January 19, 2018

today's episode: lille doesn't go to therapy

My therapist and I have an arrangement, one that has worked well for me (and presumably my therapist) over the years, which is this:  I am allowed to write reams and reams of e-mail to him, but he is not expected allowed to write back (save in an emergency, of course).  There are so many good reasons for this ... the trifling ones like healthy boundaries and ethics and my therapist having a life outside of reading his e-mail, and the massively important ones, like that I will grossly misinterpret anything that is said - or, if nothing is said, that I will check my e-mail every three seconds until something is said, and very quickly spiral down into feeling rejected if a response isn't lightning-fast.  This arrangement is the only thing that works.

This can be proven.  Because sometimes, we have to e-mail back and forth regarding scheduling and appointment times and so forth.  Even this is fraught.


Example:  This week, it snowed on the day I was supposed to see my therapist.  


What I wrote:  "If I recall correctly, that sheet of paper you gave me when we first started working together said something about your office being closed if school was canceled.  Are we on for today?  Thanks, Lille"


What I meant:  "I know it's snowing out there and the roads are already covered and slick and I went to the store earlier and saw two cars in ditches, but can you please risk it and come out anyway, because I'm willing to make the drive and you should be, too, and I'll die five times if we can't.  Please make an exception for me.  I need to be special to you."


What he replied:  "Yes, office is closed.  See you next week."


What he meant:  "Yes, office is closed.  I don't dare go out there and drive because it's dangerous, and I don't want to put myself or my clients at risk.  I'm so sorry we can't meet.  See you next week, which will be here before you know it.  Hang in there."


What I read:  "I care nothing for your angst about wanting to come in.  It isn't going to happen.  Our sessions are totally arbitrary to me, so see you next week, whatever you name is.  You're a client, right?  This is an automated response.  Press '1' for more options."


Lille's on the air, if I recall correctly.  This is inner child reality TV (or at least, reality TV as I imagine it; I haven't watched television in a really, really long time, at least 15 years).  





So right now, Lille's all mad at her therapist and is lying in bed with the covers over her head, and pouting like it's an art form.  She doesn't like not getting her way.  Eventually she'll leave the bed and go get a plate full of snacks and eat them all, to punish her therapist.  One of the nameless, faceless adults on this show will point out to her that she's hurting herself, not her therapist, but she'll just give the adult a look that would make Damien envious and go for seconds.  She's trying to feel better, but the audience is biting its knuckles and glued to the screen because they know she's going down a terrible road.  They'll tune in for the next episode, when Lille finally gets to go to therapy and is sullen and recalcitrant until she can see first-hand how things actually are and everything gets mended.  The audience will sigh.  


That's the running gag in the show.  Lille always forgets how things really are.  



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