Walking into Healer Lady’s office last week was like walking into a republican’s campaign headquarters. I felt like a total impostor, and I fantasized about taking bold action that would sabotage the success of the candidate – in this case me. But my friend’s voice was in my head, telling me to suck it up and tell Healer Lady about the hots.
I think I said the usual “hi,” but I can’t even be certain of that because I was too busy having an out-of-body experience.
Taking my place across from her in the chair that I always feel like such a slouch in, she asked, “What are we doing today?”
Ugh. The moment had arrived.
The details are murky, but what I do remember is that I stated that I had something incredibly uncomfortable to share. I took the very valiant (it was indeed valiant) step and said something to the effect that I kept thinking about her. At some point she asked if my thoughts were “romantic,” which I distinctly remember because a) I wanted to throw up, and b) I hate that word. It conjures up this:
Nice pecs, but still gross.
It’s true. Somehow, I’ve got the hots for Healer Lady.
Not my therapist.
When I recognized it, I told myself it’s that she’s easy on the eyes, good at her job, has a friendly personality and a southern accent – so what’s not to like.
The attempt to minimize it failed and I completely freaked.
There is one problematic layer after another with this. Let me name the top issues:
- She’s my therapist. Statement of the obvious, but I still need to put it on the record.
- I haven’t had the hots for anybody since Sweetie came into my life. No, I’m not asexual. Sweetie can attest to that. And there’s really not a day that goes by that I don’t check somebody out. Sweetie can also attest to that. But having the hots is different.
- I see Healer Lady twice a week. There’s no escape.
- It’s wacked.
So I talked to a friend about this situation. She was completely blasé, and laughed as I squirmed. Speaking in an utterly amused tone, she informed me that it’s a common occurrence in therapy and that it actually has a name called transference. As relief began to settle in she dropped this doozy: “If it’s interfering with therapy, you gotta tell her.”
Picture of a confession.
The prospect of sitting across from Healer Lady and casually dropping that I’m preoccupied with thoughts of her helped me readily determine that everything was copacetic and it would all pass like a bad cold.
The unfortunate revelation that the hots were indeed impeding therapy forced me to reconsider telling her.
Here’s the problem: for a couple of weeks, I’ve struggled to talk about the teacher in therapy. Shame manages to overwhelm any ounce of courage and suppress language. I literally can’t speak at times, and I’m uncertain how to say what needs to be said.
Throughout therapy, this has always been the case when discussions have led to the teacher, but the difference now is that there is something that feels oddly similar about my relationship with Healer Lady and the teacher. I can’t articulate it. It’s just a feeling.
So, I told her.
Stay tuned for Part 2: The Confession.