Toward the end of yesterday’s session, after we had agreed that I was a lousy parent to the me-child who constantly fears abandonment, K mentioned the enneagram. She suggested that it might be useful for me to read about it; she said that she was pretty sure that I’m a Four.
I dutifully went home and did some reading, even taking a couple of tests designed to help you determine which of the nine profiles fits you best. Now I’m both confused and skeptical, because depending on which test I take or description I read, I have about one-third of the territory covered. Yes, I feel envious and abandoned like a 4, but I’m also contrary and a procrastinator, like a 6. And one test told me that I’m an optimistic, energetic, scattered 7. All of which confirms my belief that I’m not a distinct person at all.
Granted, I don’t know enough yet about the whole enneagram racket, I mean system, but I’m deeply suspicious of all such attempts to give people permanent labels. My inability to choose just one could mean that I used to be a 7, evolved into a 6, and now think of myself as a 4. Or it could mean that it’s a flawed system.
Also yesterday, I noticed a meaningless connection between my fear of things “running out” and my parents’ habit of “running out” on me. I’m beginning to think that too much of therapy is about meaningless connections that we try to endow with meaning, because that’s what we try to do with everything.