Chaos Attraction

A Tale Of Two Shrinks

2006-09-22, 3:14 p.m.

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Before I get into the subject matter of today's entry, I will say that Dad's being moved into the nursing home went surprisingly smoothly. Mom is already liking the place- go figure. They also make everyone leave by 8 p.m., so she can't stay all damn night any more. Even more shocking, the staff people told Mom they didn't want her to come visit every single day. I don't think she'll comply with that ("I can't promise that"), and I don't think they'll try to enforce it on her, but it was a nice sentiment, nevertheless. I gather Kindred has written reports on all of the family members that went to see Dad that they passed on to this joint, and Mom's is absolutely glowing. I said that I didn't want to know what mine said. Mom said "probably not much, but it has to be better than your aunt and uncle's."

Anyway, Friday had some firsts for us: my first visit with my new shrink, and Mom's first visit with her new shrink. One went well, one went badly.

Thinking about my history with temporary shrinks, I've seen...
(a) Dude at the local HMO, who's just there to see if you're suicidal or not, saw him once. Friendly fellow, I wouldn't have minded seeing him regularly if he'd done such a thing.
(b) The temporary student shrink (Adriana?) I was seeing in college after previous ex dumped my ass. Very nice chick, though to be honest I don't think we really got anywhere. I'd blame that more on me than on her, though, since between me being all emotional and tending to elaborate for ages and ages, it was mostly Jen Blabber Time. I think she thought I was a nice person, but too self-absorbed to really get anywhere with at the time.
(c) The first shrink I saw as a school employee, I think her name was Debbie. To be honest, I didn't really like her much. I'm not sure why, maybe there just wasn't the vibe. She seemed kinda stiff. She left pretty soon after I started seeing her.
(d) Nina, the ex-support-group shrink. Adore her.
(e) Beth, the current support group shrink. Adore her.
(f) Sara, the saw-her-once shrink. To be honest, I don't think I would have had any kind of major rapport with her, I didn't feel particularly excited about her the way I had Nina and Beth. Admittedly, I didn't really get to know her well.

But after Friday's events, it has occurred to me that you really DO need to hit it off with your shrink in order for you to benefit from the experience of shrinkage.

Mom and her shrink did not hit it off At All. First off, she drew a man, and I kind of think Mom would have been more likely to do well with a woman. Well, not so much that men are bad shrinks, but in the "she has major feminine issues, and odds are higher a woman would relate" sort of way. Now, I haven't related well to every female shrink I have seen, but her odds would have been higher of drawing someone who has been there on the sick relative issue, and I think Mom is more chick-oriented in general. And I DO think that shrinks who have "been there" on this particular issue just plain relate better to what you are going through.

This guy apparently kept saying to Mom, "I just don't understand" a whole fucking lot. He thought Mom shouldn't have to let go of Dad at all (huh?!), he didn't get why she felt guilty about anything. I gather he didn't get what she was talking about, and Mom came out of the session crying and unhappier. To the guy's credit, I think he suspected she wasn't too happy with the session, and made her fill out some kind of "evaluate your shrink" form. Of course, Mom felt too cowed to say what she really thought, and not only lied, but signed up for another session with the bloke.

Given how Mom has been so resistant to getting a shrink for so many years, I was really hoping she'd hit the jackpot on the first one and then want to come back, the way she's hooked on her Stephen Ministry friend. Alas, this was not the case, and now I'm afraid she'll soon be bailing out on the whole shrink idea. I told her that she needs to make an appointment with someone else ASAP and cancel on this one. Who knows if she'll do it.

Something my new shrink said to me was, "A good therapist should be able to try to relate to whatever you are saying, regardless of their own personal situation." Clearly, this dude wasn't up for that.

And speaking of my new shrink (Rachel)...I love her. Man, now I am happy that I had to switch shrinks, because she is AWESOME. My meeting of her went similarly to the time I met my school career counselor, i.e. "I love your necklace!" "I made it!" Yes, both the career counselor and Rachel are jewelry people. So I knew it'd all be good from the getgo there :) I also suspect that after having met both Beth and Rachel, I must really like New Yorker shrinks. Fast-talking and blunt makes me very happy.

It's hard to recap what went on, exactly. I wish I could tape-record/transcribe these things, because it's hard for me to remember stuff that's said out loud to me in general. But man, she is GOOD.

She asked me, "Do you always talk this fast, or is this just a today thing?"
"I always talk this fast."
"How fast does your brain go?"
"Slightly faster than my mouth."
It's kind of amusing that I can keep up with New York speak, despite my California origins.

I did mention my lack of driving skill at one point, mainly because someone told me I might be having panic attacks behind the wheel. (Given that when driving I'm usually doing something horrible, I'm not exactly sure if technically that is the case.) I said that I'd taken a self-hypnosis class, but I couldn't shut my brain off to even GET hypnotized unless I am half-asleep. She said that figured given how my brain operates- and that she's a hypnotherapist. So, maybe she can get somewhere on my head on that, because I couldn't DIY there.

I told her that I would probably not make appointments during around the time I think Dad may die, and she said, "No, do NOT put that off. You can cancel if you have to, but don't keep putting everything off." Heh. Good point.

The amusing thing is due to scheduling issues, I'll have an appointment with her AND with Beth, an hour apart, on Friday. This should be interesting.

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