In my lifetime I’ve bought an identical amount of time from a mental health professional as a professional sex worker… two hours from each… and in my experience? In my experience, the hooker was the better bargain.

I went to the shrink a man burdened to the limits of endurance. In those days my wife of twenty-five years was dying, insane, dangerously unstable to unrecognized drug interactions, my daughter about to come out as gay (no surprise, just never formally announced), my son holding me in contempt (apparently to a lie foisted by his militant lesbian sister and her dom that I was responsible for the state of his mother)… they were the roughest days of my life.

I told the shrink I was at my limits, doubting my internal judgment, and worse doubting my ability to assess my own rationality. I told her I wanted an independent professional reference, a backstop, and safety line on my sanity under extreme emotional duress. In essence, I bought her time seeking preventative medicine of the same sort as a tetanus booster when you’ve gotten cut up handling rusty barb wire from a barnyard. Seemed like a common sense kind of thing to do, there was an awful lot depending on me keeping mine together. If I went down the whole situation exploded.

What did I get? Absolutely nothing. Bitch hadn’t even heard my full situation before she began fishing for which set of store bought stock outa the box excuses for personal failure might be easiest to manipulate, and having not known me for two hours began trying to push the most addictive and crippling of dope. What I bought was a conversation with a creature as a disgustingly vampire as they come.

That was my first, and until and unless whatever governing body is in charge of that crew will amend their ways and publicly admit that QA/QC is not a duck with a speech impediment my last exposure to that profession.

In retrospect, being as how psychology is to friendship as prostitution is to sex anyway? If I ever again have reason to doubt my inner self I’ll take the opinion of a good hooker over a shrink any day of the week. Price is about the same, and the hooker lives or dies in a dangerous profession by being able to rapidly assess the nature of the person she’s servicing. Even more important? The hooker is more likely, to be honest, she has no extended profit motive to inspire a crippling lie, some debilitating misdirection, she knows how she earns her money.