I think Twin Peaks has been giving me nightmares. Not all the time. Weird dreams. Some of them terrifying, involving little demon creatures, and torturous murder. I’m not sure why the show has been affecting me so deeply. Maybe because it’s not just a 2-hour movie I can watch and be done with. It’s 30 hours of human beings at their most debased: molestation, murder, blackmail, suicide, pedophilia, teenage prostitutes and cocaine users, domestic violence, insanity. And we’ve been averaging an episode every night. Usually right before bed. It’s a dark, dark tale. And one that has sort of been making me question David Lynch’s motivations, and what, exactly, his obsessions are with this nasty little piece of work. Particularly since it wasn’t enough for him to have this series to showcase all of the horror in well-lit suburban living rooms; when it was over, he felt compelled to make a movie about the final 7 days of Laura Palmer. And though I haven’t seen the movie in years, I have seen it several times, and if I’m recalling correctly, it adds very little to the actual story, except it gives the audience a chance to relive all the brutal molestation and witness the murder itself that is, obviously, only spoken about in the TV show.
Which, granted, isn’t totally fair of me to say. I think it’s a great fucking show. Aside from the above, it contains transcendent moments of pure humanity. But I’ve been feeling resistant to it as of late. Maybe I’m just a little burned out. I think I just need a little break, but we only have 12 episodes left to be done with the entire series. Maybe it’s because I’m starting to carry it with me all the time. Maybe because at work every day I see firsthand how terror can get passed down through each generation, and it isn’t pretty. Or glamorous or dramatic, particularly. It’s just awful.
Last week, one of our managers was suspended and is currently under investigation for abusing one of our clients; one of our clients who was making some good progress has backslid for some reason, and had to be transferred to a more secure unit where he’s not doing particularly well; and I learned that the 6-year-old brother of another of our clients was murdered by his own father recently, which is why our client is under our care in the first place. He’s a good kid, but sad, and I could tell, even before this information came to my attention, that he carried a heavy burden.
So when I watch Twin Peaks, these are things I think about. My brilliant professor told us in class recently, that as future therapists, we should get ready for a life of suffering, misery and heartache. He was only kind of half-joking, and being hyperbolic, but to drive home a point: this work changes you. If it doesn’t, you’re in the wrong line of work. But all of that darkness needs a balance, and wrapping my own life around the murder of Laura Palmer might not be the best balance.
But it has also meant a lot of positive things for me so far. A new appreciation for all of the love I have in my life. A kindler and gentler overall approach to life, and to people. More room in my heart for forgiveness, and for letting the little things, and sometimes even the big things, slide. I am so blessed, and so fortunate, and if nothing else, I’m glad I’ve made more room in my heart and my head for that. And I’ve learned to make more allowance for myself to simply feel. It hurts sometimes, but it won’t kill me like I used to think it would.
The last several days, the sun has been bright, the temperature has been in the 80’s, and yesterday Tom and I ran into my lab supervisor from last semester down at the waterfront, and ended up having some beers and hanging out with him for a couple hours while we watched the sailboats out on the water. This city is lovely in the sunshine.