At 2:30pm on Thursdays, I take the key to the bathroom to reapply my lipstick. I wrap up whatever email I’m writing or article I’m flowing and at 2:45, I walk across Madison Square Park for my weekly 3:00pm appointment.
My therapist is kind and empathetic. She knows how to watch for the moments I physically zip my anger inside myself, lodging it in the base of my throat. She knows how to listen to what I’m saying and how I say it, probe into the thing I’m dancing around, and coax the hurt and the anger out. She is possibly the only person in my life who consistently asks me questions about myself that I don’t know the answers to. (I hate not knowing the answers, but if your therapist isn’t asking you questions that you don’t know the answers to, you are smarter than they are, and you need to find a new therapist. If you’re seeing a therapist, and you probably should be, you’re paying them enough money to be seen and heard, and if you’re not seeing a therapist, you still deserve to be seen and heard. Seriously.)
Some weeks, our sessions are light and easy and I crack jokes about the neuroses I inherited from my loving parents (we all have them) and the emotional ineptitude of those men in my life (we all have them). Other weeks crack me open in ways I’m not always certain I’m ready to be broken open and these sessions are hard and painful. I pay a good chunk of change for these sessions but they’re always too short and after the hard sessions I need to buy hot chocolate to calm myself down before going back to work. And I’m lucky—I have the means to go and the support of my studio. Alissa, Ben, and Nathan: I’m so grateful.
But these sessions are exhausting. Necessary, but exhausting.