Screaming Voice

The images behind the sentences I wrote overwhelmed me. So I wrote fewer words, fewer images arrived, or the ones that did troubled me less, and they didn’t seem to interfere with the words that appeared on the screen. These words I’m writing now constitute a fresh start. It might be time for the overwhelming images to return. I’m lying on a couch, the same one I do in reality, in the same therapeutic space where I entered and left several hours ago, and I start to scream. The last four words appeared without my permission, and I wonder whether I give too much or too little importance to the “I” who gave permission. In reality, I’ve never screamed in a psychotherapist’s office. I’ve been speaking on a psychoanalytic couch for nearly a year, and I believe my voice has never made me as uncomfortable as it would if I were to scream. I’m not a screamer, or am I? As I reread the last two sentences, I found myself rewriting the clause, I’ve been speaking on a psychoanalytic couch, in my mind: I’ve been screaming on a couch. The overwhelming images I mentioned in the opening sentence have become all too real in my imagination. I’ve been a stutterer since birth (I’m trying to allow free association more say in what appears), and what I know of the human mind from personal experience seems inseparable from the difficulties I have in listening to my own voice. Stuttering can be a sort of scream for help. One’s voice, or one’s voices, need experience to be heard as they really are. The images of a screaming me are about pain, pain I experience as a human being, and I imagine these images saying to me: scream, scream, scream, scream, and learn from your screaming voice.

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