I don’t want to do it. I don’t want to accept I need it. And ultimately, I judge the psychologist offering it. So when he speaks home truths to me, I fucking hate it.
Sitting in the dingiest of waiting rooms, sneering at the watermarked hypnotherapy brochures, I almost walk out. I’m so anxious it’s physical; twisting my rings, tapping my feet, biting my lip. It feels wrong. This isn’t for me. This is for weirdos, no-hopers, people that lack baseline intelligence. People that believe fucking quartz crystals and essential oils are a legitimate alternative to science. I don’t want to take advice from someone who made the choice to display dated, poorly laminated A4 posters. He can’t even grasp basic Microsoft Word formatting, how can this quack help me?
I eavesdrop on the appointment before me. Through the thin walls I hear the low tones of the psychologist, and a female voice laughing too loudly. She sounds like a stereotypical insane person. Jesus Christ. Some empty platitude is offered, she laps it up gratefully. I feel sick. My hands are cold and clammy. My empty stomach churns. They’ve gone over their time. I’m edgy. If she could stop cackling, maybe they could keep to the fucking schedule thanks. Does this mean the person after me will hear my private information? Yet another reason for me to leave. Deep breaths, loud sighs. Ugh, I don’t need this. But I stay.
I enter the office. Sit in an uncomfortable chair, one of 3 different types. Lab rat experiment or verge collection? The psychologist is wearing cargo pants. A boxy polyester short-sleeved shirt. He desperately needs a hair-cut. I don’t want to take advice from this awkward earthworm of a man. Fuck I’m such a judgmental bitch. He asks me why I’m here. Wordlessly, I hand him my referral. While he reads, I sit there primly, all flawless makeup and fresh tan – a complete contradiction to the detailed report of a train-wreck in front of him. Once done, he breathes out.
“How have you even gotten this far? Hiding so much distress must be a full-time job.”
Fuck. Like flipping a switch, tears silently cascade down my face. I chastise my tear ducts.
I immediately start to make excuses for the crying. I’m sorry, it’s just nerves. I’m fine, really. I reject the notion of victimisation, rattling off how lucky I am. Seriously, count the ways. I assert how blessed I have been all my life, how I really am a rational, smart person. I’m about to be a lawyer for fuck’s sake. Everything is amazing. I just need to stop being a dickhead. Just need to be less intense. I need to learn to be better is all. If you just could teach me how to be less ‘me’ that would be great. Then I’ll be outta here. All good.
“You really love to hide behind self-deprecation don’t you.”
I continue to joke. I brush it off. I tell him that laughs based on my pain are my favourite kind of humour. He doesn’t laugh back. Instead, he tells me about deeply embedded emotions. Destructive core beliefs. He tells me I don’t have to diminish myself to make other people feel comfortable. Yeah right. This guy’s an idiot. Fine then, I’ll show him how smart I am instead. I build my rebuttal. It becomes a debate. My defences are up. I’m crying openly, but with a clear, carrying voice and a Teflon coating. Sorry mate, I won’t be an easy one to win.
But. Even so.
There is something in me that is so raw, so vulnerable, so misunderstood.
Something that is desperate to surface, though I don’t want it to.
I fucking hate him for just being there. For somehow inciting a response in me, against all my prejudice and standoffishness. I hate this owlish loser. He looks like he drinks UHT milk and reuses tea bags. He will probably try to get me to ‘exercise mindfulness’ or some other waste of a suggestion. But I guess I hate him most for making me realise that this ‘getting help’ thing won’t be fun. It’s going to be a bad time for a long time. Yay.
After the appointment, everything goes to shit. I blame him. For making me feel so weak. For making the monster surface. For making me feel emotions that I can’t compartmentalise, rationalise or most importantly, suppress. I’m so low. Why am I doing this to myself then? This is self-directed torture.
I don’t want to expose myself, to trust anyone with my deepest feelings.
What if they become something I can’t handle?
What if they’re used against me?
Nothing is clear yet, and I hate this frayed feeling of uncertainty.
But fuck it, I guess I’ll go again.
I don’t want to do it. I don’t want to accept I need it.
But ultimately, I do.