Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Picture of the Woman at the Zoo

"I am not a morning person", Grace mumbles, as she flips off the “early bird’ chirping outside of the bedroom window, thrilled to find the worm to satiate her hunger. One of the reasons for this early morning grogginess is that I stay up so late at night, listening to the voice of apprehension, warning me of the nightmares that are sure to engulf me after I drift off to sleep. And while I am slumbering and the nightmares creep forward from my sub-conscious onto the 3-D video screen in front of me, I am unable to escape or defend myself. At night I prop my eyelids open and watch the comedy channel until the vampires settle in for their siesta and then I crawl up the stairs and into bed for a good 3-4 hours. I am NOT a morning person!

This morning when I dragged myself out of bed and slowly crept down the stairs, I found dear husband sitting at the kitchen table listening to 80’s hair band music and surfing the net. He knows not to speak to me before I ingest at least a sip of strong black coffee and so he patiently waited until I tip-toed quietly over to the coffee maker, poured a cup of coffee from the carafe and headed to the kitchen table to engage in the Sunday morning discussion of “why did you spend (enter $ amount) at (enter retail store)?” I sat down at the table and took a sip of coffee and in my groggy mind, tried to recall the money I spent last week at (enter retail stores), as I waited for the weekly question. But this morning, a different question escaped his lips.

And the question was this: “Honey, there’s a picture of a woman at the zoo on our computer and I have no idea who she is?” He has met DT once before, when we stopped by her house to pick up pick up my MP3 player because she made me a relaxation recording so I could relax/sleep better. But that was last year and he didn’t remember what she looked like.

I smiled a ‘half-smile’ (the best I can muster at 8:00 on a Sunday morning) as I remembered that dear therapist had emailed me a couple of photos earlier in the week, at my request, and I stored them on the hard-drive in our laptop. I pondered how I should answer this question as dh already thinks my attachment to DT is…how should I say this…strange and crazy (?).

There really wasn’t a clever way to answer his question, that I could think of, so I just came out and said, “Oh, that’s DT. I asked her to send me a photo so I can look at it when I’m (enter: scared, lonely, sad, other painful feeling).

I could tell by the look on his face that he did, in fact, think that was ‘odd’. So I continued (as though he didn’t already know this) “I think of her like the ‘mother’ I didn’t have and so I need that ‘connection’ to her when she can’t be here for me.” I know I must have sounded like a child, and he was probably wondering what happened to his wife, the adult Grace who is nearly 40 years old. But much to my surprise, he didn’t ask further questions. And I didn’t offer additional information to further explain or illuminate why I had added this addition to my ‘objects of dependence’ *collection*. My current collection includes: several recordings of her “talking” to me ~ relaxation, meditation, readings from books, a few CDs she has made me (meditations, healing trauma, and even music), a healing bead she brought me that I made into a bracelet, emails, and even a bear that I sleep with that when you press her left hand is DT talking to me. In fact, there are times when I inadvertently hit the bear’s hand and it wakes him up when DT talks and sort of freaks him out. And of course the bear’s name is “dear therapist bear”. And now photos? I’m sure he’s wondering, “WHAT NEXT?”

He has no idea of the story I’ve written in my head that I have left home for, let’s say, college (although that changes~ sometimes college, sometimes I’ve moved overseas or to a different coast…) and the connection I have with DT is that I can email her, she will email me back twice a week, I can call her if I need her, and see her once a week. I hope this ‘story’ will help the little Gracie’s know that DT cares and hasn’t abandoned us.

I can’t wait to see his reaction when I frame a 5 x 7 picture of DT at the zoo in a frame I decorate with some ‘grounding’ sayings written on it, and put it on my night stand!

Okay – I’m kidding about the picture frame…
But at least he didn't ask me why I spent a hundred bucks at Victoria Secret last week.


  1. Dear Grace, the photo is fine for you to be comforting, even though your h. does not understand. There are many many many many people in the world, even h. that do not understand. You are okay here dear one!

  2. Good morning, JBR, (or afternoon/evening...depends upon when you read thsi)..but it's definately morning here. *shuffling to the coffee maker*.
    Thank you for the validation that I am not a FREAK ~ and the other's, with the exception of dh, and my 'virtual friends' will never know that I have that photo :-)...if they did, it would ruin my reputation of the "sane professional woman" ~and I like that image, during the day. And it wouldn't be DT admitting me to a psych ward :-)
    Thank you for reading & commenting...
    It made my morning brighter!
    ~ Grace