I don’t say this to be thrasonical about my perseverance but one, to connect with anyone else who’s done and so is familiar with the fatigue of the kind of vulnerability necessary when seeking counseling, a particular sort of soul bearing that just once can be serrating but since it, cruelly, can take more than one shot to find a good fit for a therapist and sometimes, more than a few sessions to know that you’ve found the right one for you, you’ve got to wash, wince, repeat the process, and two, to be thankful, that I, after several years and three attempts, finally have:
we’ll call her A, the calm, soothing, taller-than-me, slender white woman with wavy copper hair, highlighted ecru and ocher, deep fawn eyes and a soft voice where the softness comes from the soul more than the volume and the gentleness of which could be its own creature, like spring breeze, who meets with me in the corner room of a living-room feeling office – it was likely a house in its previous livelihood – that makes up for its lack of windows by its full blush walls, comforting couch and improvement in general ambiance from the previous location, where I started seeing A as in intern who was just finishing graduate school
at the same time I was only not because I’d be completing a degree also but because I was on the edge of a protracted existential flail, which I was convinced would never end or if it did, wouldn’t until it was too late for me to make anything at all of my life (you may remember that whole thing), that I couldn’t be a writer because a) God wanted more from me, something less sybaritic and more other-focused (I mean, David Foster Wallace – ahem, contestably the greatest writer of his generation – was right: you’ve got to be a *bit* narcissistic to be any good at writing) and b) I just wasn’t “any good” at it (by which, of course, I mean, that I wasn’t able to write the way I so deeply and badly want to but have also not allowed myself any training because 1) it’s shockingly expensive and feels immorally so with as many kids dying of hunger as we have every day and 2) again, shouldn’t I be doing something less histrionic with my life than assuming others care about what I think?) and I didn’t have the first inkling of desire to do anything else, in part because I no longer trust the feeling of passion or excitement since it’s always, always, always fizzled out
and A listened to this week after week – lately, two times a week – broken-record style for a year and every time was able to pick out something new, some beautiful leaf on a tree I was sure was bare, some stone I’d turned over without noticing the loamy aroma or even the stone itself but most importantly, she inexplicably bypassed the Rube Goldberg machine I set up for new people in my life and had me trusting almost immediately that she liked me (and, this isn’t just my experience but also a fact: you can’t get very far if you don’t believe your therapist likes you), which is a lovely coincidence because, though it took me embarrassingly long to realize it – maybe because I’m not sure I’ve had the feeling before – I, thank the good Lord, very much like my therapist, too.
(Yes, what you just read was only one sentence, not some funny style thing I’m trying.)