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Tags: life, thoughts

Just a bunch of thoughts..

I go to a therapist once a month. When people hear that there is such a strange connotation that gets attached to it. "Now, there’s a guy who must have some major issues." Whatever could they be? Addictions? Fetishes? Anger? Obsessions? Some or all of them if I had to come up with a checklist. I’m an imperfect vessel. A plane that won’t fly. A ship that won’t float. At least I have to convince my therapist of that or else he won’t talk to me for crying out loud. 

One Saturday morning each month I think about what I’m going to discuss with him for an hour. It’s a jousting match at best. He starts off with small talk and thinks he’s delving into my inner demons. That somehow I will grow fangs and chant words from some unknown druid language yet to be discovered. Christ, wouldn’t he write a book if that happened.

He sits in a chair. I’m across the room leaning against this over-stuffed pillow on the couch. All of the furnishings are this institutional shade of beige. Except for the pillow. It’s maroon. Why maroon? Why not green or brown? The clock on the table beside him is turned conveniently so that both of us can keep track of my hour. There is this Levalor blind that covers the window and it always has the same slat twisted up at one end. You’d think that would bother a therapist.

I’ve found that if I tend to disagree with his observations it seems to make the hour go by faster. He says life consists of many shades of grey. I say life is black and white. We make them grey to rationalize the choices we make. He says optimists see a glass as half full. I say realists see it as half empty but are optimistic about it never being full again. Just when I think he’s catching onto me we stumble across an issue every now and then and at that very moment is when we both start watching the clock. It’s an amazing unspoken process that takes place right before our eyes. He’s thinking “OK.. I’ve got 25 minutes left to dig deeper.” I’m thinking “Damn.. I’ve got 25 minutes left until I can go get some breakfast.”

I pay $95 per session. Throw in another $17 for breakfast and a buck for a newspaper, a few dollars for gas, wear and tear on the car, and it’s a small price to pay for entertainment once per month. Actually, now that I think of it he should be paying me. I go to a lot of trouble to keep him on his game. I often wonder where therapists go for therapy. I think I might be that place. 

My first defense has always been never to take myself seriously. I tend to downplay most things in my life because if I make them too important I become too focused and lose sight of what really matters. I’m usually the guy everyone leans on for support. I’ve never been able to let myself lean. So I suppose therapy is my way of leaning. No, let me re-phrase that. Therapy is my way of making everyone else think I’m leaning. It’s important that people know you’re not perfect. That you have faults. Even that you may be damaged goods. It makes them feel better about themselves. 

I grew up as white trash in the 50’s - 60’s in Texas. There really wasn’t a worse place on earth to be white trash. When I was eight a neighbor told me “we weren’t any better than the colored’s.” I made a point of throwing a rock through her window that night. She did teach me an important lesson though. I acted just like who she thought I was. Never again have I lived down to what somebody else thought of me.

Humor is a safe place. Laughing is better than crying. Did I grow up poor? Yep. Hahahaha. Did I wish my life was different? Yep. Hahahaha. Was there a knight on a white horse who would ride in and make everything better? Never gonna happen. Hahahaha. So you open up a suitcase and throw all of your baggage inside and you carry it the rest of your life. It doesn’t ever go away. You can’t run from it. So you make peace with it. 

There is an old saying that I refer to a lot. “The hardest lessons learned come with the greatest pain”. I believe that. I also believe that “Pain is a state of mind and you just have to rise above it”. In the end it’s about finding a way to survive because the option of not surviving is so unacceptable. There is no dignity in just giving up. 

So one Saturday each month I go to therapy. Each of us plays our role. He stopped taking notes long ago. Yet he still sits with a faux leather folder holding his pen. Why is that? Plus there is something disconcerting about wearing Hush Puppies and white business socks. Who does that? Maybe he’s trying to throw me off my game? I think next Saturday I’ll throw in something about alien abduction and meeting Elvis. Then as I’m leaving, I’ll fix that damn slat in his Levalor blind, go eat breakfast, and try to get through each day hurting as few people as possible.

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