Psychobabble


So I talked to mom yesterday (I was on a brief, but hardcore one-way no speaking thing with her after The Separation discussion, realized I was silly, and quit it) and she said I should call the doctor’s office that seems to have forgotten all about me and DEMAND to get an appointment with them. I shrugged and said I didn’t want to talk about it, went home and analyzed it to bits. This is what I figured out.

1. I don’t want to call anyone, least of all the doctor’s office that has fucking DISSED me.

2. Demanding anything goes very much against all the oh-so-girly bits of my upbringing; even if I want to be the kind of person who demands things, I’m really not.

3. If I would get an appointment after calling, demanding, and refusing to hang up until they said yes, I wouldn’t want the appointment anyway because I would have forced it. I know this is insane, but this is also precisely why I NEED therapy. This presupposes a) that they care about whether I’m there or not, b) that they care about ME, c) that the care/therapy I get is dependent on their feelings towards me, and d) that the person I demand things from will talk smack about me with the person that does the therapy-ing. I know that it doesn’t work that way, but I wouldn’t be comfortable with the situation if I got an appointment after forcing one.

4. I’m pretty sure none of these people can help me, anyway (and this is where the Meyer-Briggs scale bandwagoning begins). I have very high standards as to which people I will listen to and take advice from. Mostly, I’ve realized that the nurses-gone-therapists they have at the doctors’ office have pretty much the same amount of education I have, and my education has mostly revolved around criticizing and deconstructing the theories these people studied as truths. They’re also mostly Freudians, and I fucking HATE Freud. And Freudians. I need a Foucaultian therapist. I don’t think there are any.

I’m also pretty certain they’re all F types. Oh the horror of F types. Being a T, I don’t think there are any aspects of my quirks and insanities I haven’t analyzed to bits yet. I don’t need help with analyzing them again, from the viewpoint of a Freudian F-type. There are few things they can say about my paranoias and phobias that I can’t shoot down too, I suspect. I AM right after all. There are germs and bacteria everywhere, people spread diseases and don’t wash their hands after going to the loo. These are truths; the fact that everyone isn’t a mysophobe probably has more to do with the way they react to this, than the germs themselves. I don’t want to get sick, I definitely don’t want to get stomach bugs, and not being around people lessens the risk of getting ill. The thing with phobias are they are said to be irrational fears; I’m pretty convinced my fear IS rational. The denial of the possibility to get sick from fraternizing with the plebs is what is irrational. I suspect the Freudian F-type therapists will have a very hard time convincing me of anything else.

Meh. I don’t know what else to say. I suspect these are all things therapists would say is part of my problem. Maybe it is. I just have a very hard time allowing anyone else to tell me how to do things.

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When I was 12 or so, I  vowed never to fight with my parents the way I’d heard teenagers did. This vow didn’t last very long, naturally, and I’m not really sure why or how it started, but we started fighting. And how we fought. I think it started off pretty innocently, with just the frequency of quarrels going up. After a while mom and I could hardly be in the same room without having vicious scream-fests. Dad was rarely involved in the actual fighting, since he hates when people fight. Sometimes mom would go and have a talk with him about me after fights, and he’d always, unquestioningly, take her side. The fighting in itself was pretty bad, but what was worse was that we never talked things over afterwards. Mom, or dad, depending on the extent of the fight, would come and say “We’re not fighting anymore, okay”, and if I didn’t say I was sorry there’d be another day of terse conversations and uneasiness. I can’t ever remember talking things through with less heated feelings. Leaving the problems unsolved like this made the fights pile on top of each other, so that each fight was merely a continuation of the previous one, turning the periods of time in between into tense cold wars that could turn into full-blown nuclear warfare at any time.

My parents didn’t trust me at the time, either. Except for the fights, I was a goody two-shoes who did her homework, always went to school, never stayed out late on school nights (well… I didn’t have any friends to stay out late with for a while, but that’s beside the point). I didn’t even taste alcohol until the fighting was a regular occurrence. I didn’t smoke when the fighting started, and I didn’t touch drugs (and still don’t). Despite all this my parents were convinced that the only explanation for my behaviour was that I was high. They tried to make me tell them about the drugs I did, and every time I was late home mom would sniff my breath. I think she once even looked at my arms for needle marks. I was 15 and didn’t even know anyone using anything else than tobacco, alcohol and sometimes weed. Being constantly distrusted is a great incentive to start doing a lot of things you’re not supposed to. I figured, what the hell, they think I’m doing this anyway, I might as well start. Around the same time I started hanging out with a group of girls who were not the best company for anyone. At 15, I started drinking, smoking and making out with strange, older boys at parties were we flirted and wore revealing tops to score booze. It’s a fucking miracle I wasn’t raped then, or got robbed, or got otherwise exploited.

Sometimes during the fights, I’d have out-of-body experiences. I’d see myself kinda from the side, hearing me yell and cuss and rant, unable to do anything to stop it. I was so angry my anger took on a life of its own, completely controlling me. I could only watch what it’d make me do, and hope it would subside eventually. One incident I remember especially, was when we had a huge fucking row in the upstairs hallway. I can’t remember what it was about, but I remember seeing myself from outside my body, angry tears running down my face, arms gesticulating wildly, my voice almost cracking as I bellowed obscenities at my parents. I remember thinking, What the fuck am I doing? I felt backed into a corner, and fought like a trapped animal. Once when we started fighting while I was cutting bread, I almost stabbed my dad. The impulse was so strong I nearly did it, but instead I put the knife down and walked away. That still is, to this day, one of the scariest moments in my life.

