’t anyone else, it was all just so good being with him. Oh I want to cry again... I loved Albert Ann, you know, I really did. Shit I’ve never felt this way before. But I loved that old dog, and he was so good to me, as if he knew exactly how to be with me, how I wanted and needed things and him to be. And he never got angry with me, never bit me or anything like that, he was always so good. Yes, I loved - I love him! Oh I wish he were here now and I could tell him how much I loved him. I feel like I want to thank him, to thank him for being there for me, for giving all of himself to me. Gee Ann, I even feel like he is right here now with us, here in front of me somehow, here with his head on my hand like he used to do, so I can pat it, rubbing his ears - he loved having behind his ears rubbed. And you know Ann, I don’t think I’ve loved anyone or anything as much as I loved him. I mean, and this too is hard for me to say, as I love you, but when I think of him, I don’t know, it’s a different love, and it’s so strong, and I’ve never felt anything like it. I even feel rather guilty saying that to you, that I love a dog more than I love you.
That’s okay Terry, I understand. And you were young, and he made you feel very special.
Yes, special, that’s the word, he did, and I felt very special.
Don’t stop yourself crying Terry, it’s all right, I don’t mind, and it’s right. You’re feeling very deep feelings, let them all come out.
I loved that old dog, and he loved me... He Annie, he loved me... god I feel like no one ever loved me, other than him. He loved me... he loved me... he was so nice, and I loved him...
Keep going, keep saying all you can whilst you’re crying... I know it’s hard, but it’s good, let it all come out.
Albert loved me, he loved me, oh Annie I can feel the love, real love, I feel like he loved just me - me... and I don’t know if I feel anyone has loved just me. I don’t even know what I’m saying, but I feel good and bad, so really good that he did love me so much, and so bad that I don’t feel like I’ve been loved as much by anyone else - even mum and dad. And that worries me.
Because... well, because... because how can I feel more loved by a dog than by my own mum and dad. I don’t know what to make of it. I don’t know if it’s right.
Don’t try to work it out in your mind Terry, remember, feelings, your feelings are saying it’s right, that you felt more loved by Albert than your parents, so stay with that. So how does that make you feel, feeling more loved by a dog and by your parents?
Bad, very bad... why didn’t my own parents love me, love me as much as I feel Albert loved me. Why Ann, I don’t get it! I feel angry now - WHY DIDN’T THEY! Why didn’t they love me as much, why was the only real love, as that’s how it feels, that I got come from a dog, and not from them. They are my parents, they are the ones who love me the most... but that’s not how I feel, I don’t feel like I got any love from them, and yet... all my life I’ve felt I did. But what if it’s true, what if I didn’t feel as loved by them as I did by Albert... that’s terrible Ann, what am I going to do... I don’t know what to do...
Why do you think you should do anything, why don’t you just accept that that is how you’re feeling now. You might not always feel like it, but now you do, and so accept it, that’s what we’re doing this for, to see were our feelings lead us, and to accept without judgement and without letting our mind get in the way, what they are making us feel, and what they are showing us.
Yes, but I don’t want to accept it... I don’t want it to be true... but what if it is... Oh Ann, this is no good, what if it’s true... I mean, it means, it means nothing is as it was, that what if all that I thought was being loved my mum and dad wasn’t love at all, then what happens, what do I do, I don’t know what to do.
Do you feel you should do something?
Yes, yes I do. I should... I don’t know... do something.
What Terry, what do you feel you should do?
Oh I don’t know Ann, don’t ask me, I don’t know. If I knew I’d say... oh leave me alone, this is too bad, I don’t know what to do... it’s as if I should go over there, and then, or something, ask them, oh I don’t know... ask them if they do love me... but of course they will say yes, and tell them, but I feel more loved by Albert than I do by you... and what would they do, oh I can’t do that Ann, that would make them feel very bad... and I don’t want to upset them, things are hard enough as it is, what with all dad’s problems, and mum not being what she was after she had that turn... no, Ann, I’m not going over there! I’m NOT!
You don’t have to go Terry, why do you feel you do?
I have to, I have to go and confront them, because that’s what you do, when bad things happen you have to go and confront the person doing it, you have to have it out with them; yes, I have to tell them, and sort it out once and for all. Yes, I have to go over right now and have it out with them, just as dad went over to the neighbours and had it out with them when their two boys kept jumping over the fence when we weren’t home and taking all the apples off the tree. And mum said, yes Harold, you go over there and give them a piece of your mind, you go over there right now and tell them it’s not good enough, and they have to keep their boys in order. And dad said he agreed, and he went and he told them not to let their two boys climb our fence and take all the apples. He said, if they want some apples they can come and ask us, and if we’ve got too many they can have some. So I think I should over there and talk to them about it. Sort it out with them, see if it’s true.
And do you think they will tell you they didn’t love you, and that you’re right, and that Albert did love you more than them?
Oh Annie I feel so bad. So, so bad, I mean, what if my feelings are right, that means my whole world is shattered, nothing is as it was, nothing will be the same ever again. How will I be able to go and see them, how will I be able to look them in the eye knowing what I feel about them now. Oh this is what I was dreading, that perhaps the love that I believed we had and they felt for me wasn’t what it I think it is.
Do you feel you love them Terry?
Oh god Ann, that’s just it... I don’t know any longer, not after feeling so loved by Albert and feeling how much I loved him and loved being with him. I don’t even have any of those loving feelings for mum and dad. I can’t actually remember feeling really good being with them, I’ve been searching my feeling memories, but I can’t find any. It’s as if they should be there, of course they should, I had lots of good times with them, and we all got on well together, and we never really had many arguments, but... it’s as if something is missing, the memories of feeling loved by them and love for them. I mean, I do love them... but as soon as I say that, well, I don’t know any longer, because the feeling of being with Albert is now so strong. He and I had a special thing, a special love, and I never felt that special with mum and dad. No, I never did, and I don’t know if I want to accept that.
But Ann, what can I do, I have to accept it, I do, like you said, it’s what my feelings are telling me.
Yes Terry, I think you do. At least accept it and then see how you feel about later. See how you feel tomorrow, you know, after you’ve given yourself some time to think about it.
Yes, but I can tell you this much. I will never be the same again. It’s as if a major wedge of doubt has suddenly been put in me. And all I have to do is think of being with Albert and I want to cry and the feelings are so good and so strong, and I don’t have those same feelings when I think about mum and dad.
Terry has begun to wake up to the truth of his relationships with his parents. And the truth of his relationship with Albert. Nature is true and perfect, and so unconditionally gives all of itself to us when we are open and able to accept it. All how we wanted our parents to be, but they being of a conditional mind and love, didn’t and couldn’t give all of themselves to us, and that’s the hurt and pain we feel, irrespective of how much love there might have been with them, because, it was just never enough.