Posts Tagged ‘psychiatry’
When a psychiatrist asks a new patient about their family of origin, they’re trying to figure out why someone is willing to spend $195 for 50 minutes of their time.
Tell me this doesn’t make sense, unless you’re there for a full body massage and facial, plus tip.
Unfortunately there is no here and now therapy that solves problems in under an hour, so you have to keep writing the checks for the next 600 years if you want to get anywhere.
Okay, technically there is here and now therapy, but it doesn’t broach deeper questions, so after a few martinis, the shit hits the fan all over again.
Take a look at your life, your relationships, and how you feel when you ask your mother a personal question and still get the same stonewalling you got when you were 12.
Now you know what I’m talking about.
Why a degree in Psychology is not required for people who choose to procreate is beyond me. Unless you’re already an idiot and have no shot in hell of fucking up your idiot child, you need the degree.
Some people consider therapy a form of sanctioned adult whining. Others pay attention for their own personal safety.
They’re both right, of course.
Therapy is a grueling process of emotional dissection through an objective lens. It’s a way of looking at life with intense consciousness, which is why people in the field make everyone around them so uncomfortable. Most people prefer not to look because it makes life a lot easier for them, as opposed to everyone around them, which is usually why they’re on the couch in the first place.
In the narcissistic family, denial is rampant because emotional pain is a crack in an otherwise flawless veneer — the one everyone sees; the one they want everyone to see; to buy into.
The perfect one.
But people aren’t perfect as evidenced by what appears to be planetary genocide, so kids soon realize they have no place to put all their errant emotions in those razor-thin boundaries.
So they shove their needs down so far that they become invisible, which is perfect.
You may think that rainy weather is a cheap cure for writer’s block.
Angst is the only cure I know.
In my case, I just leave the house and interact with the general public, which usually loosens the words and images no matter what the weather’s doing, which is why I leave the house in the first place.
Idiocy is like premium fuel. Don’t ask me to play with the metaphor. If you’re a reader here, you already know how to do that yourself.
Anyway, there’s been a lot of discussion lately about happiness and it’s negative impact on creativity.
There’s also been a lot of discussion about good sex and its tendency to dull the senses the way zombies in opium dens forget to eat for a month until they eventually die of starvation, and then want to eat.
So when Sarah McLaughlin says she can’t write because she’s happy, she means she can’t write because she’s already getting her drugs somewhere else.
But when the supply lines dry up, as they always do, you’ll hear from her again…kind of like your friends who disappear when they “fall in love” only to reappear like junkies looking for someone to lean on.
I’m not saying that some people aren’t able to create anything worthwhile when they’re happy, but happiness can equate to a state of perpetual angst, even when things seem so normal and happy.
Think Tiger Woods and all those trophies against a backdrop of the most perfect family money can buy. Then the moment he’s exposed for his duplicity, he checks himself into a sex addiction clinic and falls apart on the golf course.
Nothing of any substance is ever created in the absence of premium fuel…the weight and consistency of sludge.
Moral of the story: If your husband or wife is a super hero, you’re only part of the picture.
The rest he keeps to himself. He has to or there wouldn’t be any marriage in the first place.
All of this begs the question, how honest can you really be and still live the life you want to live?
Women should know that intense sex is not necessarily an indicator of lasting love. In fact, the opposite is often the true because, among other things, it usually involves some form of objectification. This renders such things as first and last names, education, felony rap sheets, mental history and, say, heroine addiction, superfluous.
Erections define masculinity, which is why impotence is such a powerful word in the male lexicon.
It suggests a negation of self, because that’s exactly what it feels like for any man who’s ever experienced it, which would include most men, by the way.
The good news is that unless there’s an underlying physical condition, like diabetes or hypertension – or you happen to be playing with psychoactive medications under your own supervision like a lot of guys I know – the problem’s in your head.
I’m not saying that a 35-year-old man should be expected to achieve and hold an erection after a 12-hour workday, two hours in the gym, and a bottle of vodka, but under normal circumstances he should be functional as long as he’s comfortable with the woman.
That’s right. The woman is also an integral part of the equation. And this shift in thinking can make all the difference in the world.
