I’ve been away, so I haven’t seen my therapist for a few weeks. I decided to go away very last minute, but I know she likes to be kept in the loop, so I sent her an email. ‘Hi. I’m just at lunch, and I’m going on holiday next week with Mark Warner. See you when I get back.’ She sends me an email back immediately. (I am slightly worried my therapist is somewhat obsessed with me. Whenever I see her she is oddly preoccupied with my life and doings). ‘Hmmm. Who is Mark Warner?’ she emails in response. I suddenly remember why I like my therapist so much. ‘Oh!’ I email back. ‘Oh my sweet Kiwi therapist. Mark Warner is the name of the travel company. It’s a group trip. I know you are concerned but do not be.’
I return home with my friends to pack. (They have already packed, as have been booked into this trip for months). ‘Do you think she wanted to be invited?’ I ask them as I throw bikinis and books into my suitcase. ‘I don’t think so, no,’ my friend replies, as she tidily packs some clothing more suitable for a sailing trip into my case.
‘Hmm,’ I wonder as I throw in some dress shirts. ‘No, honestly,’ my friend says, quietly removing the shirts. ‘She’s probably just checking because it’s a fairly impetuous decision.’ ‘I see what you’re saying,’ I say. ‘I will call and let her know she is more than welcome to join us.’ I call my therapist. ‘Don’t worry!’ I say gaily down the phone. ‘Hi, is everything OK?’ she replies slowly. ‘Everything is great!’ I tell her. My friend shakes her head despairingly and repairs to the kitchen to grab a beer. ‘There are brownies,’ I call after her. ‘Sorry?’ my therapist asks down the phone. ‘Oh, not for you. No brownies for you,’ I tell her. This phone call seems to have started badly. I hope my therapist doesn’t think I’m telling her she’s fat. ‘I was just calling,’ I begin, ‘to reassure you.’ ‘Oh, thank you very much,’ she replies politely. ‘I’m actually just off to a meeting, but be safe, and I’ll see you when you get back.’ ‘Oh, OK then,’ I say. She hangs up. ‘I was going to invite her, but you know, I’m not sure she’d cope. Culturally, I mean,’ I shout downstairs to my friend. My friend says nothing. I am worried she has seen through my cover up. ‘I mean,’ I shout desperately, ‘She didn’t even know what Mark Warner was. I’m not sure it’s fair to inflict her on the group.’ My friend returns upstairs. ‘Anyway,’ I continue bravely, ‘I think it will be good for her to cope without me for a few weeks. It’s important for her to learn about boundaries.’