Sigh. Once again someone has admitted to me that they are not being honest with their psychologist.
Why do you even bother to go? Yes, there’s a difference between eventually disclosing all of your issues; that i get. But that’s not what i’m talking about here.
This is a situation where someone is deliberately withholding a compulsion/ desire that she has. We all have desires that we’d rather our friends, family and co-workers not know about. Some want to carve themselves like a Thanksgiving turkey, some want to be a cum dumpster at a swingers club, some want to go behind their wife’s back and have high risk sex in glory holes or anonymous encounters, some want to push that needle back into their arm and so on and so on.
I have my own desires but- and this is the important part- i’m self aware enough to recognize them for what they are. Put simply, they are metaphors. I acknowledge them and i understand what those cravings actually say about me. They’re metaphors about the wounds and pain that make up my past. They’re about asserting my absolute and uncompromising control over someone(s) else in a way that’s entirely about my urges, my insecurities and my insatiable desire to have control of a situation where i never had control before. I absolutely and totally get that.
When i step foot into my psychologists office, there are no secrets. To be honest, there were times when i wasn’t ready to disclose something and that’s fair. It takes time to build trust and it takes time to lay down the foundation necessary to explain everything. But at a certain point, especially when events in your life are changing rapidly and intensely emotional, absolute and unconditional disclosure is mandatory. Especially… ESPECIALLY when you’re basing your beliefs and your actions on the assumption that these desires are normal and/or healthy.
I am particularly sensitive to this for reasons that i won’t go into here.
“Why don’t you tell her (her psychologist)?” I ask.
“I don’t want her to judge me,” she says.
She’s a PSYCHOLOGIST. She has gone through more years of school than most of us ever will. She’s paid to listen and parse and help you see yourself objectively. But therein is the problem- she doesn’t want to see herself objectively. She wants to believe these urges she has are normal and healthy and she wants to feel validated in the way she treats her SO. I’ve heard this bullshit before under the guise of, “femininity,” and even “self actualization.”
No. This is revisionism in the context of cognitive dissonance.
One of the things that everyone can agree about me is that i have an ability to see people and their behaviors for what they are. It’s not like i’m a profiler wannabe or anything like that. It’s more a matter of i am a deeply self-honest person and as someone once told me, “All truth begins with inner truth.” I tend to see people without their facades. There are exceptions but i won’t go into those here.
And the truth is that with her, as with someone else that i used to know, they are using selective disclosure (a common trait among survivors of abuse and neglect) so they can portray themselves as being victimized, so they can rationalize their behavior as an extension of “freedom,” “femininity/ masculinity,” “self actualization,” or whatever manufactured belief they need to grasp.
It’s the same rationale as the heroin addict that sees their addiction as a source of beauty- an absolute and perverted inversion of a destructive habit or craving and trying to turn it into a source of something positive. It is the embodiment of cognitive dissonance.
Unfortunately i do not know this woman well enough to be honest with her. That requires trust and it takes time to build trust. I have no investment in her nor do i care to. Having said that, i am particularly sensitive to both dishonesty with psychologists (and yes, a lie by omission is still a lie) and i’m sensitive to this bullshit notion that taking something that’s inherently destructive, deceptive, risk oriented and the like and trying to turn it into something positive is just laughable and pathetic.
So if you’re going to a psychologist and you’ve decided you don’t need to disclose everything, especially because you’re a coward and feel that you’ll be judged, it’s because… well, let’s be honest- you know you’ve fucked up and your fear of judgment isn’t about feeling judged. What you’re afraid of is that you’ll be seen for what you are and that your psychologist will no longer be able to be as empathic to you. And yes, if she’s a decent psychologist, she’s going to explain that not only is this desire unhealthy but that you’ve laid down a swath of deception, misery and hurt upon others because of your selfishness and inability to be honest.
And as i can tell you, an undeveloped person, particularly if they are a bully, is NOT going to find that acceptable.
Again, i am sensitive to this sort of thing.
So don’t waste your psychologists time. If you’re not going to be honest with him/ her, they aren’t going to have the ability to make an honest assessment of you and your behaviors. Your fear of being seen for what you are is irrelevant. You go to the psychologist for therapy to deal with the wounds and hurt of your past yet you deliberately neglect to give them the information they need so that they can do their job. In so many words my psychologist spent a lot of time with me telling me that i’d fucked up. Of course he was more clinical about it. He was able to help me identify my coping strategies and eventually i had to confess- in contrast to my confidence and self belief, the reality is that i’ll do nearly anything and put up with broken promises, lies and more just for the sake to love someone and to feel that they love me.
It was not nor is it a happy realization. In my previous relationship, i surrendered so much of my dignity, self respect, respect for my ex and my objectivity because i kept using coping strategy after coping strategy after coping strategy until she’d metastasized into someone i didn’t know (by her own admission, she had a new personality) and i’d transformed into someone that was so utterly lonely and morose that she probably couldn’t recognize me either.
All the same, one of my guiding principles is that i will always live with an uncomfortable truth instead of a convenient lie. It is the only path to self respect and dignity. I am a deeply self honest person.
The end results are these: You’re wasting your psychologists time. You’re taking away time from someone else that WILL be honest with your psychologist and in the process, you’re preventing them from being treated. How goddamned and pathetically selfish of you.
And stop wasting YOUR time. You’re not honest with them, you’re not honest with yourself and you’re not honest with the one that you supposedly love. If that’s your idea of love, you’re broken. You’re seriously and profoundly broken but more than that, you have absolutely NO interest in an honest evaluation and diagnosis and you’re no more ready for counseling than you are ready to be honest.
I know she’ll never read this; she doesn’t know me that well. She hit a nerve that i didn’t realize i had.
Even closed wounds still hurt sometimes.