Susie: I think this is really helpful because you are showing me a piece of where the anger comes from.
Douglas: I feel that you are going to judge me and punish me.
Susie: I am actually more interested in trying to understand and…
Douglas: I think you are like – it wasn’t an accident that I came to you.
Susie: What, you came for punishment from a feminist? And you are paying me very well.
Douglas: You’re – I sit up there on the bench and I am very powerful. Um, and I am very aware of my power and I feel like a lonely child all at the same time.
Susie: And a lonely man?
Douglas: Yes, but I sit up there and I feel like a preposterous ten-year-old wearing a wig. Actually not ten, more like sixteen, um, with impossible – how can I do this job, how can I judge people’s emotions, behaviour, when I am so confused, and I think … I knew you were of a certain type, you are a woman, and I think I, ah, I, ah, yes, I don’t know.
Susie: Do you think you really came here to be beaten up?
Douglas: I expected…
Susie: Unless you think that is a form of help.
Douglas: No, it is not a form of help.
Susie: Right. So I think you…
Douglas: But I mean what I did was bad, and what I am doing now is bad and…
Susie: Well, I am interested in that, and I hope we will come to understand it, but at the moment I have got this very strong image, the one you just gave me, or gave us, of the young man sitting up there in fancy dress.
Susie: As though there can’t be a vulnerable part of you at this age, as though you have to somehow diminish your vulnerability and speak of yourself as a sixteen-year-old rather than you as a grown man, with a big job, who feels vulnerable himself, and has complicated feelings.
Douglas: I think the difference is that this counsel who is arguing for this man – well, I know things about him, he has a complicated emotional life – but when I hear him, when I see him, he gets under my skin. It is as though I am looking at an adult with issues, with complications, and he makes me feel like a child, and that is the difference really. It is not like being an adult with vulnerability. I feel like a child sitting there, and I feel – the rage I feel, the tearfulness I feel when I had to call the recess, it was like being a child afflicted by a storm of emotion that I had no control over or context or perspective.
Susie: But actually it was very wise for you to call the recess, wasn’t it?
Douglas: Well, I mean, it wasn’t…
Susie: You were trying to take care of the situation, trying to take care of…
Douglas: I wasn’t wise, it wasn’t wise. It was just, if I hadn’t done it I would have been sobbing in court.
Susie: Well, I guess that wouldn’t have gone over big, so the fact that you knew…
Douglas: Well, it would have.
Susie: The fact that you knew that you might have been sobbing actually helps us a lot because sobbing is quite different from rage.
Douglas: Yes, they go together.
Susie: Well, do they?
Douglas: Rage leads to sadness, leads to rage, yes, they live together, one is the reverse of the other, two sides of the same coin.
Susie: Well, I’m intrigued by that because one bit doesn’t seem to get much expression. What you have told me so far is that rage is the thing that gets expression. The sob is hidden.
Douglas: Well, I can’t sob in court.
Susie: No, I accept that, but I think you are sobbing inside somewhere, and that is almost hidden from you and that is causing you difficulties.
Susie: So that’s worse than the rage, I don’t mean in the public forum, I mean inside of you.