See, men are so accustomed to blaming themselves that they forget about the person they’re with. The assumption is that the erection is their responsibility no matter what the circumstance, and as usual, they’re dead wrong. Just try balancing the responsibility if you don’t believe me.
If a man doesn’t feel comfortable with a woman, the fact that she has a great ass doesn’t change the fact that she’s also a psychopath with a Demeral problem.
It also doesn’t change his erection status if he thinks he’s supposed to be attracted to someone based on a mental checklist, but in reality there’s no chemistry.
In other words, he can’t force an erection anymore than he can improve chemistry or behavior that belongs to someone else.
Homicidal sociopaths can do it, but not everyone wins the lottery.
So here are a few fundamental lessons:
Never, ever idealize anyone. They don’t deserve it, believe me. No one deserves it, and most men who project this bullshit onto someone are setting themselves up for failure. Remember, it’s not your job to be turned on and achieve an erection just to satisfy a woman’s expectations. There are two people involved here, and I’m damn sure you’re not going to kick her ass out of bed if she isn’t lubricated, so make it a two-way street.
If you feel comfortable with the woman, it will happen. But men often make the mistake of thinking that just because a woman is beautiful that everything else is their responsibility.
Just try taking the pressure off of yourself and put it on her for a change. If she doesn’t like the shift in dynamics, hand her a Sasha Gray video and be done with it.
Do not ever allow a woman to set the pace. Remember, the cards are in her favor when she’s the one applying the pressure. She knows you’re the one who has to perform. And if you idealize her before you have any idea who [or what] you’re dealing with, you’re on thin ice.
Remember, you can’t slay her with your penis unless you feel comfortable with her.
Then you can kill her with the fucking thing.
If she’s that hot, just go for broke or walk away. It isn’t worth the embarrassment if you don’t feel comfortable.
On a personal note, I once dated someone I idealized, in spite of her controlling and abusive behavior. My thinking was that all I had to do was perform in bed in order to mitigate the nightmares, but what I discovered in the process was that I had assigned myself all the blame, and thus, pressure, which became a kind of crucible. I couldn’t change who she was no matter what I did in bed or anywhere else for that matter, so I couldn’t win.
But more importantly, we couldn’t win.
We were a poor match. Both of us. Together. As a couple. Not just me, the man.
It’s never just one person, which constitutes another one of those fundamental lessons men should understand, but often forget.
In that dire situation, if I didn’t perform in every way imaginable, I would lose her. So the pressure was enormous. And as time passed I was hobbling along on lost erections and an inability to orgasm, which made me feel like shit and doomed the relationship.
But in reality, what doomed the relationship was the inherent disconnect between the two of us, not the erection and/or orgasms. But because they’re so important to a man’s sense of self, that any problems became my fault. If I couldn’t perform for the woman of my dreams, I wasn’t worthy of dreams, period.
But she was never the woman of my dreams. She was an idealized version of the truth. When the relationship ended, I called up an old lover and we [literally] tore the house apart for three solid weeks, which was the beginning of an awakening that left the past where it belonged.
Note to women:
Never badger a man for sex. That’s his job. If your libidos are mismatched, move on. But never pressure a man you love if you want him to stick around. He won’t.
1] Never idealize anyone. No one is perfect and most of the time, far from it, no matter what her ass looks like.
2] If you don’t feel comfortable, don’t proceed, period. If she’s right for you, the erection will happen.
3] Stop blaming yourself. It’s not about you. It’s about both of you and your ability to connect. And while her looks may be overwhelming, you might want to take a look at her brain, which may do the trick given all the empty space.
A final note to women:
Intense sex is not an indicator of lasting love. In fact precisely the opposite is often true. This is because when men feel this comfortable from the outset, it’s usually an indication that their brains are on autopilot, which is a bad thing if you expect them to remember things like your name, for example.
I get beaten up about this all the time
Free associating on the couch:
The door swings open bleeding a crimson luminescence into a vacant hallway.
It appears to carve a passageway onto the opposing wall that, from where I stand, appears to be a passageway into another dimension.
It seems like a place Dante would spend a lot of down time.
