Pensive

Dr. Ronald Harrington Is My Hero

I would marry my psychiatrist if he proposed, but I doubt that would happen. I see him every two weeks for intensive therapy that doesn't just focus on Aunt Tudi's death, and my guilt and woe because of it. The day before any appointment with him, I would psych myself up, and be certain not to lose control of my emotions, especially anything that would trigger crying on my part.

But he told me a few sessions back that, that was exactly what he wanted. He wanted me to lose control. He wanted me laid bare, so we could build on something healthier for me. He wanted me to do the exact thing I did not want to do.

So, yesterday, late in the afternoon, it was getting dark, and I was preparing to get Toby into the house, which I did. Then I double checked that Smidgen was on her usual throne, my bed. Everything seemed in order.

But then, leaving the beasties in my room, I came back out and began to frantically search. I called out Chester's name two or three times. Matt, who was going up the stairs, stopped and asked me who Chester was. I was kicking myself both emotionally and mentally, but I "manned up" as "they" say, and tried to explain to Matt that Chester was the Yorkie who used to live with Aunt Tudi and me, and later on just me. And I explained to Matt, I had no idea why I looking around so frantically for a dog that had passed just a few weeks before I left for California. Matt found this extremely funny and said something along the lines of "your dead dog won't come, no matter how much you call for him." He was literally guffawing, and called to the Mother Unit what had just happened.

I just turned around, went into my room, and closed and locked the door. And I cried as though my heart would break. It was the first thing I did when I woke up at 2 AM, then later in the morning when I saw Matt.

Dr. Harrington asked how I came to have Chester, and wanted to know how he died. I explained to him about Winston dying in Aunt Tudi's arms when we went to visit him at Dr. Patch's. I've never seen her so attached to a dog, and I wanted her to have the chance to be blessed with such feeling again. I searched the sparse rescue homes in the Upstate, but no joy. I finally found a breeder about 30 miles away from me. Aunt Tudi picked the pup for her, and we spirited the bundle of joy home.

He was Aunt Tudi's xmas and birthday gift that year. As I was trying to tell the doctor everything that had happened, and how devastated I was to first, be stupid enough to call a dog that was no longer alive and second, the scenario turned into fodder for Matt's ridicule.

The entire time I was telling Dr. Harrington this, I was crying as though my heart had broken. And this made me feel even worse, that I was crying so hard over Chester in front of anyone. It was as if I placed more loss and grief over him, than I ever did Aunt Tudi. The doctor asked me if I had ever heard of transferance. Of course I had. The dictionary definition is: Psychoanalysis: the shift of emotions, especially those experienced in childhood, from one person or object to another, especially the transfer of feelings about a parent to an analyst. And he just looked at me for a moment.

"You know where I'm going with this, don't you?"

"That subconsciously placed all my hidden emotions and grief onto a dog that was brought to our home specifically for Aunt Tudi."

He just smiled, and I apologised for bubbling. He reminded me that this was exactly what I needed to do. Well, this made me cry even more. He made it quite apparent that with the one brick of stoicism metaphorically weakened by recent emotional upheaval, we could get down to some brass tacks As he was talking me down, though, he asked why I hated so badly to cry, especially in front of anyone else. I told him that the stock answer for bullying those days was the "sticks and stones" mantra. And if anyone did pick on me, avoid contact and never, ever cry, because the bullying would get worse. I learned to keep my head down, avoid eye contact.

He told me that I've been internalising shit a very early age and now, it's time to purge myself of emotions and grudges, or else I would implode. I told him about the writers' group and the walk around Mission Valley, whatever the hell that is. I'm also going to a writers' group.

We talked a bit more about my rampant misanthropy, and how I could feel like I do, but like individuals. Still, though, we are part of the problem on this planet and, if even one human survived it could well proliferate the virus again. He wanted to how just one person could this. In one word - parthenogenesis. So he asked for clarification about how I want the world to end, that surely I would want to be on the planet, and not have to deal with people any longer. I explained that I wasn't keen saving the planet for myself. I was keen on our species exiting the Terran stage. That we were a bad experiment living in a petrie dish some intern forgot to dispose of.

That's all I can think for now, but it is pretty intense nonetheless. More soonsoon

I go back to him in two weeks.
  • Current Location: Home
  • Current Mood: grateful grateful
  • Current Music: Lower East Side - Delinquent Habits
“Don't be ashamed to weep; 'tis right to grieve. Tears are only water, and flowers, trees, and fruit cannot grow without water. But there must be sunlight also. A wounded heart will heal in time, and when it does, the memory and love of our lost ones is sealed inside to comfort us.”
― Brian Jacques, Taggerung

Suppressing tears is usually about fear of losing control. But life is never really in anyone's control, so knowing that, let it go. You're safe.

Thanks for sharing this, kiddo.

Take care.




Edited at 2014-02-07 09:41 pm (UTC)
When my kids were teenagers I went through that stage when I found out I could control nothing but my bladder, and that was "iffy". Matt is a real douce, and Harrington is WONDERFUL. Happy for you.


Edited at 2014-02-08 09:38 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the comforting words. I certainly don't deserve anything from you guys, whom I feel I've neglected for way too long.

(and I don't like not being in control. :) )
If only more therapists were like that. He's doing the job because he truly loves to help people.
That has to be the only explanation. I mean, he could and probably should have retired years ago, but I think he keeps it up for exactly the reason you gave.
Which is awesome. The world needs more of him. I'm glad you get one of the good ones. :)
I can't tell you how happy this makes me that you have found someone you connect with. Everyone should have a Harrington.
May I quote you on that when I see him a week from Tuesday. I think he'd love the mantra "Everyone should have a Harrington."
I'm sorry this was so painful, but it makes me want to jump up and cheer. You've needed this for *so* long, and Dr Harrington is now on my list of favourite people.
Thank you, my sister. You have no reason to apologise either. I know where you're coming from.