Medium 9781782204305

Anomalous Affections

Views: 58
Ratings: (0)

In middle age, Lin is diagnosed with a chronic disease. Yearning for change and solitude, she finds affirmation in the life of the eighteenth-century French writer Isabelle de Charriere. Seeking an explanation for her condition, Lin examines her own stressful childhood, torn between her father's love and her mother's jealousy. She describes her unrequited passion in her twenties for an older man - a relationship that would be repeated thirty-five years later in therapy.In the course of this eroticised transference her feelings of love alternate with rage, and the power imbalance between patient and therapist is laid bare. She emerges with a new sense that her emotional anomalies, like her physical ones, must be accommodated, without blame or bitterness.This is a searing tale from a patient's perspective of therapy, loneliness, and resolution.

List price: $9.99

Your Price: $7.99

You Save: 20%

Remix
Remove
 

3 Chapters

Format Buy Remix

Part One: My Life with Belle

ePub

PART ONE

MY LIFE WITH BELLE

On a morning walk I paused at the top of the steps leading down to the canal to take in the view. It was the darkest time of the year. Trees and tangled undergrowth, the slick of water, all continued bleak. I walked along the towpath to the next bridge, crossed the canal, and returned on the opposite side. As I reached the foot of the steep path that led back up to the road, a black-clad figure emerged from the gloom and bore down on me, pressing forward like the masthead of a noble ship. His face was blank—skin and bones, empty of personality—and he had a doomlike air. But then, as he passed, this apparition looked searchingly at me, seeking and holding my gaze. I felt a spasm of fear but, with all the turmoil of Victor's departure, put the encounter out of my mind.

I saw Victor off at Heathrow. As we walked across a huge concourse crowded with passengers for the night flights, I burst into tears. It took me by surprise as much as it did Victor. I pressed my face to his chest so that people couldn't see me, and he hugged me as I tried to get a hold on myself and blubbered that I just felt emotional, and it was nothing he had to take seriously. I said the tears had come as a physical response to tension and didn't indicate a terrible sorrow, even if normally I wept rarely.

 

Part Two: The Way we Loved

ePub

PART TWO

THE WAY WE LOVED

I'm sitting with my brother Hugo in the back of a car parked in a layby. In the dying light he is no more than a dim, perhaps sleeping shadow beside me for I'm absorbed by the scene outside. My mother and father—and a policeman in an unfamiliar flat hat. My father says something to the policeman, who shrugs in a desultory way and glances towards the road as if he's expecting something. My mother stands apart, on the side of the lay-by away from the road, at the edge of a rocky ravine. We're in the mountains and Simon, my younger brother, is lost. My mother holds a pair of binoculars to her eyes and is scanning the mountainside. I can't see her face but I know from the tense way she holds her shoulders that she's desperately worried.

A black car turns into the layby and stops abruptly. The back door swings open. Hands are reaching for a child who is half clambering, half lifted over knees. I wait for the child to declare itself, but my father shows no such caution. He is bounding towards the car, reaching out to receive the child—and blocks my view. My mother has lowered the binoculars and watches the drama of Simon's return with a curious detachment. Hugo, beside me, begins to whimper, a sound that plucks at my nerves like a lost thought.

 

Part Three: The Good Doctor

ePub

PART THREE

THE GOOD DOCTOR

Did a noise wake me? Or was it that I woke and then heard a noise? Or even dreamt of a noise and woke? I listened for the sound to repeat itself. I was always—still am—nervously, hysterically, alert to the possibility of mice. I think I see them at the periphery of my vision, darting along the skirting board, disappearing somewhere. Or hear them, almost worse, the scratching sound unseen that is unmistakably them. The words that come to mind: invasive, out of control. But this was different. The soft flap of wings and an insistent tap. I sat up and switched on the light to see that the clock showed three a.m. and that a pigeon was sitting comfortably on my table. There was no question of my bearing it. I struggled to get out of bed and then staggered and stumbled towards the door, my feet sticking to the floor, risking a fall in my rush to leave the room. I called Victor's name as I descended the stairs and he woke. He told me to get into bed with him, that we'd deal with it in the morning—an unacceptable strategy to me, envisaging as I did pigeon shit all over my room. So Victor got out of bed and went to look. He called down to me, “There's no pigeon. You're imagining it,” and when I went up again I saw the truth of it. The “pigeon” was a floppy cloth bag, faintly grey, faintly pigeon-like. Victor pointed out that the window was open a crack—not nearly enough to allow a pigeon in. He was sour—“So now you've added pigeons to your list of fears. You're such a fearful person, not a day goes by without my being reminded of it. Your fear is your cross—and mine,” he said.

 

Details

Print Book
E-Books
Chapters

Format name
ePub
Encrypted
No
Sku
BPE0000253930
Isbn
9781781816486
File size
446 KB
Printing
Allowed
Copying
Allowed
Read aloud
Allowed
Format name
ePub
Encrypted
No
Printing
Allowed
Copying
Allowed
Read aloud
Allowed
Sku
In metadata
Isbn
In metadata
File size
In metadata