I finally got around to opening the latest batch of mail last weekend after letting it stack up for a while. It's not all mine and Ian's*; his wife still insists on holding on to Texas residency so she won't get stuck with New York taxes, so I have to go through and shred her bills. This gives me a catty insight into her spending habits. She and the daughter spend way too much money at the Broome County fat girl dress stores.
One letter was addressed to me and it looked like an elderly medical bill, so I didn't open it for weeks. But when I finally did, it wasn't a bill; it was a letter from my long-time therapist, telling me she was closing her practice. I had opened it literally the day before she was officially closing it.
Even though I hadn't felt the need to visit her in a year, this still upset me to the point of tears. We went back a long way; just over 20 years, to be precise. And the first year of cognitive therapy had made a big difference to me. This is why I don't think any other sort of psychotherapy is useful - instead, I think classic therapy is indulgent and a waste of time.
Later that day I decided to email her, as she had always answered my emails in the past. She answered this one as well. It turned out that she hadn't totally retired; instead, she had moved her practice to the university's pain clinic (no, I don't know why). She also offered to see me one last time to "wrap up" things, so I accepted and we made an appointment for later in the month. But how does one wrap up 21 years, especially with a therapist who called me her friend, and who had admitted I was one of her favorite clients? I kind of doubt we'll ever meet again after this last appointment, although I'd love to meet her for coffee or similar once or twice a year.
I'm still feeling sad about it. I guess we all need our Get Out of Jail Free cards, even if we never use them. And I recently found out that the Cub's* trips to my neck of the woods will be curtailed in the near future, due to a business downturn- something else I didn't want to hear.
* See The Usual Suspects.