You don’t seem right Terry, are you feeling alright?
Na, not really but I’ve not as yet been able to feel what I am feeling - the bad feeling. I don’t know, I sort of feel odd, strange - out of sorts? What can you see that makes you ask me that?
You’re not talking for one thing, when ordinarily you’d have responded to some of what I’ve been saying. And when you do your responses are not quite right, they don’t feel right to me, so I’ve been looking at you trying to see why I feel odd about you - what you’re doing, what’s going on within you. And I’ve been waiting to see if you say anything that would explain it, but as you haven’t, so I thought I’d ask you.
Now that you’ve helped me focus more on myself, yeah, I do feel bad, but I still don’t know what the feeling is.
Can you at least just let out some noise that would express how you’re feeling?
I’ll try. All I feel like doing is moaning, sort of, arrhhh, arrhhh, arrhhhh, dull and deep like I can hardly open my mouth to get it out. arrhhh, arrhhh, arrrrrhhhhhhh, aaaarrrrhhhhhh, and I feel kind of down, sad a bit I think, but I don’t know about what.
Now I feel more like mmmmm....mmmm.....mmmmmm.....mmmmm.....mmmmm.....-
When you say it, can you say it to me, like you’re giving your bad feelings to me. Not just speaking about them or telling me that’s how you feel. Say it, you know, like when you express your bad feelings you’re more familiar with, with the feeling of it, like you want me to take it, like I’m you’re mother or father and you’re feeling this bad feeling and so you’re coming up to me and expressing your bad feeling to me. You know how little children do, they come up and just moan or whatever it is they are feeling.
And then they are told to shut up and stop doing it, their noise being so annoying.
Yes, but I’m a nice parent Terry and I’m not going to say that to you and I want you to come to me with all your pain, all your anguish, all your heartache, all your sadness, misery - any and all of your bad feelings.
Okay, I’ll try. mmmmm.....mmmmm......mmmmmmm......mmmmmm......mmmmm - yeah well I feel like I’m about three years old and I want to cry into your arms... mmmmm.....mmmmm.....mmmmmm.....mmmmm......mmmmm.....mmmmmmmmmm.....mmmmmm.....mmmmmmmm....mmmmmm - yeah and I want you to take all the bad feelings away and make me feel better - ....mmmmm.....mmmmm.....mmmmm...mmmm...
Now I feel sad, sad and sorry for myself.
Do know what about?
Yeah, I feel sad that my life with mum and dad wasn’t as good as I believed it was. That I don’t feel as loved by them as I want to feel. That my life and your life and everyone’s life is shit even if people are having a great time. That no one really understands how it’s all so bad, as we’re understanding. Far worse than anything I could have every imagined.
But come back to you Terry, how are you feeling now, how does it relate to you personally?
Ummm, I don’t know mmmm.....mmmmmm.....mmmmm......mmmmmm......mmmmm.... Sad, I feel very sad now, sad that it didn’t work out-
What didn’t work out?
Yeah, yeah, would you stop jumping in so fast and give me a chance to say what I feel. Sometimes I think you’re too fast, your questions are good and always helpful Ann, but sometimes I feel like I’m being given the third degree.
That being with mum and dad didn’t work out, that we can’t have a good relationship. They seem fine, they’ve not changed how they are with me, and I don’t think they are aware of my changing, but I have, and so much so. I no longer feel the same way about them as I used to feel. And I feel sad about that. Sad that I have to give up my falseness and delusion even, sad that it can’t be as I thought I was: that we were happy together and did love and feel deeply for one another.
mmmmm.....mmmmm.....mmmmm......mmmmmm.....mmmmm.....mmmmm Sad that I don’t get on with them, that we never really got along well; that I had to change so much of myself to fit in with them; that they forced me to be how they wanted me to be, and then once I was that way, then they loved me for being the false Terry. Sad that they didn’t just love and appreciate and accept me as being my true self. Sad that nothing of it is any good, as I’m seeing. Sad about myself, sorry for myself, and sad that it’s all as fucked as it is. mmmm....mmmm.....mmmmmmmmmm......mmmmmm......aaarrrhhh, aaarrrhhhhh, ah it’s all so fucked, so fucked and I feel sad about it all. I can look at them and see what sad people they are; mum and dad aren’t truly happy, and they’ve not really had great lives. Lots of good things happened for them and they’ve mostly had it how they’ve wanted it, but still I wouldn’t call them happy, they are certainly not brimming over with joy and happiness.
And who is?
