There are certainly cynical, raw, broken parts of me that are suspicious. That say that when a therapist compliments you and says you’re awesome and deserving and are dressed nice, those are things they are saying to trick you in your vulnerable state, to trust them. To leave the room feeling positive as if you’re not a complete disaster, to induce a false sense of connection, an inflated sense of self. She’s seen you cry and squawk and she knows you feel bad. It just goes to figure that she would have to say that.
But for the first time in a while, I’m able to see how awful, deeply awful, that mindset is. How it erodes natural progress. How I don’t want to have to reject free compliments outright. How people don’t all operate from the same negative place that I often do. That it isn’t so dangerous to say, yeah, I am. Not kinda, not with equivocation, just, yes. I am. I am here when nobody is requiring me to be here. And she is just nice and not subtly or secretly pitying me. People don’t have time to bamboozle one another like that. Except in the cases where they do. Still.
The difference between new therapist and old therapist is considerable. I do get the sense that time is short here. That you get buzzed in and the clock is watched and boom! Are we getting closer? The graph says we’re about the same, so what’s the deal? To have it check me every time to judge if I’m quantitatively improving pressurizes it, but at the same time, that’s what I wanted and needed and have to have for this to work. It’s not about me going and just dumping the day’s stresses in the same way I do here. It doesn’t allow for me to just bring random things up so that she can understand every iota of awkward and sad and unfair that sits on active rotation in my memory banks and we just sit there with the feelings until I talk myself to some kind of point. I’m not complaining about old therapist, I mean, without her, I don’t think I could feel this way about what I’m doing now. We have this uncomfortable focus on me and fixing the problems, not just bringing them to light and calling it good. We talked about the messy, uncomfortable failures in my future. That she will push me and it’s not going to always go perfectly. Push one is me going to something geeky meetup.com related before my next appointment. Where, you know, the geek boys are. And to read something in this book. I like the homework. I like that there’s something to do.
There’s a lot more to say, people at writing group being unnecessarily touchy, the therapist and I talking about the end of this guy’s presence and what it all means or doesn’t mean, the Elizabeth Bishop poem that a guy randomly read aloud in public today, driving that happened calmly and without calm (but it was survived and it didn’t stop me.)