I am slowly editing my entries in anticipation of publishing.  I found this entry from August 2010. I thought I would repost it. I am not one for reruns, but I thought the newer Spo-fans may enjoy it.


When I was a boy, there was a walk-in closest at the top of the stairs. It was more like a tiny attic. I remember it full up with boxes and hanging garment bags, which were stuffed with moth balls. I never knew their contents; I don’t recall my parents every going into them.

From time to time I would go into the closest, shut the door, and experience darkness. It was the only place I knew with a complete black out. I often went when things were quiet so I could not hear anything as well. It wasn’t necessary to do, but I would close my eyes. I would wrap myself in a blanket, and experience Nothing.

Sometimes I went there to get away from it all. Sometimes I went because I hoped to go somewhere. I was thrilled by the stories of “Alice in Wonderland”, “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe”, and “The Phantom Tollbooth.”  I was waiting for one of these retreats to open Time and Space revealing some other dimension.

I liked the Nothing. I imagined while in this state I had ceased to exist. Nobody could remember who I was; I had never been. It was calming and thrilling. The curious thing was I do not remember experiencing this as Death. What I was experiencing was something different.  It was a total sensory deprivation, long before water tanks were conceived.

I never made this journey alone; I always brought one item with me. It was often my teddy bear. Sometimes it was merely a familiar blanket or toy. Apparently this anchor kept me safe for the journey that I would not completely dissolve into Void. My transitional object would allow me to return, if I wanted.

In these Journeys, I don’t remember thinking about anything, nor was I scared. As a boy I liked a night light, as the night time dark was unsettling. This total darkness was an ineffable something else.

Nobody ever knew I did this. There was no ‘Where have you been hiding? We’ve missed you!” to greet me when I came back.

Once in a while, when I am having a sad or painful day – or when I am just curious – I will enter the present walk-in closet, shut the door, and stand still.  While there is dark, there is no sensation of Nothing. To do this replication now feels foolish. There is a sense of disappointment. There is no sensation of a possible time warp, no door to another place (either external or internal). I am a middle aged man obliged to stay where I am. There is no need for a teddy bear or any safety object, as I am firmly anchored here; no chance of dissolving away.

I would give a lot to re-enter that  childhood closet at the top of the stairs.

I never told anyone this, not even my analysts.