Fear First

I had no idea that I was angry. He was listening to my confession. What was I confessing? The middle-aged man seated on the other side of the desk didn’t say a word. Hearing too many of my own words tended to create craziness in my mind. I was occupying his time. We were supposed to talk about him. I was in his office to interview him. I sat down and started speaking about my personal problems. This is crazy, I thought. Then I voiced the thought. He moved in his chair and glanced at the bookshelves alongside the desk. His silence seemed to say that he was thinking without speaking. Seconds passed. Something happened in my mind. Another thought came: be honest, confess that you were anxious about interviewing him, and ask if you could start over and if both of you could imagine that the last few minutes hadn’t happened. He spoke: or we could let those minutes guide us in what we’ll talk about. He was an intriguing psychotherapist. Maybe he would become my therapist one day. Maybe the anger I was experiencing was connected to the fear that this meeting would turn out badly. I wanted it to go well. I wanted to have this experience. My fear was real. My desire frightened me. Maybe I was ready to interview him.

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