Oh, You Were Serious…

I was a serious child. I was serious about everything. I worried at a professional level before I was 10 years old. By the time I was 11 years old, I was drinking Maalox as a bedtime snack.

I was a fairly serious teenager and grew into an anxious young adult.

Now that I’ve reached the half century mark, I work very hard at not taking things too seriously.

I spent far too many years not appreciating silliness in myself and it’s not like I can’t be fucking silly.

With all that said, I’m wondering if I haven’t already made a mistake with my new cut rate therapy by not taking it seriously enough.

I mentioned a few posts ago that I found an intern who I renamed Dawn who is available for sessions for 10.00. I can afford 10.00 sessions. My goal was to learn more about narcissism and being the child of a narcissist and maybe shake loose some more of the rotten shit that is clinging to my grey matter. Mostly though, I was looking forward to exploring new material to write about.

We met last night and Dawn is a lovely young woman.

Very young.

Younger than 3 of my 4 children.

Does this mean that she can’t be a therapist? No. Am I struggling with dumping the contents of my head out on the table for someone half my age to sift through? Yes.

How much is she going to help me? I might not have a degree in psychology, but I CAN read and I have literally decades more experience.

What is she going to say that will help me process the fact that I have been at least partially molded into who I am today by my father’s mental illness? What is she going to say that will change that? Or make me feel better about it?

Another aspect I am struggling with is this..if I am not taking it seriously enough or am too skeptical, aren’t I doing this girl who is trying to grow into what I imagine is a fairly difficult job a disservice?

What if she throws herself into helping me and I bat away her efforts with sarcasm or use the time to mentally store up material to write about on my blog without regards to her efforts or growth? What if by doing that she becomes disheartened and decides that she isn’t cut out to become a therapist and ends up spending her young life swinging on a pole and drifting from one bad relationship to the next? There could be kids involved! And you KNOW those kids would be fucked up. They’d end up drug dealers or substance abusers. What if one of those kids, thanks to me fucking up their mother’s career, drives while intoxicated and runs over the ONE person who could have ended world hunger?

I could be ruining it for everyone.

On the other hand…it IS my 10.00 and my hour. I can spend them as I please.

I made a second appointment. I think I will just see where it takes me.



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    • I don’t think I’m ready to show her or tell her about my blogging activities quite yet. Besides..she might HATE the name Dawn.

  • When I am worried about being too much for my therapist, it helps to remind myself that she is someone I am paying to perform a service for me. I like her very much, and I value her input, but at the end of the day, I am only one hour of her life every two weeks, and it is up to her to “turn it off” when she is not in the office. That is not my responsibility. But I get what you are saying. Sometimes I think it would be easier if I did not like my therapist as much as I do.

    • I’m not REALLY worried…but she is SO young. It’s hard for me to see her as anything but a kid. I know she isn’t..but still.

      She told me last night…please don’t worry about my feelings…say anything you need to say.

      So I did. I laughed and said..It’s my job to worry about the whole world’s feelings! I’m not going to say anything mean to you.

  • I have trouble with this exact thing!

    In fact I was seeing a therapist a couple of years ago (just out of grad school, I guess, so still an intern under another doctor’s supervision) and I think partly because she was young and inexperienced my therapy managed to get way (way) off track and Bad Things happened.

    Oh, wait, I’m supposed to be comforting. Never mind that. I’m sure your therapist is great. The main thing about therapy (in my very humble opinion) is it is an outside party that helps you to open up and explore about yourself, hopefully challenging you somehow with questions, but ultimately it is what is inside YOU that has to come out so that you can see it more clearly. I think of it like a big closet, and I’m looking for something and it’s a mess. Having a therapist is like finding the light switch. Doesn’t mean I’ll find what I’m looking for, but makes is it a helluva lot easier.

    I don’t know if I’m helping or not. If you’ll excuse me, I’ll be the one over here singing me some Tony Orlando for the rest of the morning.

    • Hahahah…I did not think of the whole Tony Orlando thing when I chose Dawn…but now I’m knocking three times all over the place.

      And yes, your comment actually helps a lot. thanks for that!

  • As a Life Coach, I believe it is not only good for me, but also good for my clients, that I, myself, have a Life Coach. And my current coach is younger than my stepkids (I am 50). Wisdom comes in all shapes and sizes…and ages. Now, that’s not to say that this particular therapist is or isn’t the right one for you.

    Oh, and you are not responsible for her 🙂

    • I know I’m not responsible for her! On the other hand, I kind of feel responsible for the feelings of all humankind. It’s a really REALLY hard job and people just don’t appreciate it as much as they should. 🙂

      And thanks! Your voice of reason is very comforting.

  • I’m just getting ready to go back into therapy, that is much overdue. I’m hesitant; does she really want to know all of the fucked up things that are in my head? Does she just want to treat the symptoms with meds and not really dig deeper? Is she just doing it for the money? So many questions… Glad to know I’m not the only one with these crazy thoughts.

    • Oh hell no…you are far from the only one with the crazy thoughts. If I actually blogged ALL my crazy thoughts, my family would have me locked up. And they like me.

