(or How Do You Mend a Broken Heart?)
Whenever I need to engage in some emotional self-flagellation, I know exactly where to go. The ex-therapist still maintains a very active Twitter feed, and if I am stupid enough to look, I am bound to find something there that upsets me and makes me feel bad about myself. I had stopped lurking altogether, for a time, but as the seasons started to shift and the cooler weather finally arrived, my psyche felt pulled back, still trying to reconcile the events of the past year. A year ago she first told me she was sick. In a few more weeks, it will be a year since our last session. And in a few more weeks after that, it will be a year since she dumped me. I can still feel it all deep in my bones: the fear, the disruption, the panic.
The ex-therapist has tweeted ad nauseam about how clients have “agency” and don’t have to read or follow any of her postings online. I find this defense to be ignorant at best, and grandiosely self-justifying in reality. She probably knows that she should be more careful with her tweets and words, knowing that there are clients and ex-clients out there, but she just can’t help herself. So she constructs this elaborate justification for her actions, to make it all seem reasonable and okay. The problem with this outlook is that the relationship between therapist and client can be intimate and intense in a way that is unlike any other relationship. It’s also imbalanced, with the therapist usually knowing more about the client than vice versa. So it is only natural that the client will seek out any information available to try to make sense of the person on the other side of the couch. And the ex-therapist made that information so tantalizingly available, like leading a kid into a candy store. It is irrational to then expect the kid to not indulge in the candy laid out before them.