So Ron and I had a fight. It was probably building from last week. I wonder what I can remember. I’d love to figure out what happened myself.
I know I attacked him on several fronts, so no wonder really he got a bit defensive.
I’m a few minutes early. I watch as a lean and lithe twenty something emerges from Ron’s office, a few minutes after a session usually finishes.
I settle myself in and fiddle with the cushions and blankets on the couch.
R. So you felt after the last session that I wasn’t appreciating the complexity of what being real means for you, that it’s more nuanced than what I’d been saying?
I don’t feel like plunging into this topic right away.
E. So it seems like your client demographic is young, female, 20s and 30s? That’s what it seems like.
R. Why do you say that?
E. Because I see all these young women coming out of your office before my session. It’s kind of irritating.
R. I’d say my clients are split about half and half, male to female. Of the men, about half are older than I am. Of the women….mostly younger it’s true. Maybe Friday mornings, for some reason, it’s women who come to see me.
E. And no one is overweight. And they all have brown hair.
R. Why do you say that?
E. Well, that’s who I see coming out of your office. And in the group, the women were all younger and attractive. Well, Z was older. But everyone else…
R. Why is this irritating to you?
E. Because that could be who you attract as clients. For a young woman, you would be attractive, and safe. You’re old enough to have credibility with them, you’re attractive to many I’d think – I think you’re cute anyway. You would be reassuring yet still attractive.
R. And where is the problem with this?
I feel irritated right there in the moment.
E. Because, you could be using this, being their friend, re-assuring, interested in them, without doing any actual therapy.
R. So how would I be doing this?
E. Well. You know what I mean. You’d flirt a bit…..
R. How do you mean?
E. You know what I mean.
R. I know how to flirt.
Ron looks kind of serious and still and a bit offended. No wonder actually. Why oh why do I feel this need to attack?
This is where this topic ends as far as I can recall. I’ve done my damage, now moving on to an, ahem, great rest of the session.
E. I didn’t come with any particular topic today. Nothing much has happened to me. I’d say, emotionally the worst thing was feeling betrayed by R’s not calling me back. First I felt really betrayed for a few days. Now, I hate him. I woke up last night thinking of ways he might die. Bloody deaths, with knife wounds….
R. Did you try calling him again?
E. No. What for? He got my message. He just decided not to respond. How would calling him again help?
R. You felt that I am avoiding a discussion about your relationship to R.
I’d emailed this thought to Ron after last week’s session
E. Yes, I felt like that. Since you would know the whole story, why R is acting like he is, it would be awkward for you to discuss it seems like.
E. I know I’m over-reacting. R. doesn’t owe me a whole lot. We just met a few times. I think he owes me a returned phone call though. So my intense feelings are out of proportion to the actual event, so they likely stem from the past.
R. Do you think they relate to your father?
E. Probably. I really don’t know. I don’t feel a connection. You tell me – you’re the therapist here after all.
Yep, I’m angry and kind of hostile here too.
E. So I’m thinking, if I see R in the group, I’d want to do some bad thing to him to hurt him.
R. So you’d get your revenge.
E. No. I don’t do things to people actually.
Ron is disapproving for sure. This is a fantasy I’m describing for him, not an actual plan. After all, what can I actually do to harm R, except not give him a ride home, even though he lives blocks away from me. This will barely register with R. I’m trying to describe my feelings, even though I know they’re not making a lot of sense. Ron doesn’t usually take me this literally, but I’d say we’re really not getting along.
This is depressing to recount. I’m supposed to be trying to heal, not fight with people.
…to be continued.