Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Therapy session numero uno

Shrink: So, would you like to tell me why you're here?
Alex: Because my bitch of a sister made me.
Shrink: Okay. Would you like to tell me why you're here?
Me: Because my sister's become a bitch.
Shrink. Alright. And... you?
Dani: I ... don't know. Because I'm stuck being a sister to these two bitches who hate each other now. 

I am not sure the shrink was prepared for us. He tried to unravel the bitchiness. It was difficult.

Shrink: Why don't you tell me why you think your sister made you come here.
Alex: Because she's a bitch.
Shrink: Has she always been a bitch?
Alex: Yes but it was only this year that I couldn't take it anymore.
Shrink: And has she made you go to therapy in the past?
Alex: No.
Shrink: Can you give me an example of what your sister's done that you find bitchy?
Alex: Well, just look at her!

The shrink looks at me. I'm wearing my national costume of black hoodie sweater, jeans, black Chucks, and sunglasses. I stare at him. He looks back at Alex.

Shrink: Well we clearly have our work cut out for us, don't we?
Alex: Maybe you do.

He blinks. The rest of the thing went the same way. 10 minutes in Danielle pulled out her homework and ignored us to do it. It sucked. My life is supposed to be starting in a few months. The problems were supposed to practically be over with. Now this?

On the way home I asked Danielle if she wanted to get drunk with me. "Sure."


Anonymous said...

Well that sucks!

Therapy only works if you participate. Otherwise it's a waste of time and money. Since you can only control what you say during the session(s), I hope you progressed farther than "because my sister's become a bitch" when responding to his questions. Perhaps Alex will subconsiously pick up her cues on how to participate by following the manner in which you repond to the questions.

Yes, your life is about to begin a new chapter after all your hard work and focus to get there. Congratulations. You've already successfully achieved more than many adults far, far older than you. Who's going to run that life--you or a bratty 15 year old?

What does Alex want from you? An apology? Different wardrobe choices? Dump Josh and the three of you move back to the projects? More attention? Reassurance?

You can't change the past so what does she want from you in the future (the next three years)? You can apologize for not making the choices she thinks she might have preferred, but you did the best you could at the time. That's what most parents do anyway. Then, move on. She can stay behind or go on the next part of the journey. That's her choice.

Life, well, it's always something!


Kizz said...

You don't know me from Adam which is maybe why I noticed this when I read your post, "My life is supposed to be starting in a few months. The problems were supposed to practically be over with. Now this?"

Is it rude of me to encourage you to bring that quote to the shrink's attention? I think it's possible that the idea of a new chapter in your life brings up a lot of fear for Alex. She had what she perceived as a cushy deal with (fucking) Aunt Elaine and then everything changed and it was hard. Now you're about to hit a big milestone and perhaps she's afraid of being left behind, being kicked out on her own, being dragged into something she doesn't understand, or even being somehow one step removed from Josh's parents who she's come to love. Something about the possibility rings true for me because she's not just treating you badly, she's treating everyone badly who she might possibly lose.

Just a thought from a stranger, though. Take it as you will!

Good luck. I'm glad you all went to the therapist.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad all three of you are going for counseling together. I hope it will help you all to communicate with and understand each other better. I do wish though you all could be going to Craig. He knows each of you and understands where you all come from.

Anonymous said...

If this shrink is an Upper East Side type he might not understand your background.

My life is supposed to be starting in a few months. The problems were supposed to practically be over with. Now this?

Are you still seeing a shrink of your own? It would be great for you to have support in transitioning to and figuring out the next stage of your life.

Nina said...

Yeah, wow. That does suck.

But I think Kathy has it about right. You can only control what you do/say, and Alex has to make her own choices now.

I hope it gets better Sam. And I can understand after so many years of struggling how it can seem like a kick in the pants to have this rift come up between you and Alex. a way the problems don't EVER go away, they just get different. And hopefully, you get better at dealing with them.

Suzanne said...

Honestly, Alex needs therapy. Not you or Dani. Next time wait in the lobby for her. You have nothing you need to defend and I think that you being there won't allow her to drop the hostility to get down to what is really bothering her.

Alisha said...

I think the first commenter, Kizz, and Suzanne all make really good points. There are certain things you probably want to explain to the therapist as background for your family's situation and for why you're insisting Alex see him, but at least at this stage it doesn't seem like having the three of you (or even the two of you) in sessions together will be very productive. It sounds like Alex needs a place where she can explore what's really going on with her without feeling the need to put up a defensive (aka bitchy) front.

Anonymous said...

Alisha, maybe they need both? Sam and Alex are having trouble communicating, so they need some sort of counseling together. Sam is showing that she is invested in their relationship and in working out their problems together. You are right that individual counseling could be useful for Alex, and your point about putting up a front is insightful, but if Sam sends Alex to individual counseling only, Alex might feel resentful that it is being put all on her and that she is being punished for being the problem and would view therapy as a punishment not an opportunity.

Originally it sounded like Sam and Doug had decided on a femele therapist for Alex for individual therapy. So maybe this male family counselor is in addition. If not, maybe it will be like you seem to outline -- after an initial session or two, individual session for Alex, and then sessions together again later on.

sam said...

I guess a lot of society is feeling extra-crazy lately. We could have waited a few more months or taken this guy shrink. We can barely stand to be in the same room so I figured it was best to do something to make things better even if it's not the something that had been originally planned.

Anonymous said...

We can barely stand to be in the same room so I figured it was best to do something to make things better

You're doing great, Sam.

Elaine said...

I think the person who suggested that Alex is having issues right now because you're about to graduate is spot on. Big transitions can be frightening for a lot of people, and it's a lot easier to be angry than to be scared. She may be wanting to push people away before they leave her.

Russell Dill said...

Maybe if the shrink got you on different sessions so that you, Danielle, and Alex can say whatever you guys want without the other two hearing. They may not want to say it because they think they will hurt you, or make them feel too vulnerable, given the impending change that will probably affect their lives too.

Russell Dill