I have had six therapists to date. The first when I was about 13, because I was lonely and I wanted someone to talk to. Some have been actually life changing and some have helped as much as if I had been talking to a baked potato. I fucking hate baked potatoes. Ugh, so mushy.
Anyhoo, the one I have now I actually had when I was in high school. I was a totally aggro teenager who wanted help, but actually just wanted drugs, and really deep down just wanted massive amounts of attention. (Oh, some things never change.)
So I saw a therapist, just to talk about whatever girl I was pissed at or whatever boy didn’t give me his screen name or whatever. And then one day he asked me about my feelings. I remember it really clearly.
He said, “How do you feel about that?”
To which I responded, “What?”
“Like if your feelings had a color, what color would they be?”
“What the fuck are you talking about?”
I talked about a sailboat and promptly left. Obviously, I did not return. UNTIL about a year ago.
I had reached this awkward, sober emotional bottom, and I decided that I needed some old school talk therapy. I decided to look up my old high school therapist. He was really great when I needed him. Mainly, to talk through a pretty intense breakup and the subsequent band-aid flings. He helped me acclimate to the working 9-5 lifestyle, which makes everybody anywhere depressed with the suffocating pressure of financial security.
Oh, and he had a pet squirrel. So that was a plus.
Up until a few weeks ago, things were going swell. Then, I just got really bored of talking about myself (I KNOW, NEXT TO IMPOSSIBLE). I had already cut down to once every other week. Then I missed a session because I was traveling. Then I had to stay late at work. Then, today I sent him this:
I thought it was pretty bold of me, to set boundaries and explain, albeit succinctly, that I really had no need to see him that evening or ever again. I was proud of my forwardness and showed it to everybody at work because, well, that's what we do.
Emily was totally appalled.
She thought it was an inappropriate way of "breaking up" with a therapist and I took her advice seriously because YOU KNOW HOMEGIRL KNOWS HER ANALYST ETIQUETTE. I did not recant my text (obviously, anybody who drinks knows you can’t do that) -- however, I did feel a weird pang of regret in that it felt as though I had been, for lack of a better word, mean.
It was unkind to just peace out like I did in high school. It did not really give my therapist the respect perhaps afforded someone upon whom I had dumped major pounds of my emotional baggage.
See though, from my angle I see him as a professional that I employ -- who, as a professional individual, has the responsibility of understanding when his services are no longer needed. I’m not suicidal and a MASSIVE theme in therapy has been that I am not as fucked in the head as I think I am.
So I think I did us both a service. Now we can both go home early.
So, as you know, Emily is pretty much the master of me and she told me to write about this to see what you frighteningly vociferous commenters would think. Was it immature/rude of me to send the text? Or was it, as I believe, an efficient way to cut off a relationship that no longer did any good for either of us?
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