After a couple of months of seeing each other regularly, I stopped calling for appointments. I was encouraged to make appointments several dates in advance and when those ran out, I disappeared. My therapist wasn’t terrible, she just wasn’t very helpful.
Three things drove me batcrap crazy. First, she wanted to talk about my estranged spouse a lot. Not my actions or responses or feelings during the marriage and its subsequent death spiral, but his actions, his responses, his feelings. Why he said he was leaving, what he seemed to be feeling as he left. It was like talking to a college roommate all over again.
“Why do you think he hasn’t called? Do you think he liked me?”
“I don’t know. I’m sure he liked you. Why do you think he hasn’t called?”
Pointless guessing. I’ve come to the conclusion that so many separated spouses do: I never really knew the person I married. I’d rather dig into why I put up with what I put up with (and what that says about me) than unpack his baggage with fretful guesswork.
Second, my therapist kept asking, “What are you doing for you?” That’s a valid question. My answer was that I exercise regularly, including taking a kickboxing class; I meditate daily; I started a blog; I write every day; I apply for jobs; and I get the occasional Groupon-assisted massage. It was never enough. She wanted to know what I was doing to “get back out there.” She wanted me to “meet people” which seemed to be code for start dating and embark on another relationship. Can I please take whatever time I need to figure out who I am, who I want to be, and how or even whether a man would enhance that? This is developing into a theme for the current season of my life.
Finally, she made this statement: “Women need to feel love to have sex. Men need to have sex to feel love.” I’m not Donna Reed and this isn’t the 1950’s. Made me want to buy her a copy of Fifty Shades of Grey, y’know?
I know there are good therapists. I’ve seen some in the past. My kids see a whole team of them now. But this therapist wasn’t The One for me. It’s not you, it’s me? No. I’m pretty sure it’s not me.
- Wearing the Label “Therapist”. (imperfectlady.typepad.com)
- Files you Mislabeled. (imperfectlady.typepad.com)