"Okay, so last time we discussed your childhood a bit, but you mentioned some things that I wanted you to explore more in this session. You were talking about having an issue in a relationship in your life and you thought the problem stemmed from your childhood. Perhaps this session we should focus more in depth on that particular relationship instead."
"Feel free to start wherever you feel comfortable."
"Umm, sure. Well we've been together for so many years now. I guess, the magic is just gone. I mean I try to rekindle it, but nothing seems to spark it at this point."
"So you feel that the relationship has run it's course?"
"...I-I don't know...I mean there are times when I see glimmers of what we had, but it feels like we have drifted so far apart, and I love him so much still. I just don't know anymore."
"Can you elaborate on the, 'Glimmers' you mentioned?"
"Yea, well there are times when I feel our connection as strongly as I used to, but those moments don't last very long at all anymore. Like each time we reconnect it's for less time, and it means less."
"I see. So how does that make you feel?"
"Depressed (starts getting teary eyed and emotional). This was one of the strongest connections I have ever had, and I just want it to be what it was. It was so incredible. I mean, I never thought I would fall so hard, but it always felt so right. I just--I don't want to let go."
"Did you hear yourself there? You used all past tense to describe the good times. Why do you want this relationship still if presently, it only brings you pain?"
"Cause I love what we had. I-I just was never that happy before him. He filled a spot in my heart that had never been filled before. Also, I guess I've just been with him for so long that the thought of not being with him is...scary."
"So you developed a bond that was very special to you."
"Yea. I just don't know if I could ever find anything as strong again. I can't stand the thought of him not being a part of my life anymore."
(Hands box of tissues to client) "How does he feel about all of this?"
"Indifferent. As if he see's nothing wrong, or just at least won't admit it."
"How does be treat you?"
"I don't know. There are times when I feel like he is listening to me and actively trying to make things work, but most of the time it's as if I'm not even there. Like nothing I say or do matters."
"How long has it been this way? In your relationship I mean."
"Oh a few years now."
"Years? That is a very long time to remain in such a toxic situation. Have you attempted to discuss this with him? Explaining like you have here with me?"
"Yes...A few times. He just shrugged it off and said I would never leave him, because there was no one else out there that I could or would find. He always says I am overreacting, and that I just need time to calm down and put things into perspective when I am not as emotional about it. If I mention that that doesn't change how I feel, he gets defensive and the argument gets bad. I can't tell you how many times he's told me that I'm just 'One of a million' and anyone else would be thrilled to spend time with him, and that nobody wants me. He often says I've gotten old, and I'm not what anyone wants anymore."
"You need to understand that what you are describing to me is the epitome of an abusive relationship. If everything you have described to me is sincere, then you owe it to yourself to get yourself out of that situation immediately. Does he use illegal substances and or alcohol?"
"Well, yes. I don't think it's a big problem though. Alcohol is hardly ever used anymore if ever, and well the drugs have caused problems sometimes.."
"Well he's been busted a few times for use/possession of multiple substances. He also tends to abuse a lot of pain medications because of all the fighting, but the alcohol stopped nearly two years ago now since his last DUI."
"Has he ever shown you signs of aggression while under the influence?"
"Well we've had our falling outs, but no physical violence towards me. He's picked a fair few fights with other's though, and destroyed a lot of property."
"Has he ever physically harmed you?"
"Well no. He is very violent by nature though. He just never has been violent towards me."
"What do you mean, 'violent by nature'?"
"Oh he is always getting into fights. All the time. Constantly trying to prove that he is the biggest, and baddest, and best. He's broken countless things around me, but he's never come after me."
"How does he react if you go out without him?"
"Well he doesn't like it much. It usually causes a fight. He's always worried that I am out looking for another, or spending time with another. He tells me how I am abandoning him, and I don't care about him anymore. Then he ignores me for awhile. It causes a lot of grief in my life, so I just don't go out much."
