Thursday, June 2, 2011

Auditioning therapists

I'm looking for lightning.  I'm looking for that strike of magic where I will feel ok sharing all of my hard, complicated stuff.  It's not always obvious who I will feel compelled to spill my guts to.  With most people, I selectively tell stories.  I am aware of peoples perception of me.  That's not a great thing to do with a therapist.

Yesterday I felt tentative.  She was intense in a way that felt intimidating.  She had a very strong, sharp personality and a sharp tone of voice.  She sounded like me.  When she listened intently, which is most of what she did, her face was closed in a way that felt hostile.

Today I had a totally different feeling.  She looked comfortable in her body.  She had a very small, slight smile the whole time.  I felt like if I lost my shit and crawled over and put my head in her lap to cry she would stroke my hair and say, "Poor Baby" in exactly the right way.  She checked in with me about making comments.  She point blank asked, "Is it ok for me to say..."  When I told her I would like to hear some response from her at a certain point she said, "Listening to your story makes me feel very quiet.  I have to listen with all of me so my voice feels small."  Then she had to clear her throat and try a few times before speaking.

She kind of had to take a pause twice.  The first time was when she was skimming the timeline.  I told her that is most of the highlights of traumatic events, but I didn't list them all.  She visibly startled and said, "There is more?"

At the end I tried to startle her again and I asked her about bdsm.  She shrugged it off and said she's totally fine with it.  I said, "I'm kind of an extreme player.  If it won't cause someone else to be traumatized, I probably won't get off on it."  Her eyes went WIDE.  For about 1.2 seconds.  Then she said, "Oh."  I could see her thinking about that but she didn't ask.  So I volunteered that I like to do things like be hanged by the neck.  She didn't blink that time.

Her background is hypnotherapy.  That was her entry into helping people.  She likes the Gestalt/two-chair stuff.  She has done a lot of work with "inner children".  She feels completely comfortable with my drug usage.  Her facial expressions when I talked about Noah were priceless.  I think she likes him already.

And man, I'm going to say it.  She is black and she has that kind of Mammy vibe.  Like she is the best person in the world to talk to about your problems because she will either take care of you, if you really need it, or slap you on the ass and tell you to get busy taking care of yourself.  I'm not sure how to describe this feeling.  Like a combination of deep patience and experience with suffering combined with just being sick to death of whiners and loafers.  It's a lot like how I see myself, only older and more mature. I can't read anything about her life and I like it that way.

I made an appointment with her for next Thursday morning at 9am.  Anyone available to babysit?


  1. I *could* be but it would mean a really early start for me. If no one wlse who lives closer can, call me.

  2. "Listening to your story makes me feel very quiet. I have to listen with all of me so my voice feels small."

    Yep. You can't tell by the flood of comments I've been posting to your blog, but that is just how I feel in reading your story. You've said you like responses, so I pick and choose the bits I *can* respond to. Which I get to do because I'm not your therapist.

    She sounds awesome. Hope she's still right for you when you get back from SCOTLAND!!! Wooooo!!!!