Confessional


The relationship between myself and shrink 29 is over. 
After 35+ years of psychotherapy or whatever you want to call it, she convinced me that whatever happens now or in the future, it’s all my fault.
I have been weighed in the balance and found defective. But deep down, I knew that.
I realized some time ago when I looked back on my life that of all the problems I have had at work or in personal relationships or with organizations I dealt with, the only constant was me. I never denied it.
So I have tried through the use of therapy and introspection to find a way to stop being myself.
And, after all these years, I have come to the only inescapable conclusion: that this is impossible. 
My therapist drove home the point repeatedly in this session:
Regardless of what I have said or meant to have it taken in the incidents at work, it was my lack of self-control that caused the issue.
Regardless of the fact that I was never counseled, allowed to face my accusers or have the chance to apologize, as I have always done when I’ve found I’ve offended anyone, it was my lack of self-control that caused the issue. 
Regardless of the fact that I was almost killed in front of my wife by a very apologetic SWAT team last year, it was my lack of self-control that is to blame. 
Regardless of the fact that when I was escorted from my work premises three days before Christmas last year when even the investigating detective admitted in his official report that my rights as an employee were being violated six ways from Sunday, that it was only my lack of self-control that was responsible. 
Regardless of the fact that there are innumerable instances of my employer doing the exact same thing to countless employees, it’s my lack of self-control that is the only issue here.
I could go on, but what is the point?
There is nothing wrong with her analysis. Her conclusions fall within the mainstream of psychological practice and, just as importantly, fall within the mainstream of American cultural beliefs. 
Whatever demons I have fought against in my life, I have failed to conquer them. I have tried to overcome my defective personality to no avail. 
They say that at some point as an adult, you have to stop blaming what happened in your youth for your present condition. The problem with that coincides with the same issue we see in PTSD and other similar conditions. The scars we bear as kids that shape and mold our personalities, imprint on our consciousness, and stay with us for a lifetime. Some can consign these incidents to a forgotten corner of their mind and deal. Some can’t.
Those that can’t, no one really wants around. We aren’t in sync with the modern self-help zeitgeist that says you can heal yourself of just about anything. 
I have tried, believe me I have tried. 
Bipolar2, major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder. Never mind, it’s all my inability to control myself . . . without a clue how to do it. My tripwires are injustice, incompetence, wanton cruelty, ignorance  and inequality. When I experience these things, I speak up, apparently, the wrong way. I am over sensitive which means if I think I’m being singled out for something I didn’t do, or treated unfairly, my mood spirals downward and I can’t get out no matter how mindful I try to be. 
I don’t fit in here. I have never fit in here. I never will fit in here. This whole thing was some kind of ghastly mistake. And it’s my fault for not figuring it all out. 
All my life I wanted to be someone else. Someone who is conventionally normal in temperament and sociability. Unfortunately, I keep being myself. All through the jobs, the marriages, the lost friends, the hurt and the anger, I tried and failed to be someone else because ‘being myself’ is what kept getting me into trouble. 
Perhaps stuck in childhood hurts and resentments, I never grew up emotionally. Or, I never developed proper emotional coping devices. To look and talk to me under normal circumstances, you would never guess. Maybe that’s a part of the condition. 
Shrink 29 is right. I should have realized it a long time ago instead of wasting everyone’s time.
Psychologists don’t care if you’re a hard case. That is one thing I have learned. It’s a job, patients are widgets, if they can’t be re-manufactured, show them the door and tell them they’re just not ‘ready for therapy.’ Or, like shrink 28, laugh at them for believing there should be a just world. Make them feel hopeless. 
Congratulations psychiatry. Oh, wait, sorry. You did not fail, I did.
“On Friday I saw my shrink and she told me that my Imposter Syndrome was out of control and that I need to stop beating myself up all the time and instead focus on the moments that make me happy.”
I wish I had her shrink. She seems nice. 
 “One year later I am still broken.  I am still furiously happy.  And I am still not alone.”
She forgot to add: ‘and I am sitting on a pile of cash which means I don’t have to work or interact with people I choose not to.’
There was only once in my life that I can point to and say that I fit in and did remarkably well.  Ironically, it was on active duty for training in the Army. I think the reason for it, was that my entire day was structured with activity. I didn’t have time to think. I didn’t have enough time to worry. My leadership demanded respect but they earned it. I was accomplishing things I didn’t think were possible and felt good about myself. 
At times, it was even fun. I got along with everyone. My drill sergeants thought very highly of me. 
I don’t know what would have happened if I had converted from Army Reserve to Regular Army. Perhaps it would have all gone to Hell eventually. All I know is I had a wife and child that had not signed on for military life. 
But that was then. This is now.
I am 53 and I can’t see any way out of this. 
No matter how hard I try, how much I try to use mindfulness tricks, no matter what inner source I try to conjure up including prayer, I will stifle whatever anti-social tendencies I have 99 times out of 100. But that one time will always prove my undoing. 
I’m tired of hyper-vigilance – it wears a person down; it’s no way to live. I’m tired of tip toeing through life like I’ve been doing the last six years. I’m tired of this feeling of fear and anxiety in the pit of my chest that’s like a constant companion. I’m tired of having lost interest in everything that used to bring me pleasure. I’m just tired.
So very, very tired. 
I confess, to you, oh God, and to you my brothers and sisters,
that I have sinned through my own fault.
In my thoughts and words; in what I have done and what I have failed to do.
And I ask the Blessed Mary ever virgin and all the angels and saints,
and you my brothers and sisters,
to pray for me to the Lord our God. 
I haven’t been to Catholic services for well over 20 years and I did not have to look that up. Some things you never forget.
One more:
    Between the idea
    And the reality
    Between the motion
    And the act
    Falls the Shadow
                                   For Thine is the Kingdom
   
    Between the conception
    And the creation
    Between the emotion
    And the response
    Falls the Shadow
                                   Life is very long
   
    Between the desire
    And the spasm
    Between the potency
    And the existence
    Between the essence
    And the descent
    Falls the Shadow
                                   For Thine is the Kingdom
   
    For Thine is
    Life is
    For Thine is the
   
    This is the way the world ends
    This is the way the world ends
    This is the way the world ends
    Not with a bang but a whimper.
                                            —T.S. Eliot
This entry was posted in anxiety, bipolar, Catholic school, depression, getting old, hell, imprinting, psychoanalysis, regret, shame, social anxiety, society, T. S. Eliot. Bookmark the permalink.

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