That's the title of Julian's book recommendation (generally recommended on his website, he's not mentioned it to me personally).
The first story, of the same name, is sort of a cautionary tale about doctor/patient involvement. That's not directly or ultimately the message, but it's a driving force. And the celebrated psychiatrist author comments that the therapist will always have this elevated position, and that's why he believes they should never get into relationships with their patients.
I'm still in a puddle, I'm crumbling at just the thought of today, actually audibly sobbing, I never do this, I never do this, how many times have I, in the 10 days writing this blog, done THIS, and stated that I never do this? But today is bad, it's really bad, I actually had no control over my behavior for a couple minutes, and it wasn't any extreme behavior, just a little burst, and sniffle, and another one, angry ones, that I didn't want there, and I didn't want to be there, and I didn't want to look at him. The usual slow rolling tear, the gentle reflection... it's different... I don't but I could stop them if I wanted, easily.
Not today, and I'm still hurt and angry, tearverged, all day, left work early and my boss called me and I was all ready with the I'm-a-wreck non-excuse that flies at strip clubs and other mob-run establishments, and he was like, I was just calling to see if anything happened to you, you safe at home, come back if you feel like-- and I just COULDN'T deal with how nice he was and managed (this time) to duck away before blubbering like a fool.
I wonder if this is some therapeutic breakthrough, it is always is in the movies, troubled, guarded misfit bursts into tears in the office, into the arms of their sage doctor, (where's my hug?) and triumphantly transforms into a graceful, happy, healthy member of society.
Come what may. I'll take a breakthrough. I'd actually be kind of happy, to, for once, be textbook SOMETHING, to be someone's success, to be making such rapid progress, in the textbook fashion, the psychodynamic process. I don't believe in it, in that, Freudian crap, and Julian probably doesn't either, in fact he doesn't believe that immediate family environment or early childhood experiences have much effect on the personality at all, but that doesn't mean he discounts the whole transference thing... It's probably accepted in general... I have no idea.
So I drove home, furious, composing my e-mail all the way, and wrote it up, and sent it, and, characteristically, triggerhappily, immediately started an amendment, which I drafted up for a respectable chunk of an hour, 20-odd minutes of straight outpour with no break for revision, missing his response. And then I got the response, and Oh! I hadn't received it yet before I sent this off-- hey maybe don't read it?
But he did, several hours later, when he got home, I guess, and he responded, and his response was, well God knows I read into every word, but, it was, as it is always, necessarily, formal and brief, but it was to the effect of,
Siobhan, I can't do justice to what you've said in an e-mail so I will have to wait until Friday. I don't mean to leave you unanswered and I will try to address everything you've raised in person.
I appreciate what you say and how you say it.
So, there, I did it, I paraphrased, and it doesn't really look like, anything. But he doesn't usually respond to the e-mails at all. But but but. But nothing. Anyway. I outpoured, and immediately regretted it, imagining Elena's disapproval. I told him I felt like he wasn't listening, like he didn't care, and that I know it was just the time, and not disinterest, but that I wondered anyway, that I have no idea how his job works, how his mind works, what he is listening for and how many times he's heard it before, what his own pain is, that it's palpable, some days, that I know it's inappropriate to ask, but that I wonder, I wonder, and I'm worried, that I'm sharing so much to someone who doesn't care beyond 45 minutes, even though I know, that's how it goes...
And God, this is textbook transference. "Transference," the transferral of one's feeling toward one thing to another, the reenactment of X, Y, and Z in the therapeutic setting. I said as much, self-discovered, in the e-mail, that I usually (if wrongly) feel like people don't care, and that when they interrupt or just have otherwise clearly not been listening I shut down and get upset... But... that's not transferral, or it's been transferral as long as I've been that way, oversensitive to that...
God, I can't look at that word. I don't even know how to spell it anymore.