Excerpt from Finding Angela Shelton

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My therapist thinks that Searching for Angela Shelton is going to be cathartic for me but I haven’t felt any real catharsis yet. To be completely honest, I didn’t even know what that word meant. I had to look it up.  It means a purging and purification through art, which fits I guess because I am making a movie. I am an artist. Maybe I’ll be purified. Maybe I’ll purge. Catharsis also means a spiritual renewal.

“I think that your intuition is further ahead than you are,” my therapist says. “By setting out on this journey, it is like your subconscious is the bow of the ship, far ahead of you, knowing your journey before you do. It is like your subconscious is seeing through the storm so to speak. Don’t you think it’s meaningful that you’re calling it ‘Searching for Angela Shelton?’” She’s hinting at the fact that I am searching for myself. I don’t bite at her bait.
“It’s so messed up that most of them have been abused, raped, molested, victims of domestic violence, you name it. I didn’t even filter them, or pick only the ones with pasts like that; I just called them all up randomly. And most of them have horror stories. That really does say something about women in general, doesn’t it? Hopefully this film can help women become stronger and get out of abusive situations. Maybe it will show our society that we have a big problem. And I thought it was going to be funny.”
“But we’re here to talk about how it effects you, not the other Angela Shelton’s,” my therapist points out. “Does what happened to you make you angry? You’ve talked a lot about how it makes you angry about what happened to the other Angela’s, and you’ve also said how angry you get at what happened to your sister, but I’ve never heard you talk about being angry at what happened to you.” I hate therapy.

I don’t answer. It is so much easier to be angry and compassionate about what happened to my sister and the other Angelas. But for myself, I don’t know how to be angry. It is like that part of me is numb, asleep, silent. I feel like if I start to feel anger that it will overtake me and I’ll become like a Tasmanian devil, twirling around spitting fire and rage. So I don’t respond. I look at the clock and see that luckily, my session is over.


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