We all know I am in therapy.
Google sent me ‘up the mountain’ out of my comfort zone to a woman named Linda.
There was a Khalil Gibran quote on her website.
This is the manner in which I chose who I want to let into my head.
Also her willingness to have a one hour, ‘let’s see if this works for both of us’ session, free of charge. I have been to plenty of counselling/psychologists/psychiatrists/social workers in my day and if you don’t vibe with one another it is a waste of time and money. Her approach seemed logical to me.
I asked her very specifically, in a moment of bravery “please, when it comes to the hard stuff I will manipulate the conversation to get out of it. Don’t let me do that. I need you to be tough with me. I want this to work.”
But I must ask, what are the odds that the one random woman I picked out of 50 qualified individuals laid out upon Google maps within a reasonable distance, did her undergrad in deviant social behavior with a focus on strippers and strip clubs?
One in a lot.
This takes a lot of the explaining out of the equation. She just ‘gets’ things that would take time to explain to others. And the judgmental aspect is off the table. I can just be me.
I am currently reeling from her telling me, that in her estimation, my IQ is at a MENSA level. So above 130. Never been tested.
Wait…if she is right that makes me a (oh god)
I’m a MENSA stripper?
That is beyond sad.
There are no words for the sound I just made. A low keening wail?
Strippers and strip clubs are not bad in my estimation, they serve a purpose. That purpose no longer suits mine.
My first thought?
How fucking hard must it have been for people to see this and watch me waste myself?
Followed quickly by WHY DIDN’T ANYONE STOP ME?
2nd What have I done?
3rd…what do I do now?
I should clarify. My thoughts were running amok, like a bull had just broken out of the ring and they were fleeing the stadium.
My first real thought was HOW DID HE KNOW? He who shall not be named called me out on this on my birthday, the day I turned 42 and predicted/called into being a new phase of my life. He said I was one of the most intelligent women he had ever met and I was wasting my life.
Once upon a time, he also said “my psychiatrist knows about you”. I didn’t realize at the time how monumental that was.
- a) My hindsight is impeccable
- b) When I mentioned him to my psychiatrist along with the phrase ‘I didn’t know that was possible’ she answered with a grin and said ‘honey, you should know by now, everything is possible’.
I am digging my shrink.
She happens to think ‘he who shall not be named’ is an incredibly smart man.
So do I.
Sadly, it’s in retrospect.
A trusted friend said, “okay, so you aren’t a stripper anymore, so now what are you going to do.”
In my way of deflecting I replied, “Try out for Jeopardy I guess.”
Flashbacks galore. I am remembering people telling me I was smart.
Recent past. When I went back to work this last time, I went on nights. I didn’t like it, had a hard time adjusting. However, I was allowed to watch Jeopardy with the bartender. And I did so, like a religion. I was happy for half an hour. Didn’t talk to anyone except Mr. Trebek.
Bartender got all the sports questions, I got the rest, and looks of strange reverence from everyone in earshot. I ignored them.
I dominated the board. Now I am not saying being good at Jeopardy is a gauge of IQ or even useful, but this was my happy place at work?
One of these things is not like the others,
One of these things just doesn’t belong,
Can you tell which thing is not like the others
By the time I finish my song?
Did you guess which thing was not like the others?
Did you guess which thing just doesn’t belong?
If you guessed this one is not like the others,
Then you’re absolutely…right! (Sesame Street)
I walked into therapy that day crying and came out laughing. Good session right?
The ramifications of what she said took 8 hours to sink in. And then I wept.
And then…Last night at 11:22 pm I messaged my grade 10 science teacher.
I had been crying for about an hour.
My grade 10 science teacher is an interesting man. Been on my Facebook for a while. Reads what I write sometimes. Sends comments and murmurations of starlings to me because my Facebook says I like these things. I do.
I apologized for the lateness of the message, said I was having a strange day and an existential dilemma.
I asked him specifically if he REMEMBERED teaching me.
He said yes.
I asked, in his opinion based on when he taught me, was I smarter than average?
He said yes.
My grade 8 teacher is on my friend’s list also. I saw her last year. She told me I was her favorite.
She must have taught thousands of kids. How did she even remember me?
Am I more memorable/intelligent than I think I am?
What have I done?
I recalled my last shrink, way back in 2002. He said he had run out of ways to gauge my intelligence a few sessions in. He wanted me to quit too. So I bailed.
I spoke to my old landlord/friend yesterday. Mentioned therapy and the grand revelation. He said “I always thought, after we started speaking…how badly must the school system have failed this girl to have her end up like this.” He met me as a stripper.
I don’t think the school system failed me. I don’t know what happened exactly, that’s why I am in intensive therapy.
I am still reeling from this. I have a lot of guilt at the moment. Which is quickly turning into the drive to make it right.
I feel like I need an adjustment period. Not long.
I am only 42, I still have time to turn things around and be something, someone.
I have changed my life drastically and dramatically before, to the point where I do not recognize the girls and women I used to be. They were scared and small. I am still scared, terrified really, but now I am scared of being small.