I met with a new therapist today, and I was only halfway through my first sentence when my voice cracked for the first time.
I felt I had to pause what I’d been saying, (which was undoubtedly something incredibly emotional and revealing, such as “I have been depressed for a while now,”) and explain what was going on, as if I was the first person who has ever cried during therapy. “I’m a crier,” I said, “You should know that about me. I’m going to cry the whole time I talk to you, and that’s just how it’s going to be.” She laughed and said that was fine, of course, and she would grab me all the tissues I could possibly need. “Oh, it’s alright,” I explained, as I reached around to my back pocket to grab the handkerchief I’d knowingly brought along with me. I told her, “I came prepared.”
I’m not sure why I even thought it would be possible, but I had convinced myself that I was going to be able to discuss my life with this therapist without snotting all over her couch and crying the whole time. I was so, so wrong. Before we even started talking about me, I knew I was wrong. I was sitting on the couch listening to her explain the legal forms that I’d signed–disclosure statements, right to privacy explanations, etc.– when I started to feel the inside of my sinus cavities start to tingle as if I’d just snorted a giant pile of crushed lifesaver Wint-O-Greens. I’m sure a lot of people cry during therapy, but I’m willing to bet that not everyone gets choked up while their therapist is running through her personal education background. But I do. Ooooh, I certainly do.
Before I picked up where I left off, I told her that I’d basically just shown her everything she’d need to know about me. I know that I’ve got a lot of stuff going on in my life, I know that I have problems. And even though I haven’t figured out how to fix them yet, I have learned to compensate fairly well. I understand my particular collection of -isms, and I prepare accordingly.
Then I blew my nose into the handkerchief that I’d brought, and we dove right in.