For Therapy: notes from a grad student/Poem day 3

Heavy clouds loom over,

With how could you and you should

Acid rain pours down

I start with a haiku as a preface to a personal piece. That’s part of the NaPoWriMo. What follows comes from a note that fell out while reading through some decades old journals. It was written out of frustration, as a release and also as a reminder to bring it up in my therapy session. It was a private note scribbled on a yellow legal paper, but as I have committed to being open this year and have dubbed Wednesdays as Wide Open I thought I would share it here. It is written in a first person stream of consciousness, which is how I often write.

For Therapy.

From the edge –

The phone rings.


It’s my sister. I try not to sound like I was still in bed at 11 in the morning.

It’s small talk at first.


“How’s school?”

It’s o.k. Kind of tough. I leave home at eight in the morning, go to work, go to classes, and then work at the community college. I get home around eleven at night.

Why are you taking so many classes?”

I want to finish in two years. I have a goal to get my Master’s in TESOL before I turn 30.

How can you continue to work?”

I can’t, but I do. I must. I want to finish. I have to live.

I don’t know how I do the things I do. I just do. I am quiet, tenacious, steadfast like a tiger lurking in the bushes watching its prey.

The diatribe continues:

“You should consider moving back home. You’d have to improve your relationship with dad. I did it before I got married and it wasn’t so bad.”


“You have to do what you have to do. Even if it’s inconvenient. Then if you move back home mom and dad can get a condo, or whatever. You and our brother, Rocco can live on the first floor and rent out the second floor…”

What is she talking about?

...This way you could help out the family. Rocco will have a place to live and if he’s away from mommy, maybe he’ll get a job….

Hmmm. And maybe I’ll sprout wings and fly to Mexico. I was reaching the boiling point. My lid was about to blow off my pot. A pot full of a lifetime of bile. Then, it boiled over.

I do not want to live in that house.


Because, I don’t like that house.

“Why?” Her tone was vexing me.

Because I don’t. I didn’t want to get into the details. She knew why.

I tried moving back before and it didn’t work out.

“This time,” she says, “it has to be different. It has to be an ADULT relationship.”

I almost fell out of the bed. I’m surprised she didn’t go ahead and spell out  ADULT for me.

The last time I thought it would be different. That it would be an adult relationship and it wasn’t. I tried to open up to them and they weren’t interested. I am not putting myself through that again.”

She got curt, “So, you’re saying your answer is no?”

Yes, my answer is no.

“OK.” followed by a long pause, “I have to go.”

OK  I say. Good, I thought to myself.

She hung up.

I fought back tears. I lit a cigarette and smoked it.

In with the good, out with the bad.

I inhaled calm and exhaled hysteria.

My therapist said I should be the bigger person.

My answer was still no. However small it may be.

– What about you? Do you have someone that tells you what you coulda, shoulda, woulda do? How do you handle it?