Someday I’m going to sit down and diagram what is—in my mind, anyway—okay to share with others and what is most definitely NOT okay. I remember once hearing someone say they’d never blog something they wouldn’t share with a small crowd at a cocktail party, and at the time I thought to myself that that was not such a bad rubric, really, even though I personally would have to have QUITE A FEW drinks before sharing at a cocktail party the way I generally do here on the blog.
Regardless. I have some sort of internal this-is-acceptable meter, and it may not match yours, and I’m not saying mine is the One True Meter, but the point is that I have certain tolerances. And I am a delicate flower, sometimes, when those internal lines are crossed.
Most of the time I can make sure everything stays within my self-imposed guidelines, you know. Like, I just don’t blog about stuff I don’t want to share. Easy. But then there are, you know, PEOPLE, who TALK TO ME and stuff. And sometimes they don’t know the rules.
God. It’s SO TIRESOME that everyone in the world doesn’t follow my imaginary rules, y’know?
[Digression: I gave a presentation this weekend on best practices for shopping Black Friday online. For various reasons which I won’t get into right now—lest this aside become even longer and more unnecessary—I was, um, not at my best, come presentation time. I’d had very little sleep, and I was feeling kind of scattered, and so I had this perfectly witty opening to my talk planned, and instead, I got up and started talking, and about the third sentence out of my mouth in explanation of why I love online shopping so much was, “I hate people.” NO ONE LAUGHED. And I just plowed ahead, and later I thought to myself: “Self? Did you just announce to a roomful of people that you… hate people? Are you the stupidest person who ever lived, or what?”]
Now, I think we can all agree that I’m something of an oversharer, myself, so you’d think I’d be pretty patient with other people when they do it. But in reality, the opposite is true; I think it takes really quite a lot for me to feel like we’ve crossed the line into inappropriate discourse, and so when it happens I’m EVEN MORE APPALLED, because, DUDE, how ridiculous does what you’re saying right now how to be for ME to feel like it’s TMI? VERY RIDICULOUS.
And all of that is preface to this: Today I went to therapy. Now, it’s true that the last time I told you about my attempts at therapy, it was a complete disaster, but since then I actually saw someone briefly in a non-disastrous way. And then things were fine and life went along and blah blah blah and it really wasn’t until recently that Otto started doing the whole, “You know I love you and I’m just concerned about you” suggestions that I please either go back to therapy or go on medication or hit him with something extremely heavy and wake him up when I’m in a better mood. Because I love Otto very much and don’t want to hit him with something heavy even a little, I decided to go back to therapy.
Now. I’ve always gone to female therapists, except this therapist is a guy. And that’s… fine. Okay, it’s a little weird. But I like him. I think he’s probably pretty good at what he does. I think I should get over my I-only-like-female-therapists thing, so even though I only saw him a few times before, I figured I’d go back to him rather than starting over with someone else (again). No problem.
So today we did the little intake history thing, and of course the subject of anti-depressants came up, and we had to talk about that. Have I taken any anti-depressants before? Really, the question is which anti-depressants have I NOT taken before. I haven’t been on medication for a really long time, but I have extensive experience with it, is my point.
Here’s where the whole oversharing thing comes in. I say: “Yes, I found Paxil very helpful but I didn’t like the side effects.” Me, I think that’s sufficient. He’s a psychological professional, he should be able to translate that to what it really means. But no, he wants to clarify; he asks me if I found that it interfered with my libido. Fine. I clarify: “Yes, Paxil was great for the depression as long as I was hoping to live a completely celibate life.” He chuckled. I wasn’t too embarrassed. Fine.
The conversation moves on to Lexapro. I say: “I liked Lexapro a lot more than Paxil, but I still had side effects.” Again, I think that’s sufficient. But no, once again, he wants to clarify; he asks me if I found it interfered with my ability to achieve orgasm. Fine. I clarify: “Yes, I think it’s just kind of mean to make an anti-depressant that cheers you up to the point where you want to have sex again but then discover that it sucks.” He chuckled. I was a little embarrassed, but okay. Fine.
Had it ended there, it would’ve been fine. BUT NO. Because he launches into a story about how when his wife took Lexapro she had the same problem and it made her so angry and the whole thing was so frustrating for both of them and… I may have blacked out.
People. While intellectually I understand that everyone (well, okay, almost everyone) has sex, unless we are VERY CLOSE FRIENDS I am not interested in hearing about your sex life. (And maybe not even then.) CERTAINLY if you are seeing me for counseling I want to firmly believe that you are smooth like a Ken doll under your clothes, are completely asexual, and the VERY LAST THING I NEED is to hear a story about whether or not your spouse can get off.
I’m trying very hard not to hold this against him, but… ewwwww. Really, just ewww. He needs to know my issues so we can deal with them, but I am not supposed to know about his. Or his poor wife’s. (Can you imagine that conversation? “Hey, honey, guess what! I was telling a patient today all about that time you were on meds and couldn’t orgasm. How was your day?”)
It occurs to me I totally missed out on an opportunity to suggest to him he save that stuff for his blog. Dammit.