Couch Talk (Part II) (The Impossible, Possible, for a Moment?)

The impossible had always seemed possible. Or maybe in moments of fear I’d eliminated the word impossible from my mental dictionary. I doubt these two sentences would come to me on the couch. I’m writing and reading these words on the screen after the Monday morning session. Typing sentences like this one becomes another form of couch speaking, which I experience in my psychoanalyst’s fourth floor office four times a week, fifty minutes each time. In both cases, what seems to help the most is that the inner experience leaves my head in a form of translation that I’m sure I could never learn if I tried. Experience has taught me that both good speaking and good writing comes to one as a gift. I can’t achieve them through hard work alone. Fear came to me on the couch this morning, and probably more times in fifty minutes than I dare to imagine. Perhaps it was in the opening minutes, while I struggled to become comfortable speaking with no one in front of me, that I became frustrated with the whole idea of psychoanalysis. For years my problem with psychoanalysis was that I couldn’t move beyond the idea to the reality of it, with me on the couch and with a psychoanalyst listening to everything, words and silences, out of sight. The impossible was that for years I wrote fictional accounts of psychoanalytic sessions without having experienced it myself. I said this on the couch this morning, or did I? Maybe I said something similar to: I was unwilling to make the commitments of time and money that experiencing psychoanalysis involved. In any case, I imagine I started speaking during the opening minute. Mary had been listening to me for twelve months. Maybe both of our minds remained in the weekend that had just ended. Then I heard words from behind the couch: Maybe I wanted her to make the impossible possible for me, even before these fifty minutes were over. I often wanted Mary to solve my problems for me, and I knew it would never happen. I wanted her to do so this morning, although I had no idea what impossibility I wanted her to make seem possible.


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