Recently, my friend started seeing a therapist. Gushing, she told me how wonderful it was to speak her mind, even vent a little. I was jealous. I love to speak my mind. I love to vent. It got me thinking, if I had a therapist, what would I say? How it would go? I decided to find out with my new, very well-respected, pretend therapist. So fluff up the couch pillows, I’m coming in…
Hey Doc, let me just say, right off the bat, that I know you’re not real, so please don’t put in my file that I talk to imaginary people. I just wanted to see what it felt like to open my heart to someone whose job it is to listen. Or hopefully, listen. My father, well versed in therapists, reminds me often of the one who fell asleep during his session. I always want to say to him, first, that I can totally understand this, as it takes my father a good 2 years to get to a point, and then you’re not even sure what the point was. Second, that he has, on more than a few occasions, fallen asleep mid-sentence while speaking with me. I guess because of the drugs, uh, medications, it’s not a fair comparison. Besides, that therapist was being paid money. I just pay with my life blood.
Yeah, yeah, so I’m being dramatic. Shoot me. Wait, no! I take that back. Don’t write that down. I am not suicidal. It’s just a figure of speech. I forget I have to be careful with my words around people like you.
Can I not say people like you? Is that an obnoxious stereotype? Are you offended? Do you not like me anymore? I so like being liked. Definitely to a fault. So, am I doing okay, here? I know, I know, there are no right things to say, but come on, tell me, am I doing well? Are you thinking, “Wow, I can’t believe this girl has never had therapy? She can totally communicate.” Or are you thinking, “Wow. I can’t believe this girl has never had therapy.”
I feel like I’m talking too much. Oh, right. Duh. That’s the point. I’m supposed to talk and you’re supposed to listen, but for me, that is a weird concept. I’m kind of used to being ignored. My kids practice selective hearing, which generally includes hearing only the TV and whispering about each other from another room. My husband practices distraction hearing, which allows me to filter in, in between work emails and all things sports related.
Most frustrating is my father. He has no distractions and just talks and talks and talks. I am mute, shoved against my will on his crazy, emotional ride of chronic pain and depression. It is the scariest roller coaster in existence. In fact, it’s not even a roller coaster, it’s more like a free fall. One minute we’re going up up up with all of his plansandneedsandhopesanddreams. And then when he realizes the futility, usually only minutes and 10,000 words later, it’s down down down to the depths of misery and pain.
I’ve been on this ride thousands of times over the years. I barely blink, but for him, each time is like the first. How?? How does he not get his reality? How? It’s…baffling, frustrating, heart-breaking, exhausting, irritating, overwhelming. It’s Just Too Much. Day in, day out. I…I… Well look at me. Now I’m a bit of mess. Damn. Sorry. It’s just so… endless. I need a tissue.
I guess this happens a lot, huh? Oh, I’m over my word count? Already? Well, good, I’m pooped. Did I do okay? I know, I know. Ha. I can’t help it. Next week? I’ll be there, if you will. Don’t stand me up. Ha ha. You’re definitely the best imaginary therapist around. And I’m not just saying that.