By Ruthe Ponturo
After my darling husband of 34 years decided he no longer wanted to be married to me---oh and that he was in love with someone else- many friends suggested I talk to a professional because after all this was a traumatic event. I had never tried a therapist but how bad could it be? Well.....
I asked a good friend for a recommendation and called Dr C. (name withheld and you will see why). She sounded nice on the phone and said she saw patients in her apartment in the Village. My first sense of trepidation came when the doorman for her building acted as her receptionist and her waiting room was the building lobby. Of course my thought was «oh no does he think I am crazy??» Soon I was stepping out of the elevator on her floor and the smell of cigarette smoke in the hall nearly knocked me over. I HATE smoke. Uh oh the door to her apartment opened and the smoke billowed out of her apartment. What to do? Stay and make myself sick or turn and run? I, knowing my friend had called her for me, decided I should stay.
From her voice my mental image of Dr C was Aunt Bee from the Andy Griffith Show.However Cruella DeVille answered the door. Yikes bone thin and way too much plastic surgery. She said we would sit at the dining room table---what no comfy couch?? The chair I was given faced a wall of mirrors so all through the session I was looking at myself. Now it is almost impossible to resist looking in the mirror. I felt like I was in a Woody Allen movie.
Two hours later I knew all about her divorces including her ex-husbands names and the women they married after her. I knew the names of her cats that crawled all over the table during the session. I knew where she bought her furniture. She knew next to nothing about me. I couldn›t get out of there fast enough. I hurried home and threw all my clothes in the washer--it took two times through to get rid of the smoke smell - and threw myself in the shower.
I know there are wonderful therapists out there but after my experience (which I did not exaggerate in the least bit) I decided it was easier to write a musical---my own kind of therapy. •