I’m in the company of three hookers and a circus seal.
I don’t know which is which because everyone is performing. The colors and shapes have merged. Everything is a kind of soupy cacophony.
Am I dreaming, or is this what’s left at mid-century?
I don’t know.
It appears that my job in life has taken on new dimensions.
Am I now steward of its inhabitants?
What else is there?
Who’s taking care of me?
An accountant, a broker, an assistant and a shrink? And occasionally, one of the aforementioned hookers who don’t go by that professional title.
So why can’t I allow myself to enjoy all of this?
What’s wrong with me?
Why do I feel guilty about doing things for other people who keep taking and taking and taking because I keep giving and giving and giving, spending tens of thousands…and for what?
For more encouragement to do more, which leads to giving more, which leads to even more affirmation, more encouragement, and more love?
There comes a point in time when life feels reductive, condensed down to a few useful pieces, rather than the universe of possibilities I carried with me as a young man. This is what you never fully get when you’re in that blessed place because everything is a projection into the future.
For those who get it all too soon, there is rehab.
You wait and wait and wait until it arrives, and then the rest is suddenly gone.
Most people who read a lot of Nietzsche label this an existential nightmare.
Agents, publicists, dealers, dopers, derelicts all — sucking the life out of the golden boy – now man – who deserves to be happy, particularly when he’s doing things for them.
Don’t sabotage that happiness by not handing it over.
What’s wrong with you, Jay?
Gimme. Gimme. Gimme.
There is always more. Everyone is strung out on the highs. The entitlement. The lust. You think I’m imagining these things? That my view of the world is jaundiced?
Perhaps my eyes are wide open and what I see is a running dialogue of life in the noonday sun, outside the framework of the insulated, the delusional and the dead.
This is a backstage look at what makes the performance what it appears to be to those who don’t care to know how, or why.
If you just want the performance, look elsewhere.
Go ahead and barricade yourselves from a world that’s always shoving in the opposite direction.
Arm yourselves to the teeth because you’ll need it.
I’ll still be here, broadcasting from out on the edges of sanity.
That’s my job…and that’s what’s left.
I feel like a psychotic in a trance.
Note: You can expect to pay a therapist $175.00 for 50 minutes of this. Then you can get back behind the wheel of a 6000-pound SUV.
I have a book signing and photographic exhibition in two weeks.
The work is a culmination of a life-long struggle with existentialism and its obvious dead ends.
Just imagine heroin addiction without the highs, but all the lows.
And for better or worse my new work stands as a testament to survival through what seemed an impossible journey.
It is representative of the years spent in what I call “missing time.”
“Missing” because it was life from behind a veneer. Protected. Insulated. Fearful. As opposed to exposed, vulnerable and proud.
At one time, that was too much to ask of a man who’s entire life felt like someone else’s fantasy.
For those of you who have never put yourselves out like this, it’s like sprinting into the mouth of madness with your eyes closed.
Or like test-driving the hearts and minds of a thousand strangers with an ice pick, if that works better for you.
I have to be both vulnerable and shielded when the bullets fly, which I hope remains metaphoric.
Who am I?
What am I trying to accomplish?
And why do I care?
Three questions every artist will eventually have to answer.
My assistant, Yvonne, and the rest of the crew are my responsibility. I am friend, confident, dysfunctional parent and guardian all in one, and often at the same time.
The truth is I’m running a machine I don’t fully grasp. I grasp the vague notions and rough parameters, but the rest is still somewhat elusive.
Is it the honing in on a life in full bloom or something else?
I’ll probably never know for sure.
The people around me seem to feel more grounded about it than I do. I can only handle so much emotional compression, as I’m sure you’ve gleamed from all of this.
Sometimes I want to run away to some barren desert and sleep out under the stars with the mountain lions and Gila monsters, just to see if I have the mettle to make it out alive. Or maybe just to test their interest in such an alien form of life.
That’s the great thing about fantasy and one reason I do the thing’s I do.
So much time has passed and still I have no idea why I took this particular journey.
