Little Blind Girl goes to therapy

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Diagnosis:  Doomed! by JD Hancock on Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/jdhancock

Despite the fact that I am an INTJ and therefore more likely to solve the problem of world hunger than talk about my feelings, I’ve tried therapy.  I made honest efforts, even though I privately thought it was all pseudo-science and guesswork and I could do just as well with a journal for, well, the price of a journal. But I acknowledge that there are, occasionally, things about which I am not entirely correct, if only by the law of large numbers.  I’m right so often that I have to be wrong every once in a while, just to keep the universe from collapsing. (Right now, my Sainted Mother is doing some collapsing of her own, from laughter.)  So, hey, maybe one of those things I was wrong about was therapy, right?  Wrong.  So, so wrong. So very, very wrong.  Just in case the world needed more evidence of why INTJs and psychology don’t mix, here is an amalgamation of Therapy Sessions I Have Had:

Well-meaning Therapist:  So, littleblindgirl, what brings you to my office?

littleblindgirl:  A car.

Well-meaning Therapist:  Sorry, I meant, why did you make an appointment to talk with me?

littleblindgirl:  Why are you sorry?

Well-meaning Therapist:  I just–I mean–I just phrased the question badly.  I’m sorry.

littleblindgirl:  I’ll forgive you if you want me to, but you shouldn’t be sorry.  You should be more clear.

Well-meaning Therapist:  Well, thank you for that.  Now–

littleblindgirl:  You’re welcome.

Well-meaning Therapist:  I beg your pardon?

littleblindgirl:  Isn’t that what one says after being thanked?

Well-meaning Therapist:  Oh–I suppose–I mean–

littleblindgirl:  Because if the rules on that have changed, I really think someone should have told me.

Well-meaning Therapist:  It’s fine, I just–

littleblindgirl:  I can’t be blamed for saying the wrong thing if I’m saying what used to be the right thing but isn’t anymore because someone changed it and didn’t tell me.

Well-meaning Therapist:  That’s very true–

littleblindgirl:  I mean, I think these societal rituals are meaningless wastes of time and they bore me to tears, but I engage in them because it makes other people slightly less awkward to be around.

Well-meaning Therapist:  (grasping desperately at something remotely resembling therapy):  Do you often feel awkward around people?

littleblindgirl:  Changing the rituals without proper notification just makes things more awkward, which defeats the purpose.

Well-meaning Therapist:  True, but back to the “awkward around others” part–

littleblindgirl:  It doesn’t make sense.

Well-meaning Therapist:  (surreptitiously clutches stress ball) What doesn’t make sense?

littleblindgirl:  (gazing severely at Well-meaning Therapist) I thought your job was to listen.  If you had been listening, you would know perfectly well what doesn’t make sense.

Well-meaning Therapist:  I was listening!  Now, I want to talk about how you feel awkward around others–

littleblindgirl:  If you’re not going to listen, I don’t understand why I should continue to pay for these sessions.  I can write in a journal if I want to express myself to something that doesn’t listen.  For that matter, I could run for political office if I wanted to express myself to something that doesn’t listen.

Well-meaning Therapist:  Stop!

littleblindgirl:  (taken aback) Stop what?

Well-meaning Therapist:  Stop talking and listen to me for a minute.  (Pauses to make sure littleblindgirl is actually listening).  Why did you make an appointment to talk with me today?

littleblindgirl:  My friend thinks I may be a robot.

Well-meaning Therapist:  Really?

littleblindgirl:  She may have meant “cyborg”.  It’s a common mistake.

Well-meaning Therapist:  Have you talked to your other friends about this?

littleblindgirl:  How could I do that?

Well-meaning Therapist:  (relieved at finally being able to talk psycho-babble)  It’s all about active communication.  You have to say what you really feel and truly listen to what the other person has to say–

littleblindgirl:  I mean, how can I talk to people who don’t exist?

Well-meaning Therapist:  (stumped)

littleblindgirl:  Isn’t that what you’re for?

Well-meaning Therapist:  You know what?  You’re right.

littleblindgirl:  Yes, I know.

Well-meaning Therapist:  (takes a deep breath, thinks about bilking insurance companies) Why don’t we talk about how that made you feel?

littleblindgirl:  How it made me feel?