"This individual is displaying signs of serious aggression, and from the sounds of it, manipulating you into staying with him through attacking you emotionally. This person doesn't love you, and I am sorry you are in this situation. This person just wants to control someone. You deserve better than that. For your sake, I strongly urge you to remove yourself from their life and never contact him again. If you do, even once, he will say or do anything to get you back. And eventually, every time, this will happen again. The two of you are simply not meant to be together any longer. I also think this individual needs psychiatric evaluations. Regardless though, it is with my most sincere opinion that you need to separate yourself from this abusive relationship right away."
"It sounds so easy when you say it. I just don't know if I can. It would be impossible for us not to cross paths once in a while at least. Every time I convince myself that I am really gonna do it I start feeling so guilty. I mean, I shared so many great memories with him. I feel like I almost owe it to him to stick it out, you know? I always worry that I will walk away and then I will miss the best of him. In the end, I guess maybe he has become an addiction to me."
"Trust me if you don't walk away now it will only get worse. Of course there are rare instances where people change and things get better but trust me, in all my years of working with individuals like yourself, that almost never happens. In fact, it typically only gets worse."
"I know...I've had friends ask me why I continue on with this, and warn me that I need to get out of the situation, but it's just--It's so hard. They don't know how great it has been at times, and I can't accept that the best days are gone.." *
"You need to stop living in the past. Although those times that were so good for you, they are gone. You are now only in a cycle of abuse that won't stop until you distance yourself from it. If you continue to subject yourself to this abuse, there is no telling how bad it will get. You deserve better, truly. I know it is hard to let go, but at some point you have to realize that there is life beyond this toxic relationship you are trapped in. There are people who want to see you happy again, people who have also been negatively impacted by your addiction. I have seen people in your same situation walk away and then come back to me as happy as they had been in years. People who were thankful that they walked away. There will never be an easiest time to do it. For your sake and for those who love you though, you just need to."
(Tearing up) "It's so hard. (sobs) I didn't want it to go this way."
"I know. It is not your fault though. Also, please make sure you have a friend or family member with you when you decide to. They will become desparate if they see you are leaving and they may say or do anything. For your safety you need someone there with you to ensure you're safe. You have my number, please call me if things get out of control or you need help! And you know I will be here to help you through this hard time every week as well, but you have to understand that this is what's best for you... (looks at watch) And on that note, our time is up. I hope to see you next week, and I hope you decide to go through with this much sooner than later, trust me, this is the best thing for you."
Dear William Wayne Enquist
As you can see I have moved out. I left you your precious television. At one time I truly loved you very deeply. You moved me in ways nothing had before you. Time though made a very big fool of me, as I foolishly latched on to the past, and a notion that you and I would see eye to eye once again.
It was never to be though, as you played on my emotional investment from my younger self, and essentially used me as your tool for your self-gratification for many years. You shifted your gaze from me a long time ago. A shame truly, as I had so much more love to give. If only you had reached out to me to let me know I still mattered to you. Although now, I realize I only mattered because I was yours to fall back on and control. Not anymore though.
No matter how much I loved you, and how many good memories we shared, you are not the same man I fell in love with. You have changed for the worse, and I cannot stand by you any longer and be a part of this loveless shell of something once beautiful. I hope one day that you can find what you are looking for, and the help that you need.
I will always look back on the good times fondly, but all we will have forever, is yesterday. Goodbye forever.
Felicia Anne Nunez
Very interesting piece here, Kleck. I'm really keen on how much creativity has been around the CF lately, makes for a nice change in my reading!
I'm a bit back and forth on this. On the one hand I think the relationship between the long time fan and the WWE is an extremely interesting one, and it truly can resemble that of an abusive relationship at times. Very observant of you to pick up on the similarities and translate them to the page. Love this conceptually.
In execution I do have a few points to offer, however. First of all, the (action description) parts looked really clumsy in the format. If you're going to write creatively I would encourage you to find a better way to fit in bits like that. Simply including them as regular lines, as you might see in a book, is perfectly fine. You could also imply them with the dialogue if you don't care to move outside the quotes. Or you could have even approached it slightly differently altogether, done it in the form of a doctor's notes instead of a transcribed conversation. Anyway, it's a somewhat small thing but a bit flow-breaking for me, and certainly avoidable.
