When we were leaving family therapy, Little M tugged at my shirt and said, "Mom, look at the sign. For a minute I thought it said 'the rapists' instead of therapists."
I told her that it was something that many others had noted before about the profession.
I put on my new silver dress and purple lace stockings, fixed my hair and makeup and put on my new little suede boots. It wasn't so bad, heading out alone. In no time, I would be surrounded by women — find a friend. Have a drink. Have another. The bar fills up. I find a friend — a therapist by trade. She tells that "the first person you have sex with, I'm not gonna lie — it's gonna be really hard. I cried all night afterward, the first time after my breakup with ____. But it's got to be done. Just turn off your emotions. "
I'm shaken by what I see as some really fucked-up advice by someone who comes across as pretty emotionally dead to me. Really? Is this what needs to be done? I need to have emotionless sex with a woman I pick up in a bar to get over my ex? Is this the only way? And then I'll cry all night? And this will help me? I fail to see the logic. This sounds like something utterly damaging — and something that would make me miss her even more.
Not that I'm pretending to be above it. Not that it hasn't occurred to me or that I haven't walked down that road in the past. I'm not a saint. Maybe I just know better now. Maybe I'd just rather feel this kind of pain — the pain of loneliness and heartbreak — than that kind of pain — the pain of emptiness and loveless cheap sex. You can't get rid of your emotions — well, actually, you can — but I don't want to. It's the best thing about me. So I'd rather just feel whatever I need to until it heals after it's due time. And that sucks -- but you can't fuck it away in someone else's arms. You'd just be damaging yourself more, and probably another person as well.
Leaving the bar, I head to a birthday party. Champagne. Wine. Cake. Flirting. But who are we kidding? Any woman who would be interested in me is exactly the kind of woman I would want nothing to do with right now. Attracted to someone going through a breakup? What's wrong with you? I don't want to be rescued, I don't want to be comforted, I don't want anything, really. Maybe I just want to be told how hot I look in this new dress — because it doesn't get any better than this ladies! This is all I've got! But that's all I can give...my presence for a few hours, a conversation over drinks, and then it's time to call it a night.