Well-meaning Therapist:  Yes.  Tell me what you were feeling when your friend said you might be a robot.

littleblindgirl:  (long pause)  You want me to talk about my feelings?

Well-meaning Therapist:  Yes.  Yes, I do.  I want you to understand that you’re in a safe space and you can open your innermost self to me.  I want to know what’s going on in the heart of the little blind girl.  Tell me everything!

littleblindgirl: (longest pause yet) Are you sure there’s not just a pill I could take?

And there you have it.  One of my therapists, and I’m not kidding about this, fled the country after our first session.  Rationally speaking, I know that probably had more to do with the massive amounts of money he embezzled rather than our therapy session, but I’ve never been sure I wasn’t the trigger.  I mean, if you were facing the prospect of another therapy session with a hardcore INTJ, wouldn’t you run as fast as you could in the opposite direction?  I know I would.  And, hey, while I was right about therapy being a waste of time, that means I was wrong about being wrong about therapy being a waste of time, so the universe need not collapse.  At least, not because of me.

A unicorn, a scorpion, and a monkey walk into a bar

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By gremlinlegions on deviantart.com http://fav.me/d3kh3s4

I’ve always been fascinated by systems that purport to know who you are and what you’re like based on when you were born, the results of a personality test, etc.  For instance, according to the Myers-Briggs typology classification system, I am an INTJ.  That stands for Introverted, Intuitive, Thinking, and Judging.  According to this classification, I am A) a unicorn (I knew it!)–apparently, INTJs are so rare as to make up 0.8% of the female population–and, B) a robot.  I am often perceived as emotionally distant and I make decisions based on reason rather than emotion.  I live mostly in my head, I’m not personable, I’m blunt, and I don’t bother lying because I don’t care what other people think.  I love structure and organization but hate rules, and I would rather chew off my own arm than talk about my feelings.  Or your feelings.  Really, just feelings in general are anathema to me, I’m told.

untitledI am also a Scorpio.  That means I’m intense, passionate, and filled with desire, which is just awkward given the whole INTJ robot thing.  I can be jealous and vindictive when I’m overcome by the aforementioned intense passions, but I am also a caring and devoted lover and am by most accounts supposed to be quite lusty (I know several ex-boyfriends with whom I will not be sharing this blog post specifically because of the helpless laughter some of these “attributes” will cause). I can be cunning and sadistic, but I’m also dynamic, magnetic, and have a hypnotic personality with a marked dark side.  People find themselves drawn to my mysterious and exciting persona (again, not sharing this with ex-boyfriends).

untitled2Then, just when I’m trying to reconcile all these different, mutually exclusive traits, it turns out that I was born in the year of the Monkey per the Chinese zodiac.  People born in the year of the monkey are curious, mischievous, and clever.  We are also dishonest and manipulative, so I guess INTJ monkeys are just doomed to a life of violent inner conflict.   As a monkey, I am supposed to be a playful prankster whose favorite activity is people-watching, and I am considered warm-hearted, gregarious, and likable.  I am a warm-hearted, emotionally distant, gregarious, introverted horn dog who attracts people with my mysterious, blunt mischievousness.  Man, I really am a unicorn! I went through each list to see if there was even one attribute that the monkey, the scorpion, and the unicorn all have in common. Turns out, there is.

We’re all the most likely type to be the model for fictional villains.

This would have come in handy on Career Day back in school. Instead of pamphlets on accounting, medicine, and law, I could have been reading about How to Invade Fictional Territories and Minions: Slaves or Sacrifices? I could have taken a seminar in Boris and Natasha and gone to workshops for moustache twirling (tricky for girls) and evil laughs (very important: you don’t want to end up cackling when what you really want is a good mwah-ha-ha). Risk would have taken on a whole new meaning, not to mention Clue. Ooh! Monopoly! Oh, the evil laughs I could have given while playing Monopoly, if only I’d known. What a different life I might have led if all these horoscopes and categories had been around to tell me who I am. I could be dooming Narnia to eternal winter as we speak.

Or I could, you know, try to figure out who I actually am as opposed to who someone tells me I am. Controversial, I know, but allow me to quote my good friend Socrates: “To find yourself, think for yourself.” Now that’s a typology system I can get behind!