Yeah, I don’t know. But surely there must be some people that love life, that are full of happiness, that haven’t had a shit time to begin with, that had a very enjoyable childhood. But I don’t know. I look around the streets as I’m driving around and I don’t see what I’d call happiness. And I sure don’t feel happy, that’s another thing I’m having to accept more about myself. I thought I was a reasonably happy bloke, but I’m not. Sure I can have a laugh with the boys at the pub or at the cricket, but still, I don’t feel deep within myself happy or satisfied of fulfilled by life. And I never have. And now I’m starting to wake up more to the fact that there’s always been a part missing within me, that’s how I feel. And it’s happiness, you know, just a good inner feeling about yourself all the time, and one of happiness bubbling up in you - that’s how I imagine it anyway. And I don’t feel like that. I have felt happy at times during my life, but it’s not just always there, and there without me having to do anything, it just being a part of me, of who I am. Happy Terry - something like that.
mmmm....mmmmm.....mmmmm.....mmmmm.....mmmm... I still feel just like moaning away forever. Sad, sad, sad, sad, sad, sad, sad, sad, I’m sad, I feel sad, very sad, sad, sad, that’s how I feel Ann, you know?
Yes Terry, and it is sad that you feel that way.
Yes it is, isn’t it? And I can feel that I’m still having to accept it in myself, that I do actually feel this way - sad. And that it’s very real, that I DO FEEL SAD! Because I do feel sad. It’s such a weird thing about these bad feelings, how hard I find it is to accept them.
All because you were so heavily programmed not to.
Yeah. mmmm....mmmm.....mmmmm.....mmmmm.....mmmmm......mmmmm.... sad, sad, sad, sad, sssaaadddd... and now I feel scared, yes scared that how I’m becoming won’t be acceptable in the world, that people will stop liking me, that I won’t be able to get on with anyone any more because I’ve become too different from them; because of all of this, and all we speak about, all this feeling stuff; and as other people don’t do it, that they will think I’m weird.
I’ve tried to talk with Jim about it, but he’s not interested so I don’t push it. But as I’ve started to decline some of his invitations to go out like we used to do, saying that I prefer to stay at home with you, I can feel a strain growing between us, and all because I’m changing.
And that’s what I’m scared of, that I will change too much and then what will happen. I won’t be able to relate to anyone nor they to me. And then I’ll feel more alone, I won’t be part of it, part of the boys, able to be as I’ve always been with them. So I feel like I’m sort of slipping away, as if I’m drifting off, almost like I’m dying in a way, the old me is dying, it’s not longer as it was and I don’t know what’s going to happen. Does that all make sense to you Ann?
Yes, absolutely. I can understand that, you’ve always been as you say one of the boys able to fit in with all the blokes, so it must be a bit of a shock having to accept that you’re not really one of them, or that you’re no longer one of them, no longer wanting to be one of them.
It is. And it’s sort of crept up on me. Sometimes when I’m with them I feel such a deep love for them, and well, I think it’s a love - I can’t be sure about anything I feel these days. And I love being with them, but at the same time I’m longing for something else, I feel too constricted with them, I long to be back here with you, and I long for other things which I can’t place - possibly even for the truth, but I’m not sure about that. Sort of like I have a new calling, or a calling coming up within me, all these new strange feelings, and I don’t know what I’m meant to do with them. And then when I try to speak to you about them, about what I am feeling, I can’t put them into words. So I don’t know, I just feel mixed up as usual.
And the more I’m with my friends at the cricket or the pub the more meaningless I feel it all is. I tell myself that it’s about being with them and the cricket or the pub is only the means to achieve that, but nothing ever changes with them, they are always the same, even telling the same old jokes, and really I’m getting a bit bored with it all Ann. And I thought I never would, it was my relaxation time, my time to have fun mucking around with them, time off from work and all of that; and I thought I’ve never tire of it, that we’d all grow old together, but not anymore, now I feel like screaming at times with the monotony of it all.
I think you’re growing up Terry, emotionally. Growing out of all that being with the boys stuff, the need of that sort of companionship. And you’re starting to value real feelings and so real relationships like what we’re having, and those old ones that are devoid of such feeling expression are wearing thin.
Yes, I think you’re right, and in many ways I am glad about it. I want to grow up, I want to progress and get on and heal myself. And I’m enjoying how I’m becoming, but still so many bloody bad feelings keep coming up with every step and that’s the difficult part.
But I’m feeling a bit better now, not so sad and not scared. I feel more accepting of it all, it will be as it is, and there’s nothing I can do about it anyway. And unless I stop trying to express all I feel I will keep changing, and I feel I’m changing for the better although it’s hard to know at times.
I think you’ve greatly improved Terry and every day I’m liking the more improved version.
Yeah, but still... still, I don’t know that I want to give up seeing and being with mum and dad. I still feel l love them, like I do the boys, and yet... I only have to start thinking about all I’ve seen to do with our relationship and I start feeling bad about them, and angry how they treated me and how unloved I feel by them. So I guess my love feelings for them are remnants of the past, still a part of my mind trying to hang onto the old ways.
