The Termination, Part I

I’ve noticed on “Mommy blogs” that women will often write their birth stories, especially if they had a particularly traumatic experience giving birth. They often say that writing it down and sharing helps them process what happened. I suppose the practice of sitting down to narrate a story really forces you to get in touch with that experience. So I’m going to do something similar and write down the story of how Zooey terminated therapy.

Firstly, it’s worth noting that at our Monday session of that week (we had sessions every Monday and Thursday), there was a lot of emotion and tension. She had just come back from vacation and we hadn’t seen her in two weeks. Any break in therapy is hard. It’s weird and scary to have your therapist away and living their everyday life. It’s hard to not have that routine and it’s also painful to know that they have a life outside of providing treatment to you.

So, naturally, I was feeling more reserved. But she pushed. She mentioned that it seemed like I’d been less willing to open up and talk freely, as I’d done in most of our previous sessions. She was absolutely right. But a lot had happened recently (more on that later) and I was in the midst of a lot of very intense and very painful transference. As a therapist, I (mistakenly) assumed she’d pick up on that and stay with me through it. I was wrong. I ended up offending her and at the end of the session she seemed flustered and stated, “Well, I think we both have a lot to think about.” WTF does that even mean??? What am I supposed to be “thinking about”, exactly?

Enter Tuesday, when my wife and I get an e-mail from her asking if my wife could come to my next session with me to “discuss insurance issues” (even longer story, also for a later time). My wife agreed to come to Thursday’s session. But I felt the floor drop from underneath me. It seemed off that Zooey would ask her to come just to talk about money shit. Why not talk on the phone? Or via e-mail? I just KNEW something was wrong. Very wrong.

Fast forward to Thursday. My wife and I are both there. Zooey comes out in to the waiting room to get us. My wife walks into the office first and sits where I normally sit. I curl myself into a ball at the opposite end of the couch, diagonal from Zooey. I just wait for the bomb to drop.

And then it does.

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