Therapy Friday – anger

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?

E. Yes.

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.

Ron considers.

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.

  1. leb105 said:

    seems like expressing anger might be relevant to the healing process…?

    • Ellen said:

      Yes, it might. 🙂 Thank you Laura

  2. wow. you told me you were mad at him… but i didn’t know this is what you meant. i guess it’s to be continued… glad you shared! i wonder what the issue about his other female clients is really about, esp. since his practice is half and half. something to do with your sister, maybe? or the men in your life?? or about feeling rejected? it would be interesting to go back to this topic and explore it in depth. hope you can do that when you see him next time. c.

    • Ellen said:

      Having coffee with me, you’d never suspect I’m actually mad, bad and dangerous to know, would you? 🙂

      I had no way of knowing his practice was half and half until he told me. From my viewpoint, it’s really all young women. His group was two thirds female, and all young except myself and one other. But I actually feel over this topic now I’ve ventilated it.


      • 🙂 i really enjoy having coffee with you… mad, bad and dangerous or not! ha ha. i think this topic is barely touched upon…. and well worth a revisit… same with many of the things you bring up with him… venting is a good first step (never hold back with your therapist, i believe), but going deep has so many rewards…

        • Ellen said:

          I like having coffee with you also. OK, I’ll go deep next time. Maybe. Cheers

  3. leb105 said:

    hi E, wonder how you’re doing, today.
    sounds like your jealousy acting up – were you feeling that he can’t like you, comparing yourself to these other clients?
    I couldn’t see where Ron was defensive at all – can you point to it? It sounded from here as if he were patiently asking for more information.
    I couldn’t see that he was taking your fantasy literally, either, sounded as if he were just asking for more information (about the fantasy, or whatever it might be) – but you concluded that he was taking you literally, because maybe he can’t do anything right, at the moment?
    it sucks, feeling alienated from them.

    • Ellen said:

      Don’t know, perhaps it was jealousy that I”m not aware of.

      You could be right in what you’re saying.

      This weekend I’m spending a lot of time in bed unfortunately.


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