The Stories We Live

The Stories We Live

In therapy--as in Fiction--There’s Always Possibility

By David Seaburn

July/August 2011

Frank slouches in the chair, one leg extended as the other pumps wildly. He’s entirely blue, in work denims and a blue shirt with his name embroidered on the pocket. His thinning hair is plastered to his head, and his eyes shift as he scans the pictures on my wall. Across from him, Linda, his ex-wife, sits ramrod straight, never touching the chair back. The dark circles under her eyes belie her smile. She wears a smoky gray suit and a stylish scarf. Her skin looks almost yellow from tanning.

Linda glances at Frank. “I didn’t think she’d let you come,” she says, referring to his current wife. Frank sighs deeply and shifts his weight, leaning away from his wife. Between them, sitting cross-legged on the couch is Pamela, 13, who wears a black T-shirt that reads “Don’t Be a Dick.” Her white-tipped, straight-black hair slides across her face, shading her blue eyes rimmed in purple mascara. She has a ring piercing her nose and dozens of bracelets on her arms. Looking blankly at me, she dares me to speak to her.

So it begins. Although a first family therapy session, it could just as easily be the first scene of a novel. Both begin when a group of individuals are brought together under circumstances that affect their lives. Both require continuous involvement in the most important questions we ask ourselves: Who am I? How do I make sense of things? How do I make and sustain relationships? These questions are fed by themes that go to the heart of what it means to be a…

Already have an account linked to your magazine subscription? Log in now to continue reading this article.

(Need help? Click here or contact us to ask a question.)

Not currently a subscriber? Subscribe Today to read the rest of this article!

Previous: Goodbye

Read 10927 times
Comments - (existing users please login first)
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

1 Comment

Sunday, July 8, 2012 8:15:22 PM | posted by Sharene Garaman
Beautifully written and inspirational. Reminds me why I love this work.