Here it is, a little early. Brian phones it in as the adventures continue in Pittsburgh! Enjoy! R. (My excellent Editor... Darren...is back so if it sounds more literate, that is why! One thing, Darren, you can't use italics in posts, so I have to improvise.)
Doctor's Notes: BK conducted this session with me via telephone, for he's still out of town visiting his partner, JT, in Pittsburgh. He wasn't sure how much longer he would be there, and felt like he needed to talk at the usual interval. While I couldn't see him, I could hear the fatigue in his voice. With his permission, the phone call was recorded for treatment purposes.
Excerpt from transcript:
Doctor: How are things?
Doctor: Can you expand upon that?
BK: (Paused.) Where to start? My confrontation with Justin's homophobic father? My continuing inability to sleep unless Justin is next to me? My visits with his sister and how hooked I am on this kid now, and vice versa? How she has to get better, or someone will pay? How Jeff is here to help with her treatment protocol and how he has set off a whole new firestorm with my old friends? Where to start?
Doctor: Let's start with what troubles you the most, Brian.
Doctor: Go on.
BK: She is too fucking small and sweet and frail to have to face this kind of crap. It's not fair. It makes me so fucking angry! And yet I feel totally helpless. When I first met Jeff, he came to have lunch with me, but all he could do was sit on the bathroom floor and cry. Now I understand why. He had just lost a patient. You don't have to know these kids for long, or be related to them, to get sucked into their fight.
Doctor: Are you sucked in, Brian?
BK: Totally. I so envy Jeff having the power to help. I can't do a damned thing but hold her hand and try to make her smile at some dumb story or joke. I know she's Justin's sister, not mine. I have no tie to her except through him, but I've fallen madly in love with her, and she just has to get better. That's all there is to it. She is one of the bravest people I have ever met. So much for maintaining an emotional distance, right?
Doctor: Easier said than done.
BK: For some reason I seem to have a calming effect on her. I'm like her bodyguard. She feels safe when I'm around her. But her father is trying to get me banned.
BK: He hates my guts. I'm the pedophile who seduced his son. He thinks I turned Justin gay.
Doctor: You didn't "turn" Justin gay, Brian. That's just not a valid opinion.
BK: No, but it's an emotional opinion. I don't want to put Jennifer, his mom, or Molly through hell, but god damn it, I want to see her too! (Sighed.) I guess I'll play the good guy and back down. She's his daughter, after all. But he never comes by, and both Jennifer and Justin think I have a good effect on Molly.
Doctor: Don't make any promises, Brian. See how it resolves. When a child is gravely ill, adults often don't engage all their faculties. They are emotionally depleted. Keep doing what you're doing, but keep any disagreements away from the child, who has enough to deal with without that kind of pain.
BK: Yeah, Jeff said that too.
Doctor: I didn't realize Jeffrey would be going when you went.
BK: Jennifer asked him to consult. Since I was going anyway, it made sense to fly out together.
Doctor: I see. How is that going?
BK: (Long pause.) It's tough.
Doctor: In what way?
BK: In every way. It's tough having him here when I need to concentrate only on Justin and what he needs. It's tough denying my feelings for Jeff, but even tougher reconciling them with my feelings for Justin. It's tough that my old friends all view Jeff as a monster, trying to steal me away from Justin. As if I have no free will. It's tough watching Jeff be so godlike with Molly, knowing he wants me for himself, which would break Justin's heart. The whole fucking thing is one steaming pile of shit.
Doctor: Sounds like a mess. How are you coping?
BK: Better sometimes than others.
Doctor: You said you were denying your feelings for Jeffrey. What are those feelings, Brian?
BK: I wish I knew. Desire, definitely, admiration, most certainly, affection, pleasure in being around him, a sense of security, friendship, I'm not sure what else.
Doctor: Can you contrast that with your feelings for Justin?
BK: I love him. I yearn to be with him. I want to fuck him. I want to spend my free time with him. I want to hear how he feels, how his day went, and tell him about mine. I want him to wrap me up in his arms and let me sleep. I feel insecure because I'm afraid he will leave me again. I feel he is still looking for the monster inside me. But maybe...
Doctor: Maybe what, Brian?
BK: Maybe a little less than before.
Doctor: Less looking for monsters?
BK: Yes, and even a little less insecure. Every day, a little closer.
Doctor: That sounds like progress.
BK: Yeah it does. This therapy of yours has ripped me open, Lydia. I'm not sure I like all these things I'm feeling.
Doctor: Told you so. Still taking your Wellbutrin regularly?
Doctor: Now of all times, don't forget.