When people say you have endless choices, they need to realize that choices don’t happen in a vacuum. They’re the culmination of the unconscious; shaped and carved by the emotional forces of family and the genes they weave.
And that’s what this book – and the ones that will follow – are all about.
Making sense of missing time.
The time wasted in hiding – in fear, and in denial – which led to this moment in my life where everything is exposed and utterly raw.
So now that I’m free, God help me…and maybe you.
There are times when penning a single sentence feels like chasing a hamster down a Worm Hole.
Maybe it’s the years of uninterrupted writing; a process that can feel like a big, lonely planet hammered by an endless barrage of asteroids the size of Buicks.
But I’m not looking for your pity, because as you know, I don’t need it.
Maybe I’m too comfortable, or too tired, or my testosterone has smoother edges after the beating it took photographing, writing and overseeing the production of “InsideOut,” my new coffee table book of cultural blasphemy, which will be available in December.
The signing is in Houston, on December the 16th, by the way.
Whatever it is, I feel restless and off course in a deeply personal way.
Most of life is relatively easy. The work, specifically — in spite of its own unique challenges. The rest of it is where the work really begins because there are no boundaries, and no clear road to either completion or recovery.
It’s like alcoholism, really. Or drug addiction. Or addiction, period.
So it’s problematic. Unwieldy, unpredictable and a cluster bomb of related adjectives too numerous to note without putting you to sleep.
Imagine scooping bite-size circles out of a cantaloupe if that works better for you.
So I have another birthday on the horizon, a busy book promotion schedule, a newly-designed blog site [coming soon]…and pieces of my crazy personal life scattered like crisp, brown leaves on a Connecticut hillside.
Maybe I like it this way. Therapy only answers some of the questions some of the time. The rest of the time I struggle…no matter what I pay. Or for how long.
This is probably when people in my situation start with the cocaine and Jack Daniels. Smoking would be the least of anyone in my situations’ concerns.
Maybe it’s time for me to visit my brother in Florida. It’s a less expensive form of Electroconvulsive therapy, which never fails to shock me back into the realization that I need a big city to feel alive.
Of course, this starts the cycle all over again.
So this is what I do in therapy. Free associate. After my therapist has read my latest chapter or idea, I pay her $150.
It’s obviously working.
Anyway, we all need emotional sustenance. And I’m not talking about a healthy heartbeat versus no heartbeat at all. I’m talking about feeling alive versus feeling like a Hermann Miller chair.
Most of the time I see the world in two dimensions. It can wear on my perception of reality. I spend so much of my time extrapolating, rather than living in the world outside. And the problem is that the longer I isolate myself, the more unmanageable I become. In public, specifically. I say and do things that come across as alien to people who spend their time surrounded by normal people in public places, like cocktail party benefits and country clubs.
I see the world through my eyes because I don’t have to see it any other way. No one is forcing my perception in one way or another. And because I don’t have to capitulate, I don’t. I guess that’s what makes me sort of a curiosity to people who don’t really know me.
It’s just Jay, the psychopath.
Of course, they don’t mean it in the clinical sense…necessarily. Sometimes they’re not sure, so I keep fanning the flames of their curiosity because I find it amusing.
So for me, this is what it feels like at the bottom of a bucket. It’s not that bad, really. I embrace all of life. The good, the bad, and whatever else there is, and for which there are no adjectives.
Things could be worse. Like everything, for example, which is why I don’t complain to anyone but my therapist.
Yesterday I observed a woman wandering around Whole Foods with a plate of wilted lettuce in her left hand. She pushed a small cart with the other, which contained a single box of frozen broccoli and nothing more.
As I see it, Whole Foods is a kind of halfway house for the insane: a safe haven to act out paranoid delusions with complete impunity.
One man walks around with a briefcase filled with something he won’t reveal, but everyone knows is nothing but loose screws.
Another is a car salesman one day, a psychic the next. In fact, everything about him is imaginary, excluding the food he steals with the tacit approval of the staff.
One guy had goat horns sewn into his skull until they produced a staff infection, which the natural supplement section couldn’t cure for some reason.
I keep waiting for a nurse to stroll by with a cart full of meds for patients out on a field trip in something close to – but not exactly – reality.
