Friday, September 14, 2007

I'm just here for the free tears

Yesterday I saw a professional counselor for the third and final time. I have struggled with my own demons as long as I can remember, and I think I always thought that if I could just make that phone call to get some help, it would come to an end. In August, I had something I can only describe as an anxiety attack that was so severe that I could not drive myself home. Maybe it was the baby on the way, or maybe it was just my time, but I finally got a list of counselors from my insurance company and tried to make an appointment.

The first strike was that I had to call six before I found one who would see me. The others were either not taking new patients, not seeing patients at all, or had moved their offices across town. These phone calls were next to impossible for someone like me to make, and I’d just like to say that the people who answered the phone did not make them any easier.

I finally found one person who would see me. She was the one who had no information on the internet and was unknown to a friend of mine who is also a counselor. I made my appointment for the next week and when the time came, I went. She had no waiting area, so I had the choice of either standing in the hallway outside her office or sitting in the reception area of a busy lending firm that was apparently accustomed to hosting the unstables that come to see the counselor down the hall. She was 20 minutes late to see me, and when she finally appeared, I got the feeling that she was no more thrilled to see me than I was to be there. I told her about the “attack” and that I thought maybe I was finally dealing with the trauma of my first pregnancy. She was not really listening, I don’t think, and just kept telling me that pregnancy got better in the second trimester (I was 19 weeks at the time.) I was there no more than 30 minutes, including filling out some paperwork, before she dismissed me on time despite starting late. She said we would work on relaxation techniques next time and sent me on my way.

The second appointment was a little bit better. We did some “meditation” and all I could do was cry. She asked what was going on, and re-visited the past pregnancy because that was all I could think to talk about. She told me that she thought maybe I was finally dealing with the trauma of my first pregnancy – what a thought. Anyway, at least she was listening.

The third was a disaster – late again, and I had no idea what to tell her. The only question she asked me was how my week had been. I couldn’t really think of much to say, so there was silence most of the time. She called me a perfectionist (as in “stop being a perfectionist”) when I explained that I hadn’t been able to clear my mind to do the meditation crap on my own.
I guess I expected her to have some supernatural ability to see that the things I was telling her were just the surface – that I really wanted and needed help with much deeper things. That seems a little unrealistic in retrospect, considering I have 25 years or so experience at convincing people that I am perfectly fine and no one has been able to figure it out yet. Anyway, she didn’t get it either and I don’t see the point of paying her to listen to me ramble about my week when I can do it for free on the internet without getting asinine feedback (or at least without feeling compelled to respond to any of it.)

No comments: