Is There Anybody Out There? V
I know the drill now. The therapists' office is a safe place, where any emotion, each of the unsettling machinations of a mind disturbed can be revealed, repeated, picked over, announced, proclaimed and whispered. The essence of analysis. The discovery of where things went wrong. The purported safety and sanctity of the room is supposed to allow the patient to feel free to admit to experiences that are otherwise unspeakable. There is nothing safe here. Yes, I feel I can trust in the safety that my therapist will keep my secrets. She will not judge or hurt me. She will tease out the story of my illness. She is there to help me make myself better. I've been seeing her for sometime now and I trust her. But there is no safety in remembrance. I've found it decidedly unsafe to recall the first time I was hurt, even worse is to remember the first time I wasn't protected. The realization that I started my life out Knowing anything can go very wrong at any moment. I can't even remember how young I was when I began to hide, try to disappear and hope I'd be rescued. This is unsafe stuff.
Driving home from my appointment I see a 1965 GTO. It's one of my favorite cars. It also happened to be the car we had when I was a little girl. My father loved that car. every Saturday when the weather was nice he would get all the supplies out and detail 'the goat'. He took off his shirt. His tanned muscles shone in the sun. He was about twenty three and loved his car and his own body. He played the radio loud. he set to washing, waxing, treating the rag top with some sort of oil or something. I would help. He never invited me, but I'd run outside. I'd take off my shirt like he did. I felt the sun warm on my shoulders while I worked on the whitewalls. When he was finished he'd take my carseat out and put it in the garage. He'd take a shower. When he opened the door to let the steam out of the bathroom so he could shave I'd sit on the floor and watch him. He let me pick his cologne. He used a lot. Then he went 'out'. I always asked where he was going and he always said, "out".
When I first saw Suzy she seemed young and hip. She was nothing like my mother. She was my father's girlfriend. My parents were married, but it seems to me they were divorced before they married. I sat in the car with the windows closed while Suzy and my father argued outside of the car. Her face was screwed up into an angry mask. My father seemed to be trying to calm her. All this muffled action didn't upset or surprise me. My parents argued vehemently and almost constantly. It was what adults did as far as I was concerned. Very normal. Then my father got into the car. Suzy came to my side of the car, she wanted me to roll down the window. It was summer I was sweltering inside the closed up car. Closed by my father so they could fight in private I suppose. Suzy leaned into the car, She was wearing a bikini top and her breasts were at eye level. I tried not to look at them. She was very sexual and it made me uncomfortable in a way I didn't really understand. Not long after this first meeting when I was alone with her in her apartment she told me that my father told her she was tight like a virgin and my mother was so loose he needed to tie a two by four to his back so he wouldn't fall in. while she drunkenly laughed over this I sat and wondered what she was talking about. I wasn't sure but I knew it was awful. She leaned herself into the car window and acted like we were old friends. "Next Sunday I am going to take you shopping." She mentioned a string bikini I secretly would love to own. My bathing suit was a skirted one piece with strawberries on it, a little girl's bathing suit my mother had sewn for me from a pattern. We had matching swimsuits my mother and I. It was embarrassing. Suzy also promised to buy me Buffalo sandals that my mom would never let me have. "Maybe we'll go to the movies to see 'Jaws'." I told her my mom won't let me see 'Jaws". "If you don't tell, I won't", she almost purred. Then she went around to my father's side of the car and kissed him goodbye. The kind of kiss I'd never seen between my father and mother. I looked away. As we were driving home neither of us said much. My father asked me if I liked Suzy. I mumbled yes. I definitely knew she was working me and trying to buy me. Planning on doing things with me that my mother had said no to, was not about me. It was an F.U. to my mother who was married to her man. But her attention oddly felt good to me anyway. I had no idea what a horror this woman really was, but I would know for sure very soon.