Archive for September 7th, 2012

Friday, 7th September, 2012

I’m going to treat you to a selection of Sally’s awe inspiringly subtle questions:

Do you feel that your mother loves your brother or your sister more than you?

Do you feel as if you don’t belong in the family unit (and then moving closer and looking pained), do you feel isolated?

Does it worry you that you do not interact with your peers?

I honestly think that Sally thought if I could think about these things and realise that none of the above were true and that everyone loved me, then I could just go home and stop giving everyone so much trouble. What she failed to realise was that I had no interest in whether any of the above were true, and if they were true, why that was. I know perfectly well how to “win friends and influence them,” I choose not to, that’s all.

Eventually, old Sal, got to the end of her tether with me, and I have to tell you now, it was the longest most boring tether that I have ever had the misfortune to travel along. Her “get out clause” was that I was becoming too old for her speciality. That’s a bit of an achievement – outgrowing a paediatric specialist. She passed me on to Samuel Bruner, now Samuel really is psychiatry incarnate. I’ seeing him again on Monday. He’s average height, with a larger than average tummy – you know, one of those ones that start at the chest, bulge out and then start their inward curve just above the belt. He’s got white hair, a white beard and glasses – before I met him, I had a picture of him in my mind, of course he was wearing a tweed jacket and had a pipe. I couldn’t believe it when I actually met him, Samuel really is that much of a stereotype, he even has patches on his elbows for God’s sake. He smells a bit of rich pipe tobacco, some people like that smell, I think it’s about as tempting as horse manure. Now Sally chattered and tried to get me to talk so that she could make up a diagnosis from what I said, Samuel is quite another kettle of fish (I’ve put that phrase in because it’s so bad it’s almost kitsch, why would you have fish in a kettle?) Samuel likes to learn more from what I don’t say, rather than from what I do. These experts make you laugh, from the pit of your belly.

The trouble is, every time there’s a silence, Samuel thinks that he’s hit upon a raw nerve, even though, and this is the comedy gold bit, I’ seeing him because I’ too silent. Samuel is obsessed with abuse; he assumes that the only reason a person would refuse to conform is because their “safe place in society” has been taken away from them by some terrible adult masquerading as a friend. So he asks me questions that mean, are you being abused, but are cunningly disguised so that I don’t know I’m answering an abuse question – supposedly.

Do you find it stressful visiting your father?

What he actually wants to know is – does your father beat or molest you on the quiet when you go round and does he then say “oh this will be our secret, don’t tell your mother.” Samuel seems to have forgotten that Dad has remarried, and moved and that we hardly ever see him. This bothers Claire and Andrew but it doesn’t bother me that much, he never was about much when he lived with us, he’s always been a bit of a selfish person. Why miss something that wasn’t really there? But whatever his faults, he certainly isn’t a perve.

I’m not being frivolous about abuse here, it happens and it’s bad, it’s part of the sick cog turning which is our world. But the point is, it doesn’t happen all the time, and odd behaviour from children does not mean, beyond a shadow of a doubt that someone is abusing them. The thing is, I think adults have given up questioning the world they live in, they take it for what it is and enjoy it. They don’t want to hear that it’s “not up to scratch.” So if you tell them that you don’t think the world is much cop, they think you’re a loony, and if you’re a child you are clearly a loony because some scumbag is abusing you. So much for freedom of speech. . . .