The first time I, yes, went to a shrink was early 2003. No, the shrink wasn't Paul and neither was it my girlfriend-- both psych grads, one of them saddled with a headcase.
Mom was worried--she's always worried-- about my mental health. Why don't I want the things normal folk want, like a degree or nine-to-five employment? Why haven't I married Honey? Why am I so contrary? Why won't I accept the jobs she finds for me?
So, without my consent and prior knowledge, she books me an appointment with a shrink. I am incensed at the patent disrespect and condescension but I go anyway: I've long known I was a head case, and as such, needed the help.
I pretty much rambled for an hour, talked about how imprisoning life at home stuck with mom and pop had felt. I was twenty nine fergodsakes I was still subject to the tyranny of motherhood: all those helpful little recommendations that were really ironclad orders, the nagging, the dismissive behavior (because only mommy knows best)...
I said I'd had dreams of independence and fears that it was never going to happen, as long as I was living in a place where I was going to be constantly judged and found wanting.
I had issues, Ms. Shrink said. I agreed. Then she said she needed my mom to attend our next scheduled one-hour session. Because obviously mom and pop had a hand in this, and had to be part of the solution. I relayed it to mom with that feeling of deja vu...
The funding abruptly stopped and so did the sessions. I was stymied. Again. Just like old times with mom and pop.
Imagine my surprise when my brother tried to broach the idea of head therapy co-starring mom and pop with me as the main attraction. Long term funding, long term attendance, whatever it takes. Mom and pop had been talking about this for some time, and they figure it's a good idea.
Still lamely trying to help, mom? Just figured out that therapy is a family affair? Guess what?
That. Gesture's. A little. Too Late.