I spent my 30s searching for the perfect therapist and as I type these words I realize that “perfection” wasn’t the point. Damn Good would have been good enough. I may even have had more therapists than boyfriends during those years.
There was K. (to name one) who kept talking about how smart I was (and sure, like anyone, I’m smart at some things and really dumb at others). She didn’t seem to understand that smart and functional could be worlds apart.
And then there was R. He never said anything interesting. I would wait for insight. It was painful.
Listen, switching therapists is not uncommon for those with chronic whatever. We keep trying to find something, someone, that can really help. It’s like the trail and error process of medication. Who can get inside us, hear us, listen, and cough up some practical and inspirational guidance. Maybe Jesus. Maybe no one.
And they say that what sometimes happens is that we leave a therapist when the going gets tough. Kind of like what happens in relationships, ya know? Too close, too intimate, time to go! “You have touched my junk. No one is allowed to touch my junk. My junk cannot bear the light of day. Please close your eyes and leave. Thanks.”
And therapy doesn’t need to be a process without dignity but some of that feels built in. You’re a “patient” or a “client” — someone in need of help and oh yes they make sure we know that seeking help is the big strong grown up thing to do and then they proceed to strangle us with myopic mediocre lack of insight.
I kept giving R. more chances to be deep. It didn’t happen.
A Tarot Reader once told me that I needed to figure out a lot of my stuff on my own, not through therapy. And then the other day was reading an Astrology book that said that where Pluto is in our natal chart (my 1st House meaning ME) is where we must face things alone. And yet Astrology did help me, tremendously, Astrology, Tarot, Readers, Readings, my spiritual process, friends…
After my mother died, in my mid-20s I had an awesome therapist who I’ll never forget. Even though she couldn’t keep me from quitting jobs or drowning in whatever deep end I was trying to swim in, she got me teaching despite my unbearable stage fright. She was that good.
And then when I could no longer teach due to depression or anxiety and I can’t even remember the chain of events, I slowly let it fall apart. Did I even tell her? I don’t remember.
She had that famous Anais Nin quote that everyone quotes all the time hanging up in her office.
She was so… present.
And when I see someone having a long transit to their 8th House, the first thing I think of is therapy of some kind. That it’s time for that kind of exposure. That it’s worth it to find a good person.
Think of it as preventing crisis. That if you root around in your basement and discover a problem with the foundation, a crack that needs repair to keep the elements out… you’re one step ahead. Maybe. And even if bad shit happens, as it sometimes does, you’ll have a support person already there.
8th House transits are green lights but the direction isn’t so much full speed ahead as go underground and dig. And don’t forget your lantern and your snacks and your teddy bear and a sweater. It can get chilly in the Underworld.
I am not a Christian and I don’t know all that much about the deeper meanings of Easter but I do know that Resurrection is possible even while you are alive. That you can spend years dead and buried and then a hand, your hand, reaches up, out of the ground.
Do you have an Easter story?