Did my shrink say she was an expert in ADD? If so, why was she being so callous?
by Jane D.
It's discouraging. It's ugly. Lately I've encountered a litany of married men who reek of cheating.
I had lunch with one of them today, a big fat bear of a man with funky purple rimmed glasses, who is on his third wife, and who basically told me his entire love history over really bad Chinese food.
I met him at an Asian food seminar—one of the many, many events that I've been packing my life with to squelch the silence—where he was observant of me in the most slimy way. He had noticed I was on a date with another man, but said that it might have been fate that we both sat in the same row.
I don't know why I accepted the invite to have lunch with him. It was a free meal, but a meal that came with a heavy price. I felt as if he were verbally molesting me as I scanned the menu. Was I single; when I dined out, whom did I dine with—other men? No, my mother, I wanted to say, with a roll of the eyes. He asked me how old I was. I said I was a rabbit; I don't go by age but rather by zodiac. (Let him figure it out.)
I kept thinking to myself: Here I am, eating some version of Shanghainese fried chicken and beef, and this man is hitting on me. He's married to someone out there, and if I were that woman, I'd be pissed. Really pissed. The conversation fizzled after I asked about his wife and his boys, who are basically around my age. I definitely have a way with men and attract them like Tom to Jerry.
This morning, I once again slept through the alarm, but no wonder. Last night, around midnight, I found myself manically doing things that most normal people would do methodically. I washed a pile of dirty dishes, moved Marilyn into his new home (after a month of living in a Ziploc container). I'd finally purchased a real fish bowl at the Petco, and noshed on chocolate wafers at the same time. Marilyn hasn't been the same since the accidental tsunami. It's been sinking to the bottom in submarine fashion. "Maybe it's depressed. Betta fish get depressed, too," the girl at the Petco suggested.
Then, I realized that once again, I'd be late going to the therapy session. I have a new shrink and already she has a sense that I am a serially late person. I ended up jumping into a taxi (and paying the $13 penalty), and huffing and puffing my way into her office, looking like a mad woman.
“Are you sure this time is good for you?" she asked. "Because you seem like you're all over the board."
I felt a lava-like anger erupt. Did this shrink say that she was an expert in ADD? If so, why was she being so callous? I turned the conversation to men, transforming what was to be a useful hands-on session about how to organize a job search into a Sex and the City episode about why I was attracted to bad boys and unavailable men.
The shrink said that I needed to cultivate a jerk radar, culling out the men who weren't meant for me early on. I told her that I longed for a man who was more attentive, more obvious, and more communicative. I wondered if maybe it was the ADD again. It seems like I need everything clear-cut, and I added I don't trust people's actions and body language.
Most importantly, I need to trust myself more, she suggested. "Why do you always think it's you that did something wrong?" she asked me.
Wasn't it obvious? I wondered.