BK: I won't.
Doctor: Are you having sex?
BK: (Laughed.) Yeah, Lydia. I'm not dead yet.
Doctor: Tell me.
BK: Why you naughty woman! Phone sex? And I have to pay AND deliver? That doesn't seem fair!
Doctor: Whenever you're through...
BK: OK, ok, yes, Justin and I are doing the nasty every chance we get.
Doctor: Anyone else?
BK: Define sex.
Doctor: You aren't the President of the United States, Brian. Let's just use the usual definitions. Titillation and orgasm.
BK: In that case, Jeff and I had sex. Once.
Doctor: So much for that resolution, huh?
BK: Not exactly. We didn't really touch each other. We masturbated together.
Doctor: On the phone?
BK: In the car.
Doctor: Slightly reckless.
BK: I know. But it just made sense at the moment.
Doctor: And now?
BK: Seems kind of dumb, a little embarrassing. But it was very hot at the time.
Doctor: Plan to do more?
BK: (Laughed.) No.
Doctor: Why not?
BK: I think it just makes me even more confused.
Doctor: Very good, Brian. That's a coping tool you've never had before. You've realized that even something that feels good may add to your emotional burden rather than clarifying things for you. The strain of abstention is overruled by the need to avoid conflict. That, my man, is progress.
BK: You think so?
Doctor: I know so.
BK: But I want to fuck Jeff. I want to fuck him so much.
Doctor: Yes, Brian, which makes your use of that restraint even more impressive. Sex was always your bandaid. In this time of high `sturm und drang', you're not falling back on destructive habits.
BK: So about this sleeping problem...
Doctor: No Ambien, right?
Doctor: And when you're with Justin you sleep?
BK: Like a baby.
Doctor: Brian, do you fear if you're not with Justin, he may be sleeping with someone else?
BK: (Paused.) I - I don't know. I don't think so, but...shit, I really don't know. I don't think he is. I mean he's at the hospital, not conducive to fucking around. But maybe there is some old fear plaguing me.
Doctor: Maybe. It could be a lot of things, but that's one possible explanation. Let's not presume it's THE explanation right now.
BK: I feel like I'm under attack from every front.
Doctor: What's this about your friends and Jeffrey?
BK: Christ, Mikey and Emmett had this half-assed intervention with Jeff. They told him to leave me alone. Listen to this message Jeff left for me the night they showed up at his door. Hold on, I'll play it back for you.
Recording: (Man's voice) Hi, Brian. It's Jeff. Sorry to call at this ridiculous hour. I'm glad you didn't pick up. It's almost four and your friends, Michael and Emmett, just left my hotel room at my invitation. They woke me up to warn me to stay the fuck away from you. They said you were in love with Justin and I had no right to tempt you. Frankly, baby, I think it's none of their god damned business what we do. We're adults. You and I are, anyway. I let them know I have no intention of letting anyone but you deter me from taking a shot at having you in my life, in whatever role we decide is right for us all. I also let them know I considered their friendship with you fair weather, at best. Where were they when you needed them most, after their precious Justin left you for another man? Anyway, consider this a warning. I'm sure you're next on their hit parade. Although I must say it was mostly Michael doing the talking, Emmett was far more interested in my fucking wardrobe! Sleep well, love. Let me know if you need something to help you relax. Goodnight.
BK: That's it.
Doctor: He's still offering to medicate you, I see.
BK: Just trying to be helpful. I was exhausted.
Doctor: Sometimes control is disguised as help, Brian. Remember that. Have you talked to Michael yet?
BK: Not yet. We missed each other a couple times. I will, though.
Doctor: Do you agree with what Jeffrey said about these two being fair weather friends?
BK: I could never think that about Mikey. We've been friends too long for that.
Doctor: Were they there for you when Justin left you?
BK: I wouldn't let them be there for me.
Doctor: I see. Have you seen your mother or Lindsay?
BK: No, but I plan to do so. Gus has been sick. I wanted to be sure he was over the contagious part of his cold. I don't want to carry it back to Molly.
Doctor: Smart. Overall, being back in Pittsburgh, bad or good?
BK: Odd. I don't fit in anymore. It doesn't feel like home. Babylon was weird, even the diner is filled with strangers. I guess I'm the proverbial man without a country.
Doctor: So New York is home, now?
BK: So long as Justin is there too.
Doctor: And Jeffrey?
BK: Yes, and Jeff.
Doctor: I don't often analyze by popular tune, but there was a line out of a pop song that was popular long before your time: "Did you ever have to make up your mind/ Say yes to one and leave the other behind/ It's not often easy and not often kind/ did you ever have to make up your mind?" You know that crossroads is looming, don't you?
