Don’t goddamned argue with me

Therapy did not go smoothly for me today, so I am now forced – forced, I tell you – to rehash it all here so I can process it.

At first things were fine. I told him about the dog story¬†and my recent revelations about just how badly my parents fucked me up when they took me and my brother out of university, when he said the thing he promised he wouldn’t say any more.

He said “Okay, but that was then and this is now, so what are you going to do about it?”

Or something very similar.

I could have sworn that I had blogged about this subject bu I can’t find it so whatever.

Anyhoo, that set me off because just recently my therapist and I had a big discussion about this where I told him how it makes me feel like I am being judged and challenged when I am pouring my heart out to him and he demands an action plan.

I am REALLY sure I wrote about this already and I STILL can’t find it.

And I know what he is trying to do when he asks this, He’s trying to move to concrete steps from just talking things out because I’ve been going to him for like five years and feel frustrated by my lack of apparent process (you know, besides a year at Kwantlen and a full degree from VFS) and wants to get things moving.

But that’s his problem. Not mine. And when he says things like that, it makes me feel like he’s telling me that I am not recovering fast enough for his convenience and that if I don’t get better faster, he will give up on me.

Anyhow. You get the idea. My point is, he had agreed nt to say this thing which hurts and angers me every time he said it, and today, he said it anyhow.

And then made it worse by brushing it off by saying “Hey, I’m not perfect. ”

Well that’s just plain not good enough, Doctor Costin. It has taken all the years of therapy we have done so far for me to be able to open up about these deep hurts of mine to anyone whatsoever. It was a major breakthrough for me when, with your help, I realized that I had been hiding my negative emotions from everyone including you because I thought that if I let anyone see them, they would run away screaming.

And I finally got to place where I felt comfortable confronting him about how this asking what to do about it made me feel and he promised not to do it again, and then he did it again, and so I got mad.

And after I had raked him over the coals a bit, he was contrite, and apologized, and so we moved on. I was still somewhat annoyed with him but it was fading fast.

But later one, I was telling him about the profound coldness I feel when I am talking about these deep things (hence all my ice imagery here) and he interrupts me to say “Oh It’s not coldness. ”

What the FUCK? Here I am in the most emotionally exposed state that I have ever been in in my entire life and he has the nerve to argue with me about how I feel?

It’s sure as fuck is coldness. It’s always coldness. You people know this. I talk about it all the fucking time. When I was telling him all these things I felt cold throughout my torso like there was a full force arctic gale going on in there. I was releasing this coldness into the world by talking about the thing I used to hide and intellectualize. And he has the nerve to argue with me about it!

So then i really hit the roof. I mean, how fucking dare he. Then he lamely tried to cover his ass by saying he wasn’t arguing with me but merely reinterpreting what I said.

Well guess what? When you reinterpret things I say, you are saying my interpretation is WRONG and that means you are ARGUING.

Then there was some pointless semantic wrangling, which I also hatre and which is also not therapy and then I told him how things like this where he contradicts me or seizes on a word choice and goes off on an entirely irrelevent tangent about it when I am puring my heart out to him makes me feel like he is not really listening.

That he is, indeed, just doing what everyone else does : getting overwhelmed by the intensity of what I am saying and start lunging for the nearest exit door instead of just staying with me in the moment and helping me through it.

Well as long as he’s happy, I guess everything is fine.

And the session ended without us really being able to resolve anything (and with him still insisting he wasn’t arguing with me), and so I am still pretty pissed off about the whole thing. I told him that the whole thing makes me feel like there is no point telling him anything because he won’t really be taking it in, and as far as I am concerned, that’s a pretty damning statement about one’s therapist and he KNOWS THAT.

And it only reinforces my dark suspicions that sometimes he nitpicks or argues not for therapeutic reasons but because I make him feel intellectually inadequate (or otherwise lesser in some way) on some level and he feels like he has to prove he is smart too.

I’ve attracted that sort of thing my whole life, and it stinks.

But it is particularly odious coming from someone whom I am trying my best to trust enough to really open up to about that which I keep hidden from all.

Oh, and I almost forgot – he also said that my coldness was the mask for how I really feel and that is completely, totally, and precisely wrong.

The mask is the happy cute funny harmless entertaining me and it is there to hide all the darkness and pain and anger and bitterness that I fear will make people shun me so I keep it locked deep inside and pretend it isn’t there.

