Reality in Silence

I’m babbling. It’s disconcerting to become disoriented while speaking. I almost wrote in my mind: while speaking to a stranger. But the person, the professional, the psychoanalyst, seated behind me, is no stranger to my anxious speech. Is that what this is, anxious speech? These sentences are written in my mind. Moments or minutes ago I was speaking to the person behind me. Why do I hesitate to call her what she is, an analyst? I’m training to become one. Perhaps I’m more afraid of my own future than I wish to admit, here in these mental sentences. She asks me what’s happening in my mind. I realize I’ve been silent for longer than I’d thought. I tell her what I’ve been thinking, or what I remember of my thoughts, seconds or minutes after they came to me. Then, without intending to, I become silent, which is when reality comes to me. Becoming aware of this inner babbling is at the heart of therapeutic work. It’s what I hope for my own patients. I’ve tried to verbalize it now, in this hour, as I struggle on the couch. I’ll never become accustomed to the ways of thinking and speaking that this treatment asks of me. Or maybe I’ve already started, and it’s only a matter of time before this mysterious process called psychoanalysis becomes normal to me. I first thought: this strange process. I hope I never become too comfortable either on the couch or seated behind it.

 

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