Secondly, those names at the end... it felt a bit labored, you know? I know you wanted to put a bow on it and it worked to a point, but the names seemed so awkward. Careful not to hit the reader over the head with your point, you know?
Lastly, I'm just a tiny bit confused about what this column means for you as a fan. Are you quitting on WWE? Or is it just hypothetical? If you're not actually leaving the company, I'd be interested to hear just why you've come to a different conclusion than Felicia here. Could be a missed opportunity to put a little more oomph into the conclusion.
Still, on the whole I really like the idea and I think you did a pretty good job with it despite my picking. Very impressed with your range man, you are really kicking into high gear lately.
Miz- Thank you as always for checking this out and giving such good feedback. No worries, I am still on the WWE wagon. Felicia in this column represents to me the smart one who got out before it got worse. I, along with many others are the gluttons who will remain and be punished and further abused for our loyalty. So this column in a way was a romanticism of what should but never will be. After all we will never be kids again, so we will never be eye to eye with WWE again. We just can't walk away though can we?
You nailed my biggest frustration in this column which was the action bits. I was completely unsure how to display them, and am happy someone was able to give me some ideas for the future. Very much appreciated.
As for the letter. I thought Felicia Ann Nunez was pretty believable but yea William was a definite stretch. I did really want to lay it out there at the end in an obvious manner and as you said tie it together. I only hope it didn't detract. My aim was to show the audience at that point (those that didn't tie it together already) that the entire column was filled with nothing but double meanings. I'm glad you picked those out! That was the challenge I set out for myself in this column, and I enjoyed writing it. Thanks Mizzie!
Klecker, I love the style and approach, and I love the diversity with which you're starting expand your column game.
I guess I just can't identify with this particular message. Are there really that many "gluttons", that many people who genuinely hate the product as much as you've implied, but can't get out? To me, that's wild. In my years as a WWE fan, I've had periods where I absolutely could not miss a RAW ('05-'06) and periods where I found the product quite enjoyable overall, though with a few frustrations ('09-'10), but I'd like to think that if I had ever found the product as "abusive" as you've metaphorically implied here, it's see ya, no questions asked. I guess I don't see the link, even on a metaphorical level, between an abusive relationship (which can be very scary) and the fandom of a television program.
But, just because I don't get it, doesn't mean it doesn't exist - maybe I've just yet to experience it. Who knows.
The Underage Pessimist
Have to agree with Miz that you're really kicking it into high gear in the past few weeks, this however, didn't do it for me. The others have already expressed their concerns with the concept so I won't stress on that. The WWE and FAN acronyms also seemed too stressed. Could have also used more color to separate the characters like you did with the Chocolate Factory piece. Just a few tweaks and a longer thought process needed and this series could be a great testament to your abilities as a writer.
Skul- Thanks for the read and feed, it's always a great insight into me improving more and more. With this I wanted to display how sometimes being a fan of wrestling is an abusive relationship. I can't count how many times I've heard or thought that the product USED to be great but now we aren't quite fulfilled, or are hanging on waiting for better days. Those are some of the signs, as I feel I displayed multiple instances in this column, that would indicate an abusive relationship.
I'm sure every guy/girl has heard of someone who was staying in some abusive relationship, or have been in one themselves and it just seemed so obvious that they should just walk away. It's never that easy though. That's where I feel we are gluttons. It isn't all bad though, as for sure even recently there has been some great moments, but are they worth everything else? That's for sure an individualized question, and not an easy one to answer for any of us. I also think every human is abusive about/towards something, so this was definitely a bit abstract. I was hoping this would make people ponder it a bit, although it seems I may have missed the mark in connecting with the audience. I'm very happy to hear that the concept and the range was appreciated though. Thanks man
Subho- I sincerely appreciate the kind words! I kinda knew this would be very hit or miss, bit I just really enjoy pushing mine, and my audience's boundaries : ). I always appreciate your insight.
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