i did it. i actually did it. i disclosed my infatuation with my therapist to my therapist.
she seemed unaffected by it. unfazed. what i felt as profound embarrassment, she saw as “transference” which she said was very normal. i said i did not know that much about transference beyond what I saw on TV, like in The Sopranos or In Treatment, but i did not think those dramatic scenarios would ever apply to me because that kind of transference is such a cliché, which might be the one thing i probably am not. because i am not the transference kind. or, i don’t do transference. at least not very well.
actually, let me take that back. i am totally the transference kind. everything i see, think, do or feel is a transference. i can’t think of anything that is not transferable.
i told her that this was very uncomfortable for me because i could only imagine how uncomfortable she must be because if i were in her shoes, i would feel very uncomfortable. To which she responded, “well what if one of your students admitted something similar to you?” i could not fathom that ever happening, since i do not really teach.
but it is true that in those instances where a friend reveals an infatuation with me which is not at all mutual, i feel very uncomfortable being around that person. Of course, I maintain the friendship, but from a distance, maybe in more subtle ways. Because self-consciousness creeps in… I become almost vigilant in not giving off anything that might be read by that friend as a sign of hope for my change of heart.
and that is the only lens, the only framework i have for imagining, speculating how my therapist must feel.
finally, she said “we only have 2 minutes left tonight. what will you do after this?” i said i would probably grab dinner somewhere.
It turns out she was not being literal. She simply wanted me to tell her how I would feel when the session ended.
Shamed? Humiliated? Scorned? Disgraced beyond redemption? The object of ridicule for every LCSW in the metropolitan area?
As i was putting on my coat while walking out the door, i added, “i guess i’d like to make sure that i am not making you uncomfortable.”
“So it sounds like you’d like my reassurance?,” she asked.
“i guess so.”
but she would not offer any reassurance because i think her job is to help me understand me, which means taking herself out of the equation. now i just have to figure out a way to take myself out of the equation too.