Generally, I love my therapy sessions. They rejuvenate me, validate my feelings, emotions and actions, but last week was different.
I felt like I was being scolded by my father.
“You can’t do this, you must own that, you’re too rebellious, you don’t seem to grasp the situation you are in and the limitations that puts on your life.”
I told him at one point “I feel awful.” I felt tears welling up in my eyes a couple of times. I started to feel like he was telling me that because of my illness and the scandal, I can never live the life I want to live again. I pictured myself with a chastity belt and a strip of duct tape over my mouth.
I’ve always had rebellion in my bones. I repressed that rebellion and played happy wife and mother for a few years before that landed me in the psych ward for major depression.
I am not normal.
And I love it.
I’m quirky, I’m self-destructive, I curse too much, I like sex.
Oh wait, I’m not supposed to write about sex.
I’m also a great mom, I love flowers and birds and the waves crashing over the rocks at Coney Island. I handwrite birthday cards to every friend and family member I have. I call people. I laugh.
I love to laugh.
I walked out if the session with my back turned to him as he followed me out of the room to meet his next patient. I think he thought I was mad at him, but it wasn’t anger, it was tears.
I didn’t want him to see me cry.
I started to think about what a friend asked me about my therapy sessions a few months ago. “Is it working?” I answered yes. He responded “When I was in therapy I knew it was working when it started to hurt.”
Is he right?
Does therapy have to hurt to be effective? I don’t want to be coddled, but when does a therapist become the director of your life? And how much should you change based on his or her advise, response, feedback?
I have to go back on Wednesday and I’m not looking forward to it. I feel like something has changed.
I don’t want a father. I had one. I want a therapist.