As I sat in session contemplating my relationship with my father, and the huge issues that loom large on the horizon, one simple though struck me. It was clear as day, in the midst of all the uncertainty and the questions of past, present and future. It stood starkly in contrast to all the work we do. I’m not supposed to be here. There was a brief moment when words left my lips when I wished I could rewind and swallow them. To leave them hidden where they linger in plain sight lounging lazily in my deepest recesses. Never moving, and always waiting. I don’t share that, and almost never talk about it. It is the backdrop to my endless loop of an existence. yet, it remains. Beatrice paused, taking in the information I was clearly laying before her. I immediately felt bad. Somehow those few words felt as if I had lain a sacrificial lamb at her feet. I looked away. She asked for more. I wavered then. It was a painful spot. For all the years, and hours spent working with me, I was no different, there deep in my heart. My mind has changed, and I have developed into a very different person than I once was. yet on the most fundamental level I still place so little value on myself. I look to my greatest failure, and wish I could have just done that one small task well enough. I didn’t, and I am still here. Most of the time I don’t want to be. I think often of it. Probably far too frequently. All of this mess would not have been mine to untangle. This vicious battle on the horizon over assets, and money would not be mine to wage. None of this. Beatrice asked me a few question, but the moment hung in the air. Sitting squat and vicious, the very ugly truth. I do not speak about my inner dialog, and almost never about how small and pointless I feel in its shadow. Even in my brightest moments, graduating college, buying this farm, meeting my partner, winning in whatever sport I chose, or completing goals I never thought possible- tough mudder, or the 1/2 marathon, it sits there waiting. Always waiting, and always returning. I doesn’t matter how good it is, the reality of what lays at the core, in my heart overtakes it. It is so ugly, and so awful. there it sat between Beatrice and I. I was feeling a little naked in my honesty. I know it isn’t what she wanted to hear. I can’t imagine what it would feel like to work with someone and try so hard to get them well. After all that to hear them say, plain as day, the biggest regret in their life was not tying a knot right/ or have been found hanging in restraints. To not have ended their life when they tried. Those defining moments forever lodged in my heart as failure. The reality remains, as well as I seem, my inner core remains as dark and dysfunctional as it ever was. We may change the paint, and dress up the windows, but the basement is as deeply scary as it ever was. The most horrifying part, I’m fine with that. As I walked out her door it all slid back into place. I know I will never change. She may well be right that the epic power struggle between my father and I, even as a young child shifted my development. Invited into a game I could never win, though clearly thought I could. We clashed as titans for years. In a steady play of manipulation and power struggle. The stakes were huge, my life hung in the balance. Not my living and breathing, but my development as a human being. There are many that would skim my charts and pull out the trauma as the key to my dysfunction as an adult. They would be wrong. The key lies in the relationship with my father, and to a lesser degree my mother. But my father built this house, and the horrific ground floor upon which it rises. Those dark and nightmarish rooms that house self hate, and judgement were of his design. He alone stands as architect of my psyche. I understand that. I know it is how I was raised, and how over years and years I grew into an adult, that at her core, believes she is worthless. It is easy to discard, or kill what you don’t love. There it is, on the table, the very root of the problem. The hate and self loathing that drive the miserable back drop to my mundane existence. Those qualities only hone the suicidal mind into a sharp and lethal reality. I know I am not meant to survive. Not in the sense that I am weak of body, or mind, but that I am weak of foundation upon which everything else rests. We cannot go back now, we cannot remove the foundation without the structure falling down. I do not hold any hope that it is repairable. I have done extraordinary things, and they do not change it. I told Beatrice, if I were to climb Everest, it would matter little, for the voice would be back when I reached the base. It matters not what I do, or accomplish. I am stubborn, and stupid, willing to get up and try again. It is exhausting, and one of these days I will sit down and refuse to challenge it once more. I would never have were it not for Virgil, and later Beatrice. They taught me to try, even when I did not want to. I do not want to hurt either of them, or somehow have people call into question their ability to treat me (as my family does). It just isn’t fixable. Short of a magic wand to rewind time, and place, and somehow deposit an infant me in some other family, it all remains the same. I do not believe you can learn to love yourself, not after almost 40 years of bone chilling hate. That does not go gently into the good night. it holds on with tooth and nail, snarling while clutching your throat. This is not a battle I can win, or a race I can run. It is done.