My (Imaginary) Therapist, Dr. Redondo

Even my (imaginary) therapist, Dr. Redondo, can’t tell me what I want to hear. Can’t cater to my every whim. She’s not even coddling or pleasant to look at, the way an imaginary therapist ought to be. I thought my subconscious would paint her to look like Sienna Miller in Interview, but instead, she’s more Anjelica Huston in Transparent or one of Picasso’s female abstractions. I tell her everything that comes into my head with the assumption that she will genuinely care and truly empathize with what I’m saying. She does not. To be frank, it seems as though she could be thinking about literally anything else except what I’m saying to her. Maybe that’s because in my imaginary world, I’m not paying her anything for her so-called services.

I can recall exactly the time when Dr. Redondo first materialized at my bedside (the other great thing about having an imaginary therapist is that they come right to your room at the drop of a hat). It was after I got dumped for the second time by the same person roughly one year ago. It really fucked me up, that someone could prey on the ironclad fortress that usually prevented me from becoming vulnerable—managed to trick me into believing I could let my guard down and not get completely eviscerated. I showed him every aspect of my true self, and he eventually ran as far in the other direction as he could, seemingly, to me, without warning. Looking back now, though, I suppose all the signs were there from the outset. So I guess that’s what really fucked me up about it, why I can’t let go.

No matter how many awful things I tell Dr. Redondo about Everett—how he raped me in my sleep when he came home drunk one night and I wrote it off as lust/carnal desire befitting two people in love, how he used to scream at me if I didn’t prepare meals to his liking, how he made me change every facet of myself and still didn’t want to be with me in the end—she never appears to be fully on my side, trying to get me to see “reason” with the objectivity of a dual standpoint, telling me, “Everett has his own childhood issues, his own history to drive the actions that led him to abandon you. His own fear of abandonment was probably a factor.”

“How does that help me, Dr. Redondo?!” I scream at one point, demanding to know how getting into his mind frame is going to help me in any way cure my own mental ills.

“I only want you to comprehend that other people’s actions are not necessarily always a reflection of their feelings about you, so much as themselves.”

“That’s all very comforting, but I still suffer the fallout. The fucking emotional debris of the explosion of abrupt extraction,” I counter.

“Blythe. Our time is up.”

Even my imaginary therapist has a time limit on hearing my bullshit. And she had to wrap things up just when I was about to delve into how I was doomed to be miserable in life precisely because my mother named me after a word that’s supposed to mean either untroubled or blissful—the antithesis of everything about my personality.

The next day, when I tried to conjure her again at my will, she didn’t come through. That’s when I realized, no one fucking cares—not even figments of my imagination—about my problems. It is assumed that their problems are worse or that my problems are embellished and/or being taken too seriously when so many others have far bigger concerns than heartbreak and credit card debt (side note: I am naming my next memoir Heartbreak and Credit Card Debt).

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