March 7th, 2006

Adrasteius: Really?  Really.

(no subject)

When I went to the counseling center yesterday, I was very nervous, because I'd never been to that type of place before. The fact of the matter is that I was raised in a family which is overall suspicious of doctors of all types--and if you have a family which is suspicious of physical doctors, they're certainly not going to have much stock in those who deal with mental ailments. My mother's response to a lot of things (though admittedly, and thankfully, not this so much) was always 'Get over it,' a response which makes me both want to laugh at its absurdity and cry in frustration. I suppose the suspicion arose more out of resentment than anything else--my dad's whole life was doctors i originally wrote has been, so it's natural that he wasn't, ultimately, fond of them.

Point being that when I was continually upset about something in the past, it wasn't really something anyone in my family could understand (though according even to my mother, depression is in the family), and it lead me to suspect the reality of mental ailments also. It's particularly difficult with a brother like mine, who is a sentient robot. People might say, oh, he has lots of feelings, he just keeps them locked up, and that might be true, but the fact remains that he is able to carry on with his daily responsibilities with ruthless efficiency regardless. I am efficient and ruthless in nothing, and likely never will be. I haven't mentioned any of this to my brother at all, and don't particularly want to, because he'll probably still have a 'get over it' reaction ... since that's just how he is.

At any rate, so I sat in the waiting room, unthreading my scarf, scratching my thumbs against my keys, and I was so embarrassed I didn't even want to be caught looking at any of the stuff in there (self help magazines, pamphlets, books). As I sat there, though, I heard the sound of another session down the hall--someone was crying, sobbing even. I thought about how the counselor told me how busy she was--how she and the others seemed to be constantly booked. I wondered what that person was crying about, and it pained me to think of how much everyone suffers so much and so often it's so quiet because we look down on that kind of thing, we really do--I'm no exception.

No one can deny how lucky we are to live in the country that we do, and how lucky we are even to be able to sit and read this thing on the internet, and write back, and write in our own thing on the Internet, and then go and have food and sleep in a comfortable bed. Our immediate needs are easily satisfied, and generally our wants aren't too far off.

But overwhelming pain still persists: sadness, fear, worry, loneliness. And as I sat there in that office, I came to understand that it wasn't fair to minimize those feelings in anyone; they are ubiquitous and debilitating. I began to think back about all of the times in my life I would consider hard before my father's death: senior year of high school (when I felt I had lost every friend I ever had), taking my driver's license test (n.b. since some seemed confused ... I did pass this test, second attempt, and I do have my license--I just fill with terror at the prospect of driving), freshman year of college (with that crazy bitch), the latter half of sophomore year (when Michelle moved out and it was just me'n'the roaches), and then situations which have caused me pain from people I knew almost exclusively over the Internet--i.e., the Angels debacle, situations in Warcraft, things like that. All those people at whom I felt rage are people who I know have experienced the feelings I described above. I know, for example, that my freshman year roommate was at her heart a desperately unhappy person, someone trapped by parental expectations and shaped by an extremely emotionally abusive mother.

When I am not in the throes of despair or terror or worry, I'm usually angry at somebody or something, and thinking about these past events made me angry at the people who did them to me all over again--angry at selfishness, lies, lack of apologies, and whatever else--until I thought them through. There's not a lot I can do right now about the crushing weight of anxiety, of loneliness, of fear. But there's something I can do about anger.

I decided, then, in that waiting room, to forgive all of these people. And I do--I forgive you.

Now I suppose I must also forgive myself.
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