Therapists for Hire

"Tim" is an acquaintance of mine - a friend of a friend who shows up early to and leaves early from every party he's invited to. Tim is a nice, well-intentioned guy, but maybe too polite for his own good, and a little bit of a square. Conversation can be pretty difficult. Oh, and he always, always wears a yarmulke. In an attempt to loosen him up, my friends once coaxed him into doing a keg stand… and he left his yarmulke on. It was quite a sight.

A good friend of mine ran into Tim at Jewish singles mixer held on Christmas (how clever, Jews). She didn't know him that well, but she learned a lot about him when he took oversharing to a whole new level. I guess because Tim was drunk and had relationships on the brain, he admitted that he had married young, but his wife divorced him because of his addiction to porn.

Is porn addiction something you admit to a near-stranger outside of a support group environment? Not to mention someone you're presumably trying to hit on at a singles mixer. Still, it's funny to learn that a guy we thought needed to loosen up had a not-so-wholesome side.

I probably shouldn't even be telling this story. But, like, if he's a porn addict, he shouldn't be surfing the internet anyway, right? You can find that stuff everywhere on the web, even when you're not trying to look for it. So hopefully Tim won't be stumbling upon this blog, unless he's the guy looking for "anal sex crunching sound movie" or "quadriplegic porn" (real Google searches which have lead people to this blog for some reason).

Which begs the question - what kind of porn? That's the first question for all of us that hear the story, actually. Standard missionary? Foot fetish? BBW? Gay? We really want to know, as the type of pornography is likely to have caused the divorce.

Tim came up for one reason or another over dinner last night, and three of us psychoanalyzed him for more than an hour. Here's what we think: he's not even addicted to porn! I know that's the trait that actually makes TIm interesting in the first place, but we don't give him credit for that. He just thinks he's addicted to porn because he looked at it a few times and feels ashamed because of his strong religious values.

He also feels ashamed because of his wife. She's a prude who probably never had sex with him anyway and when she caught him watching porn, immediately labelled it some major problem. She probably introduced the phrase "porn addiction" to him, and being the nice guy that he is, Tim accepted it because he didn't understand how else to explain his failing marriage. Even though there are millions of guys who watch more porn than Tim, it became the point of contention in a marriage that was bound to fail anyway after he married too young due to religious pressures. And motherly pressures, too. There's always a nagging Jewish mother.

And then we decided that we wanted to take Tim - the guy we normally avoid conversation with - under our wing. We could cure him! Not of his porn addiction because we don't believe that's his actual problem, but cure him of his rigidness. Our first psychiatric duty would be to prescribe him drugs - recreational drugs - to help him let his hair down… or yarmulke down, as the case may be.

Only after we were confident we had him all figured out did we stop and reflect on the fact that we don't actually know anything about Tim. Heck, I couldn't even remember Tim's name before the conversation started. The only facts we knew were that he wears a yarmulke and once drunkenly admitted to getting a divorce due to porn addiction. Nonetheless, we still managed to invent a whole history to go along with these sparse details including a whole bitchy personality for his ex-wife we know literally nothing about, to the extent that we actually believed we could fix him.

Tim would probably be mortified to learn that people knew even the one tidbit about him, let alone that we discussed him at length, but it's all for the best. Our trio of aspiring therapists is going to help him shake the guilt of the problems he only perceives himself to have, and then tackle the real problems we actually think he has.

Where do we get our board certification?

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