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.And I only cried when I arrived at her office immediately after witnessing something sad, as I did the day I crossed paths with a crippled young man on crutches, inching along to wherever, slug-slow but determined, just outside R’s building.My capacity for self-pity is exceeded only by my capacity to pity others, and R and I went to work on both.We talked about my self-image, my family, my work.We set little goals.Could I wear some beads maybe or a sort of sexy shirt sometime? I liked R because she never said, “How did that make you feel?” to me and because we took time to discuss books and current events, like real people.Actually, now that I mention them, we also discussed Real People, as in people we mutually knew, some of whom were her patients.R hated the woman who had the appointment before me and she often spent the first fifteen minutes of my appointment venting.My hints to change the subject to something more relevant, i.e.me, went unheeded.One day R was positively incensed that the woman had criticized R’s increasingly unhygienic surroundings, suggesting that maybe R give the place a coat of paint or have the floors fixed.At the time I sided with R in her righteous rage, but I secretly toyed with the idea of giving my co-patient a high five next time I passed her in the hall.The floor was, in fact, buckling from a small flood some months before and had not been fixed.The walls were marked up and the paint was peeling in spots.Occasionally, R spent time updating me on the progress, or lack thereof, of a thirteen-year-old anorexic and her controlling, warring parents.Or, on more familiar ground, she liked to chat about which among my friends/her patients were talented and which weren’t.I didn’t mind this so much, especially since we always came to the conclusion that I was exceptionally talented.(R was writing a play, so she said, and was always casting it and recasting it within our small theatrical circle; she liked being one of us, us creative folk, such as we are.) It was the breaches of confidence I found most unsettling, but I didn’t have the guts to ask R not to make them.They were always prefaced with “I know he wouldn’t mind you knowing this” or “I’m sure they are going to tell you” or even, “I think they would want me to tell you,” which is how I found out that one friend’s boyfriend had a severe drinking problem and two other friends, whom R saw individually and as a couple (isn’t there a rule about that?) were having marital difficulties and were in fact separating.Rule number two: Be careful what you tell your therapist.Still, I got along with R because I felt I was getting help without getting my guts vacuumed out.I’d had a boyfriend who did that.If I was unhappy with him he’d flip the thing around and force me to search myself for the source of my displeasure and together, with his urging, we’d scrape and scrape and suck and suck until I felt my vital organs rising up in my gorge.I’d eventually start to cry—could you blame me?—and he’d feel vindicated.We wouldn’t even have gotten at any truths, since the main truth was that he was an ass-hole.We would just hypothesize me into a coma.Anyway, since R didn’t completely inspire my trust, I kept certain things from her, which was empowering in itself.Sometimes, before I told her something private, a little voice in the back of my head asked me if I wanted my friends to know this thing as well.Good practice for later in life, I should think.Thanks, R.One day, R asked me for one of my migraine pills.She had a terrible migraine and was out of medication and couldn’t reach her doctor.Now, it just so happens that I don’t really take a designated migraine medication for my migraines.I take Tylenol 3, or for the uninitiated, Tylenol with codeine, which is a narcotic.It doesn’t stop the headache itself but it almost always kills the pain.Okay, let’s pause here for a moment and discuss narcotics.I am particularly partial to the combination of pain relief and seemingly paradoxical, but not if you know your narcotics, sleep-slash buzz-inducing element, where you lie down and talk your head off until you suddenly, exquisitely pass out.If you don’t take a lot of them, because they are addictive and constipating, they are your friend.If you take a lot of them, they become your friend in that way a woman who is sleeping with your boyfriend becomes your friend—you want to get rid of her but you can’t no matter how hard you try [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]