Fuck the Fainting Couch



In the NYT this morning I read an article on the forever allure of the literary sad woman:

It isn’t just women either..sadness has a cult following these days which is beginning to bore me.

My dad was a soldier.

He never spoke of it and so of course we kids were prone to go digging in his drawers;anywhere that might fill in the empty places regarding his experiences of war.

His top drawer held pins-long bars of multi-colored ribbon. So gorgeous and left in full view of curious eyes. These..he did not hide and I guess this was as close as he wanted us to get to that part of his life.

Pain and suffering and the horrors of war and illness may be different in the hierarchical sense of “whose suffering is worse?”

I think about this a lot as folks often offer a caveat of : “..but your experience must be far worse than mine..I shouldn’t even be talking about my woes to you!”

In my book suffering is suffering. Period.

It makes no sense to qualify the thing.

We humans are sorely lacking in the “HOW DO WE CONNECT WITH ONE ANOTHER?”

It is so hard and so important and we are just very uneducated in our culture about how to healthily make contact with one another.

But we can so easily find common territory we all share by hopping on the SUFFERING TRAIN!

My back aches.
The doctor said:
My neighbor takes…for…
Old age sucks.
I’m allergic to:
I can’t function unless I:
Wow-my whole body hurts today!

These seemingly disparate topics of my dad and how he held his experiences of war and how we, as a culture hold our own suffering

Are connected


Does it matter if we try to become a graceful container for our own sufferings?

There are millions of reasons for learning how to contain our personal experiences instead of ‘sliming’ all those around us making it necessary for a total energetic body wash for the unsuspecting compassionate friend.

Let’s all try to find other, perhaps less automatic ways of connecting beyond “through the wound”.

I am training myself to ask :” Do you have it in you to listen to me complain awhile?” Getting permission to “dump” feels respectful and more conscious.

Instead of falling to the lowest common denominator maybe we can elevate the moment into a higher frequency edging toward a peaceful encounter just enjoying one another.


PS- If you’d like to view the image from each post more intimately please click on image and then again.


2 Responses to “Fuck the Fainting Couch”

  1. Becky Patterson on November 11th, 2019

    May I please become more and
    More a “graceful container”. Thank
    You Cathy. I had a “best friend” tell me I had “ selfish emotions”. Maybe I complained too much to her. Thought that’s what best friends were for. Another said “everything to you is a burden”. While it hurt, I got it. That I would OBSERVE myself and be more AWARE of what comes outa my mouth. Thank you, the word warrior for confirming that
    Love you Cathy ! Becky

  2. Jenny on November 13th, 2019

    Cathy, that is an extraordinary essay from the New York Times. I didn’t quite get your blog and the link at first, but I have read both your writing and the essay over and over, and will print it when I get the printer fixed!
    It shines light, and glimpses of women’s pain and strength and being women.
    Thank you

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