So I've now been going to therapy quazi-regularly for 5 months now. I say quazi becuase he does not have a regular spot for me, and I don't really want a regluar spot… it's that whole "commitment thing" that I seem to have a big problem with, but that is a story for another day.
Conversations with my therapist go like this: I sit down in the chair. We make arrangements for the next appointment. We settle in. He then looks at me funny until I say something. I've never tested him to see how long he would go without saying anything, but I'm reasonably certain that he would go the whole session without ever saying the first word. Once I start, he will ask questions, offer directions, offer observations, but it is my job to start the whole thing off. Say whatever is on my mind.
Sometimes I start by saying "I'm hungry". Sometimes I say "I'm tired". Sometimes I say "you got a haircut." Sometimes I say "I need a new TV".
"Why do you need a new TV?" he asks.
I begin to describe that my current TV is 13 years old. That it no longer shows the colour white, but an off green. That it weights over 200 lbs and that I can't actually move it. That it takes up half the living room. That I can't replace my AppleTV (which no longer shows blue) because the new models only have HDMI and my TV does not have HDMI.
"Why don't you just go out and get a new TV?" he asks.
"Well, I have the money," I reply, "I've been saving up Christmas and birthday money for the last decade, but until my TV actually breaks I don't see the point in replacing it. Waste not. Want not."
"But it doesn't show white. That sounds broken to me."
His simple statement caught me offguard.
The conversation continues and we discuss all of the things in my life that I keep using because they are not acutally "broken." There is a lot of it.
He then asks me about men. "How many relationships do you get into or stay in because they were similarly "not broken." Time's up before we get very far into this part conversation.
The following week I talk about my looking for a new TV. I talk about not being able to find one that is just right. I babble on about technical specs and, generally-speaking, inconsequential stuff.
He waits for me to stop talking and asks, seemingly randomly, "how did you ask your first boyfriend out?"
"That's easy. i didn't," I reply.
"I don't mean the first man you dated. I mean the first person you asked out on a date. Tell me about the first man that you asked out for a first date."
"That's easy. I haven't. Ever. I have never asked a man out on a first date."
In all my years on this planet, I was never the one to ask a man out on a date. They always did. They always choose me. I never asked anyone out that I wanted to ask out. I always hoped that they would ask me. And if they didn't ask me? Well clearly, they weren't interested in me.
He looks at me, sumarrizing the notes in his head, "so when was the last time that you went for something that you really wanted?"
I pause. I think. I have difficultly remembering ANYTHING that I ever went for that I really wanted. I pause. I think some more. I smile.
I rarely, if ever, go for that which I truly want.
I don't know the "why?" but the brain begins to focus and the journey continues.
It's the middle of January. It's 54 F (12 C). I'm outside. I'm sitting on a park bench next to the lake overlooking Toronto's skyline. There is a surreal mist on the lake and a mixture of sun and cloud that makes it both dark and light.
It's a perfect day.
My mind wanders to my therapy session a couple of weeks ago. After a brief pause in the usual conversation. My therapist asked me what was on my mind. I state "actually I'm hungry and thinking about going for breakfast after I leave."
There is an all day breakfast spot a few minutes from my therapist's and they make a really good big breakfast. The conversation progresses and I describe my love of breakfast. My love of bacon and eggs. Soft bacon. Scrambled eggs.
I describe in mouth-wateringly great detail my love of breakfast. How it is, and always has been, my preferred meal.
I describe how my mother used to make it when I was a child and how that has always been my preferred way of eating it. I tell him about my favourite breakfast places and how often I go there.
Then he asks "how often do you make it for yourself?"
"Never" I reply.
"Nope. Never. I always prefer someone else to make it for me."
"… Like your mother used to do?"
… … "yup."