My psychologist is amazing. He is a wonderful, highly trained and empathic professional. He knows me. He proved that unequivocally today. And I could not get through all of this stuff without him. No way.
We are like close friends. We sit and talk and laugh and make jokes, but we talk about the real stuff. The stuff that matters. The stuff that make me ‘me’. And he knows me. And he understands me. And picks the incongruities when they arise. And he calls me on them.
Usually I talk about pain. Managing pain. And not managing pain. I vent. I rail. I complain. He has given me techniques. I learn. I improve. I get stronger.
I have also talked a lot about the breakdown of my marriage. My ex-husband.
I have talked about the man I fell in love with after that.
I have talked about my children. The both suffer anxiety. He gives me insights in how to help them manage their anxiety also.
He is, quite simply, the best friend I could possibly have. With the slight difference in that I pay him for his time and expertise and attention.
So completely worth it, because we always talk about me. He never turns the subject to his problems like ‘real’ friends do. His entire focus is on me. On helping me.
And I need him.
I have been seeing him for about four years. He has helped me through countless issues. From just a need to complain to the aftermath of a suicide attempt. Even then, I was in control when I saw him.
Today I was out of control when I arrived for my appointment. For the first time, I was mid anxiety attack, and bouncing off walls.
At first he thought I was really happy. That’s how I come across when I’m anxious. Manic almost. Buzzing with energy.
Then I started to blurt about the need for surgery and my fear and he got to work, identifying the issues and breaking it down.
Figuring out whether it was the surgery, the hysterectomy, the recovery, the long term consequences, the risks, potential menopause, what menopause means…or something else entirely. What were the real issues. What was I really worried about.
And calming me down. Dampening the anxiety. Encouraging my innate, logical nature to reassert itself and come to the fore. Walking me through the emotions I was experiencing and asking the hard questions, the right questions, and making me open up about some really very difficult feelings and experiences.
He probably knows me and understand me better than anyone ever has. It is nice to have someone take that kind of time and interest. I spent almost 20 years with a man who never bothered to get to know me that well. The fact that I pay him is inconsequential. I’m not confused about that.
We wound up far, far away from surgeries and hospitals. Somewhere neither of us expected to go.
I wasn’t in control today, and few people have seen me out of control. And those who have seen me out of control, don’t usually recognise it when they see it. The ones that do recognise it, and acknowledge it, and help me through it, are keepers. Paid or no.
He recognised, and understood. And told me that my reactions and behaviour today intrigued him, because he doesn’t see it in the absence of deep trauma or abuse. He said it lightly, but he said it to ensure that I know that he knows now. He has put it all together. His training and experience are showing. He knows I want him to drag it out of me. And he’s letting me know that he’s not going to. He understands how I became who I am…and now it’s up to me to tell him more.