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Dr. Carpenter’s BLOG


From time to time I will be adding posts here.  Some will be short essays, some will be drawings or pictures or photographs, some will be poems.  All will touch on the topic of psychotherapy to some extent or other. 

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Reunions are lovely but can be dangerous.

Coming back together after you have been apart is an especially delicate time, much more than we normally think.  You are both full of anticipations and wishes, you have no doubt that your appearance will delight him or her, you bear gifts, you yearn for sweet greetings.

The problem is, all you have been with for days or weeks is your ideas about each other.  Your love is intact so you confuse that with information, which you are lacking. You know how strong the caring is, but the reality of the other one is something only they can tell you about and needs more updating than you imagine, and you have not been hearing much of that. And especially you do not know the fantasies the other one is full of as you approach. Nor does he or she have any way of knowing all the fantasies that fill you up like a terrorist’s vest.

Here is what is may easily happen: disappointment, shock, intense emotions of the most unwelcome kind, sharp attacks in place of sweet connections, confusion and injury.  In spite of any good intentions.

It feels like everyone’s fault.  It’s no one’s fault.  All it takes is a spark of disappointment, an eye that does not shine with appreciation at the expected moment.

So prepare ahead of time.  It’s easy to do, but easy to not do. The way to prepare is to remember that you do not know the current inner world as it exists for your beloved. Remember that he or she is loaded with gifts that can instantly explode. Know that about yourself as well. Temper your headlong rush to joy with this bit of remembering. Take heed to the delicacy of rejoining. Remember that you do not know.  Your first glimpse must be with questioning eyes.

Can you do this and keep your joy?  Try a tiny bit and you can. Face that there will be a bit of disappointment somewhere. This only makes the joy more precious.

If you remember that you do not know you will sail through re-entry with heat shield and parachute as needed.  Gentle arms will be your landing.