Today, reader, we’re in for a great session. A session with Dr. Flynn, Psychiatrist Man. I know I could use a visit with a shrink at this point. Although the only thing I can think to say at this point is whyyyyyyy? Just why? Why, why, why, why, why, why . . .
Pardon me. I managed to catch Dr. Flynn just as he was leaving the masked ball and he agreed to meet with me in his office late at night. He says he does this with all his clients. Also, he has a cage in his office instead of a couch. I’m a little suspicious but he says this is a “new kind of therapy.”
Alice: Dr. Flynn, I’m glad you made room in your busy schedule to . . . is there something hissing in your desk drawer?
Flynn: Possibly. How does that make you feel, Alice?
Alice: Let’s get to the questions. How long have you been Christian’s psychiatrist?
Flynn: Oh, it’s been ages.
Alice: Don’t you have actual records?
Flynn: Oh, no. While he’s talking to me, I just doodle on my notepad. See these are my notes from the last session.
Alice: That’s a pony jumping over a rainbow.
Flynn: Impressive, isn’t it? So I guess you’d like me to tell you all about Christian.
Alice: You can’t do that. There’s that doctor / patient confidentiality thing.
Flynn: Oh, posh. Christian and I are great friends. I’m sure he wouldn’t mind me telling you how fucked up he is. He’s 50 shades of fucked up, you know. I told him that in our first session. I said, “Wow, you’re 50 shades of fucked up.”
Alice: Just . . . I don’t even . . .
Flynn: We had such a great time at the masked ball. First we ate. Would you like to see the entire menu? Or a list of all of the prizes offered for a meaningless drawing?
Alice: Why would anyone need to see that? You’re showing it all to me anyway. Of course you are.
Flynn: After we ate, there was this fundraiser. Worthy cause. Something about kids and drugs. Maybe it pays for their drugs, I don’t know. Anyway, they had a bidding war for a first dance with the ladies. I bid on his girlfriend, and then he bid more, and I bid more, and it was so much fun.
Alice: You . . . bid on your client’s girlfriend?
Flynn: Sure, why not?
Alice: Because you’re a freaking psychiatrist! You aren’t supposed to be friends with your clients, or spend time after hours with your client, and you sure as hell are not supposed to BID on their girlfriends.
Flynn: You are so closed minded, Alice. It’s not like I won her anyway. Christian bid 100,000 dollars on her, and I really couldn’t go over 25,000 dollars.
Alice: I didn’t think psychiatrists were quite that wealthy.
Flynn: It helps when you charge 50,000 per session. So after the bidding, I cut in on a dance with the lovely Ana. She’s such a beauty, and so smart too! Did you know she plays six musical instruments, speaks fluent Mandarin, and is keen on yoga?
Alice: I buy the yoga part, since Christian twists her into a pretzel routinely. The only instrument she plays, though, is her vagina, and she can’t even speak English well, much less Mandarin. Why would she need to speak Mandarin anyway?
Flynn: Because Ana is a special snowflake and can do anything! She can even dance while vaginal balls are stuffed up her hoo ha.
Alice: That’s the kind of skill you could put on a resume.
Flynn: Isn’t it? Ah, those crazy lovebirds are always being crazy! They snuck off a couple of times to bump and grind. I know because I listened at his bedroom door.
Alice: That is creepy and weird.
Flynn: They did have some trouble with Christian’s Mrs. Robinson. Cute name for his molester, don’t you think?
Flynn: She warned Ana to not hurt Christian, and then Christian called her and told her to quit bothering her.
Alice: I thought they were both at the same ball. Why call her?
Flynn: Because . . . well, next they had fireworks, and you know how Ana is fascinated by shiny things! She was so cute. They had security all around since Leila has been stalking them. But Ana was rightly most concerned about Mrs. Robinson, who passed her a note saying she’d beat her up if she messed with Christian and to, you know, call her.
Flynn: Oh, her car was also vandalized. Someone took a Louisville Slugger to both headlights, slashed a hole in all four tires and carved her name into the leather seats . . . wait, that’s a country song. No, someone threw paint on her car and slashed the tires. Of course that someone is Leila, cause who else would want to do that to Ana? Scary, isn’t it?
Alice: Not really.
Flynn: So they left, but later Christian called me so upset! He needed counseling because someone broke into his apartment! I told him to go in and check it out himself.
