So, I’d pretty much wound myself up to fire the Stork (our couples therapist). I was ready. I was like, okay, enough with you trying to do your agenda. I’m paying. It’s my agenda. (And occasionally my partner’s, though as you can imagine, it’s like, good luck to you with that, up against Lyralen’s agenda.)
We go in. My partner tells him that he talks too much, and he keeps interrupting when we’re talking to each other, and she’s really frustrated with him bringing up the, “I don’t know what my role is here,” thing. And he says, “You’re right. When you two are just talking I start to feel like I should be doing something and I get anxious and interrupt.” And my partner’s like, “Take care of that.” And he’s like, “Okay.”
It’s kind of hard to fire someone after that.
But I did do a soliloquy on how everything he does scares me and how he doesn’t get me and he’s like, “You’re right, I didn’t know you felt like that. You’re always so articulate about what you think and feel.”
I’m like, “Really? You actually buy this act?” Then I mention that I think couples therapy is a power struggle between him and me about who is going to control the therapy. And I say, “I’m never going to let you control the therapy.” He’s like, “I get that.” I did another soliloquy on feminist theory and patriarchal models at that point. It was very impressive, but it all added up to, “If you tell me what to do, you’re in big trouble.”
I am a teenager at heart. I may be a teenager in everything except body. My body keeps aging even though I remain relentlessly immature.
Then he says, “Sometimes I’m scared to say what I think.”
He’s looking right at me when he says it. I know where he’s going, so I say, “You mean you’re scared of me.”
He’s like, “I’m scared I’ll upset you or make you angry.”
My partner, not to be left out of the discussion, says, “I get angry, too.”
He’s like, “You get frustrated and angry and irritated, but I know you’ll talk about it and let me know I’m out of line. But Lyralen might abandon me.”
WHAT THE F!
I’m like, “That’s way too personal. I mean, really. I don’t want to hear about it.”
He’s like, “I have abandonment issues.”
I’m like, “Who’s in therapy here? Could you just deal with yourself?”
Which effectively changes the subject, thank whatever/whoever.
Then there’s all this discussion about creating a framework and saying all our feelings when we first walk in the door. I’m like, “I’ll have to say all my feelings about having to say all my feelings. It will take FOREVER. I don’t want to say my feelings.”
Showing that I have regressed from adolescence to early childhood.
He’s like, “What should we do about this?”
I say, “I’m going to die.” Then I throw myself over the arms of my chair and hang my head down dramatically.
He says, “We’re all going to die.”
And I say, “I mean I’m going to die right now. Couples therapy is killing me.”
My partner, of course, is laughing her head off.
He’s like, “I think time is up.”
So you can understand that I am now, again, feeling like I’m in a Christopher Durang play. Beyond Therapy. Our couples therapist is like Mrs. Wallace, who continually talks to a stuffed Snoopy, who keeps forgetting the names of her clients, who keeps forgetting words, and who encourages homicide as a great way to express feelings. I think I may bring the Stork a Snoopy. Or else I’ll abandon him. Dramatically. I will make an announcement, “I am now officially abandoning you. You can join the long list of therapists I have abandoned. But the good news is that I hear they’re forming a 12 step group: I’m powerless over being abandoned by Lyralen. You are now eligible.”
Really? Hello! Does anyone else out there have to hear about their couples therapist’s abandonment issues? I mean, if you do, I really want to know.
Death by Couples Therapy. It’s the title of my 2nd memoir.