Walter: Week 7
Walter arrives early for his session with Paul, barging in on other patients. Later, he apologizes but begins his session with small talk about what he's done since he was released from the hospital last week. He's uncomfortable with the feeling that Natalie and Connie are constantly keeping tabs on him. Paul gently brings up the end of their last session, but Walter denies any recollection of his sobbing breakdown. Instead, Walter recalls a dream he had in which Mr. Donaldson told him the contamination wasn't his fault and begged him to take his job back—but Walter couldn't speak to reply. Paul suggests the dream indicates he doesn't want to go back any more. Walter notes that when he barged in earlier, the look on Paul's face reminded him of his father, who didn't have much time for him after his brother Tommy was killed because he threw himself into work. Walter describes life with his parents after Tommy died, and Paul points out that Walter had to go from being a boy to a man almost overnight. When Paul brings up "the other Walter" again, Walter wonders why the split was a bad thing, since it allowed him to function so well. The therapist explains that it's hard to be genuinely fulfilled when part of your true self is locked away. The part of Walter that shouldered so many burdens was the part that got rewarded—and now he doesn't think he's valuable to anyone unless he's in the hero role. Walter interprets what Paul is saying as that he's missed his life, but Paul insists he just wants Walter to stop taking care of everyone else, and take care of himself. It's not too late to find a new way of being, but it will take a lot of work. On his way out, Walter says: When do we start?