Wednesday, January 6, 2010

More outpouring, less drama

Three hours sleep isn't a good set-up to see a new doc, especially when he turns out to be exactly the kind of Western medicine practitioner that I feel like giving a good thumping to (not that I'd do that kind of thing). Anyway, in spite of his being a get 'em in and out quick, patriarchal ass who needs a course in listening, I actually don't feel much hostility. My words may give lie to that notion, but really, I'm feeling pretty light hearted.

Y'know what? His being my nightmare scenario kind of doc woke me up to something: Why did I have so much faith that this guy could or would help me? It's not like I want to be on the drugs that rheumatology offers. I would politely decline. I suppose I just wanted a definitive answer to my life's health problems. So, I may not get one after all. He was verging on argumentative about reality that was staring him in the face. Psoriasis? Where? "Who told you that was psoriasis?" said he. Pul-leeze, I know psoriasis when I see it. He just didn't like that I came in armed with information, pen and paper. He really didn't like it when I asked him why he wasn't ordering some specific blood tests. Ah, the egos on some people with degrees. You'd think they wouldn't be so fragile, but they're just like the rest of us, and some people need to be in control all the time.

I had some remorse about involving strangers and loved ones alike in my personal drama. I know I scared some, and for that I'm sorry. But I'm not sorry that I spoke my mind in the public arena. I needed the support. If that was the way I could get it, well, it's too bad that I let it come to that (to say the least), but I sincerely hope I learned something.

I had a few other thoughts. I had really laid into myself for the stupidity of re-enacting childhood traumas in the present. But, as I had written, it's not uncommon. In this regard, I am not alone in the least. According to David Schnarch, whose theories about marriage and relationships fly in the face of most therapeutic models, most of us seek out others who will re-injure us in exactly the same places our family did, and if not that, unconsciously find those who can see our weakest places, and either push us or simply (simply?!) just push our buttons. But, he doesn't think this is a problem. He thinks it is the biggest opportunity of our lifetimes. He writes that relationships are the "greatest people growing mechanism there is." That's the ideal. Unfortunately, when others push our buttons, most of us just leave, whether it's for good or for an evening. But, instead of doing that, Schnarch recommends sticking around. Not for abuse, but for growth. He says we're just going to do the same ol' thing with someone else (and don't you know that's the truth), so why bother seeking out a new person to do the dance with?

Of course, if abuse is going on, one must leave. If we remove that, sticking around affords us the opportunity to embrace the opportunity of facing our hardest truths. I really like Schnarch's ideas. He doesn't recommend touchy-feeling make-nice quick fixes. He thinks doing things like sitting down and writing lists like "10 reaons I respect you" and then exchanging them is a crock. He advocates learning to tolerate fighting, and that everyone "man up" (both women and men alike, but he couches this in more professional language). His book, "Passionate Marriage" (which really needs a better name), advocates that we work hard at growing up, owning up, and learning to be comfortable being uncomfortable. I love that he has a chapter called "normal marital sadism." It seems so honest to use those words. Who else knows how to torture us better than those who love us? C'mon folks, unless you're from the perfect family (and now have the perfect family of your own), you just know that no one can twist the knife as hard and as well as the people whom we trust the most. Hey, that's normal?! Yep.

Well, I'm very tired. I need to go do some yoga, and then maybe a nap is in order. I'd like to write more, but my ability to organize my thoughts was already impaired, and now it's pretty much gone. Okay, maybe the nap comes before the yoga.

Image note: I'm too tired to figure this one out. Any suggestions?


jmcleod76 said...

For an image, how about a still from "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" or a menacing looking doctor?

By the way, I agree about "manning up." That's very sensible, dharmic advice, I think. Not that the next person will do the same things or push our buttons in the same way, exactly - that's not true, in my experience - but that our propensity for unhappiness follows us from place to place, relationship to relationship. We need to do our own work and not assume we can be happy "if only ..."

Julie H. Rose said...

Thanks for the suggestion. I will leave the post w/o pics. Let it stand. I'm not sure why I put those pics up there, really. For those who like 'em?

I agree with you fully. I need to "man up" big time. But I'm not gonna beat myself over the head. That's another bit of nonsense. I might as well get out the hairshirt and start whipping myself. Wait. That wouldn't probably register as punishment. . .

Anyway. Thanks. Now, back to spinning wool. Cheers, my friend.

jmcleod76 said...

How funny - I didn't even think I was talking about your situation when I said "manning up" was sensible advice. It was a more general comment. I'm not even sure the context of it fits your situation, really, but if you think it does, then that's for you to know.

Much love.