Kroger’s organic section isn’t large enough to quarantine them from the rest of the civilian population.
But I want to get back to the woman with the plate of lettuce. If she were wandering around the Amazon basin like that, the insects would have cleaned her plate by the time she reached the produce section.
What happened to her?
Did she have a normal childhood and then suffer some kind of emotional trauma?
Was she ordered off some interstellar spaceship because the crew got sick of her blank stares?
Profile: 50, no make-up, graying, average in an extraterrestrial-trying-to-be-human sort of way; a throwback to another generation that grew out of Woodstock and then went on to discover reality.
The lettuce was like a badge of honor, and she would glare at me every time I glanced at it.
I could just hear her inner dialog:
“How dare you judge me! I eat organic lettuce. I want the world to know I eat organic lettuce. I’m not even sure I’m going to eat it, but I want everyone in the store to think I am. My behavior makes me feel a part of this community and my lettuce is my pass to the realm of the enlightened. I will wander these isles for hours with my plate of lettuce in my hand because it makes me feel at home, accepted, and at peace with the chatter in my head.”
Here’s my version:
“Look at me. I’m a complete psychotic and custodian of Utopian idealism. I buy into every delusion foisted upon me by the endless array of glossy magazines published by the lunatic fringe. I believe in UFO’s, Bigfoot, the Lock Ness monster, and “channeling,” though I’m not sure what it actually means. I am a terminal victim, and you are my scapegoat…”
Most of you know by now that what interests me most is the stuff I don’t see.
At Whole Foods, it’s the stuff I do, which is why I remain a stockholder.
In therapy you pay a trained Psychologist or M.D. to help alleviate psychological problems.
In yoga, you side-step the human condition altogether by tapping into the energy of the universe.
I dunno. It kind of sells itself…
Yoga is feminism’s answer to patriarchy.
If you disagree with me on this, you’re wrong. Not wrong because you have an opposing view, but wrong because your position on the issue is wrong. There’s a difference.
This is one reason so many drop-dead gorgeous women are packing yoga classes from coast to coast…and why certain male yoga instructors, including the revered yogi master – often from places like Cleveland – have improbable liaisons with women half their age and twice their I.Q.
There’s an angle for everything.
These guys offer an “enlightened” alternative to the baboons most women encounter in bars and nightclubs.
The popularity of yoga is really just a reaction to a food chain that appraises women at 35 the same way it did when they were 17.
Of course, at 17 they didn’t have a problem with it because there wasn’t much to criticize.
So it’s a kind of sanctuary for the disaffected.
In therapy you pay a trained Psychologist or M.D. to help alleviate psychological problems.
In yoga, you side-step the human condition altogether by joining forces with the universe; something that isn’t taught in medical school for some reason.
Yoga culture empowers women to express their sexuality under the pretext of spiritual awakening. They use the term, “awakening,” a lot because it sounds better than “fucking” in the context of higher human consciousness.
It’s also a way to buffer oneself from what is perceived to be constant, low-level patriarchal abuse.
Think packs of enlightened, confident, tuned in, empowered, intelligent and aware women with attitude and you get the sense that you’re in the middle of a war zone.
Yoga studios are places where women can express resentment without actually articulating it. These studios are often like psychological boot camps not unlike what one sees in groups like al-Qaida.
When a woman tells a man that she’s involved in “yoga,” the following message is conveyed:
“I’m enlightened, so don’t even think about fucking with me. I’m sexually open because that’s my right, but I only sleep with men who are on board with my message. I am smart, evolved, alert. I know all about shit you can’t even imagine. Fuck off if you dare walk in this class and stare at my ass just because I happen to be wearing paper-thin Lycra from Lululemon. I’m here to escape men like you. I’m here to escape judgment, superficiality, patriarchy. Of course, I do appreciate the attention, which I’ll deny under oath.”
The men who do join these classes accept the fact that they are perceived as emasculated members of an otherwise primitive gender afforded a second chance because of their efforts at maintaining cognition in the midst of what appears to be an all-out orgy.
With this in mind, I’m not sure which gender is the best adapted.
