Editor’s Note: This is intended to be a humorous piece.
So just when you are getting sick and tired of all those people giving you heartache for no apparent reason at all, you decide to shoot yourself in the head and find yourself a therapist so that he can give you more heartache than all the people put together.
But there is one big difference between now and then: Earlier you were getting your heartache for free. This time you are paying for it.
Your therapist might be an ultimate sweetheart. He might be the only reason you get up in the morning. He might be the one who melts you quicker than snow in June. He might make your heart soar the moment you open that door. He might make you unbearably happy and sad at the same time. He might be the thread your life is hanging by. Yet the fact is, your therapist might also be the most annoying person you will ever know.
So brace yourself if you are in therapy. You might love your therapist with all your heart, but you might hate him, too. And here are six reasons why this might be true:
1. Too profound or too insensitive? One thing I will never understand about my therapist is whether he is too profound or too insensitive. I really want to know what’s going on with this guy. Is he being deep when he appears not to care about my moral dilemmas, or is he simply zoning out in the middle of my middle-age crisis? Is he nurturing me by ignoring my puppy dog longings or is he simply manifesting typical man behavior by not noticing anything at all?
2. He sits behind his boundaries. When he is not angering you by being profound/deep/insensitive/typical man, he is doing something else altogether. The guy just sits behind his boundaries and watches you go nuts all around him.
Your heart might be ripping into one million shreds, your soul might be disintegrating into nothingness, yet all this man will ever do is sit there and watch! Say something. Do something. Just anything that is not sitting there and doing nothing!
3. He won’t crack a smile. So here you are feeling all loving and chummy and full of the inner glow of therapeutic love. You want to reach out and bring a smile to his face because in your vivid therapist related fantasies your therapist can really do with some nurturing of his own. But since the therapist has those stupid boundaries that are seriously detrimental to the realization of your wild fantasies, the best thing you can do is crack a silly joke and watch him break into a big grin. So you say something funny and spontaneous and cute and witty and make a joke about the sexiness of your therapist’s inner god; but all you get from him in return is a poker face with a blank stare.
4. His counter-questions and non-committals. Therapists by default are trained to answer simple closed-ended questions with counter open-ended ones. Hypothetically, this is how the conversation goes:
Your therapist has just given your a serious pep talk about your rights as a human being. You are feeling particularly adventurous and liberated about life. So in a fit of self-love you ask him a random question.
You: So Tee I was thinking, you know, like I was wondering, if …. you know, mmm. Do you suppose you …. mmm …. kind of maybe in a way …. love me? Tee (all serious and noncommittal): What do you mean by that? You (slowly dying in your head): Well, mmm …. well, I don’t know. Tee (a little sternly): What do you want to know exactly? You (gritting your teeth and dying completely): Mmm. Like, you know, do you love me, maybe? Tee (nodding mysteriously as if confirming something in his brain): So how does it make you feel asking this question twice? You: You know what, the thing is that it makes me feel extremely heavenly asking this question two times and not getting an answer. So heavenly in fact, that I am thinking of asking it for the third time and not getting an answer again. So do you love me or not? Tee (all non-committal and deep): What do you want me to say? You (really impressed by the ingenuity of this non-confession): Thanks for your lovely counter question Mr. T. Let me explain to you what I want you to say when I ask you if you love me (three times). You know basically I am the kind of person who goes to random people asking them three times if they love me just in order to hear them say three times that they don’t. Hence, it might be concluded that I want you to say that you don’t love me. In fact I want you to say that you hate me. Yeah, that’s exactly why I asked you this question three times. Tee (getting all gentle and sexy): But don’t you want to know what I really feel? You: Nooo. Nononono. What possibly could give you that impression? Actually when I ask a question three times, I don’t want to know what you feel. Actually I just want to know what you do not really feel. Yeah, that’s what. Tee (all generous and philanthropic): Let me tell you what I feel. I feel it would not be a lie if I don’t say what you have not asked, or not. You (stopping in your tracks): Huh? T: (smiles smugly and goes to his book). In other words, time’s up. You may now go home. You: Stumble up the stairs and drive 20 miles in a daze not sure what just happened to you.
5. His mysterious mind games. Just when you think your therapist is your best buddy in the whole world and you are writing heart-wrenching lyrics in his honor, your therapist will take a U-turn and do something mysterious that will make you second-guess his motives for hours on end.
One day he will sit there sipping tea and casually offering you to notice how he is sipping it all by himself and without you. Next day he will wear his wedding ring out of nowhere and make you wonder if it is a random thing or planned for another love-struck specimen of a psychological screwup. One day he will be there for you for all practical purposes, and the next he will give you a cold shoulder that will reduce you to tears.
The worst thing these mind games do to you is to make you alternate between either feeling like a lab rat being experimented upon or swooning over your therapist.
6. His waiting list. I can do without my therapist’s waiting list. In my imagination it is made up of a string of extremely beautiful, funny, sexy, young, tall, blonde, athletic super models/yoga instructors/swimming champions who have exotic, mysterious looks, perfect voluptuous bodies, 169 IQs, and even more exotic mysterious psychological issues that engage my therapist at so many levels that he gasps for breath each time those crazy nymphets enter his office.
I hate that waiting list. And he knows it. And you would think that the man will have a heart enough to spare you the mention of his precious waiting list. No way. He will bring it up especially when you are feeling all possessive and vulnerable and longing for some reassurances, and he will rub it in your face that somewhere outside our little world there is a waiting list waiting to happen and that you are the one cog in this machine of fate who is keeping the poor man from going over and winning his waiting list.