So I’ve been seeing a shrink (Emma), and as is always the case it’s a slow process. Four weeks in and barely getting started. Years ago, but soon after the Incident, I kept a written diary (roughly 1995 to 1999). I showed this to her.
Among other things, upon reading it she pointed out that I am a very different person in the diary than I am face-to-face. I suggested that it was from the passage of time, but she seemed less sure. In retrospect, and looking at what I’ve written on this site, I think she’s right. There are a few reasons for this, I think. I write when it strikes me to do so. I’m alone with my thoughts, and my mood can be just about anything. My sessions with Emma are scheduled, and again, my mood can be just about anything, but it isn’t necessarily when I’m in the mood to talk, or vent, or whatever. I also think that spending time with people tends to set me at ease, but at the same time close me off. (I’m a strange beast on that point— an introextravert.)
So a question has arisen in my mind. Do I show her this site? Does this site show my truest self? Clearly I am hiding in ways, in order to maintain anonymity. But in other regards I am laid bare here. I’ve spoken before (and recently) about the importance of this site because my anonymity allows me to say absolutely anything. So… if I show it to a person to whom I’m supposed to more or less reveal all, would I lose that freedom? Would I start censoring myself knowing that she is going to show up sooner or later and read what I’ve just set down? (Hello, Doc!)
Of course it’s sort of an infinite loop now— a bi-directional Catch 22. If I tell her about this site then I will write knowing that she’s going to see it; but now even having considered if I should or not begs the question that, even if I don’t show it to her now, will I ever in the future? Anything I write now is written with the back-of-the-brain knowledge that Someone Who Knows Me may see it, either very soon or down the road. Does that make any difference? Considering just who that someone is, I’m not sure it does. It’s not as though she’s going to blab about it at a party or something— in fact she has a professional responsibility not to do so.
But at the same time… some of these posts have gotten pretty dark, and she also has a professional responsibility to take action if she believes I may be in danger. Will that cause me to avoid posting my darker impulses? Maybe.
I’ve told her that there is “a place” where I write on the Internet, that I am considering showing her; and I’ve gotten a verbal agreement from her that, if I show it to her, and later ask her to stop looking at it, she will do so. In effect I can withdraw the invitation. Of course in a pinch I can just plain take the site down, but that then I lose any advantage of it whatsoever.
I don’t know what I’m going to do. Right now I think it’s likely that at some point I will show her this site, but that decision isn’t made. At the least I will probably print off certain posts and give them to her. (So if you see any weirdness such as the site name suddenly changing, it may be because I’m printing things off to give her on paper, or something like that, and am masking the site’s location.) At any rate, showing her any part of it involves trusting that she’ll do as she’s promised, as possessing even one printed-out post would be enough to find it via quick Google search. But if I can’t trust her then there’s no point going to her in the first place.
At the least, I guess I’ve given a “heads up” to people who comment here. Not that your identities are any more revealed than they are already. I don’t know who any of you are, and frankly there could be a team of crack psychologists reading this site right now and none of us would know it. (Hello, Doc!)