Standing On A Chair

Telling it like I see it…

Rants from the Chair: On What Happens When You Marry Your Shrink – Part 9

I couldn’t believe the position I found myself in.  Starting a…um, “thing” with my shrink while still living with my longtime love Marcus, who was also a patient of my shrink’s.  I swear to God, you just can’t make this stuff up.

So for a while, I continued to live with Marcus while Andrew and I became engulfed in the heady whirlwind of first passion.  We did not have sex, but for a few stolen Sundays together, we took long drives up and down the southern coast of California, eating late afternoon meals in seaside restaurants while loving the Pacific Oceanviews and staring dreamily into each other’s faces.  We had endless, intimate talks of our new desire for each other; our new desire to isolate ourselves from the rest of the world; our mutual desire to have and raise a baby girl while reaping great benefits from Andrew’s wildly successful and important books soon to be written.

But the real world loomed.

“What do we do about Marcus, Andrew?  He’s still your patient, and I’m still living with him.  And what about my therapy?  You can’t still be my shrink, can you?  Should you refer me to another therapist?”

Andrew’s answers seemed reasonable at the time:

He would continue to see Marcus as a patient, but would soon tell him the truth.  “I will have to choose just the right time to do it,” Andrew said.  “I expect Marcus will be angry.” 

And I would leave Marcus right away, not divulging any reasons other than the reality that I wanted more than he could give me. 

And I would continue on as Andrew’s patient.

Manhattan Beach felt like home, so I put a deposit down on a studio apartment a few blocks closer to the beach and actually only a few blocks from where my apartment was with Marcus.

One night I cooked Marcus’ favorite meal for him:  pepper steak, linguini with white clam sauce and steamed, whole artichokes.  While I prepared dinner, Marcus sat in the living room and played some Steely Dan.  Marcus had an amazing music collection.  As I trimmed the tips off the artichoke leaves, I thought about how much I would miss our shared love of music.  I also felt horribly nervous and guilty about what I was going to say to him over his favorite dinner.  How incongruous.  Marcus had cheated on me more than once, which I hadn’t proven because I didn’t want to.  And here I was feeling guilty about hurting him?  There had been nights he never even came home, for God’s sake, always offering some clever explanation and an arm full of roses, which I accepted because I loved the son of a bitch so goddamn much.

So FUCK him, I thought as I sat down to face him across the dinner table, with the deep brown ceramic plates we’d picked up at Pottery Barn a year ago; with matching water glasses; with gladiolas in the center of the table, floating in the tall antique crystal vase we’d bought on Melrose Avenue just a few months prior.

We sipped blended Margaritas rimmed in finely ground sea salt.

“You’ve set a beautiful table, Star,” he said.  He always called me ‘Star.’ 

“Thank you, Marcus.”

“And my favorite food!  What’s the occasion?”

“I am leaving you, Marcus.”

He looked at me, a bite of steak on his fork paused midway toward his mouth.


“I found a little studio a few blocks west of here.  I’m moving out next weekend.”

His fork fell to his plate and for a few seconds he just stared at me.  Then he jumped out of his chair, stomped into the living room and jerked the needle off of Steely Dan with a loud grinding scratch smack in the middle of “Show Biz Kids,” which he knew was my favorite cut on the album.

When he came back to the table and sat down, he reached for my hand but I pulled it back.  “Don’t,” I said.

“Star, I don’t even know what to say.  When did this all start?  Did you stop loving me?  Do you not love me anymore?”

“It’s not so much that, Marcus.”

“Then what is it?  How can you do this to us?  After all this time?  All we’ve done together?”

“Marcus, it’s that…well, I love myself more now.  I even love myself more than I love you.”

He hung his head and stared into his plate for a minute, then he looked at me with a smile that didn’t match his eyes at all.

“You learned that from Andrew, didn’t you?  To love yourself?  Am I right?”

Hearing him mention Andrew’s name gave me a hot jolt. 

“Star,” he said, in almost a whisper.  “Star, Andrew is a great therapist.  It’s obvious he’s helping you.  He has helped you a lot.”

Then he started to cry.  I had never seen him do that before.

I got up out of my chair and walked over to him.  I pulled his head toward me and cradled it between my breasts.  He put his arms around my waste, pressed his face hard into my chest and just balled.

And while I held him for a long time, I stroked his beautiful wavy brown hair and wondered what was going to happen when he found out about Andrew.

Stay tuned for Part 10


August 23, 2011 - Posted by | Psychotherapy | , , , , , , , ,

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