That’s what I love about this work. The tangling with ambiguities, the surmising about unseen meaning. A comma omitted in the heading above – and it’s something else. Like that book “Eats shoots and leaves” Maybe it’s commas I like. And apostrophes. Or maybe I don’t like them. Whichever – I find myself here. A brand, spanking, shiny, new therapist. Not spanking …. no, we can’t have that. Or shiny. Because I’m not. What is it that I am? That I have become? I am reminded of Tom Hudson’s question in the last issue – would he do it all again? I’m not sure whether I would either – all other things being unequal. It has been, and continues to be – thus far – a struggle. This is a whole, new, way of being. I’m not sure if I curse, or caress the memory of Carl Rogers, as I write that. Or – all other things being equal – yes maybe I would go down this road again. Actually, as difficult as it has been, it seemed that there weren’t too many other roads. When I started training, I remember imagining myself on a back road, running parallel to a larger, main road, which had swifter traffic on it. I thought I would never join up with that road, where people seemed to be doing their own thing and getting along quite OK. Moving with relatively few obstacles it seemed – or at least with enough latitude available to steer around them. And maybe a few signposts scattered along the way. Now – as I write this – I’m surprised. Maybe I am, after all, on that bigger, wider road. Inside lane. And a couple of stabilisers on the back. Because, I can catch a glimpse of that other, small, twisty by-road. That unsignposted road with its frequent, unexpected, unrepaired potholes. God, I love metaphors. But do they keep me from saying what I really mean? Or is it that they help me? The change has been huge. Old work gone. New and continuously changing relationship with my family. Ditto, with my relationship with myself. All of my relationships. They continue to change as I find myself in a new and very different world. A bit scary here on the big road. But the work and the ambiguities and the metaphors help to keep me going. Keep me struggling in a different way. A more productive struggle. No. A more fruitful struggle. Fruit? Why fruit? Did I mention how I love tangents?
Eugene Ryan is an accredited psychotherapist with IAHIP working in private practice in Fitzwilliam St., Dublin 2.