I’ve never been a true believer in Freudian psychology, especially his premise that all behavior goes back to sex. If that’s the case, and everything revolves around sex, I’m in really big trouble, because in that regard I am extremely low mileage- as in barely driven off the dealership lot. That vehicle’s been sitting on the lot so long the tires are dry-rotted and the battery’s dead and the upholstery smells like locker room funk, if my sex life could be compared to a used car.
But it only has 200 miles on it!
I also have problems with the touchy-feely approach that some psychologists take where it’s all about “embracing your inner child.” When I was a child I didn’t want anyone touching me for any reason. “Touching” usually involved getting my ass kicked in some sort of way. I was the geek kid that nobody associated with unless it involved me getting an ass kicking, or it involved someone trying to bribe me to let him/her cheat on a test. If you’re trying to improve my self-esteem, then why do you want me to “embrace” the geek kid? I have to wonder about that approach. I have to wonder about all the hoo-hah about self-esteem. Today’s kids are all about self-esteem, even if they suck. I would rather know I suck than have some lying ass pilot fill me full of crap about how great I am.
I was the butt-ugly geek kid.
My childhood was not nice. It was mostly hell. There were good moments- but they were few and far between. I won’t blame my parents. They did the best they could with what they had, and in their defense, they got dropped a raw deal. There are no child development manuals that could have offered them any help. No parent asks for a child with physical deficits, and no parent asks for a child whose intellectual, emotional and social development can only be categorized as highly abnormal. There was no option of specialists or special schools, especially when it was a struggle for them to afford the bare necessities. Hell, Mom was at the zoo herself most of the time, being bi-polar and untreated- and unpredictable. Dad was at work just about all of his waking hours- partially out of necessity and partially because he didn’t know if he’d come home to Jekyll or Hyde. When I say that my grandmother (actually both of them, but more so my Dad’s Mom, who was within running distance) saved my life many times, that is an understatement. I know Mom probably didn’t appreciate Grandma’s interference (when she was aware of it) but it was Grandma who stormed the principal’s office and kept me from getting the hell beat out of me waiting on the bus. It was Grandma who took me to the Dr. and stayed with me when I was sick with rheumatic fever. It was Grandma who gave me a safe place to go when my sisters and/or the neighborhood kids were looking for someone to pummel again.
I will say that Mom’s unpredictability set me up to deal with future coke-head bosses pretty well though.
Given what they had to work with, it’s a miracle that I am vertical, gainfully employed, and not a serial killer.
Needless to say, I have spent several years in various types of counseling- some more effective than others. The first counselor I went to, when I was 13-16 was tolerable. Better yet, it didn’t cost my parents anything for me to see her because she was a family friend. I learned fairly quickly the answers she wanted to hear- no, I’m not going to kill myself, yes, I am thinking positive today (retch,) but truth be told more than anything I appreciated getting out of school early every other Tuesday to sit and pretty much just shoot the shit. Because she was a family friend, I don’t think she believed me when I told her that my oldest sister was a sadist and a psychopath, but by that time my oldest sister was so much more interested in whatever money and assorted favors she could extort from the boys that she didn’t have much time to waste torturing me.
The second counselor I went to truly wasted my time and money. About a year after Steve-o was born I was having panic attacks and full-blown PTSD, as well as I was going through a rather nasty separation and divorce. I thought it a good idea to seek counseling because I truly was freaking out. The only thing she did after a couple of sessions was to tell me to buy a copy of the book Codependent No More and wished me happy trails. In hindsight I think it was because I had shitty insurance and she was afraid she wouldn’t get paid. I got really cynical about the whole counseling thing after that, and figured that mental health must just be too lofty a goal. So I decided to just deal with life the way I’d always had since I’d become an adult: chain smoking, binge drinking whenever I could, obsessive overwork, and indiscriminate liaisons when I could get away with it. I was a Ruthless Bitch, and that worked for about seven years- until my physical health really started to go south.
Thankfully my path necessarily changed because of my health failing. By the grace of God I got back into a relationship with Him and got involved in a church. Also by the grace of God I gave up smoking. I went to a counselor for a couple of years who wasn’t in it to either bullshit me or rip off my insurance company, and learned some helpful ways to navigate the way I’m wired and to deal with my past (which is an ongoing project.) I also acknowledged that I have inherited and organic tendencies toward anxiety and depression that require medical treatment and medication as well, which has helped me deal with PTSD and work beyond it. It’s a journey, not so much a destination, but I would have to say I am mentally healthier now than at any point in my life, which is almost scary.
This year is another year in which I not only have to be careful not to get caught up in the rhetoric (which is easy for me to do) but I feel as if I have to stand back and look at the election with a pragmatic eye. Voting for a third party or a write-in, i.e. Ron Paul, Mickey Mouse, Ron Jeremy, Dennis Kucinich or even posthumously, Ronald Reagan, effectively is a vote for Obama. Staying home and not voting is also effectively a vote for Obama, and it would also take away my right to bitch about him should he be re-elected. And I am going to bitch about him, re-elected or (hopefully) not- believe it. I would rather have fire ants poured down my underwear than to be complicit in re-electing the worst president ever, and I state for the record that Obama is The Worst Ever. Even if I include Pierce, Buchanan, Wilson, Harding, Nixon, Carter and Clinton, Obama takes the Worst Ever prize hands down.
I’m still not a huge fan of Mitt Romney. The last truly good president this country has seen is Ronald Reagan, and sadly, he’s been in his grave for eight years. But even though Mitt is no Reagan, I can think of FAR better choices to be sitting in the Oval Office than Obama.
Sheena, the mentally challenged Husky. Bonus: her birth certificate is just as contrived as Obama’s, but it’s a little more creative.
Karl Pilkington (yes, he’s a Brit, but hey, BO didn’t have to be a citizen!)
Just remember, folks. The people who voted for Ross Perot bought us 8 years of Bill Clinton. That was bad, but Obama’s a million times worse. As much as I hate the adage, “choose the lesser of the two evils,” what do you do when one of the choices is overwhelmingly odious, the other one is less odious, but still not quite good? <Sigh…>