Mental Chess

Warning: Sexual content

Quarter after three. In a violent erotic fantasy, I turned the tables on Sheryl the therapist. It was a necessary step for my sexuality. The catalyst for it was reading some brutal William Faulkner. Sheryl had me convinced that I was submissive and gay, but I finally turned it around in fantasy to myself being dominant and straight. It was up to me to undo the damage done by so-called therapy. No amount of further therapy with women would’ve helped. Unfortunately, there aren’t very many male therapists in my area, no one to teach assertiveness anymore. With me and Sheryl it was always a power struggle. Towards the end she was losing control over my sessions, and that panicked her. She was a mean sort of person, disliked by her coworkers. I didn’t like her either. Her project was to dominate and subvert her clients and be a little Hitler. She played mind games with people. I only saw her for ten months, but it was enough to get me messed up for time to come. The final analysis is that sexuality is entirely a state of mind and of power, of dominance and submission, of male and female. Strength begins with the mind and not necessarily the body. Perhaps masculine and feminine are merely states of mind, of spirit or principle. One is active and the other passive. I’m not sure. But I’m done with mental chess with little Hitlers.

Eugenics

Quarter of two. I’ve been having nightmares about Sheryl’s motives for trying to dissuade me from heterosexual relationships. The obvious thing is that gay sex doesn’t make babies. The whole point of intercourse, from a rational perspective, is reproduction. It is nature’s way. But what if I do want to father a child of my own? The hideous thing is to think that Sheryl tried to prohibit a person with schizophrenia from reproducing. This is called eugenics, or the practice of keeping genetic weaknesses out of the gene pool. The Nazis had the same idea…

It really pays to do your own thinking and choosing. To keep your own counsel. If you don’t have your eyes and ears open, then all manner of mayhem can result. Only the individual knows what is best for himself. If you have a brain, then it’s in your best interest to use it. I defy those who say “you can’t.” The truth is that everyone is free to choose. And if people disagree with your choices, and if you lose friends, just persist. Eventually things fall into place.

Instinct or Intellect?

Noon hour. Volunteering went fine. Catherine was especially nice, and her baby Violet is very cute… Why was the Batman series erotic for me? A lot of sadism in those episodes, particularly in the cliffhanger endings. But I grew out of sadism and masochism by the time I was nine years old. My reason took precedence over my instincts, which was probably a good thing. Sheryl the therapist didn’t have the same values as myself. I can hardly imagine letting something so base and vulgar dictate my decisions. About the time I met Kevin down the street, this nerd who wore glasses, I found a better way to navigate life. He was guided by his intellect rather than his passions, and that was different from most kids. In later years he really got into computer science and that would’ve been his career had he lived long enough. A fatal car accident cut his life short. I was in fourth grade when we stopped being buddies. Still, Kevin had a big impact on my life from ages five to ten. I was chiefly an observer and a really good artist. I wasn’t much of a thinker in childhood, but I had an imagination and creative ability. Kevin was more technical than I. But we had comic books in common. While I soaked up the images and feelings, he absorbed information that he could use. At any rate, after meeting him I was less inclined to pursue lunatic impulses and instincts. Then when Sheryl urged me to reopen that can of worms and be more of an animal, I revolted at her sheer brutality. My logic knows better than to act like an irrational primate; so I think the deficiency lay with the therapist and not the client. Sheryl was unscrupulous. We ended up fighting a little mental war with each other. It mushroomed into something ridiculous and then I bailed out of sessions. Would anyone blame me for saving my own skin? Bad advice is bad advice.

Good Grief

Three o’clock. The carpets just arrived. They look pretty good from what I can see. Steve called: he doesn’t know about the heating or who’s responsible for the cost. Good thing I asked…

I used to feel sorry for Mom when her opinions got voted down. She wilted totally and retreated to her bedroom, utterly defeated and depressed. Polly is just the same: her world collapses when others disagree with her. They’ve used a form of thinking called all or nothing. Either I’m right or I’m wrong, with nothing in between. Confronted with disagreement from others, only one person can be right. It’s a kind of absolutism, a black and whiteness, that makes life very difficult. I’ve had to walk on eggshells with Polly and try to comply with her ideas in order to keep her from having a meltdown. I don’t know if she can learn a new perspective or if I’ll just have to disconnect from her. I can’t keep placating her forever. Eventually one of us will explode again, in the same pattern as always. It is exasperating, but it’s also sad.

A Forgotten Therapy

Nine o’clock. I didn’t realize the depth of what I wrote above. It dawned on me after I googled Milgram for a refresher. It raises for me the whole question of who’s the authority in any situation. And, is the leadership benign? In the case of getting my house back, the authority may well be myself, since I own the house. But it wasn’t me who gave me the advice to rattle some cages and jerk some chains. In this light, I myself was obedient to my sister and my neighbor. I further looked back on my therapy experience with Sheryl less than two years ago. If I had taken her verdict on my sexuality to heart and acted on it, whose would’ve been the blame for a bad outcome? And who was the authority, Sheryl or myself? As it happened, I seized the power out of her hands and left sessions. I still think her belief in sadomasochism was misguided and misguiding, so I had every right to chuck therapy with her. But it was an example of the balance of power between everyday people. The ideal social transactions are equal and rational, as in a forum for discussion. Many people aren’t aware of an alternative to domination and submission these days. It’s a sad state of affairs, and if I had any say, I would educate people about Transactional Analysis…

My Tuesday

Nine o’clock. Carmen this morning was very good. She acknowledges that I’ve already had a lot of therapy and perhaps don’t require any more. It’s funny, but it only took me eighteen months of sessions to learn CBT enough to be helpful. My brother was in therapy for seven years and never learned a thing. Carmen said psychosis is a spectrum, and schizophrenia and bipolar are boxes along it. It is possible to have the symptoms of both disorders for that reason. I’m in good hands at Laurel Hill. Carmen put in a referral for me to employment services at the agency. She thinks I’d make a good peer support. I think it’s a good place to start if I want to get into counseling. I told her I wanted a job that allows some thinking. The data entry job I had had was anything but thoughtful. I merely plugged in alpha-numerals with no human meaning. My brain was chained to an insignificant occupation and was restless for more challenging tasks. So we’ll see what comes of that. As for my family, I don’t feel quite as bothered or threatened by them anymore. What they believe and do is just hardware on a very old operating system with long outmoded software. Even my professor brother can’t shake his programming. The units in the machine of my family have a secret to protect, one that I blew wide open long ago. It’s all right for them to remain stuck in the quicksand, but I got out and nothing can drag me back in. If it entails estrangement from them, then it’s worth it to be free and to help others be free and happy. All in all I had a pretty good day.

The Innocent Criminal

My impression from C— is a you-ought message: I should have a job, wife, and kids. Everybody else does it, so I should too. It’s a duty expected of everyone. But no: it’s not illegal to remain a bachelor uncommitted to anything. I’ve broken no written law. And that’s where I’ve been clever. I’ve missed the ride on the carousel and merely watched the wheels go round and round. I’ve seen a lot of marriages fail. I even saw one end in suicide. I learned by observation… L— D— perceived me in a way similar to C—. One Foster’s fable she picked for me was about the flower in the shop that was taller and more beautiful than the others, but still never purchased. Then one day she was taken and pressed between the pages of a book and put away on the shelf. L— refused to explain her reasons for choosing that fable. What I see in it now is the way I tend to avoid commitments, or involvement at all. I’m just a useless ornament to someone. The oddity of it is that I’ve never considered myself responsible for my own life. Now that I do accept responsibility, I still want to remain free and unburdened— like the agent in Cockpit. Maybe I never wanted more than to be alone and free.