Monica Bielanko
A chronicle since 2005 of my marriage & move to Brooklyn in my twenties; becoming a mother in my thirties; moving to Pennsylvania and learning to amicably coparent after divorce in my forties while living 3 doors down from my ex-husband in a small country town.
That's What She Said
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Tuesday
Jun302009

The Girl Who Plays A Mean Defense

Last week TheRapist asked me to outline my childhood. I proceeded giving her the run through. Mom knocked up. Forced to marry Dad. Mormonism. Family. Excommunication. Dad moves away. Food stamps. Mom at work all the time. Blah blah blah. At one point she stopped me and asked me to repeat what I'd said. I obliged and then she slowly and deliberately repeated it back to me.
"That makes my heart ache for you," she said to me.
"Yeah?" I replied evenly.
"Don't you feel terrible for that little girl?" she tried again.
"I guess. Doesn't everyone have their Shitty Childhood Story?"

At one point I got the distinct impression she wanted me to cry. As if tears for my childhood would be some sort of breakthrough therapy moment. This made me chuckle.

During these types of Therapy Moments I float above myself. I observe the fidgety brunette sitting there on the couch next to Serge. I hear her nearly constant nervous laughter as TheRapist zeroes in, asking questions while staring hard at her client. I evaluate the therapist evaluating me. I envision her eating dinner with her husband and telling him the strange peccadillos of this one couple she counsels.

I like her a lot. She has proven herself astute. An excellent observer. But that doesn't stop my brain from cartwheeling through its usual obstacle course of weirdness.

She says I learned to take care of myself from a young age and have adopted my "tough exterior" as a defensive tactic to the outside world but I'm really a very sensitive individual. She says my nervous laughter is a defense mechanism to keep from revealing how I really feel.

I warn her that I don't want to become too involved in boohooing about my childhood. Is over with, I've moved on. Too many others in my family have spent years dwelling in and on the past. I don't see the point. She tells me it's important to understand where my behavior patterns come from. That talking about my childhood will help me understand why I behave the way I do with Serge or with anyone, really.

Makes sense.

Still, I can't wait for the glaring spotlight to swing toward Serge and his own fucked up youth so I can take a breather... my back was sweaty after that last session.