"Use however many TV screens you need," said my therapist.
I had enough to fill a Best Buy.
*** As time went on, my mind grew stronger. The terrible grip my traumatic past had on my nervous system began to ease.
When I entered my therapist's office, Harley sat up politely -- no jumping. When I sat down, he walked towards me and I gave him a few pats on his back before he settled down to nap. When I reached to pet his head, he lifted his nose to look at me, upside down, with the most benevolent brown eyes I'd ever seen.
"Notice," my therapist said, "how those eyes are different than your abuser's."
I noticed. I focused. I breathed.
Sometimes, when I arrived for my session, Harley remained curled up on the floor, not moving a muscle, but for his brow.
"Hi Harley," I'd say, and his tail would start to wag. If I approached, if I bent down and pet him, he'd gently roll onto his back, revealing his most vulnerable self. When I rubbed his white tufted belly and chest, he made calm breathing sounds, in the spirit of a purring cat.