Forgetting

It’s been 40 days since my last session with Zooey. I’ve interviewed 14 therapists, either by phone or in person, in that time frame. I haven’t yet settled on a “permanent” new therapist, but there’s someone I am seeing “exclusively” to determine if we’re a good fit. She seems to think so, but I’m fairly certain she’s just being naïve like all my former therapists were.

Anyway, 40 days is not that long. Unless, of course, you used to see a person every 3-4 days. Then it suddenly seems like a very long time. I realized today that I’m gradually beginning to forget Zooey. The memory of her face and her voice and her gestures is beginning to fade. The visual memory of her office seems less sharp. The actual physical memory of being in that space with her is so far away it’s nearly inaccessible.

I have two saved voicemails from her, but they sound so different from her normal way of speaking in session. I can’t remember her laugh that well anymore – a laugh I adored. I can remember the little verbal crutches she uses (mainly “um” and “you know”) but I can’t hear them in my head as clearly.

I also have a photo of her. It’s from her website. I printed it to have a hard copy nearby for individual system members to see and feel comfortable with. It was a really great way to introduce her to various parts, actually. But now I can’t bear to even look at that photo. It hurts too much. Plus it looks completely different from how she is in person anyway. And that just makes me sad.

So then I wonder if she’s forgetting me (us) too? Does she remember what my voice sounds like? My laugh? Is her image of me beginning to fade away as well? She has a photo of my wife and I that was on the Holiday card I gave her. I wonder if she ever looks at it just to remember me? I wonder if she doesn’t look at it for the same reason I choose not to look at her photo. Does she try to remember? Does she even care? Does she want to forget? Did I ever matter at all?

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