And like I’ve said, it took years of therapy to get me to the point where I could truly lower that mask and share the real me with him.

And he has the nerve to fucking argue with me about it.

So damn right I am pissed off.

Now if you will excuse me, I am going to go kill the fuck out of some orcs.

I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.


The beast that lurks below

Tonight’s topic and/or jumping off point and/or random cosmic ray that hit my brain and made me say things is : my bloodthirstiness.

Because here’s the thing : I really do love to fight. For as long as I can remember, I have had this desire to grapple with others in a way that lets me express my power fully without having to worry about holding back for fear of destroying my opponent.

When I was young and dumb and full of myself, I sought this out by taking any chance I could to argue with people. Words are, after all, my weapons, and I was eager to test myself against others and find out what I am capable of and what I am made of.

As patient readers know,. I had not had much in the way of challenge in my life and, not being a born go-getter [1], it did not occur to me to go out and look for challenge, let alone cop an attitude and get all up in people’s faces in order to force them to deal with me and hopefully fight with me.

Kind of wish I had thought of it, really. I mean, I was already unpopular in school. At least if I had been a cocky teenager who thought he was the smartest guy in the world and dared people to prove him wrong, I would have been able to respect myself.

And yeah, I could do that now, but I know too much. I would know exactly what I was doing and why I was doing it, and it would be hard to escape my own judgment.

I envy people who can act on emotion without hating themselves after.

Anyhow, I had some people take me aside and teach me that there is such a thing as verbal and intellectual bullying and that I was being obnoxious and, and this is the crucial one, my desire for an argument doesn’t morally justify dragging someone else, someone who does not have my gifts, into a sparring match with me.

Even in a forum where debate is encouraged, like a college philosophy class, I have to restrain myself or be responsible for trampling over others just because, in the schoolyard of debate. I am way bigger and stronger than them.

And I am so glad I listened. I was on the verge of being really obnoxious. I had taken my first sips of the elitist Kool-aid, thinking that I was just being “honest” and “expressing myself” and that if people couldn’t take it, tough.

It’s a very seductive line of reasoning if you are someone who has been helpless at the bottom of the totem pole all your life and you are only now beginning to realize that there are realms in which you wield enormous power.

Learning the truth of my situation saved me from becoming a real asshole. And that made my ego and superego very happy.

But it made my id very sad. It had to go back into its box again. It had been denied the opportunity to express itself and grow stronger and I think that had a lot to do with the depressioin I fell into when my parents yanked me out of school.

I had just started to truly blossom – I was mid-blossom, really – when I got yanked out of the sunshine and thrown into a life where I was once more powerless and hopeless when I was in no way ready to face the real world.

How could I be when I thought I had two more years to get there?

And I think that was the gross and catastrophic injury from which I have not yet recovered. Being yanked out of school pulled me out of the flow of life and put me literally and figuratively back where I had started : living with my parents in Summerside, with no job skills and no social skills and with a depression so crippling that I was genuinely insane there for a while.

It was far more than hypochondria. I had tactile hallucinations where I felt germs crawling all over me. I had filter hallucinations where everything seemed black or red or glowing at the edges. I washed my hands ten or twelve times a day, often for five to ten minutes or more, because the moment I stopped washing them, I could feel them start to get dirty again and it felt like I was being physically violated.

I honestly should have been in the psych ward. And yet, I bet it never even occurred to my parents that it was all their fault for taking me out of universiry just so my father could retire a few years early.

All he had to do was hang in there at work for two more years and my brother and I would have gotten the degrees we’d been promised our whole lives, the degrees our sisters Anne and Catherine got. the ones that let them go on to lives far more successful than what my brother and I ended up with.

But no, he was too rotten and selfish for that. Plus, I think he wanted us back under his thumb because he wasn’t content only abusing my mother.

Not that I’m bitter.

Oh, and of course, it was only after all four of us kids were out of the house and my father only had my mom to pick on that she found the strength to divoice him.

Clearly, the safety of her four children she gave birth to was not enough. He verbally abused us on a daily basis and she didn’t do a goddamned thing to stop him.

But when it was all directed at her, well, that was different. Now it was affecting her and clearly that could not be tolerated.

How do you think that makes us feel, Mom?

If your answer was “pretty awful”, you are right.

But I bet I am the only one willing to say it.

I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow..





Footnotes    (↵ returns to text)

  1. More of a “stay-here-and-do-without-er, really.