January 19, 2011

Play it again, Sam

I'm needing a tiny little writing break.  I have about a gobzillion irons in the fire so I'm bringing one of my favorite posts from last summer out of the vault...

Therapy Makes Me Sick

So after a long week last week, I had my first appointment with a therapist. I knew I needed this and lots of you guys told me that you wouldn't have gotten through the transition without a therapist, so I just went for it. I google searched and read profiles of gazillions of therapists in our area and narrowed it down to a few that I felt would be a good match. I made an appointment and made myself a nervous wreck about going. I had delusions of grandeur that this woman and I would be fast friends and that she would wave her magic wand and I would leave there the freakin' happiest woman in the world. It did not quite work out this way. In fact, therapy made me sick. Literally.

If you know me in real life, you know that I cry at the drop of a hat. I cry when I am happy, I cry when I am sad, I cry when I am stressed. Crying is just kind of my catch-all go to emotion. So I plunked myself down in the chair, told the woman my name and then let the flood gates go. I liked this woman. I felt comfortable around her. I had no trouble dumping my stuff on her. But something told me that she wasn't the therapist for me. She didn't have any kids, which made me feel like she couldn't really empathize with me or our situation. She had no clue about any adoption related issues. So I knew that I was going to need to shop around for someone who would be a better fit for my issues. However, I totally took advantage of the time to just sit down and decompress so I cried until I gave myself a raging migraine. Then I was ready to go home. But this woman must have been determined to give me my money's worth. A half an hour into our visit the rest of the building closed down. And they shut off the air conditioning. We were in the tiniest of rooms with the door closed and it heated up fast. An hour into our visit, I felt like I was good and done and didn't have another thing I could talk about but this therapist was just not wrapping it up. I kept getting hotter and hotter. I soaked through my bra and my spanx in no time. And spanx are not easy to sweat through. I felt like she just had no idea how to wrap up the appointment. We kept talking in this circle forever and ever that went a little like this:

Her: I think that all you need is to learn to take better care of yourself and make yourself more of a priority.

Me: I totally agree, but I obviously don't know how to do that or I wouldn't need to be here.

Her: Well, it is a journey of self discovery.

Me: Yes... but can you tell me some concrete things that I can do to help myself?

Her: The journey of self discovery can take many forms. Silence.

Me: Silence. (By this time I have soaked through my shirt!) My inner monologue is screaming at me to run. This conversation is going to go nowhere.

Her: What are you thinking?

Me: I am wishing that you would just give me an assignment or a workbook or something tangible to grab hold of. I know that I am this way because of x,y and z. What I don't know is how to fix this. If I knew what I needed to do, I wouldn't need therapy! That is the whole reason I am here.

Her: What do you think you need to do?

Me: Ummm, I just said, I do not know. That is why I came to therapy. To learn the answer to that very question. Are you hot? (At this point, I contemplate stripping because I am so hot I think I may have a heat stroke.)

Her: Yes, it is warm in here.

Me: Silence. While in my head I am saying, "Oh God. This could go on forever. Give me a freaking assignment already before I melt into a little puddle of sweat on the floor. If you are not going to be a concrete kind of therapist, I am definitely not going to come back. Quick, Megan. Think of a BS answer already so you can get the heck out of here!" Out loud I said a boldfaced lie. I said, " I think that you have given me more to think about than I can possibly process right now (lie #1) I think I need to just go home and reflect about it and take steps from there. (lie #2) I am sure that the answers will be clearer after I've had some time to really contemplate everything." (lie #3)

Her: I think you are right. (Hallelujah! She bought it!)

Then she asked if she could wrap things up by praying for me. As an aside- I chose this place because I liked their faith based approach to therapy. I totally believe in the power of prayer and am never one to pass up on someone offering to pray for me. So she launched in to her prayer. And no lie- it went on for about a zillion minutes. It seemed like a crazy long prayer to me being as how we had just met and all. I am ashamed to admit that I started to just drown out her talking because I was so hot. By this time, I could have rung out my shirt and was beginning to soak through my pants. One of my college roommates called this sweaty butt phenomenon "swamp ass." All I could think of during those last few minutes of prayer was how my swamp ass was going to leave a wet spot in this woman's chair and I wondered if she would think I wet myself. I finally decided I really didn't care if she thought I had peed in my pants or not, I just wanted to get out of there before I burst into flames. I am quite certain that hell is not as hot as it was in that office. By the time she started to sound like she was winding down, I was nearly ready to pass out. She said, "Amen" and I stood up at the speed of lightening. I thanked her profusely and blessedly she opened the door to freedom and fresh air.

But by the time I got to the car, my head was pounding and I just could not cool down and I knew I was going to be sick. I started the car and blasted the AC and took off. But it was too late. At the stop light, I had to open the door and puke on the street. I was right next to Target so I decided to go in there and sit in their parking lot for a minute. After a minute or two I thought I was better so I decided to just run in Target. On my way in, I very embarrassingly had to throw up in their parking lot. I took off running toward the building so I could make my way in to the bathroom. The other thing you should know about me is that I throw up so loudly, it could be heard in China. It is so loud, it is scary. I can't control it. So after my time in the bathroom I was so embarrassed I had to stay in the stall until everyone that could have possibly heard me was out of there. 

I knew I needed some crackers and some water to settle my stomach, so I walked over, grabbed some crackers, ripped them open and devoured some. When I went to check out, the clerk said, "Umm, ma'am. Did you know your crackers are open."

"Yes," I said, "I opened them."

"Oh- did you get hungry?"

"I guess you could say that." I said.

The poor guy just couldn't stop trying to make conversation while I swiped my debit card. "Why did you get so hungry?" He chuckled.

I thought, "If you only knew how complicated the answer was, you sure as heck wouldn't ask that question!"

So needless to say, my hour and thirty minute therapy session was not that beneficial! I didn't learn a thing about myself I didn't already know. I made myself sick and I wasted $125. I did go and buy a new dress that night, though, and that made me feel super good- so maybe instead of real therapy, I'll just try retail therapy! (Just kidding) I may decide to shop around and find a better fit for a therapist who has better air conditioning. The one thing I do know, is that I definitely will NOT go back to that fiery inferno.

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