…After I Catch Him Texting During My Session
Me: You were texting when I was talking about the time, 33 years ago, that my father yelled at me for spilling the pitcher of Nestea during dinner.
Therapist: How do you know I was texting?
Me: Because you were doing the eyes-wide-open-to-show-you-I’m-paying-attention thing that everyone does when trying to hide the fact that they are texting on Zoom, but right before and after the eyes-wide-open thing you were glancing down and to your right, probably at the phone sitting on your desk.
Therapist: I see.
Me: Also, your iPhone’s ringer wasn’t off, and I could hear you typing.
Therapist: I see.
Me: Is that all you are going to say?
Therapist: You sound angry. Do you want to talk about that?
Me: I’m not angry. I just want you to admit that you were texting during our session.
Therapist: I’m hearing you say that not getting my complete attention is painful for you. It reminds me of the conversation we had about your mother a few weeks back. Do you remember that?
Me: I don’t want to talk about my mother.
Me: This isn’t about my mother.
Me: I still cannot believe she was late to my seventh birthday party because she was playing tennis. All my friends had arrived in the backyard for my swimming pool party and everyone kept asking why my mother wasn’t there. Plus, because she was late, my father was the one who got into the pool, and he was wearing his white Fruit of the Loom v-neck undershirt, which all my friends thought was really funny.
Therapist: I imagine that would make any kid feel angry. How did that make you feel?
Therapist: You can grab a tissue if you need to. I see a box of Kleenex on your bed next to the jar of Vaseline.
Me: (grabbing tissue) Thanks.
Therapist: Is there something more you want to say?
Me: This isn’t the first time I’ve seen you distracted during our sessions.
Therapist: I meant about your mother.
Me: I don’t know.
Therapist: Let’s pretend your mother is here with us in our Zoom room.
Me: My mother doesn’t Zoom. She only recently learned to FaceTime and never gets anything more than the top of her hair or part of her left ear into the screen, which is a good thing because last week she accidentally FaceTimed me while she was on the toilet.
Therapist: Okay. Let’s say we are all just talking on the phone together. What would you want to say to your mother about how her behavior made you feel?
Me: Do you use a mouse?
Therapist: Yes. Why do you ask?
Me: I am pretty sure I just saw you move your right arm when you clicked on your mouse to open an e-mail or read an article. Also, your next patient has entered the room. Looks like his name is Timothy and he’s in a tropical location.
Therapist: Oh my God, I’m so sorry! I’m not sure how that happened.
Timothy: My mistake. I got your text about starting our session early, and when I clicked on the link it let me right in.
Me: It’s totally fine, Timothy. We are definitely done here. ❏