So, I have a new counselor. I had my second appointment with her today. Getting through my family history and prior hullaballoo takes at least eight sessions, so since this is only the second session I’ve just started on the week of July 21, 1968, when I was just two weeks old. Just kidding. Anyway, this new counselor is a real sweet person but I am always wary of beginning a new relationship with anyone of the counseling profession. Why, you might ask?
I kill therapists.
Before you call the cops to have me arrested for my serial killing ways, please note that it’s not by my hand that these fine counselors die. They just die. And it’s always in the midst of my really needing someone to talk to. It’s like I unload all of my crap on them and “poof!” They explode. The sheer weight of my earthly burdens crushes their spirit causing them to curl up and die. I am an enigma of the psychosocial world. A crazy that cannot be de-crazied. A true blue mess.
I imagine my prior counselors having conversations with their colleagues that goes something like this: “Today I found a “Sarah” eating berries off the bushes outside of my office. I’d heard of this elusive species only through text books so to find one in the wild, well, what a boon to my career! I coaxed her into the office with a Payday (the “Sarah” loves nuts, after all, she is one!) and offered her a seat on my couch. After exhibiting some nervousness and random running into walls she calmed down and started telling her story.”
Eight sessions later, their dialog might resemble the following: (slightly twitchy and clearly sleep deprived) “I’ve, uh, been listening to, uh, the “Sarah” for several weeks now and she is simply freaking me out. Do you want to switch me? I’ll take your Manson and Bundy for the one Sarah. That’s a fair trade, right? Please? I’ll throw in some tickets to the Psychology trade show down at the fairgrounds. Bound to be lots of cool new self-help books there. Please. I’m begging here. I can’t make any sense out of this “Sarah”. She’s driving me insane.”
Two weeks later at their usual psychologist’s pow-wow, the gossip mill runs heavy with rumors of the demise of their colleague, the one who tried – and failed – to cure the elusive “Sarah”. They’re happy to keep their Manson’s and Bundy’s as opposed to face the horror that answers to one name: (said in an echo-y whisper),“Sarah”.
Some say she’s still out there, snatching Payday’s from unsuspecting people at the zoo. If you encounter her, don’t taunt her. Just hand over the candy. She ain’t right in the head.
Okay. I’m done with my tirade. Honestly, though. Two therapists have DIED while I was actively in their care. The first died right before I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer back in 1993. I remember I was telling him about this lump on my neck and how I was going to have it checked out later that same day. He told me that he’d be on vacation for the next two weeks and hoped everything went well with my doctor’s appointment. I never saw him again. He died while water skiing at the age of 45, the very same week that I was diagnosed with cancer. Man. Talk about horrible timing.
Please don’t think I’m terribly insensitive (I am, a little) but after such a diagnosis, I really needed someone to talk to.
The second therapist had an embolism and died in 1999, shortly after the Columbine Massacre. I was living in Colorado at the time and I distinctly remember talking with her about the tragedy that had occurred 50 miles away from us. I was also sinking in a failing marriage. I kinda needed therapy so, of course, she up and dies. It was tragic, actually. I was completely floored by her death. After that, I assumed that anyone I entered into counseling with would die while I was in their care.
And I always preface my initial meeting with a mental health care professional by stating, “I’ve killed two of my therapists.” They are initially troubled but then, like the counselor before them, become filled with intrigue. By the eighth session they’re just searching for a way out.
I sure hope this one sticks around. I certainly need someone to talk to. I got a whole lot of crazy going on.