Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Therapy Doc Being a Person on the Blog- Or Intimacy, Shmintimacy

So Mimi said:

Cut loose, (translate: get personal), Be yourself, or be someone else, be me. Or be someone else, you're anonymous on the web.

That’s what she thinks. I’ve already identified myself. And I couldn’t be her because she admits to being cranky and feeling like expletive all the time, which is fine, but one crank in the ‘hood is enough, so I’ll be me, relatively sunny. Still friends, right, Mi?

But she continues, Get naked.

Seriously. This isn't how I get. You may as well know.

Cut loose? Impossible. I’ve been a therapist so long that it is a HUGE piece of my personality.

And it can get me into trouble.

Here's what happened when one of my machetainistas first started to get to know me, about 6 months into the relationship. A machetainista is the mother of a son or daughter's spouse. The Yiddish is creeping into my vocabulary slowly, notice friends, as I get more intimate with you.

I had thought we were having this normal back and forth kind of a conversation. She must have complained about something, and maybe I even made a suggestion, broke the cardinal rule, nobody wants any advice unless they're paying for it.

But maybe all I did was comment, not give advice, maybe said, "Hmm."

In return, what do I get?


And I hadn't even begun, barely opened my mouth.

So this is why I don't talk much. Have to shut up both in therapy, where the patient's got the floor, and can't talk OUTSIDE of therapy, either.

(This all feels so narcissistic, seriously, writing like this, but fine a little more being personal.)

Anyway, it is hard for me to look at any subject, great or small, that is emotional, psychological, or social (even physical, if it has to do with emotion) and not see from my particular lens, too. I'm always working on seeing through yours, but I can't hide my education for very long, and not to brag, but there's a lot of education there.

And in a conversation with friends or relatives, even a therapist has to comment eventually, and it might just be a bio-psychological-social kind of comment. Maybe intellectual even. I can't pretend not to see what I see.

But that can be a problem socially. You can take the therapist out of the office but you can't take the office out of the therapist. The therapist is the office.

Picture a doctor in a coat room. The doc sees a guy who's about to pass out. This guy's going pale, breaking into a sweat, and the doc says to him, Hey would you mind passing me that coat on your left?

See, we're always ON, professionals. Your freaking worst nightmare is having me for a friend. I forget the me that isn't the office. It's very hard to share, not having done that for years, now. So I'm so out of practice.

This is complicated by my understanding that being intellectual, i.e., rationalizing, is a psychological defense. It's one of the more highly evolved defenses, but a defense nevertheless. Read into that whatever you want.

I see it like unless I can think of a good joke, I'm screwed. Sarelle supplies me with the best ones, one day she'll grow up and get a blog, and I can link you to them, and my father emails me a bunch of good ones from his friend Sammy, but I can never tell them right, jokes.

So no promises on the intimacy thing. The narcissism's killing me, that this feels incredibly narcissistic, but I'll work on it, Mi, the cutting loose here thing. It's not easy for a writer who's learned to be omniscient everywhere else.

Did you hear the one about the two octogenarians? One had recently married, the other said, How'd it go? The first one said, . . .

Yeah, I forgot the punchline, see?


1 comment:

Roxy said...

Your blog is funny.... I someday aspire to be a therapist...