Judgmental much?

Ignore this post if you don’t like gossipy, judgmental bitches.

So, my classmates and i have to read and critique each other’s work.  Not all of it, but we are assigned to read and respond to a certain number of our cohorts and their work.  Not to be outdone in the recovering perfectionist department, i always do more than assigned in responses but generally read way more than that.

We have some over-sharers in our midst.

Let me say that electroshock therapy has come a long way and i think that it can be a highly effective form of treatment for people who don’t respond to other methods.  It is done in a very humane manner these days, in a proper hospital, with sedation.  i have a visceral reaction to the immediate thought of, say, the shock “therapy” from “One Who Flew Over the Coo-coo’s Nest” but can assure everyone that isn’t what happens anymore.

So that is my little disclaimer before my little midday rant.

Coming in 3,2,1…

It behooves someone who is going to practice in mental health to have a bit of a filter, i think.  Do i ever share personal details of my life?  Sure, when its relevant, and there is a reason, i might *briefly* touch on certain things but there is a boatload of anecdotal things i keep to myself.  My general rule of thumb is that if i would not share the info with a client, i should likely not post it on a public classroom discussion board.

A classmate felt the need to point out that she has had regular electroshock therapy.  Another said that they were in treatment for being borderline.  A third made the announcement of being sexually abused as a young child.  i keep wondering when our professor might gently suggest that these kinds of things should maybe be handled in therapy and not shared in public.  Maybe i’m wrong, though, because it keeps happening and she doesn’t suggest not sharing.

And then i think i could be a hypocritical ass, which i detest, because i write here about all kinds of things.  This is also a public forum, in a sense.  The blog, though, is not tied to my professional identity and i’m not touting my child abuse as a reason for why i want to go into mental health.  In fact, it isn’t.  What it did was prompt me to read seriously about psychology when i was 12 onward and to develop a sense that psychology is a lot like putting together a puzzle.  It’s satisfying to me in that sense and that you never know what tip, breakthrough, meditation, medication, art project, or tool that could be a pissing piece that helps a person get on with their life.  

i’m not a Crusader.  

i don’t want to save anyone.

i have my own shit to deal with in life.  i consider the blog to be a tool for dealing.  Even here, there are things i just touch on because i’m trying all of the time to focus on here and now.  

i don’t always succeed at that.  Today is not a great day for it, i’m mentally tired.  

Yesterday was Sir Raven’s only day off of work and she had to go to a work meeting and hear what a grand job she is doing.  i’m so damn proud of her.  She left mid morning and i wasn’t expecting her home til 6pm.  i did more laundry and got a text around 5- “Start the beautification process, girl, I’m on my way home.”  i finished folding her shirts, threw the sheets from the dryer into the bag, and nearly ran home.  i think she likes the idea that i will take the time to put on make-up, fix my hair, and dress for her at the end of the day before she gets home.  i mean, i figure who wants to come home to a woman who looks disheveled or haggered?  i try and be the kind of woman she wants to come home to and it might be the femme in me responding to her Butchtasticness.  So, she comes home to lit candles, a clean home, and a cheerfully smiling me.  i’m ready to take her coat and bag, pour her wine and water, and offer to remove her boots.    

Not yesterday.  i rushed in and noted she was in the kitchen, pouring her own wine.  i panted out an apology, for missing her arrival, and she told me to sit on the bench and to close my eyes and open my mouth.  She stuffed a huge bite of melt-in-your-mouth chocolate cookie inside.  She said something about it coming from Oprah’s favorite snacks or whatever.  

i went to put up the laundry, make the bed, and cook her dinner.  We had shrimp with stir fried snow peas, red pepper, onion, and carrots over jasmine rice.  The night before we had salad with fresh herbs, red pepper, strawberries, cherry tomatoes, carrots, snow peas, onions, and crispy popcorn chicken.  Since we had one single nice day, i wanted to serve fresh veggies.  Today, it’s freezing again and i need to figure out what i’m cooking tonight.  i’m thinking about turkey meatloaf and roasted vegetables.  

The wind is coming in through the windows.  i’ve been running a fever all day (thanks, Fibro) and pleaded with Sir Raven to leave them open so i’m not over heated when the heat finally comes up.  i lit candles and tried to meditate today.  i’m feeling a little bit tense. i have a lot to do and it’s very hard to not get mad at myself when i have to keep replaying the same information over and over or to look at a name five (five!) times to cite it.  Getting mad won’t help, of course.  Plus, it’s silly to get mad at myself that i don’t have control over.  Fibromyalgia really does mess with cognitive functioning and i have to be okay with that until there is a cure or better treatment.

Today, i am thankful for my playpen the chaise lounge and for a Master who brings me her cookie.  i’m thankful that my best is (mostly) good enough.  i’m thankful for my friends because i don’t think i’m an easy person to love.  i’m thankful that if people are judging me for putting my own stuff out here about child abuse and a sociopath family, i remain blissfully unaware of that.  

You know, on that note, it took a full 33 years to stop lying about my mother, to stop defending her, to stop minimizing.  And it feels good to be honest with myself that it was that bad, for most of those 33 years.  i did survive it and i’m not often ashamed of where i come from.  Will i admit it on the class message boards?  Hell no.  It’s good here though to be able to admit that i still have nightmares about her sometimes.  It wouldn’t hurt me if i was being judged about it.  i was a damn good daughter and i know for sure that i didn’t make her not love me.  What i have accomplished in four years is really a kind of miracle.

