"The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."
"The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."
It's a mask I wear to hide my inner thoughts. My acceptance in society is based on my ability to suppress my desires. Dark secrets kept in the closet fare better than disclosure of wanton dreams. Like the proverbial balance beam, one step in the wrong direction leads to a chasm of cryptic rejection. You fit in, and then suddenly you don't. No one really wants to know the depth of your soul. Self-images projected lay fences to contain the desires. The roles we play offer safety but in silent moments yearning flourishes.
I am a mother, prim and proper, doing for them above all else. PTA, soccer games, dance recitals, and scouting events take precedence. To them, I am Mom, a creature less than human but dispenser of life-sustaining goods. My emotions, dreams, and wants are eluded in their concept of me. Their age permits only self-involvement. The irony of this statement is not lost, as I strive to indulge my ravenous hunger. Mothering is a role that promises a future but suctions away the present. It allows no self-indulgence. My appetite must be concealed like a curtain drawn.
I am a wife, with all the responsibilities that the job entails. Partner, co-parent, cheerleader, lover, confidante, and friend with a menagerie built for two. Where there once was one, now stands two interchangeable figures. We go through life like pawns making the expected and accepted moves. We follow the rules of engagement never daring the forbidden.
I am a woman of faith, church-goer, and congregation member. It is a role that affords decorum and respect. A haven of comfort built to stifle desire. Mainstream outlets are the preferred identities of life. A message of reason and purpose granted while proposing forgiveness in subtle passages is the recurring theme. Whispered indulgences are permitted from the throngs of head shakers and naysayers claiming innocence of their own accord. Moral support for the fallen is an enticing lure but gets lost in the light of reality.
So, what is a girl to do when she succumbs to the illicit cravings buried deep and long? Everyone seems welcoming until revelations surface, then the frowns appear like upside down clowns. That is what has brought me to this place I now find myself. I was arbitrarily pushed off onto someone else by my shyster of a lawyer to become another person's problem. "Discard all proof," he told me, leaving me feeling as crumpled as my diary that contained my thoughts and emotions. The inner workings of my psyche resided between the very pages he asked me to destroy.
I sat waiting in the stark outer office of Doctor Nicholas Majors, the mental health professional the lawyer referred and the courts mandated. I was accompanied by two bodyguards or if you prefer two sheriff's deputies. My movements were restricted by the shackles that adorned. It wasn't long before we were called in for our appointment.
I took my seat on the leather couch as he introduced himself. My friends from the county excused themselves after securing the physician's and my safety with the pretty metal bracelets. The good doctor took his seat across the room with a notebook in hand. I sensed him cowering from me and I laughed. I found it odd that a man of his stature and position revered me.
"What is it that you find funny about this situation?" he asked.
"That you are backing away me like a cornered raccoon. I sit here in chains without any ability to harm you. This is all because I chose to reveal my indulgences."
"You must admit, your indulgences, as you call them, are frightful."
"So how does this work? What am I supposed to tell you that gets me back to the life I know?"
"There are no set guidelines. You may discuss anything that you wish. I would like to get to the truth of what happened, but you can feel free to start anywhere."
"I have been told that all my life. That I was free to let my feelings out, but as you can see that didn't end well."
"Well something obviously led you here, why don't we start with that?"
"What no questions about my tortured childhood or psychotic teen years? And you call yourself a professional?"
"From your file it looks like a pretty normal and regimented life until this past month. It looks as if you walked the path of the straight and narrow. Are you suggesting something different?"
"No, I have and I'm proud of it. I have always known my boundaries. May I go now?"
"Not quite yet. Why don't you tell me about yourself and the things that you like to do?"
I squirmed in my seat with his questions making me uncomfortable. He was better than I had given him credit for at drawing a person out of their pen. I could feel the perspiration dripping in my pits.
"Why do you want to know what I like to do?"
"It's a starting point. You talked about your indulgences. I thought maybe it would help reveal something about you if we talked about what interests you."
He used that word," reveal" as if he wanted to know me, truly know me.
"I like to cook but I especially like to eat. Steak Tartar is my favorite. Or maybe Gumbo. I could make you dinner. You would love it! It's to die for, "I said in my excitement to let another human being know the inner workings of my mind.
Cannibalism is not such a bad way to stray from the path of goodness, is it?
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