Still wanting to have what its familiar with.
Yes, which I can understand. Sometimes I feel like my mind is a separate part of me, as if it has a mind of its own, and it’s had all this power and control over me, over the feeling me; and now that it’s losing some of that, it’s fighting not wanting to give up and give in and let go. It’s like a battle going on within me and I sort of jump between sides, even though it’s all me.
And things like that Ann, how could I ever expect to share such feelings and perceptions with mum and dad or the boys at the cricket. I can’t, they’d think I’d have lost it. And yet I like all these weird feelings and thoughts more each day and I feel like I want to explore them rather than sit watching some other blokes hit a ball around.
I’ve never been able to see what people see in cricket.
It was such a good part of my early life, playing in the back lane hitting the ball, all the boys in our area and even dad would play, it was fun, part of my happy memories. The warm summers and hitting the ball over peoples fences and then down at the park in the cricket nets, and at school, it was the only sport I was any good at. I was okay playing footy, but I liked bowling and the challenge of trying to get the batsman out.
Why didn’t you keep playing it after school?
Na, other things like women took priority, and work, and I never got around to it. I said I would play and started but I wanted to do other things on the weekends. Then later I just liked to watch it occasionally, but not be involved with it all the time. And I was never that good to get anywhere with it in the amateurs or possibly even professionally anyway, so I let it go.
And do you wish you could have been better at it?
I used to, but not now. I had hoped and dreamed when I was a kid to be a professional, but na, not anymore. I had to let that go, and as I said, girls and work took over.
But having said that, I can see how it’s only because it was such an integral part of my childhood and part that I felt relatively confident in that I kept playing it as long as I did and keep wanting to go and watch it. But that too I can feel is fading away. I think I’m losing interest again. And I know I’ve said that before, particularly during the winter, but now I do, and now having said this, I feel it even more so. But still I’ll probably never give it up, I probably need it too much, something to cling onto that does make me feel good, just being outside and with the others, talking about whatever.
About women you mean.
Yeah, we do a bit of that, but nothing serious, at least not for me. And I don’t know Ann, even that I’m feeling rather bored with now. It all seems so childish. I feel like I want a change, or that I am changing or... I don’t even know what I’m talking about. It’s far easier just mmmm....mmmmm.....mmmmm....mmmmm.....mmmmm.... I still feel those bad feelings, a deep sort of moan in me, I don’t know what it is - discontentment perhaps? That’s how I feel, not happy, discontent with everything, nothing seems to be as it was, everything is changing how I relate to it.
You’re growing in truth, that’s what it is Terry, so you’re pulling away from those people and your old habits and patterns as they are no longer giving you what you needed from them. So you’re probably feeling in no-mans land, possibly ending a lot of your old ways and replacing them with new ones, ones you’re just not that familiar with yet.
Yeah you’re probably right.
You’re letting go, that’s how I see it, letting go of the old you and moving into something that is of the new you, possibly even the true, or at least, truer, you.
Yeah well it sounds good, and I wish I felt good about it all. Part of me does feel good like I said, but another part feels so all over the place, so confused about it all.
And I think because you think about it all so much that makes it harder for you. If you just let go of your mind altogether and allowed your feelings to take you, then you might feel more relaxed about it all.
Yes, but how can I do that? It seems easier for you, but you’ve always been that way; I’ve always been far more mental about everything, applying my mind to everything; and as you know, it was all I thought you were meant to do in life, that it was the way to succeed. And so much emphasis was put on using your mind to work things out at school, all that stuff we had to learn and all the problems, it was all mental, nothing emotional or on the feelings level. Some of the girls were of course more that way inclined, but they were girls and that wasn’t the way of us boys.
I know, which is such a pity.
Yes, now I agree with you, but back then, no way, I would have been called a sissy for speaking about my feelings, and if I cried or said I felt bad or that I didn’t have it all under control, I’d have been laughed at, ridiculed and made to feel like an idiot. And you know all my problems I have about feeling those feelings, all thanks to dad making it all worse.
You were probably one of those girls that sat and read all day long, a real book-worm type, ones we would have teased.
