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I need to come clean about something.

Actually, I don’t. I could ‘not’ write this, and not publish it either.

There’s a lot of ways I could keep this to myself.

But it would be against the spirit of my blog, in which I’ve truthfully (and often painfully) divulged much of my inner world goop. Always, always with the intent of de-clogging myself, and seeing more clearly what’s going on.

And so, I feel if I don’t get this out there, I’m lying. Mostly to myself, but sorta to those who bother to come here regularly, too. ‘Cept, if I didn’t, you’d never know. But I’d know that you don’t know. And that sucks.

So, yeah. I said it.

It wasn’t easy.

Going back a few weeks, this is my second last session in recent times. AN (my therapist) didn’t even know it was gonna be that sort of session.

Til I start talking…

You know, the reason I ended up coming to see you for EMDR therapy, was when H (my other therapist) uncovered my secret. That I never speak his name to anyone. H said she wasn’t sure how important it was for me to actually ever do it, and neither do I…

So what’s his name? AN butts in briskly.

[Radio silence]

And tears.

Could a red flag be waved more obviously?

AN says Okay. It’s time.

Nooooooooooooooooooo… I don’t think I can…

We start another EMDR pen-waving session. Me, stubbornly incapable of turning air into sound and forming that word. His name.

His fucking name. That stupid, meaningless word I’d allowed to assume such power. To mean other things. Become a symbol of terror.

Not saying his name it seems, became equivalent to wearing garlic, hopelessly attempting to ward off those vampirical horrors and fears, preying on my heart and mind.

Here on this blog, I’ve labelled him Andre. Where most other people I talk about have been given an initial only. Why? Well, he’s the main character of my story, right?

Right. Or is that denial? Avoidance? Being exceptionally cagey? Lying to myself?

It’s become so impossible to enunciate that I have violent psycho-somatic reactions. Coughing. Choking. Feeling like I’m about to die. An incredible sense of doom.

All of that, rather than speak that word.

Just a house of cards trying to cover for myself, willing to appear helpless rather than face it all squarely.

He was my friend.

He didn’t just take my safety. He took away my friend and replaced him with a monster. One of the few people I’d met down here that I could resonate with on some level. He was my friend, and he screwed it all up!!

I hate you I hate you I hate you I hate you I HATE YOU I HATE YOU!!

Swift-moving bile erupts from my mouth and body, scaldingly hot.

Can’t get that word out, not with all the grief and pain there. Sitting on the trigger like a trap.

AN asks me again, as we work through various emotions.

Still, nothing.

Mentally, I say it. Urge myself onwards. But no… nothing, again.

It’s dangerous. It’s scary. It means something… it means he wins. If I say it, I’m somehow bringing him to life again. And I’ve tried so hard to bury him, bury that night.

I’m powerless to command myself. Powerless. But it’s just a stupid name. Two syllables. Three letters. For fuck’s sake!

I can talk about anything else. Everything else. Just not this. Not this. Not…

Quiet now. I’ve sobbed til my heart is empty of tears. Raw raw, and fragile, and yet… false starts. Many of them.

His name is…


I can mouth the letters silently. Only.

AN asks Does it start with a B?

No, it starts with an A.

That’s one letter. Only two to go.

But no. Locked into my seat in a small room with a kind but firm therapist, trying to shake me from my precarious perch. Gently, ever so gently.

My world right then, small and sharp. Pointed and painful. Dangerous, dark and terrifying.

It was coming. I wanted it to, but oh my god… the heartache, painfully beating like a foot trying to stamp its way out of my chest.

Like I’m talking to a child I say, It’s okay. Okay…

It’s okay… it’s only letters… its okay…

Why don’t I believe myself?

Just sitting and breathing now. And I can see, it’s just about courage now. That’s all that’s left. Finding a way to be unafraid long enough to squeeze it out. A little breath. A little sound.

His name. Its… its… okay, its… FUCK! Its… (wish my heart would stop aching), damn it, its….

And now it’s dead quiet in our room.

Its Apu.

AN repeats it a few times, loudly, so I can hear it, while I cry like a child. A child in shock, crying because the expression is entirely appropriate. Suitable to work through the pain. It’s shocking to say it. And hear someone say it. But somehow, its better. Already.

We finished things up, AN making sure I’m okay. And I left and went to a movie.

Then later, I wrote this

And now you know. And I know you know. And again. It feels a little less covert. More real.

Still tender though, weeks later. Still hard to admit I’m okay with it. Even though its out there. And I’ve said it more than once now.

But guess what? I no longer choke (literally) when faced with those three letters. Not any more.