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2003-09-10 @ 4:37 p.m.
hanging out with the mentally ill

Hanging out with mentally ill people can be interesting. I sometimes join in, but most of the time I just watch from the sidelines. I'm in two groups. One is a Survivor's Group. And one is a DBT Group. DBT you ask? Dialectical Behavior Therapy. Or Diabolical Behavior, depending at how you look at it.

I suffer from something called Borderline Personality Disorder. OK, everyone typing in BPD to the browser today, will be dropping in. Yay! Finally more than two people. Haven't had that many since I wrote masturbation.

Anyways, I've been in my Survivor Group for 3 years. I like the group, despite the difficult subject. It's been very supportive and I have made some e-mail buddies and gotten a couple of jobs out of it (graphics and house sitting). So it been good.

The other group, however, DBT, is still in its infancy. Today was the two month anniversary. I had been in another DBT group six months ago run by a doctor which was very structured, and we had homework, and everyone had 5 minutes to talk, and it really worked for me. If you're there to learn something, structure is good.

This group however, is peer-run, and that is a totally different beast. Its run by a large African American woman with dreadlocks down to her waist and a nose ring, with enough hurt to power a small country. And it has become so about her, that I feel like a therapist listening to a client. And she's the leader. What are you supposed to do, turn away? I found it particularly depressing and distressing today.

This woman tries to be profound and your best friend and buck up Timmy, your life will get better, but it just comes off as phony and self serving. The thing that irritates me the most, is how every single thing you say...she's done it...she's been there...she's suffered the same indignities. Well, woe-as-fucking-me, sista, ya haven't.

Today, for instance, I learned, that she used to be the head of a large surgery department (doubtful)...skinny (another person in the group had been talking about being bulimic so of course, she had to be too)...a body builder (REALLY doubtful) who went to a competition in Venice California and met Merv Griffin (hey chick I was ON the Merv Griffin Show when I was 17, but I didn't mention that. Didn't want to sink to her level of "love-me-cuz-I've-done-everything")...she also recounted a story, rather mournfully, about how a girl had asked her how she had gotten so slender and she told her (finger down her throat) and later she saw the girl's name on a hospital register and went to the hospital room and saw the digital readout of her weight and she only weighed 67 lbs. Her boyfriend was there and somehow innately knew who she was and said, "This is your fault. She listened to you." If this was a 1950's soap opera, a blast of melodramatic organ music would suddenly erupt about now. For God sake woman, lead the class, don't make us sit through your fucking pity party. I'll only listen, if you pay me $120/hr. Otherwise forget it. I have absolutely nothing emotionally vested in you. I'm sorry you had a lousy childhood, just stop being a freakin' victim.

God, I hate whiners. I don't see how therapists do it. Listening to whining all day. Hats off to you guys. At least I try to throw a little humor and sex into my sessions. I do cry, but I also make some phenomenally funny jokes and usually scour E-Bay every year to get my shrink goodies from the Austin Powers movies (well, at least I did the last couple of years). Oh, and I'm also making some progress. You know...getting better. You might try it, ringnose.

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