Yeah, and now here I am hardly having read a book in my life other than manuals on how to do things, and all I want to do is talk about all this feelings stuff with you. And I love when you read those bits out of those people’s stories that help us understand more about how people feel and what sort of unloving parenting they’ve suffered. And to be able to compare yourself to them, and see how it is similar or different for you on the outside and yet on the inside we all feel much the same in so many ways; yes, I am certainly not the old Terry. And I don’t want to be that Terry anymore either. Mum and dad often refer to the past, to me, their ‘good boy Terry’ and I want to throw up, I hate being that way now, being the good boy for them. And all because it was all for them, it wasn’t for me as it’s turning out. They made me become how they wanted me to be, as we know, but still every time I think of it, it sends shivers up my spine. And I want to scream and run, to run and run away as fast as I can, just like I used to when I was young. God, and to think that your own mother and father can fuck you up so badly, I still can’t come to terms with it. I still don’t know what to think about it all. And it scares me.
Because I’m scared of what they will do and say to me when I am no longer the good boy Terry. When it comes to the day as surely it will, when I let them down, when I have to say no, I can’t be that way any more for them. And then they will be so hurt and I don’t want to hurt them, even though they’ve hurt me so much. And I wonder why I don’t want to hurt them and then I think it’s all part of the same thing - that good boy Terry can’t hurt his parents, he can’t say a bad word against them. No way, not in a million years. Good boy Terry has to forever be the good boy, and if he’s not, god I can’t even begin to imagine what would happen.
That they’d no longer like you, reject you?
Yes, possibly, I don’t know. Or before they did that they’d yell at me, punish me or something - hit me even. God I am a grown man and yet I still feel like I’m three or four years old with them. And I can’t escape these feelings, it’s often how they make me feel and I hate feeling that way. I don’t want to still be the little boy with them and yet as soon as I step into their house I’m back with them, slotting into my place being their good little boy. And I wish I could stop all of that. I wish I could somehow grow up and even be their not good boy yet not feel so scared about it.
I think it’s still a big thing for me Ann, all that about not wanting to let them down, not wanting to disappoint them; so I have to keep playing my role, I can’t turn my back on them and just walk away. And even more so the older they get and the more frail they are becoming.
But the others can and are looking after them much more than you do.
Yeah I know, but still it’s how I feel even though I don’t see them as much as I used to. And you know, as we’ve spoken about, even though I’m not actually physically with them and not living still with them and don’t even see them that much, I feel I am with them, that I’ve never left them, that I am still in their house even as I’m in this one with you.
And it’s all so difficult, you know, having to grapple with all of that. That I am still the good little boy with them and that I’ve never actually left them on some levels; and as we read, it’s not until you do your healing and express all your repressed childhood feelings that you do grow up to become free of your parents; and then possibly once free, once you’ve healed yourself, then you might actually be able to have a true adult relationship with them provided they too have done their healing. And as mum and dad certainly aren’t interested in changing, not at this stage in their lives; and aren’t interested in expressing their feelings or even what we’re trying to do, so we’re never going to have good relationships, or at least, not on Earth. Maybe if there is an afterlife we might be able to then if they do their healing as we read you can in spirit, but for now, I can’t be anything other than good little Terry when I’m with them. It’s either that or not see them at all. And increasingly I’m feeling more that way, but that would be too hard, I don’t think I could do it to them, I think it would kill them.
We’ve all got to die Terry - sometime.
Of course, but I don’t want to be the one to make things even harder for them than things are, and than how things will become.
So you’re just going to wait it out, wait until they die... then what?
Then I just keep going with you, doing what we’re doing. And yes, I think I am just going to wait it out as you say, as I can’t see the point in rocking the boat and causing them any pain.
But having said that Ann, then I think that perhaps I should at least them know how I feel about them and our relationship, and at least start to bring it out in the open. But as soon as I go along those lines, na, I don’t want to upset them, na, just leave things be and talk to you about all I feel. And the speaking about it all, like now, does help. So possibly I won’t have to confront them, that it will be enough for me to just keep growing in my awareness of the truth of our relationship; and it’s all for me, they don’t have to know. And that makes me feel better.
But what about if you’re feelings push you to confront them, then would will you do?
Talk about them all first with you Ann, that’s for sure. And then if I still feel like confronting them, then I will see how I feel then. But I can’t know now and I don’t want to get into speculating about it, that’s all the sort of thing I’m trying not to do anymore.
But it’s all just so weird. I feel like more and more there are two of me, one that’s the good ol Terry, for mum and dad and being with the blokes at the cricket club, and then there’s this new me with you Ann.
Perhaps those two you’s have always been there, only the so-called new one was so heavily repressed.
You might be right. It does make sense from all we’ve read and uncovered about ourselves. And it’s incredible to think that it’s like that, that I am one way with you and another way with the rest of the world.
But most of us are like that anyway, putting on our front to present to the world when we go out, and then tending to take off some of the falseness when we’re at home. So you’re just becoming more aware of these different aspects of yourself. And as you’re so used to being only the one way, so this other you, the one that’s been there all along but always been kept in the closet, seems like a stranger to you. But it’s all you.