Images of Rejection

This wasn’t supposed to happen with him seated out of sight. I was afraid to imagine the look on his face. Frustration followed by anger was one possibility. Rejection seemed inevitable. I was attempting to pronounce someone’s name. Perhaps I hoped that my verbal failing would turn that someone into a nameless one. I’d been speaking words, until now, on this couch for what felt like half an hour. I glanced at the clock beyond the couch. Ten minutes shouldn’t feel so long. Would it take me an eternity to utter her name? It took me five or ten tries. We’d known each other in another country. She became a mother figure to me. We became friends. Then I spoke words that she rejected. I remember, as if it were yesterday, how frustrated I became with her. She became angry with me. She said things I hope I don’t remember. I returned to my own country a year later, where I thought those images of rejection would disappear. Perhaps what was happening in this psychoanalyst’s office was my attempt to reject that experience in that other country, as if doing so would erase the memory forever. Experiencing that rejection, years later, on the couch, with my listener out of sight, overwhelmed me. I needed to reject someone, and my speech became the victim. We weren’t out of time. Speech came to me. I started to remember what I had said and what she had said. The listener out of sight also spoke. Those images of anger and rejection no longer felt so threatening. Our time was up. I left his office with my images of rejection.

 

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