Therapy Thoughts

Civil War

During a wedding they promise to
“love, honor and cherish till death do us part” and hope to live happily ever after

During a marriage they learn to
honor battle cries
“What do you think about God, the President, credit cards, feminism?”

During a  marriage they learn that
love gets clouded by offensive and defensive maneuvers

“You must be wrong       you must change your mind
you must agree with me or you don’t love me”

During a marriage they learn to
cherish the loading and firing of weapons
“That makes absolutely no sense     You are always in your head
How can you think that?     I’m sure you don’t love me”

And during a marriage someone usually calls a truce or puts down her weapon
or calls off his maneuvers and the battle is over

But when a new battle starts before the last one has ended

When the weapons stay loaded and every word is a battle cry,
they bring the war to us

They come to us because
we are trained to search the ruins of ever after
for scattered shards of happiness

Couples

To walk the edge
between their worlds
between their truths
between their needs
to weave the edge into a joining

and I like both of them
and I see both sides
neither is right or wrong
but
the sides won’t stay balanced
he remembers every failure she’s made
she suspects every trip he takes
she seems made of stone
he dissolves at a word
they are both fragile and stubborn and tired
tangled in each other’s lives

I must undo each knot
that binds them
without tearing the threads
that connect them

Double Bind

Don’t tell me it’ll be all right
you don’t know and I can’t bear the disappointment
but
don’t tell me that my fears are valid
you don’t know and I must have hope

Don’t tell me I’ll get through it
you don’t know and I can’t bear the pain
but
don’t tell me that I won’t get through it
you don’t know and I am stronger than you think

Don’t tell me that you understand
you don’t know and I am very complex
but
don’t tell me that you don’t understand
you must know how I feel or I will be alone

Don’t tell me what I ought to do
you don’t know and I’ve probably already tried it
but
don’t tell me that you can’t help me
you have to help me or I will be alone

Please tell me
I am not
alone