11 November 2011
It is with some trepidation that I reestablish contact with you after more than a century’s passing. Having gauged the alternatives and weighed the consequences, however, I feel my only recourse is to avail myself of the pen in the interest of recommencing some version of what you referred to as “the talking cure,” when last I was under your treatment in Vienna.
That I address you by your given name may come as a surprise. You will forgive me. My status as your former patient notwithstanding, I believe a more formal salutation would be hypocritical. For though in my vulnerable state at Vienna I was deluded into believing my well-being was paramount in your professional priorities, my present incarnation has rendered me quite capable of realizing that our work together was unscrupulously adulterated by your personal predilections and resulted in the perilous methodologies to which I was exposed under your care. Consequently, I pale at the notion of addressing you as doctor.
This realization came upon me like a wave of death, as one day I walked along the seaside and very suddenly and clearly recalled one of the more intimate moments in our sessions — myself awash in the sensation of custodial safety — as it turned abruptly and irrevocably perverse. I stood paralyzed, lost in time somewhere between these two lives. All of my orderly thoughts and good intentions lie before me in a skein, as if upon the deck of an accursed barque.
In light of the aforesaid, you may well find passing strange my desire to seek your counsel once more. Indeed, my pride and vanity long struggled to conjure some pretext to this series of missives. In the end, however, the simple fact is that I remain damaged, my soul eternally stained — the debilitating effect of your treatment grown into a pernicious tumor that threatens my well-being a lifetime later. If I am unable to crawl out from under its burden, I shall never be well and remain a menace to myself, as well as others.