My mom’s in therapy. FINALLY! Who does she think she is, ignoring her mental health when I’ve blamed my lack of mental health on her my whole life? Shouldn’t the chicken get therapy before the egg? Or maybe the egg should have therapy first? Was she the egg or the chicken? I hate egg whites. How can people eat them? They’re like viscous rubber. Or mildly solid boogers. Sorry, got sidetracked…
So my mom started therapy last month and asked if I’d come up to Santa Barbara to meet with her therapist. I smelled an ambush afoot wherein I’d be forced to admit I was a sullen, unforgiving grudge-holder and that yes, my mother did get married four times and that might have been unsettling for a child, but that she was also the warmest, most loving, hugger and snuggler ever. Which she was. She also handmade me blouses with puffy sleeves that I refused to wear when I was 8, so I should cut her some slack. What-ev.
One week later I found myself sitting on a couch in a beautiful Craftsman home/mental health clinic waiting to have a session with my mom.
I relished the moment I’d tell the therapist all about my mom’s relationship with the one-eyed ex-con when I noticed a young man sitting across from us drooling.
He’s staring at us with fierce hawk eyes. He’s not the beautiful kind of hawk that floats a-wing above the American flag, but a hawk suffering from raptor disease about to ravage a 70-year old Johnny-come lately mental patient and her mental 46-year old daughter.
Some of the drool lands on his meticulously ironed checked shirt. Great, I try to do something nice for my mother and I end up eviscerated in a B&B style mental clinic.
Suddenly the front door to the clinic opens and a gorgeous young man comes in. Thank God! Just look at that handsome mug riding in on his white steed to rescue us. Because handsome equals good, right? (Ted Bundy wasn’t that handsome) I smile gratefully upon him. He smiles back. Whew.
He’s probably in here for some mild form of mental…
CLICK CLICK CLICK. A distinct glottal clicking issues from the back of his throat. CLICK. CLICK. CLICK. He’s still smiling at me – now maniacally – as his head spasms with each click and the other guy stares at us sitting in a puddle of his own drool.
When my mom’s therapist, Meg, calls us into her office, we fly there, double-bolt the door behind us and fall upon each other in love and gratitude that we are still alive. Apparently therapy does work.