BK: The Lovin' Spoonful. I know that song. I know, Lydia, I know.
Doctor: Someone is going to be hurt, Brian. I suggest you do what you can to make sure it isn't you.
BK: That's narcissistic.
Doctor: That's self protective.
BK: I don't buy the premise.
Doctor: How is that?
BK: Why can't Justin be my lover and Jeff be my friend?
Doctor: I think you can answer that question better than I can, Brian.
BK: You mean because I'm attracted to Jeff?
Doctor: Is that all it is? Sexual attraction?
BK: (Paused.) I don't know.
Doctor: You need to be able to answer that question before you make a decision, Brian.
BK: Can I tell you something I could never say to anyone else?
Doctor: Of course.
BK: I danced with Jeff at Babylon. I didn't want to go, I tried to avoid going there, because I knew he was there, but I was drawn like the needle to north. As I walked in, I felt very self conscious, as if everyone in the club was staring at me.
Doctor: Why would you think that?
BK: Because I had been gone so long, I don't know. I used to be a regular there. But now I felt all grown up, like a man in a room full of boys. And then it hit me.
Doctor: What did?
BK: It was exactly the way I felt when I walked into the prom that night that Justin got bashed.
Doctor: Ah, I see. Then what?
BK: I bribed the DJ to play a certain song so I could tango with Jeff. I got lost in that dance, just as I got lost in the dance with Justin. Everyone watched us, just like at the prom.
Doctor: And then?
BK: And then I felt this explosion of joy, as if the whole thing was recreated and made perfect this time. My partner was looking at me with adoration, it was all coming together. But...
Doctor: But what, Brian?
BK: He was looking at me through the wrong eyes.
Doctor: You mean they weren't Justin's eyes?
BK: (Sighed.) Yes. I just wanted to get out of there. So we did. I was being bombarded with memories, the black car, holding hands, the dance...but then, he kissed me.
Doctor: What did that do?
BK: I shut down. It wasn't the right kiss. I couldn't get the feeling back. I was miserable. I shook it off. The fantasy faded. It was just the two of us in the car after that. Why does that fucking dance haunt me so much, Lydia?
Doctor: Why do you think it does, Brian?
BK: I wish to hell I knew. I wish I could just forget it, the way Justin has.
Doctor: Do you really?
BK: No. I wish I could make him remember, that's what I really wish.
Doctor: Why, Brian?
BK: So he can see me for who I really am. It's the one time in my whole life I was without artifice of any kind. I was wide open. And no one remembers it but me.
Doctor: Have you convinced yourself he can never really love you unless he remembers that dance?
BK: Fuck, I don't know.
BK: (Sighed.) Maybe. (Paused.) I don't know. I really don't.
Doctor: Ok. Let's leave it there for now.
BK: Why would I try to recreate that dance with Jeff?
Doctor: Why do you think?
BK: To test if I feel more for him than I'm admitting? To see if I set up a dance like I shared with Justin, would I feel the same way?
Doctor: Do you think that's possible?
BK: Shit, I think I'm capable of just about anything lately. I'm totally fucked up.
Doctor: It's not about being fucked up, Brian. It's about being open to your own emotions for the first time. It's about allowing yourself to feel.
BK: Which is not necessarily good. I remember things being pretty peaceful and easy to live with before all this crap happened.
Doctor: Do you? I remember a man who was so emotionally and physically exhausted, he was on the verge of a complete meltdown. Remember him?
BK: (Laughed.) You got me there, Lydia.
Doctor: You can bullshit yourself with that `I like being the iceman' crap, but don't try to bullshit me.
BK: You got it.
Doctor: You're doing well. This is a painful and slow process. Don't give up on yourself.
BK: I won't if you won't.
Doctor: That's a deal.
End of Excerpt
Doctor's Notes: BK is experiencing a period of high stress and anxiety and has shown signs of coping well in crisis mode, so far. He is still having problems sleeping, piqued by separation from his partner, JT, but overall he has worked his way through several highly emotional moments with a modicum of cool. His conflicting emotions towards Jeffrey and JT are encapsulated in his mind with his obsessive attachment to this dance with JT that occurred shortly before the bashing JT received. He is intent on recreating that dance, and yet his efforts to re-live it have only increased his pain and anxiety. There are so many roadblocks in his life right now that are significant enough to derail his recovery, that I fear he may never be able to negotiate them all to find emotional satisfaction. We can only continue to try and identify his problems as they pop up and give him the tools he requires to survive and understand himself better.
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July 25, 2004