Self-love and inspiration is worth more than a thousand bent gold spoons! John F. Murray
Women often fantasize about being worshiped and adored by some imaginary Prince they read about in a fairy tale. But unlike Santa Claus and the Tooth fairy, alleviating this one requires prescription medication, like Haldol, for example.
Nonetheless, every once in a while a woman will report meeting a man who appears to fit this fantasy profile. He’s usually had an incestuous experience with his mother and now unconsciously relives the fantasy through a surrogate in the form of a pathological narcissist, who doesn’t fully grasp her actual role in his life because it’s not about his life. It’s about what he brings to her life to make it even grander than she thinks everyone else imagines it to be.
Note: You have to keep this straight when dealing with these people, including the meds, because if you’re not careful they’ll grab the Oxycotin, instead, to keep the fantasy strung out.
Put another way, she has to find someone damaged enough to justify the cost of being in her presence for more than 20 minutes without a cigarette break.
Most men I know have lives outside of the women they date, which is common in families where nurturing is shared rather than stolen.
Anyway, I was at a fundraiser the other night when this brunette decided to bless all of us with a surprise appearance after spending an evening in the Orion Nebula.
Her haircut was an asymmetrical black-on-black over dye, last seen on the Star Trek movie, The Wrath of Khan.
And I could swear there was a kind of luminescence hanging in the air around her head that looked like digital photographs of Holy Mary sightings over in Italy…and sometimes, Detroit.
She was accompanied by an invisible man who gave the impression of a quiet parasite on the bark of a cypress tree.
He stayed put.
He kept his eyes and ears to himself.
He didn’t wander.
He didn’t move or speak without intuiting permission.
His clothing was of subtle earth tones and unobtrusive.
This is what I mean by invisible, because by comparison, he was.
She was aware of other men, but refused to acknowledge them.
She would not interact with anyone she didn’t already know.
She came and went like the wind, as though it was natural for her to periodically mingle with life forms she herself created before disappearing back into some wormhole without a second thought.
But this creature is on a death march, because there is no wormhole other than the one she’s trapped in when she’s not on the Haldol.
The whole thing is a charade that’ll end up as a footnote in some psychiatric manual.
This is because two people are always and forever two separate and distinct people, not one thing without a padlock…no matter what star system you happen to be in.
I am being held hostage by two Persian Cats.
Other people surrender their lives to their children, but in my case, it’s cats.
They do as they please because they know I won’t place any boundaries on them. This is because I love them unconditionally; which is something most therapists will tell you is acceptable only in the context of human infants.
So I must remind myself, repeatedly, that I’m addressing an animal in order to avert homicidal rage.
Projecting human attributes onto a cat and then expecting it to respond in kind is like trying to get a hooker to love you. They love certain things about you, but the rest of it is bad for business.
But the fact that I cannot reason with them doesn’t mean I don’t try.
This morning I was pushed to the edge of one of the aforementioned episodes by my male cat, “Sebastian.”
Specifically, he assaulted a new $5000 Knoll Studio Barcelona chair.
The reason[s] for this behavior was obvious in the abstract:
He was being passive-aggressive. Somehow he wasn’t getting his emotional needs met; needs that I was unable to intuit.
So it was my fault.
Of course, I have no idea whether or not any of this is true, but how else does one communicate with a surrogate child who’s well past middle age?
So instead of sticking to my writing schedule, the two of us sat in my library discussing boundary issues and acting out as though I was having a discussion with a neighbor afflicted with extreme autism or attention deficit disorder.
The problem here is that I’m agnostic on the issue of whether or not cats get it. On some level, I think they comprehend my drift, but they use the “I’m a cat” thing to get out of any responsibility. I don’t blame them, really. I’d do the same thing if I could get away with it. I’ve tried, believe me, but unless I’m under sedation – like, in a hospital or something – it doesn’t work.
So they scratch a chair or pee on a rug and I suffer because I can’t kill them and they know it.
This is what I mean by being held hostage.
Sorry, I’ll get back to my usual writing topics in a minute. Even Howard Stern has to reserve time for therapy. Of course, he’s probably conversing with a human, which is more than I can say for myself.