My shrink thinks I’m crazier than I am.
Ever since my last shrink had his nervous breakdown (not my fault, honest) and disappeared, and I had to find a new drug dealer, I have known this. One of the first things he did was give me a day (A DAY) of psychological testing. I went along for the ride, since I had really good insurance at the time and wouldn’t have to pay for any of it. Besides, there’s always that morbid curiosity, odd amusement, and the feeling that I might get a good blog out of it. Like, what WOULD they find? Hell, maybe I was crackers and just didn’t know it. Besides, the test didn’t involve any needles. What the hell. I had a personal day saved up.
The result of that day of scantron sheets, “tell us the story in the picture,” and ink blots (psychiatry doesn’t realize that it’s a caricature of itself) was a 10-page print-out. I have a copy of it in my house somewhere. I wish I knew where it was, as it’s one of the few things on the “I would die if someone found this” list. In fact, it may be the only thing. Oh, wait. I also have some N’Sync in my iPod. Don’t judge me. I only kept that print out because, how often do real, licensed doctors sit down and give you a print out about your psyche? The last time I had that done was at a psychic fair in high school. I gave them two bucks, and I got 5 pages profiling me as a textbook Scorpio. I also got some purple incense and a mood ring.
I don’t think psychiatry is a bunch of hoodoo, but I also don’t think I have mild schizophrenia. Either that, or I’m so crazy that I don’t even KNOW I’m crazy, which I doubt is the case since I have to interact with my craziness at least once a day when I take my meds. I just don’t think that schizophrenia is one of my “issues,” as they say.
What WILL I cop to? I’m high-strung. I’m anal. I have bone jarring, earth-stopping, formerly-crippling panic attacks. I even panicked myself into puking once. In my defense, McDonald’s pancakes were involved. Art school made me depressed. Art school makes EVERYBODY depressed. If you leave art school with an addiction to nothing but Remeron, you’ve actually done a really good job. If you leave art school without ever thinking about offing yourself, you don’t care enough about your work and you’re doomed to be eternally mediocre.
How does my shrink explain my response to his testing? I also have some mental illness that makes me want to dismiss the results of his testing. In other words, by disagreeing with him, it only proves that I’m mental. It’s like someone getting angry when you tell them they have anger issues. I let him talk as he walked me through my test results, gave as little sarcasm as possible, and then totally mocked his tests for years. It’s what I do. It’s my last name, phonetically-speaking.
What’s my point? That man has spent the last 5 years telling me almost exactly the same thing every time I see him, but last week he broke out a new record (which I’m sure will be repeated at me for the next 5 years). He thinks I’m selling myself short doing graphic design. He thinks I should be an I.T. person. More and more, I agree. Graphic design is a profession where you can hustle your whole life and work your ass off constantly and still be eternally broke. It’s fine if that’s all you ever want to do, but you can’t learn every part of every piece of software and still have a boyfriend or even a well-maintained lawn. The more I deal with the lawn, the more I wish I could pacify it with a blow job. Besides, I’m arrogant and I hate people. If that doesn’t scream “you should be an I.T. person,” I don’t know what does.
My drug dealer has finally given up on trying to get me to meet more upwardly-mobile men…
“Dude, have you SEEN me? Have you MET my potty mouth? Braxton does NOT want to take me to meet his polo ponies.”
So he’s focusing on my career (by the way, “focusing on one’s career” is also one of my “issues,” according to his tests) rather than my social life. He, like so many adults who did so much hand-wringing when I pissed away my SAT scores by majoring in Sound Engineering and then Graphic Design, has gone into the “you’re selling yourself short” speech. It’s fun to watch him go, I guess. Suggesting that I go back to school, which I would do if I weren’t already 30 grand in the hole. Suggesting that I go to book signings to meet men, like I’m hot to go on a series of awkward, boring first dates which inevitably end in some poor, literate fellow being completely emasculated. Or, worse, having some smart fellow make me feel stupid. Or, supremely worst, having a crappy date and then having to kick a guy’s ass at Scrabble just to make a point.
He means well, but there are a long list of things I don’t mention to my shrink because he’d make something of them. Stand up comedy aspirations, book deal aspirations, false-start relationships, new-found love for vodka, how I’d design promo materials for porn movies if they wrote big enough checks…
OK, I mentioned that last one. I am a pragmatic lass with the subtlety of a frying pan to the cranium.
That’s an “issue” too.