Couples Therapy Is WAY DIFFERENT Than Individual Therapy
Well that was painful.
And I feel like fuck**ing crap.
Beloved and I were doing well.
As we are usually doing well.
We went to therapy to try and learn how to
communicate constructively when we fight.
Because when we fight, while no one
hits or cusses, shit gets hot fast
really gets accomplished.
And I'm all for efficiency.
There was one point in the session
when I wanted to smack the therapist.
At that moment, an action such as
that seemed pretty efficient to me.
Probably the only thing that helped
me out of that feeling was the bizarre
fact that if you put a camera vertically in front
of her face, she looked exactly like the
profile picture of "La Belette Rouge."
who is also a therapist (O Belette,
you teleported to the south of France!)
But she was good.
Although her French became very
complicated at just the moment
when I was breaking down.
We learned two things
in our first session.
Which, if you've ever been in therapy,
you'll know is pretty friggin miraculous.
Thing Number One:
I cannot tell Beloved what he thinks.
This is a huge self preserving habit
that I picked up while being raised
by a manic-depressive who would
literally stop talking to me for Months
for the slightest reason-like my arriving
home at 7:30pm instead of 7:00pm.
I became trained in The Watching of
people to try and see what
they were really thinking so that I
could manage any incoming artillery.
This can serve me very well. And
a whole lot of the time I am right.
Beloved has lied to me in the past
and traversed boundaries that
I specifically asked him not:
like looking at naked pictures
of my sister that are all over
And while he has apologized and
committed to being honest with
me. And while I pretty much
believe him, this has amped up
"You can't tell people what they
are thinking" she said, staring at
me. My Beloved stared at me.
Their eyes were bloody walls boxing me in.
All of a sudden it occurred to me
that this therapy could take the dreadful
turn of being all about me and my fucked
up past and family...and that he was going
to look like the innocent angel.
So I told her about some of the reasons
why I didn't fully trust Beloved.
That was pretty.
And it felt awful to be in something
like "opposition" to him. I wanted it
to be about our working together.
I love Beloved, and I have witnessed
our growth and progression and honor
his bravery and determination.
But I felt like he was hanging me out
to dry. And so I laid some shit out.
However. I got the point.
Thing Number Two learned:
Beloved sees now that when we fight
he views me as the enemy and goes to
extremes to says things to win...things
that he doesn't mean or agree with...
and that just pisses me off more.
Especially since I am one of those
people who does not say things
that she doesn't mean in a fight.
This complicates the fight and he ends
up having to apologize for things he
didn't even want to say.
This Thing came close on the heels
of my revelations.
However, it took a fucking lot longer
time for me to understand what she had
SINCE SHE WAS SAYING IT IN FRENCH
and I am not Fluent in French.
We are in the bizarre position of his
having to explain (in French) what she has
said some of the time.
This is particularly frustrating because
I am not too bad in English and am accustomed
to debate/discussion on a high level in that
language. I grasp ideas quickly and love
to go much farther with them.
So I'm sitting there trying to understand
what I KNOW is a simple concept,
and I feel like an idiot.
Also, Thing Number Two does not help
Thing Number One as it just makes me
doubt his words, and leaves me trying
to figure out what he really thinks.
Beloved got the point.
I am now going to practise asking
Beloved questions, instead of telling him
what he thinks. He is going to practise
telling me what he REALLY thinks
and I am going to practise believing him.
We were in a great mood going in.
We were like two dead rats dragging ourselves out.
"That was fun" said I.
"Fucking fun" said he.
We went to the store to buy him
tennis shoes. We talked some more
and then ate dinner with The Neighbor
who was delighted to hear that we had
fought in our first therapy session:
We then sat around doing "If" questions:
If you had to be sodomized by a donkey
or a cat, which would you choose
(remember, a cat's penis has barbs).
If you had to choose which one of your friends
had to die in order to save the rest,
who would you choose.
The Neighbor and I have a very similar
sense of humor: morbid and fucked up.
This can rankle My Beloved, who, upon
arriving home, began to question why I think
horrible shit can be hilarious. I tried to
break it down and explain it as a
way of transforming into humor what is so
clear in this world: people (while wanting
to love and be loved) have an uncanny nack
for hurting and destroying.
I then expanded the conversation to include
sexist jokes, which I can't abide because
I feel the very real menace behind them.
Why do so many men think sexist jokes are funny?
In my opinion, it is because men are trying to
manage their innate and profound fear of women.
On that note, we went to bed.