The other day, someone that knows me well made an offhand remark that it’s obvious to anyone looking that they are looking at the results of an abused child.  And here i was, worried i would start hand flapping (which i do) and have everyone in the Residency look at me and think “Autism” at the same time.  Heh.  i am now seeing myself as a battered young child with a giant white cane wearing an adult womans suit that is far too big, like i’m dressing up and playing therapist.

Thinking about that, though, i figure it’s not too terribly far off from how most of us are feeling about the prospect of having strangers dig into our psyche’s while professors judge our reactions.  Heh.  Sounds fun, yes?

Sir Raven said i can’t take my teddy bear and that she will choose which friend i can bring with me, if any.  i’m worried.  Perhaps she imagines me trotting into a conference room with my bear.  She is aware that i don’t give a damn and have brought him to the airport.  It is utterly amazing the number of people who have a smile in their voice in response to an adult little girl, with a bear.  Though, to be fair, i have a lot of days that i’m a magnet for people with dark intentions.  However, i still think the world would actually be a much better place if everyone brought their teddy bears with them.  

Yeah.  They are going to let me into someone’s psyche.  Heh.  Yep.

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5 thoughts on “Judgmental much?

  1. sofia says:

    This post cracked me up – I remember having the same thoughts about the things peopled shared when I was in graduate school. I finally decided to let go of it and just hope that they got what they needed from that in grad school and didn’t take it to therapy. However, I suspect they are the same people whose clients would eventually show up in my office saying things like, “Why can’t we go out for coffee on Sunday? My last therapist and I did…” or “You don’t talk about yourself much, I knew all about my last therapist, you know, what kind of problems she had. Sometimes, I felt like I was the therapist.”

    Yeah.

    i’m amused at the image of you, a child in therapist’s clothing. But really, aren’t we all?

    love,

    sofia

  2. jadescastle says:

    (giggle) i almost snorted coffee out of my nose. Yeah, i had a few of those “therapists.” One, when i was 12, said that since it was our last day of therapy, i should come over to his house to visit and go swimming. And i said, “I think we have to wait a year before it’s considered professional misconduct on your part.” He told me he was going to miss me and then went for away too long hug. Even as a twelve year old child, i was thinking “um, this isn’t exactly Kosher.”

    Heh. Number of times i will have a coffee date with my clients? Zero.

    Anyhow, yeah, there were times i WAS a therapist in child’s clothing, literally.

    The over-sharing knows no bounds. People sharing that their brother is a current drug addict, they had a little meth problem, it just goes on and on. i have copped to my DV in passing, but basically focused on what tools helped me and how it inspired me to continue my education. And yes, i’d say the same thing to a client. i don’t mention the stockholm syndrome stuff because i think its TMI.

    i’d just like to point out that these are some of the same folks that i’ll have to do mock therapy with face-to-face. Now that i’m thinking about it, hand flapping could not be the biggest issue that will be going on in that conference room. Heh.

    Clearly, it isn’t as if i’d get rejected from my program for looking autistic.

  3. night owl says:

    Your post got me thinking about self-disclosure in an counseling program. We do counseling skills practice with classmates in front of the classroom. When we are acting the role of the client, we are encouraged to bring real issues to our interactions, as long as we keep it within manageable emotional parameters (let’s say on a scale of 1-10, a 5). Since I am comfortable with self-disclosure, I bring my history of abuse right out.

    I have multiple motivations. First, I figure that we’re all going to be exposed to these issues at one time or another. If I can open the conversation by self-disclosing, then I am happy to do so. I have a pretty good handle of talking about this stuff without getting overly emotional.

    Second, it helps ME learn and grow. I did an Adlerian “earliest childhood recollections” exercise with my professor in front of the room and got in touch with, not only my shame, but, for the first time ever, my anger. It was a revelation.

    Third, it’s a kind of dare, an ‘in your face’ declaration. I am this way, and damn it, I dare you to judge me or dismiss me or say anything hippocritical to my face.

    Lastly, I really think we, as humans, crave validation. When I put myself out there and share about these very intimate and vulnerable issues, then another classmate comes to me afterward and says, Hey, I know exactly how you feel, we validate each others’ experiences and feelings. I love that!

    Having said all that, during a break between classes, when one of my classmates shared with a few of us that she has a profile posted on a Sugar Daddy website, I was blown away. Not because she’s looking for a sugar daddy, but that she would share that with classmates in a very public setting.

    What the F do I know?

    • jadescastle says:

      Hiya Night Owl,
      In the context that you described, I wouldn’t consider that over-sharing per se. What i am talking about is there is NO CONTEXT or they are listing those details as THE reason for doing Mental Health work. I think you have to do your own work first (and ongoing) but that should be separate from the reasons you want to practice.
      If the reason to share is relevant and to help others, I think that it great. I’ve shared about DV, being in a lesbian relationship, and being poor as it has come up and been a part of a conversation. I’ve had students email me privately to tell me that it helped and sometimes changed their minds because it put a face to the situations. So, i get sharing. It is perhaps the context that matters to me more than what is said.

      And, having said all of that…
      What the F do I know?

      lol many hugs
      The Sugar Daddy chick might be thinking about her student loans, just sayin’ 😛

      • night owl says:

        I knew we would be of kindred minds! I totally agree that one should get their emotional act together at least minimally before testing it out on clients.

        And, yes, that is exactly what she said. Our tuition is going up $15/credit hour next semester; she thought it might finally be time to take one of those Daddys up on his offer. (I am secretly jealous because she is 26, petite, pretty, and hot. 😉

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