The informant was a twenty eight year old college graduate who had just finished his masters in psychology. He seemed nice at the start but after three sessions I knew I may have been better off spending this time picking the cuticles from my nails and watching Oprah. I had always thought therapy was suppose to be about the patient…
“Try to take things less personal,” he told me. “When I was getting my masters, people told me I couldn’t do it but I didn’t let that stop me. I had a lot of obstacles but I overcame every one of them.”
He continued. “I have very high self esteem. Most people would never guess I dated a Victoria’s Secret model.”
He continued once more. “In most anger management classes, you watch a DVD and answer questions from a workbook. I work differently. I actually talk and listen to the patient so you get your money’s worth here.”
I scoffed. He made me angry in my anger management class — I didn’t care about him or his colorful dating history. Wasn’t I paying him so we could puff up my own ego, not his?
I moved on to therapy. It was four times more expensive than anger management classes but I convinced myself I needed them. I was fucked up. Right?
She was “the therapist to the stars.” After leaving my car at valet, I would walk through the tall, glass doors and share an elevator with a medley of shiny shoes, faint cologne and the occasional polite clearing of one’s throat. The waiting room was crisp and white and although homely with its floral couch and empty mugs atop its designated coasters, it still was only a step below a dentist’s office, one waiting to be poked and analyzed.
There was a light by the door that shined red, meaning she was with a client and not to be bothered. I quickly scanned through Psychology Today for a bank of words I could casually throw into conversation. Interpersonal relationships, cognitive, projecting..
The light soon switched to green.
She was a bland, older lady with a contrast of sharp, silver bangs who listened. In fact, she listened a little too well.
“My dad was never really around because he worked so much.”
“Your dad was always working so you felt alone.” She repeated back to me.
“Yes… and I feel like I didn’t have a father figure so I just made my own rules.”
She nodded. “You had to make your own rules.”
I nodded back. “I probably project those into my interpersonal relationships.”
It was nice to be able to talk about my problems without any counter opinions attached. It was incandescent of the childhood days of nightly conversations with the many squiggly, stucco lines formed into imaginary faces on my ceiling and Beanie Baby #2, hoping they would respond back to me, not unlike the pair of talking lips named Didi on the Jetson’s that posed as her diary. I wished the sessions were hours long, not fifty minutes.
After a few sessions, she informed me, “It seems that with your case, it is a bit extreme. I would like to suggest that you come in twice a week.” She looked down at her yellow legal pad then back up at me. “I believe it will be healthier for you.”
I quickly calculated the amount in my head. $1400 a month.
I decided that becoming an alcoholic was a lot healthier for my bank account.