I went to the doctor yesterday. Actually I went to two doctors, one is a psychologist and one is my doctor type doctor...you know, the kind who can legally deal drugs. My psychologist is quiet, not quiet as in "what do you think about that?" but a soft spoken person, probably about my age, who is fascinated with my mother. Someone should be, I suppose, he uses words like "abuse".
I somewhat mistrust therapists. No, I'm not one of those people who doesn't believe in psychotherapy, I think it's awesome, as the world spins faster and faster it creates a need for things that it never needed before, things like "the cloud," hazelnut lattes and psychotherapy. What I mistrust about it is that I have watched people manipulate therapists. I had a "friend" once who, in spite of her constant bragging about how her husband couldn't keep his hands off of her and what a fantastic mother she was, found herself in some sort of marital pickle and sought marriage counseling. She only "needed" two sessions because, in that brief time, she (or so she said) managed to make both her therapist and her husband see that is was HIS mother that was the cause of all of their problems.
Frankly, I think that her spending $15,000 on custom made bookcases for that ticky tacky house of hers in the desert suburbs just east of hell had something to do with the sudden cooling of the marital ardor. I didn't spend that much on my last car and I drove it brand new off the lot. Not to mention that the bookcases didn't help, the place always looked like inventory night at Big Lots.
Anyway, suffice it to say that I have seen people manipulate therapists. Therapists are people and, just as they size you up you can size them up. It's not too hard to start giving them what they want to hear and bam, you're cured and off you go, your marriage is saved. Yeah, like THAT lasts.
Anyway, I approach therapy as an exploratory operation right now. Besides, it justifies the Xanax, and that alone is worth the hour a week.
My doctor, however, should have been a therapist, although perhaps he wouldn't be as cool if he did what he does for me for a living. In other words, he's a really good doctor who takes the time to get to know his patients. And, if he were just a therapist, I couldn't get Vicodin from him when I have a root canal.
So, after the therapist, I head to the doctor. I have a standing appointment with him of some frequency, ever since I collapsed in his examining room several months ago. He gives good hugs, btw.
Occasionally he takes blood. Mostly he talks to me. He seems to feel that I was entitled to a breakdown. He understood that I gained almost 9 pounds in six weeks on disability, he confessed to indulging in a bit of binge eating himself. So on Friday in I went. Now, while I was binging I was NOT attending Weight Watchers. I went off the deep end the week I hit a 26 total pounds lost. My doctor, God love him, was not upset about the weight (any more than normal) but about my frame of mind and he increased my Paxil.
I went back to Weight Watchers. First off, why the hell does it go ON at the rate of 2 pounds a week and come OFF at the rate of 1 pound a week? I dunno, maybe I don't ... oh, never mind, that thought was too vulgar for me, let's just say I guess I don't get rid of as much as I accumulate. Anyway, I got back on the horse and the horse is getting back into that smaller saddle again. I've lost six of the nine pounds I put on. It took five weeks but I did it. I also finished the 5K Walk Now for Autism Speaks in less than an hour. That sucker was 7 activity points! I was riding my new bike to work but then I seem to have bruised my tailbone so we're giving that a rest and damn, it's SUCH a cute bike...yellow with pink fenders. But I digress...
Well, I'm sitting on the paper draped exam table, swinging my feet and thanking GOD he has his a/c on because it's been 100 degrees and I have no air conditioning at home and I heard him coming down the hall. "Deborah! You've lost weight! I'm so proud of you!"
This before he got in the door. The whole office heard it. I didn't care. It was awesome!
Well, he came in and we proceeded to talk about how I was progressing. He also seems to think my mother was abusive, but he followed that up with "Shame on HER!" He then gave me some really great advice on how to cope with the people who come in and out of my life and turn out to be manipulative users.
"The next time you have to deal with her" he said, "just look her square in the face and think "Piss on you!""
He grinned. I grinned. And, at that moment, I realized I was close to nirvana. That advice, those three little words, managed to encompass their irrelevance and my self-esteem, all in one go.
He then told me to get the hell out of his office, he had sick people to see. I come back in three months. This alone makes me smile. As I was leaving he said "keep up the great work, you look terrific, I'm proud of you." I said "It's your doing." "Nope" he said. "It's YOUR doing. I'm just part of your cheering section"
And, for the first time in a very LONG time, I find myself not dreading bumping into those people, women I'm sad to say, who are condescending, who gossip, who make up stories and demand absolute fealty instead of friendship. But what will I say? In one case, as little as necessary and in another, absolutely nothing if I'm lucky. But I will be smiling broadly at the time. Because, behind that smile, the voice in my head will be confidently announcing "Piss on YOU!"
I am beginning to understand that "living well is the best revenge." It's not monetary. It's mental. It's buying clothes a size smaller because you feel so much better. It's realizing those demonic voices of my past (and present in a case or two) are fading as they lose their influence on my emotional well being. I'm a long way from the woman who once stood in a parking lot singing the theme from Growing Pains with gay abandon. But that woman was fun. And she WILL be back. I will again dance on the stage while singing "Let the Sunshine In." I will wear yellow again. That person is small, and off in the distance...but she is STILL in sight.
Except that, when we merge again, I intend to be the stronger for it. I will also be wearing a size 12 again.