My therapist yelled at me during our last session. I was telling him about my self-centered asshole of a father. I have a tendency to laugh when talking about emotionally challenging subjects. (The laughter is a defense.) And, that day, he had already asked me to stop laughing several times. But laughing has been such a habit for me that I couldn’t just stop.
Finally, Lance yelled at me to stop laughing. I couldn’t tell if he was actually angry or if he just felt I needed to be yelled at. Either way, it shocked me into compliance.
“Waiting for the child to grow up — I don’t know if I have time to do that with you.”
I looked at him.
“I don’t know that,” he said.
I had been talking to my therapist about working with the inner child, about how the child grows up as therapy progresses and then integration can take place. But he thought that approach would take so long that he may well be dead before it’s accomplished.
My therapist has cancer. He doesn’t let me forget that time isn’t infinite. That we don’t have the luxury of interminable therapy. …
“I don’t have time for that,” he said and, after a moment, “you don’t either.”
“How does saying that make you feel?”
“I don’t know. It is what it is.”
Are we talking about death? I wondered. Why do we talk around it? And why did I avoid his question?
These days, I have a feeling that there is always something left unsaid between us. There is an undercurrent of something being avoided, but I can’t put my finger on it. Sometimes he tries to steer us in the right direction, but I manage to sabotage his attempts…
Those were the nights that made me breathe
hard and fast
was always the rule
comes down in sheets
covering my windshield
in webs of fantasy
Still I could not see
through the calm center
of the storm
It was always
never mine to read
Anger (and love)
The day I wanted to throw a temper tantrum in therapy, I didn’t actually throw a tantrum, but I was angry with Lance.
I had asked him if I could sit on the floor, and he had said no. He asked me what I had hoped to accomplish by sitting on the floor. I said, “to take on a different persona.” He didn’t inquire further, which I took as a lack of interest on his part.
I experienced his “no” as a rejection and immediately withdrew into myself. I could feel tears close to the surface but…
One step forward, two steps back
This last therapy session was hard in a vague, undefinable way. My therapist hates vagueness. He says it’s a defense — it’s a way for you to avoid commitment, to avoid getting caught being wrong.
I think the “treatment” conversation we had two sessions ago created too much intimacy. I liked how close I felt to him at the end of that session, but part of me must have been terrified because this last session all I wanted to do was run. And all I could say in explanation was that it was scary…
“So you knew the answer, but you waited for me to tell you.”
My therapist was not amused.
I knew he wanted me to start the session by talking about important things from our previous session. But I didn’t want to talk about our previous session. I was distracted. I had waited nine interminable days to ask him a question. But, sitting across from him, I could not get the question out.
I told him there was something I wanted to talk about, but it was harder than I had expected. I joked about the absurdity of the…
Therapy is stressful.
2. I constantly feel like I’m disappointing you.
3. I would trade both my parents for you.
You’re a million times better than them, but you already know that.
4. I love you. (It’s true.)
You’re amazing. You are the very embodiment of compassion and grace. I love your smile.
5. I have a mental image of the tattoo I’m going to put on my arm when you’re dead.
I have no words for this. I’m sorry if this is way too morbid, but the idea brings me much comfort — it’s as though you can never really die, never really leave me.
I've never felt Death’s blade so close to my throat —
its cold metal threatening everything I know.
Death’s looming shadow changes life’s texture;
everything is at once dimmer and brighter.
I can feel the tip of Death’s sword pressing against my heart;
any movement and it would tear my life apart.
Death the stranger has laid claim to my heart,
dragging his naked blade across the horizon of my thoughts.
Death’s reality is not as lovely as fantasy;
his threats are almost perfunctory.
Suddenly time is dwindling;
you wonder how you’ll get through tomorrow without screaming,
all your secrets scattered in the wind.
I’ve been thinking about writing for days but haven’t been able to. The thoughts in my head, the whirring anxiety that feels like a black hole in my stomach, and the underlying feelings I can’t feel have immobilized me. Only with the greatest effort am I able to complete the most minimal tasks each day. I have work to do but cannot bring myself to do it.
I think my therapist has cancer. I think because he left me a voice message three days ago, saying he needed to reschedule my appointment because his “treatment” had been moved to the…
A woman trying to find meaning in life and make friends with her inner child.