She was talking about her life to a psychoanalyst; she had done for years. Now she contemplates the crazy woman inside her.
There had been a time when her ‘craziness’ was destroying her and keeping her alive, both at once.
‘My relationship with booze. I always thought I couldn’t do without it. The pain was so bad, without the booze, I wouldn’t have survived, I would have killed myself.
But the booze was also killing me, both keeping me alive and killing me.’
‘Yes,’ says the analyst. ‘It was always a balance. The crazy woman was balancing there between life and death…and she is there still, though less vicious than before.
And we must not forget her now, or reject her, because of what she did for you.’
‘What did she do?’
‘Helped you survive; while destroying you. And if you forget her now, she’ll retaliate somehow.’
‘I won’t forget the crazy woman. How could I ever forget her?’
With thanks to Barbara Taylor, and her book, ‘The Last Asylum’ from which this is adapted.