Well last Tuesday—that would be March 25, 2008—I drove away from my shrink’s house for the very last time. I suppose I will drive back to that house again, but when I do, I will do so in the capacity of an ordinary person and not my shrink’s client and she, my shrink, will be an ordinary person.
We have terminated. That’s the word shrink people use when therapy stops. It terminates.
People terminate for all sorts of reasons. Sometimes, the person goes for a while; the problem seems to be taken care of and they terminate. Or maybe the person doesn’t like the whole process of therapy or the kind they are getting is not the kind they want, so they terminate. Mostly people terminate, whether they want to or not, because their insurance will cover only a certain number of sessions. Call that a forced termination. Sometimes, a shrink and a client have a big fight and call each other bad names and they terminate. Sometimes the client moves to another town and they terminate. Or maybe the shrink moves to another town with the result being termination. Some times the client dies or the shrink, thus leading to termination.
I have been seeing my shrink since the fall of 1980, I think. For years I figured we would terminate when I got a job someplace else, and then for a while I thought I would terminate when Carol got a job someplace else. I got really pissed at my shrink over the years, but somehow that did not lead to termination. And the way therapy seemsto have worked for me, I would sort of get over one issue, only by managing to dig up another that was deeper down that the first one. So then I began to think we would terminate when one of us died. I figured that would be her since she was older. Though I did not rule out sudden death for myself, thus resulting in termination.
But my shrink beat me to the punch. She decided to let her shrink license lapse. I mean she decided not to renew it. For one thing it costs money to renew the license, and then to qualify for renewal you have to take a certain number of units of classes to stay up with developments in “shrinkland.”
Of all the reasons that one might terminate I had never thought of the idea of termination by failure to renew shrink license. That seems pretty mundane and insufficiently dramatic. Sure I should have seen the writing on the wall. My shrink is 85 years old, I think. She is still pretty spry, but she doesn’t get out all that much anymore, and she has that macular degeneration thing going on.
I guess I am thinking about it because for maybe the last six months, I would call her about now on a Monday morning to see if she would available for Tuesday (tomorrow) which is when we have been meeting for the last couple of years. I started calling six months back to see if we were still on for 1 pm Tuesday because she started having different medial issues that sometimes interfered with the Tuesday appointment time.
But today I will not call because we have terminated.