I worry about criticizing my therapist – in print, anyway. When I talk about her to friends and acquaintances, I’m much more blunt. In conversation with one coworker, I called her a dip. I’ve said that she was no good, harmful, useless, that she was an idiot.
I don’t know how fair this is, but it’s interesting how difficult it is to say this when I’m writing seriously. Or, rather, how much my opinion changes when I’m writing like a writer.
I’ve talked about how transition began to feel professional – as though I had been hired and was attending periodic performance reviews. That is, I felt as though my transition was more about my ability to perform – as a man, as a transsexual, as a patient – and I was concerned with seeming both active and cooperative.
Creative writing, for me, is professional as well – at least since I entered a program to oversee my development as a creative writer. That program culminates in a thesis – a longform nonfiction work about my transition and retransition, certainly including my process through therapy and interactions with my therapist. So my new sense of professional obligation might be compromising my ability to speak honestly about a former, insidious one.
I may also be dealing with guilt around my transition – and unwilling or unable to lay any blame on my therapist. I was the bad patient; she wasn’t a bad doctor. And I may feel intimidated by her – professionally, or in the context of our professional relationship, if not on a personal level. She is the professional: by virtue of being a doctor, she can’t be at fault. Phrased that way, this is terrible logic – and any patient who felt that way about their process might have a negligent therapist. But I am a layperson, and maybe I’m less qualified to evaluate her. I may feel especially unqualified to evaluate her in writing – especially in “professional” rather than informal writing.