Letters of Import: Private Writings to a Psychoanalyst
Incompetency Revealed 10
Written by Jennifer Kiley
Illustrated & abstract digital art by j. kiley
First Published Tuesday March 19th 2013
Published Early Tuesday AM
Tenth Posted May 21st 2013Tuesday, December 3rd 2007
He returned. Group went back to its repressive normal. No one got to speak except him and his favorites. The only words out of my mouth were: “I am feeling extremely anxious.” And I added, as a dig, “The group was different having a woman lead it. Annie was amazing. Everyone got to talk. We actually had interactions happening.”
He cut me off with his dumb gibberish as he stumbled over his words and mumbled them. It irritated him like Hell that his position had been challenged by me and by a novice, Annie. Let him feel intimidated. The way he tries to undermine me in our private sessions.
He is always acting as a catalyst to draw Brad out. Maybe its time he saw the way he behaved as a less than competent psychotherapist. If he was like this since he started his practice, I don’t understand how he kept his clients faithful. I suppose when you’re desperate and psychologically fucked up you want anyone who will listen. And you fear finding someone new, who might make demands that you are not ready for, and change is scary and someone different could be worse. Plus starting out again with someone new would be so exhausting. It was easier to stay put and take what I felt I deserved and maintain the limited stability I had at the time.
My mistake is I don’t want to cure my agoraphobia. Not right now. It is too fucking terrifying. I don’t want to go out into the world. It just fucks me up more being exposed to it. It is extremely dangerous. I am too sensitive. I feel everything anyone around me is filled with intense feelings. It is overwhelming. At the psych clinic, I hate walking into that place when there is anyone in the waiting room. It’s a nightmare. My brain is bombarded with a total freak out. I need to be rescued. And he is always late and too many people are waiting. I try not to make contact but usually someone wants to talk. Leave me alone. I hear the screams in my head, ‘can’t you all see that I am mad. I will blow-up if you approach me.’ Not really, but I want everyone to just leave me to my quiet. I am trying to pull myself together for my therapy session. I think and I mean: ‘What the Hell are they doing there. Don’t they want to do the same thing? Preparing to tear out their hearts and display them for their own therapists. Leave me alone to concentrate and be ready for mine.’
Annie, I wish you could have been there. He finally came out to get me. I’d say rescue me but it was more of a bother, I think to him, to have to walk all the way from his office to retrieve me so he could spend our next 45 minutes, if I was lucky to get that amount of time. He always shorted me on my time. It is technically suppose to be 50 minutes but I am lucky if I get a full 45. But I shouldn’t complain, most of the time I can’t wait for the session to be over. And he is exacting about that. He doesn’t allow you to even pull things together before he utters the words: “Time is up.” He cuts me off in mid-sentence and mid-trauma but I don’t feel he even notices it.
This particular day, I was telling him about the way I felt Angie was treating me in group. She was jumping on every word I said. I was talking about one of our very special cats dying over the day before and that I was devastated. His name was Dylan James Thomas and we raised him from the time he was about 3 1/2 weeks old. Someone had thrown him out inside a McDonald’s bag. Fortunately, someone kind had found him, they brought him to the local animal shelter. I volunteered there. That next morning the director called me and asked if I had the time and would I like to foster a very little kitten who was in great need of care. He would need special food and hand-feeding through a bottle. Without hesitation, I had “YES” out of my mouth before the director could say another word. I explained to Scottie in between talking to the director. Told him I would be right there. It was rough going with “Dylan James Thomas”. He developed an upper respiratory infection. He slept between Scottie and I. Scottie gave him extra hugs and held him all night while I slept. She told me before I picked him up that we could not keep him but she fell in love him the way I did when I first set eyes on his tiny little body and his small sounding meows. I was hooked and I knew Scottie would be taken in the way I was. I was right. It took her less than 48 hours to agree that “Dylan James Thomas” needed to be a member of our family. I, also, believe it was the long nights of loving care and healing energy that closed the deal.
Anyway, Angie was all support and I am sorry until I said that I was also really sad about the death of someone I admired and I had loved her family from the time I was a teenager. The person who had died was a famous actress that I admired. I have this sensitivity to certain people who effect my life. I may not know them personally but they have entered my heart. Her mom was one of those people that touched my life, also. I felt a closeness to her and to her family. And I was devastated when I heard of her accident and I prayed that she would pull out of her coma, with no way of knowing that it was irreversible. When her death was announced it put me into emotional shock. My mind could not get around that she was dead. I felt such pain for her whole family, her husband and two boys, and her mother and her aunt and uncle. The devastation that her mom should have to lose her daughter, so young. I felt in emotional pain. Well, Angie was a bitch. She could understand my being upset by my cat’s death but an actress that I didn’t know. She didn’t get it and casually dismissed my pain as ridiculous. That was not only insulting but a cold reaction. We were in a therapy group not in a room full of people who are suppose to judge what we feel.
