02 August 2008

Push It

I was wondering the other day about my therapist. I know that I give him migraines sometimes when I get to talking too fast and do my what-ifs and things like that. So even though I'm paying the man I started to wonder if he ever thinks to himself, "Aw, hell, it's Thursday, Jill's coming in."

Apparently not.

I got an extra half-hour on Thursday. I was about thirty-five minutes into my fifty-minute session and I'd been quite happy because I'd come to some important realizations and I was proud of myself. John commented that the way I was handling something was very mature and he was proud of the progress made. Then he told me something he thought related to me, about how he'd come to realize that seeking the approval of others is sort of expecting them to be a certain way, and it's better not to want people to change like that, yadda yadda yadda. I agreed because the way he was explaining it made sense. Then John had to go and tie it all to something that is a very sore subject with me. He said well wasn't it the same there, and wasn't I expecting this person to be a certain way?

Well, that got me going like nothing else and I sure as hell wasn't going to stop once the subject was broached, so I kept going, and he kept egging me on, pushing the subject, and I was shouting, and he seemed to enjoy my rage. At one point he started to tell me something, and I said, "hey, look, we've been at this for three years, and I know exactly what you're going to say. That I have stories I'm telling myself that aren't true, and that I need to let them go, and that I can't change anyone but myself and I shouldn't waste time seeking anyone else's approval." And I went on for another minute, telling him every little trite homily he's ever pushed on me.

He just laughed. "Pretty much," he said. And then he went back to pushing my buttons, trying to get me to see reason even though I'm much happier turning a blind eye to reason or better yet pretending reason isn't reason at all.

"It's not about you, Jill," he insisted.

"Hey, I'm paying you two bucks a minute," I said. "Work with me here."

He refused and said he wasn't going to let me pretend it was about me no matter how much I was paying him. So he tried a different angle with a different point. Finally, 25 minutes after I should have been out of there, I came to the conclusion John wanted me to come to.

"Yes! Hallelujah! Praise Jesus! That's what I've been trying to get you to see."

"Well next time maybe you could save me a little time and tell me what you want me to see from the get-go," I said.

"That wouldn't help you."

"At least point me in the right fecking direction next time."

As we were leaving his office he said to me, "I love these sessions. I have so much fun pushing your buttons."

"So is that what you do when you've had a boring day? Push my buttons for your own amusement?"

He laughed.

But he didn't say no.

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