Tuesday night my partner came to the theater from her meditation class to nab a ride with me. I asked her to drive and then went off on a rant, so I’m sure she wished she had waited for the T instead.
The precursor to the rant happened on Monday, as we ventured back into couples therapy with a therapist I have now named F$#^ing Ugly Head. But I was not content to go off on only Monday night’s ridiculous couples session. I had to include the fact, which I will now confess, that after Don’s death and the end of the theatre production, I went back to individual therapy as well, to see a grief counselor (more on this later). And then I decided to try my partner’s new love, Internal Family Systems, so somehow I ended up with two therapists, which, considering how much I truly, and I do mean TRULY hate therapy, is beyond ironic.
Anyhow, we’re driving down Longwood, past the hospitals and the library where my partner works, the streets empty with those circles of light falling on the pavement, with the buildings in shadow, only the occasional doctor or nurse in green scrubs scurrying across the street. I was like, “OH MY GOD, can you believe last night?” My partner’s like, “I know.”
And that was all the permission I needed. The rant went something like this: “What is with her hair? I mean, it doesn’t even have a part. And that shirt. I mean, it squashed her boobs, and frankly, I don’t want to see my couples therapist’s cleavage under any circumstances. And if she asks one of those questions like “How does it feel to be seen by me and your partner?” again, I am going to scream, puke, and then walk out the door. I mean, I don’t even know her. I don’t f*&%ing care what she sees or doesn’t see! Just get a new wardrobe, for Christsakes! What is with these people? I mean, the IFS one looks like she’s ready to burst into an interpretative dance at any moment and the grief counselor has little animals on her socks!”
My partner couldn’t stop laughing. Then she’s like, “Wow, I don’t think this couples therapist is going to last long. I mean, ‘F$%^ing Ugly Head?’ You must hate her a lot.”
Then I made the mistake of asking her this: “What do you think about my problem with the Interpretative Dancer’s tendency to diagnose and use labels from the DSM whatever?”
She said, “I think you have a point, but it’s also a really good trailhead for something big underneath.”
Trailhead is an IFS term for any event that leads to pain from the past. I’d much prefer my partner had been referring to the South Kaibab Trail or Bright Angel, both paths at the Grand Canyon, where we met. No such luck.
It took me a couple days to find the rant on that trailhead, which was not funny and was all about having my humanity diminished twice, the first time by people who hurt me enough to send me to therapy, and the second by the therapists, who reframe my experience, label me, analyze me, tell me who I am, and/or seem to get into how sexy, interesting and compelling I am, either hitting on me or telling me they wish they could be my friend/mother/student, etc. I was crying during this rant, and fashion problems were not mentioned.
I do truly hate therapy. And here’s the funny thing–the grief counselor, who I actually like, and, in spite of the animals on her socks, is often wise in how she handles me, is the one I seem least interested in working with. I mean, she let me come in and talk and cry about Don for two months, barely saying a word (which, frankly, I think all therapists should learn to do–KEEP THEIR MOUTHS SHUT). It’s clear she’s not diagnosing in an extreme way. She’s irritating, occasionally, but she’s kind, and she’s just really good at seeing and witnessing instead of asking, “How do you feel about being seen by me?” (To which, BTW, I responded, on Monday, with, “I don’t feel seen in couples therapy,” thereby confounding expectations and pissing FUH (acronym for F$$^ing Ugly Head) off enough for her to add, rather aggressively, “Do you want to be seen?” I did not say, “Absolutely. I’m going to start a new trend in streaking any moment now. I hope your neighbors don’t mind.” <She sees people in her house.>)
Anyhow, the grief seems to have gotten better, and I’m no longer blaming myself for how powerless I was to save Don and get him better medical treatment, so therapy with the Grief Counselor has gotten kind of boring. I’ve stopped going, at least for the next month, which is incredibly busy with work and yoga teacher training.
But couples therapy–my partner and I have gotten really happy and sweet again, which I attribute to having a butt for my jokes who is not her, and aligning ourselves against the common enemy: the couples therapist.
So while I think that FUH isn’t long for our world, I might as well milk her stupid questions for all they’re worth and just let myself behave miserably while I can. I am so sick of being Buddhist and skillful with these people. I am planning on going in to the Interpretative Dancer and saying, “So I suppose you have a thing for Isadora Duncan?” I am planning on saying to FUH, “Have you read my blog on new fashions for therapists and wearing clothes that are not a size too small?”
I mean, would anyone die?
Of course, my partner reads this blog, so she’ll probably talk me out of the FUH idea, and I’ll have to be all skillful and say, “Let’s get real. If this is going to work, you can’t ask me those therapist questions. And, by the way, the next time I’m all vulnerable and telling my partner that she hurt my feelings, which is not easy for me, I’d suggest you not change the F$%^ING SUBJECT!”
Really. What is WITH these people?