As I expected. Mr. Xxx felt I should try to understand where Angie was coming from. And why should I try to understand where she is coming from when where that place is a dark hole filled with cruelty and patronizing blanket statements of judgment and a total lack of understanding and sensitivity. I am the way I am and don’t need to go to a therapy group or therapist and be told that my feelings don’t deserve to be respected and trashed instead. I should be allowed whatever emotional reactions that I feel and when I bring them up in group they don’t deserve someone’s insensitivity because they lack compassion and the ability to understand something that is different from the way they might react. They should allow the person who is upset the space to express what they are feeling and to shut the fuck up and stifle themselves from putting them down because they don’t understand why they are feeling upset. Just shut the fuck up and allow them to have their feelings and to respect them whether you understand them or not.
I don’t need to tell you much more but I want you to know that the level of Mr. Xxx’s incompetency echos through all who have him as a therapist. He should have intervened on my behalf in the group. You, as least, tried to cover for him by telling Angie that some people have strong feelings for those they admire in the arts. What Madison is feeling is quite understandable. First, she loses a cat she adores and has loved practically from his birth and moments later finds out that someone she cares about in the field of entertainment and from a favorite and famous acting family, has also died so suddenly, leaving behind a grieving mother, husband and two sons. This can be devastating. Madison is a highly sensitive person and feels deeply for everyone and to have the reaction she has is not unusual among a great many people. So, I think you should try to find some understanding for Madison and what she is going through and try to put yourself in her place.
You said all that while my therapist sits like George W. Bush did the day of September 11th, staring into space and not reacting at all while buildings were exploding from planes crashing into them. You so outshine him, it is embarrassing that he is the leader and you are the intern. I thank you for your sensitivity to recognize I was in pain and it made no difference what was causing it. In our private session, he came out in favor of Angie, as if it were a competition. He should have been giving me my therapy not denying me and giving all his support to another person not in that room with us. But I should know better than expect anything that is positive coming from him. No support. No encouragement.
I hope you are seeing and getting what I am trying to convey to you. I need a new therapist and I want that psychoanalyst to be you. When you have accomplished receiving your degrees and you are licensed, I want you to consider seriously of taking me on as one of your first clients. Please for the sake of my confidence and sanity. I really don’t know how much longer I can take seeing Mr. Xxx as my incompetent therapist.
I want you, your insight, your intelligence and intuitive nature and your gentleness to be my guide. When that day arrives I will feel like I will be reborn. I wish I could say these words directly to you. Someday, I hope that I am able to.
At this moment I am not trying to be a coward, but I feel if I hold back now or never send this to you, then I am freeing myself up to write whatever I wish without need of censorship. Maybe someday, when I am feeling more familiar with just who you are and what you might mean to me, this parameter will be altered and a copy of this and future letters will be relayed to you. For now I want to maintain secrecy, to protect you, Annie, and to protect myself from over testing the boundaries between us and to record the development of our relationship.
I want Annie Haskell to trust me. I want you to know I am trying to protect you and also myself from any humiliation. Writing to you in this way frees up my words as I speak them onto the page. Some future date, if I feel trusting enough, I will release to you what I have written in honesty. Right now, I will keep my words confidential. On my honour, no others shall see these pages, I promise you that.LE CHATEAU DE ROCHERQUOTATIONS from: LETTERS of IMPORT: Private Writings to a Psychoanalyst
The beginning always starts out with a dream.
It is all a dream
And we are all players
In our own nightmares”
— Madison Taylor
“For that fine madness still he did retain,
Which rightly should possess a poet’s brain.”
“Who ever loved that loved not at first sight?”
Christopher Marlowe for “Hero and Leander”
“A therapeutic relationship is often more psycho-emotionally intimate than a marriage, or a romantic attachment. I know things about my patients that they would never dream of revealing to their spouses or families. Why is that? One word — trust. If you do not have a connection with a therapist, you cannot trust them. If you do not have trust, you will not expose yourself, and if you do not expose your innermost being, what good is the therapy?” — unknown but ask any great therapist
“Men have called me mad, but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence…whether much that is glorious–whether all that is profound–does not spring from disease of thought…” — Edgar Allan PoeQUOTATIONS of INCOMPETENT:
“The problem with incompetence is its inability to recognize itself.”
― Orrin Woodward, L.I.F.E. Living Intentionally For Excellence
“On the roads of failure, it is not uncommon to see the tears of the talented; and in the land of success, to hear the victorious screams of the incompetent!” ― Mehmet Murat ildan
DEFINITION: without adequate ability, knowledge, fitness; failing to meet requirements; incapable; unskillful. Not having or showing the necessary skills to do something successfully. Ineptitude. Professional incompetence.