Alice: Good plan there. Last question. What do you think of Ana?
Flynn: Well, I just adore her, but not enough to go against Christian! That guy used to beat the shit out of his classmates when he was a kid. A real juvenile delinquent. Isn’t that charming?
Alice: Hey, that fits right in on that last question on my psychopath survey. I knew it!
Flynn: Well, it’s a good thing I’m not going to tell you about Christian’s issues, or we’d be here all night! Get it? That’s a psychiatrist joke.
Alice: No it’s not. Where exactly did you get your degree?
Dr. Flynn: Are you trying to call me an expensive charlatan? Because I’ll have you know I’ve got real degrees from ShrinksRUsUniversity.
Alice: That’s not a university.
Dr. Flynn: It is on the internet. See, I’ve even got a certificate.
Alice: That’s an adoption form for a Cabbage Patch Doll.
Dr. Flynn: Ah, well, university degrees are for elitists.
Alice: Uh huh. Well, I think that’s all the questions I have for you.
Dr. Flynn: If you ever need a shrink, give me a call, hmm?
Alice: Sure. I’m just going to, you know, back out of here slowly and watch you the entire time, ‘kay? Bye now.
|Don’t do drugs, kids|
`Who are YOU?’ said the Caterpillar.
This was not an encouraging opening for a conversation. Alice replied, rather shyly, `I–I hardly know, sir, just at present– at least I know who I WAS when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then.’
`What do you mean by that?’ said the Caterpillar sternly. `Explain yourself!’
`I can’t explain MYSELF, I’m afraid, sir’ said Alice, `because I’m not myself, you see.’
-Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
Who are you? A very good question, indeed. And, like Alice, not one that is so easily answered. I would have thought that by my mid-thirties, I would know the answer to this question, but I’ve yet to figure it out. If anything, I’ve only added more roles. Daughter, sister, student, teacher, girlfriend, wife, daughter-in-law, mother, serf, librarian, mental health patient, etc. It doesn’t help when you’re being questioned by a rude, smoking caterpillar. I hate those guys.
I could answer by name, but even that’s not clear, as I have more than one last name. Would you like my maiden name or my married name? I remember receiving a letter from the Social Security Office just after my wedding demanding that I change my card because my former self no longer existed. It actually said that. The old, pre-married me had ceased to exist, and now I was known only by the name of the goofball I’d just married. Curiouser and curiouser.
|An identity stolen by thousands in Las Vegas alone|
When do we form identity? Do we ever actually form our own identities? When my eldest daughter was born, the old Social Security Office was after us again. Where was her SS number? Obviously children are supposed to be born with this nine digit number tatooed on their foreheads. So we quickly labeled our daughter with a number so she could be like the others in the hive. But these numbers are hardly secure identifiers, as they can be stolen. Identity theft is very prominent these days. Yes, it’s not just the government that takes your identity, it’s Joe Smoe off the street who wants to buy 3,000 issues of Hustler and a burrito with your credit card.
All our lives, we struggle with this. How do we fit in our families? Are you the golden child or the black sheep, the baby or the eldest or the dreaded middle child? Did your sister get called the pretty one while you got the “nice personality” consolation prize? What about when you left the security of home for school? Were you a cheerleader or a football player, or were you a member of the chess team? And there’s work, too. Once again, are you the cheerleader, the smart one, the black sheep, or do you have that good old “nice personality”? Who are YOU?
It’s even more complicated after you marry and start your own family. Now you’ve got relationships in your first family (you are ALWAYS a kid to your parents, accept it), and in your second (sometimes I wish the word Mommy had never been invented). If you divorce, you get even more relationships and identities. A world of fun! Not to mention an adventure at Christmas time.
Yet with all these relationships, all these roles, with everything else removed, there is you. Who are YOU, and YOU alone? Do you like yourself? Do you want more from your life? Are you satisfied with where you are, with how you feel when you are all alone (if you ever get that lucky chance). It’s something many of us don’t ask until it’s almost too late, and we realize we’ve lived only for these other roles, and never for our own. I don’t want that to happen to me.
|How’s about a girl’s night out where we LIVE???|
So who am I? I don’t know yet. But I’m finding out. It’s a journey, and one that I can only hope involves girlfriends and road trips – though not of the Thelma and Louise type.