  • It’s your lovely ACON fears rearing their ugly heads, making you doubt you decisions and actions. Tell them to piss off and see where your $10 can take you. After all, as ACON’s, we’re well trained to doubt ourselves.

  • The very first counselor I went to in college was not prepared for me, but I think I have found a good group now. It is a care team with a psychiatrist, therapist, and a case manager. My therapist is younger than me, but she is smart and kind, and I feel safe with her.

    Also, if they can’t handle it, you are doing them a favor by helping them find a job they are really meant for.

  • Sometimes I am amazed at the number of thoughts that run through the mind in a mere few seconds.Also have a hard time choosing which one should come out of my mouth at any given time. Also, going on-at the same time-is the comedian, which may or may not cause me to laugh at the stand up performance. And the person I’m talking to has no clue about the busyness going on in my mind. Therapy is hard work. You have to stay focused for 50 minutes! Kudos to you for going to therapy and also for finding a bargain rate of pay. Thanks for sharing. I feel connected and can relate to a lot of what you say. Like I’m rooting for my sister from a different mother.keep on keeping on!

    • Thank you so much! I really am going to try to make this work. I’ve gone to therapists in past years and just fizzled out without feeling like I gained anything. But I’m a different person now…so we shall see…

  • Sounds like you have a solid plan…even if she sits there for an hour looking like a deer in the headlights, just talking for you will be healing. Or at the very least will give you blog material. That alone is worth more than her fee! ;)-Ashley

  • Perhaps, it’s because I’m a fresh graduate who is currently working as an intern, I’m utterly confused. Everywhere I go, I can see welcome boards saying “Only experienced hands preferred”. I’m afraid, if this is the situation, from where do we gain experience from?. While I’m glad that you have expressed your true feelings here, I think it’s high time for the people around to show a little bit of confidence in us.

    • Regardless of profession, most people face that when starting out. People want employees (or therapists) with experience, but how do you gain experience if you aren’t given a chance.

      And I AM going back for my appointment next week. 🙂

  • Perspective. I am 50 and find myself with younger bosses, younger medical professionals – seems like everyone is younger than me these days. It’s all perspective, when I ignore the fact that I OUGHT to know more than they do, and just actually listen, I get stuff I never would have thought of.
    And seriously, 10 bucks is actually affordable!

    • It really is.

      I’m working through it. It’s not that I think she has nothing to say, or that her training isn’t valid. I am sure if I give it a chance, then I will benefit. I think it’s that she’s younger than most of my kids. And what THIS tells me, is that I need to start looking at my adult children as adults.

  • My last therapist told me repeatedly “whatever it is, I can take it.” And while I didn’t believe her, I’m sure she was being honest. Therapists are trained to be able to handle whatever their clients tell them. They are very strong and learn how to hold whatever they are told.

    I would talk to her. Ask her what her outlook on your situation is. If she is confident and honest, trust her. If you like her as a person and a therapist, continue to see her. If you don’t, that’s okay. No one person can be right for everyone. If you decide you don’t like her, don’t continue to see her just because the price is right.

    Try not to discriminate based on age alone. Younger people can be very resilient. And most counselors can act much older than their numerical age. If you feel comfortable with her, try not to worry about her age. When I was ten, I had a friend who was in her 30s. She’d talk to me like someone would their therapist, completely forgetting my age. Every so often she’d remember how old I was and be absolutely horrified at what she had said. But I was okay with it. I could take it. I’ve always acted like an adult and maybe she’s the same way. Try your best to overlook her age. After a few sessions, if you’re still not happy with her, it’s okay to walk away.

    • This is all very good advice, thanks so much! And yes, I will give her a chance. I’m working on the age hangup thing.

      Yeah, I’ve never had much luck with therapy, but I wonder if that was because I never really gave it a chance. I’m going to go for the month of October and see what happens.

  • just think of it as you educating her. you’re only making her stronger for her future clients. or ruining her life. either way… it is most definitely your ten bucks.

    wait. now you are paying to teach her? nevermind my plan has flaws. maybe she should pay you?

  • hi, i’m 48, and i’ve been in therapy for one million years. i’m also on meds. i’ve tried different forms of therapy, and i’ve had good therapy and therapists who wanted to date me (that’s bad). i’ve worked with interns and benefited from seeing them, and i’ve worked with holders of PhDs who I thought might not be qualified to work with me. being aware of how you view the intern is really important. age is important. as is gender. if you’re showing up with the intention of healing your life, you’re going to get something of value, though part of that may mean that you realize that the person you’re seeing isn’t right for you. i found a book i like called Making Therapy Work for You, which is really useful, although it’s also quite a bit of work, too. it’s worth it if therapy is something you really want to use to make your life better. in the end i always come back to this: a therapist is a person; therapy is a relationship; it has ALL the aspects of any other relationship, and ALL the potential of any other relationship. finding the right therapist may take time, but you learn a lot along the way. i wish you well and appreciate your blog.

    • This is amazing advice and I will definitely check the book out. Thank you for your kind words, I truly appreciate it.

By Michelle


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