One morning when mom and I had had another run-of-the-mill-fight the previous evening, dad came and wanted to talk to me while I was having breakfast. Mom came too, and stood behind him. I don’t think I’ve ever seen my dad so angry before. He explained what mom had told him I’d done, and warned me to never do it again. Problem was, mom’s version of events when we fought always greatly differed from mine. And my version never counted for anything. I’m not saying he should have listened to me without questions, but the way my version of the happenings always was forcibly ignored made me question if what I thought I had experienced really had happened. This time, I started to explain, but he cut me off, saying he didn’t want to hear my lies, and that all I ever did was lie.

It was like he struck me in my face. I knew mom’s and my versions differed, but I never knowingly lied about what I’d done. I started crying, trying to tell him that it wasn’t like that, I wasn’t lying. I looked at mom to back me up, to somehow dampen his anger. She looked me in the eye and said he’s right, you need to stop lying about our fights. I’ve never felt so alone in my life. I was pretty sure things had not gone down the way mom said. I knew I hadn’t dreamed my version of it. But standing there, with my parents telling me all I thought I’d seen happen hadn’t happened made me doubt my perception of the events. Maybe they were right? They seem to think so, I thought. It felt like balancing on the edge of a bottomless pit, like maybe the entire world, all I thought I knew, wasn’t like I thought it was. It felt like the walls billowed around me, the room shrank, all there was was me on the chair, not knowing what was true and what was false. The realization that my word was worth nothing horrified me. It still does, to this day.

I think the constant questioning of what I had seen had really happened or not that I had to do during those years still is haunting me. It landed me in a abusive (psychologically, not physically) relationship with a controlling SOB for three years (more on that another day). It still, eight years later, makes me question if I really share the same reality as others when I strange things happen. I’m still not sure if the things I perceive is real or not.

I still spend time with my parents. I like them. I just don’t like our history together, or the fact that these things were never discussed. I think my mom sometimes blame herself for me being mentally unsound now, and I don’t have the heart to tell her that I think those years contributed to how I feel today. This is a lonely place to be.

I got a letter from my doctor the other day, that basically said I didn’t have to go to group therapy anymore. I didn’t know I had to get her permission not to go, since it’s voluntary and all, but I guess I should be glad I don’t have to go there again. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with group therapy per se, it’s just that this particular group was… ugh. I’ve never seen such a mis-matched group of freaks in my life. Naturally, I’m not really allowed to talk about anyone in that group, but some sweeping generalisations of what might have happened can’t hurt anyone, right?

See, the thing is, I really don’t have any trouble with confiding in strangers. Actually, I prefer strangers to confide in; they don’t have any preconceived notions of what I’m going to say, and if I’m really lucky I never have to meet them again. And as long as I’m in a social setting where it doesn’t really matter what people think of me, I’m pretty open. So, theoretically, I’d be pretty good in a group therapy setting, confiding in equally crazy semi-strangers.

Only problem was, these crazy people we’re stuck with some sort of normalcy-complex. They refused to recognize that they were crazy. They stubbornly hung on to the notion that they could be normal if they only “tried a little harder”. Now, I don’t believe there is such a thing as absolute insanity, seeing as insanity in and of itself is heavily dependent on context, which lead to me going in to this group-thing with a somewhat… different point of view. I don’t think that these people were absolutely crazy, I think they (and I) are having a very reasonable reaction to a society that isn’t really fit for people, which makes us contextually, and perhaps relatively insane. So these would-be fellow crazy-people were, in fact, irritatingly normal, and trivialized the entire thing. They wanted to be assimilated, I wanted to find a way to cope with this shitty reality without changing who I am too much.

(Sidenote: Oooh! Data from Startrek in a completely different role on TV! And a midget!)

It’s not the easiest thing in the world to get psychiatric help here, unless you’re prepared to pay for it out of your own pocket. So these people, and I, who were weeded out to actually receive this sought-after psychiatric treatment, we really need it. There’s no place for moderately depressed people. You need to be in pretty bad shape to get any kind of counselling through the public health care system.

And that’s why I was thoroughly pissed off when they started to whine about utterly trivial things, like “I sometimes feel bad after drinking too much alcohol, which I did this weekend on my trip to [city far, far away]”, and “my boyfriend left me and it sucks”. Now, I don’t dispute the fact that these things can be very, very hard to deal with. The day-after-paranoia sucks, getting broken up with sucks, life, in general, can be pretty sucky. But I take offense when I hear someone talking about flying halfway around the world, and then whining about being hung over, when I can’t even get on the subway to visit friends on the other side of town. There’s a slight discrepancy of problems, there.

It’s not that I doubt that these people have genuine problems for which they, apparently, need psychiatric help. It’s just that when they waste their, and my, time with droning on about these god-damn BORING problems, I get pissy about it. If they’re in the group, they need to be there, and they probably have worse problems than they shared. I just don’t get why they even bother to go there if they’re not going to take it seriously. Srsly.

Oh, and also, there was the ganging up on, the fighting, and the fact that when I shared stuff like my ex controlling me and threatening to commit suicide if I left him, they all shut up and then changed subjects. It’s a very strange feeling to out-misfit the other misfits.

To be honest, it wasn’t like I didn’t participate in the fighting. There was this one guy in the group, who constantly spouted cliche’s, sounding like an inspirational poster, no matter what anyone said. I called him on it, and we got into a fight. The last time I went to a session, I spent the entire time trying to stare him down, amused by his squirming.

Anyway, my defection from the group therapy means I’m bumped down to the bottom of the waiting list again, and get to go without any kind of help until I get a new therapist assigned to me. It’s wonderful. I suppose I only have myself to blame, because if I only “tried a little harder”, I could be “normal”, too.