"I Saw You"

I swallowed my saliva and I looked up at my therapist.

I started a quick mental inventory of where I had been in the week since our last meeting. Did I do something incriminating?

I ended up licking my dry lips and asked, "Where?"

"During the spin class," she said calmly.

something that she had suggested. To help me relax. I do not think about anything anymore.

"During Bernie," she continued.

Bernie was my favorite spin instructor. He played classical rock instead of techno music, which gave the impression that the harder 60-minute class looked more like a bearable.

"What do you think of my presence there?", She insisted.

"It's good," I say, waving my hand. "I mean, it's like anyone out there knows you're my therapist."

"True," she says. "But you do."

"I do not care," I replied. "It's a gym! Everyone has the right to enter.

Therapists must constantly meet their patients, is not it? I asked myself later if there was a policy on how this should be treated, so I contacted the American Psychological Association to ask.

"There is no specific guide on ethics or best practices," Vaile Wright said. , director of research and special projects of the association. But she said that in general, therapists should let clients take the lead. "So, if they say" hello "in the street, you would respond in the same way. If you do not know, you will answer in the same way. "

My therapist had not done anything wrong.

But when I saw him on the stationary bike just in front of me at the next class, his tail of black horse glued to the nape of the neck, I realized that I did not feel as zen as I thought it was.It probably knew more about me than about myself.

When our eyes met in the mirror, I quickly looked away, wondering if she was watching me and if she could feel the discomfort that her presence was causing, had she taken this class to spy on me?

But I knew it was just a coincidence – after all, as the so-called "spin master," Bernie had a dedicated clientele in this northern New Jersey city. enjoyed his playlists as well as the show he presented.His hot jokes and his random anecdotes about A variety of musicians and their lyrics, as well as their unique dance moves on and off the bike, revolve around Bernie and make you feel like watching a comedian stand up rather than exercise. This and the proximity of the gym with the office of my psychiatrist allowed him to understand his presence.

Once, when we met while filling our bottles of water, my heart stopped. I smiled briefly in her direction and she smiled back. I turned around and headed for my stationary bike. It was like being a child who sees a teacher outside of class and goes about his daily business. To see her participate in a basic activity was somewhat disappointing. She had no weight to lose. She should not have to turn. She was better than that.

I saw her for a year to control my anxiety and I knew she had the mental skills to cope with all the tribulations of life. In other words, she was beyond the rotation.

In the months that followed, she never mentioned our new shared link. Had she forgotten that we had climbed the same hill of an inordinate length with the help of Tina Turner? Because I did not do it. In the morning, when I was looking for a parking spot outside the film studio, I instinctively looked for his white Toyota. The days I spotted it, my jaw was tight as my hands gripped the steering wheel. Stop reacting excessively, I thought. She rides a bike in the same room as you. Who cares?

But I did not care. I wanted to say, "Get out of my class! How dare you. You make me feel uncomfortable and you should know it! "

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During Spin Class, I could get rid of the fear that my career was stagnating as well as the perpetual worry of my absence. a pretty happy mother. I wanted to turn in peace.

It was not a place I wanted to share with my therapist that reminded me of my anxiety – the reason I was in therapy.

our next therapy session, instead of studiously ignoring the fact that we had been sweating together for four months, I had to tell him we could not share Bernie anymore. He was mine – not her. But when I looked into his dark and compassionate eyes, I said, "Bernie has an excellent reading list, is not it?"

She smiles and asked, "Is it strange that you see me in class? "

I meant," No. Of course not. "I wanted to be a woman so comfortable in her skin that sharing a spin class with her therapist did not bother her.

But I was not that person. According to my therapist, I was a person who needed to talk when I was upset instead of wearing a simmering rage.

Exposing my true feelings was dangerous. What if my feelings were bad or worse – and what if I had an overreaction?

"Well," I say. I wanted to look at my feet, but I forced myself to keep eye contact. "I have to admit that it's weird to see you in class. It makes me feel, I stopped. "Awkward."

Not the most assertive answer, but it was all I could handle. To avoid conflict, I almost always felt discomfort.

She looked me in the eye and said, "I'm glad you said something. We are progressing.

I loosened my jaw, let my shoulders sink into the leather sofa behind me and listened to my slow heartbeat. I wondered if she had planned all that. Did she test me? Was she going to leave Bernie?

Anger quickly dissipated when I told him how I felt. It was a sensation that I had never felt before. I wanted to jump off the couch and hug her, but decided that it was better to sit still. We had many other topics to discuss before the end of my session.

Addie Morfoot is a journalist and screenwriter who is finishing her first novel.