Sitting outside of my new therapist's office I go over the check list of what is wrong with me, what needs repair, and I strategize my healing in the best case scenario, my escape in the worst case. I park on the street and look at the other houses in my therapist's neighborhood. The houses are nice. If they weren't I would equate this with a bad therapist. If she is going to help me she has to have done well enough for herself to live in a neighborhood where the families can afford nannies (middle aged Hispanic woman walking by with white baby in a stroller... check) and most of the houses have a third car garage. My therapist has turned her third car garage into her office. I am parked in front of her house. I notice that her mailbox is missing one of the digits of her house number. I wonder what kind of a person could let that go.
A woman walks out to the Suzuki Esteem parked in the driveway, she makes eye contact with me and I wonder if this is the doctor coming to look for me. Of course it isn't. It is the patient before me. Definitely crazy. She didn't look good. I walk into the office and it is decorated in Native American motif circa 1987. Why am I constantly going to doctors who decorate their offices as if it were still 1987? My OB/GYN has pink plush chairs with textured wallpaper in his waiting room and had Styx playing in the operating room when my daughter was born.
She greets me, not at all what I expected she has long gray hair, wear a peasant skirt with a black t-shirt and turquoise jewelry. The chair that I have to sit in when I am there forces me to lean forward or recline completely. I will eventually work up the nerve to mention this. The session goes well, at the end she asks if there is anything I would like to know about her. I tell her I saw on her profile that she was Jewish and commended her for that. She thanks me. Does she have kids. No. I ask her what is up with all of the Native American art, does she have some sort of spiritual connection with the Navajo. She says no, she just finds it is a popular design scheme in the area so she buys it. Weird. I like this. While I am mulling over more inappropriate personal questions to ask, she tells me I can write down any I think of and bring them back next week.
As I am walking out to my car there is a paraplegic across the street talking to woman in a jogging suit. He has dwarfed arms and legs and I am staring at him waiting for him to look over and judge me for being crazy. Who is he to judge me. No one. Not until 3 days later do I figure out that when my shrink asks if I have anything I want to ask her, she means about her methods and goals with my therapy and is not fishing for compliments on being a Jew. That poor guy in the wheelchair probably thought I was judging him. I was staring with such a freakish gawk he probably didn't have to wonder if I was crazy at all, it was obvious.
I only have about 53 minutes to talk, so I have to choose what is bothering me the most this week and try to get through that without getting sidetracked by something that happened in my childhood, my feelings about eating meat, or my friend's problems. I prioritize the best in therapy, mostly because I have no idea how much it is costing me or when my insurance company is going to put the kibosh on my sessions. Merry made a joke, telling me to tell my shrink about something she does to me to which I replied "I cannot afford to talk about you. I am still organizing my therapy topics and I have a lot of work to get done on my relationship with my mother in law not to mention my own parents". I am as cheap in a session as I am at a flea market.
If I do let the topic wander to a friend or Dan and the Doc says anything about anyone else, I quickly change the subject so as not to waste my 53 minutes helping others. I am a mother now. I don't get "me" time unless I am paying for it, so to me, these 53 minutes are sacred and I would sooner talk about the fact that I can't go into the reptile section of the zoo for fear that a snake might somehow escape from its cage, slither up my leg, enter my body through my vagina, and become my spine, controlling me like it's own snakey go cart making me do snakey things all over the rest of the zoo than talk about my friend's problems.
Cancelled. Session 4 will be later this week.