“I swear lesbians give the best advice ever,” I said, absently, possibly offensively, to my lesbian therapist. Her office is warm and smells very strongly of lavender. The combination sometimes makes me dopey. “Seriously, I never leave a conversation with one of you guys that I don’t feel I’ve come away with something valuable.”
That’s not true, though. I really just have two overtly wise lesbians, one, my husband’s best friend Lex and Lisa, who I pay to be wise. The rest of my lesbians are pretty regular.
She’s been my therapist since I was pregnant with my first child and my world came down like a shattered fun house mirror, every shard slicing me on the way down. I picked her out of the phone book. I left a voice-mail and was shocked when she called me back, herself, within the hour, to get to know me.
Today I wanted her to tell me why a woman named Jan doesn’t like me. Cuz everyone, providing we don’t share any of the same DNA, goddamn likes me. That’s my thing. I’m like-able.
Oh that Jan. I like her just fine. She is highly educated and a public speaker. But she is withdrawn in social settings, wearing clothes that risk no notice. Whenever we’re at the same party, I’ll sit somewhere central (cuz I’m a voracious attention whore-I admit this) and I will crack up the entire ROOM (desperate need for approval yes, I admit this too) and Jan will sit there, staring me, not a single facial muscle moving.
I’ve tried every approach. The largest of which was just plain friendliness. I asked her for ideas about naming my SON, for heaven’s sake. And she responds to my questions with brittle one word answers so tart they sting my ears. My mind fills in her silence. “Go home, you little brat. You are severely over-estimating your appeal.”
Lisa is the best psychological care giver I’ve ever had. But….she also believes she has Second Sight, can talk with the dead, and read the hearts of the non-present living.
“Okay. Jan. Jan. Let me tune into her for a second.”
I wince, like I always do. I am amenable to much of Lisa’s philosophy. That we can think ourselves sick, for instance. After all, in the 19th century there was no such thing as germs. Because we couldn’t see or measure them yet. Maybe there’s lots of physical things we can’t see yet.
But the clairvoyance, ehh. That’s just…ehh.
She doesn’t use her abracadabra that much. She quotes Jung a lot, relies on the schooling that DIDN’T take place at the foot of an unbathed shaman, and speaks loving, piercing logic at every turn. Gus once described her as “a wizard with a tool-belt. If the wand doesn’t work she breaks out the hammer and screwdriver.”
“I think…hmm. I think you’re reflecting a part of Jan that she’s not comfortable with. She probably at one point in her life enjoyed attention, but for some reason she quashed it in herself. To see you revel in it is highly annoying.”
The clock ran down then and we didn’t have time to discuss how I should handle Jan disliking me. But after six years I think I know what Lisa would have said.
“That’s her struggle. Project love her way, and release the need to force her to like you.”
Sometimes it’s neither wand nor tool-belt…but more like an magic potion that happens to be made out of actual antibiotics. Good for what ails you, body and spirit.