PART TWO: OPENING THE BOX
I didn’t know what to think about my psychiatrist for about a month. She sat down, put her notebook on the purple coffee table, and glanced up at me: always the same gestures in that order. At the first two or three sessions, I was unable to trust that faded smile of hers: sometimes compassionate, sometimes just plain.
As she continued staring at me at the beginning of our first session, I dared to blabber out something like “So… here I am”. That stupid smile reappeared on her face as I thought to myself: “Like you give a fuck huh… I’m probably your fifth patient today”.
In retrospective I realize how skilled she actually was. From the very start. As if she knew that I couldn’t stand second-hand pity. She understood my mistrust and cherished it because it was the key to get my actual trust.
In the meantime I was deeply convinced I was outsmarting her: she’s not leading me, I thought, I’m not trusting her a bit and she’ll not notice it. Like I said, I’m very often wrong…
She made me talk about all kinds of things but the issues I went there for. As I continued to test the waters, I started slowly to drop my guard. After all, she was just asking stuff about my childhood and my family. Pretty safe domain, right? Right?!… hm hm… try again.
It hit me like a fucking punch in the face: “Excuse me… but for how much time have I been dragging this shit around again?” My calculations didn’t match with her conclusion:
“It seems to me like you’ve been like this since a very young age”
Fact number one about therapy: It’ll blow your mind. It might be the slightest confession that didn’t even matter that much to you, that contains the most valuable answers. This is by far not a pleasant experience:
As she was connecting the dots that I failed to see, I started to feel invaded by this feeling of helplessness. I couldn’t go back to fix any of the things she was mentioning. There was literally nothing I could do anymore but contemplate the fact that I screwed up.
So here goes advice number five: Rather than overdramatizing this situation like I did, maybe it would be better to take this as an opportunity to open yourself up to tolerance. As you see, they fucked-up but you fucked-up too. And that’s so god damn ok. Because not everyone is fully aware of their acts and how could they be? Also, there’s plenty of time now to make a change in the future.
But let’s not sugarcoat it, it was tough. She didn’t make it easy (at all) for me to like her. To be very honest, she was right too many times for me to appreciate her. I couldn’t stand her accuracy about my personal experiences. How could she know more about me than I did myself?
But she did… She cracked it, to a certain extend…