Sunday, March 05, 2006

Therapy

Tomorrow I meet my new therapist. I am excited (among other emotions). I have been in therapy twice before in my life. It seems to be an once a decade event.

Twenty years ago I went to a shrink while in the throes of a divorce. I wanted “permission” and to able to tell my soon to be ex and my family that I had given things a chance. I did get permission, I did not give things a chance, but I do take comfort in that my second marriage is approaching sixteen years – a good run by any measure. I think my therapist was good, but we were focused and did not delve as deep as may have been appropriate.

My second experience was a decade ago and with hindsight – WHAT WAS SHE THINKING! It was a family therapist working with my children, my wife and now me. I sit down and tell her: “by the way I was in Washington last month and spent a great night having sex with this guy but now my wife thinks it best if I not do it again – bad for our marriage. Yes, I have had these feelings for a long time, but I love my wife, so I’m better now.” And she listens and after some discussion (over a period of time), she agrees that it’s all okay. As my kids would say – HELLO – ANYBODY HOME IN THERE?

There were other issues it turns out we never really resolved – this whole thread of my temper with my family. The thing is that not unlike my first therapy I went because everyone thought I should. I wanted to be told I was really okay – in fact quite wonderful – and the therapists were “kind” enough to oblige.

Some day I owe my siblings an apology – they did not know the sexual aspects, but figured out long before me that my therapists may have dismissed me, but I had not “graduated.”

So tomorrow at 9 AM I will go into an office to try again. There are huge differences this time – I walk in for me, not for those around me; I walk in vulnerable, oh so vulnerable; I walk in willing – albeit afraid – but still willing to attempt the hard work. As I write I realize the biggest difference – I walk in not knowing the script in advance. I know what the end should be – me being with KA and my family, but without the script, I don’t know the plot twists in advance. I just pray for the happy ending.

2 comments:

Flip said...

Best of luck. My experience is that it can take a long time for it to start working but it has been well worth it.

I also had some false starts. One therapist who, upon my revelation to him that I had attractions to men, immediately exclaimed that he was "straight as an arrow - had never had feelings like that." I found that vaguely interesting but somewhat irrelevant to understanding myself better. And I had not said it while caressing his leg or chasing him around the office.

The next one, a woman, reacted by asking me if I was really sure I was gay. Now I know well enough to know how irrelevant that question, and any answer to it, really is. At the time I thought it was a strange question.

Anyway, I guess my experience is that it took a while to find the right therapist and a while for it to help. Hang in there.

woe said...

I am thinking of you today as you have your first trip to the new therapist. You arein my thoughts and prayers.