Friday, November 04, 2005

Aftershock.

It was an urgent visit. I needed to be there. It was, in fact, the first time that I ever felt like I needed to be carted off in a straightjacket. He was an old man, his tie looked like it was from the seventies. We had been talking for an hour already, then came the big questions:

Dr. C: Can you tell me, Mr. Vavoom, are you in danger of hurting yourself?

V: I'm smart enough to know that you'll put me in a 5150 hold if I say yes. Thus the answer is no.

Dr. C: I'm serious, are you going to harm yourself or anyone else?

V: No.

Dr. C: Well, I'm going to be frank with you. Your diagnosis is rather severe and that's why we've decided to handle this a bit differently.

V: I see.

Dr. C: Vavoom, you suffer from severe posttraumatic stress disorder. It's the worst I've ever seen in a student.

V: What qualifies you to make that diagnosis?

Dr. C: 30 years of working with veterans.

V: Oh... okay... I think I want a second opinion. All of this sounds like bullshit.

Dr. C: Well, that's just it. You've seen three people here. All of them have independently provided the same diagnosis.

V: Oh.

Dr. C: Listen, you went through something very terrible and for a long, long time you've been living like this. It's time to fix that.

V: I don't have posttraumatic stress disorder. How is that possible?

Dr. C: We can go into that next time. For now, I'm supposed to determine if you need hospitalization.

V: Oh Jesus Fucking Christ, give me break. I come here to get help and you guys are trying to throw me in a fucking looney bin?

Dr. C: Hang on, hang on. When I first looked at your records, I was convinced that I'd need to place you under supervised care. I was a bit surprised after talking to you. You're a very funny guy. You're very kind, warm and witty. I ask myself, 'How has this guy been able to do all of this given everything that's happened to him in his life? How the hell did he survive a childhood like that? How is it possible that he's accomplished so much? Why is he so well adjusted?' Do you want to know the answer?

V: Dazzle me with your insight.

Dr. C: You're strong. Very strong. Stronger than 99% of the people that I've seen. You're in a terrible slump. You've been in that terrible slump for a while. Yet, every morning you get up, work 16 hours a day, go home, study and keep moving along. You do this 7 days a week, despite your sadness. Now it's time to slow down and let someone help you. You have a severe problem and it needs to be addressed. You've got everything going for you, kid. Everything. Let me help you.

V: Wait, did you just call me kid? What is this, some cheesed out Hollywood movie?

Dr. C: Hahahahaha. See... that's funny.

V: Yeah, I'm a regular Rodney Dangerfield.

Dr. C: What do you say? Let's start working through this. I'll help you. How does tomorrow afternoon look for you?

I stopped and pondered that question for a while. Thoughts ran through my head like a swarm of bees. Do I want to dredge it all up? I'm over all of it, right? Besides, he's not going to be able to help, just look at his tie for God's sake. What if he can? Will all of it stop? Finally I answered:

V: Yes. Tomorrow afternoon sounds good.

Dr. C: I won't let you down.

16 Comments:

Blogger Denise said...

PTSD? Maybe I haven't read enough of your previous posts to know about a truamatic childhood. I thought your parents were wonderful?

Anyway, I'm sorry you feel this bad. I've certainly been there, and while I don't take meds, I wouldn't fault someone else for it if it helps for a while.

It's hard to be a person of integrity in this world. We look around and see things happening that are irrelevant to what's really important. I feel that's what brings me down a lot. It's hard to go with the flow when your "flow" feels like it's being blown off course all the time.

12:08 PM  
Blogger Vavoom said...

Denise: No, no, it's nothing my parents did. They are wonderful people.

12:14 PM  
Blogger Skewedview said...

I am guessing here, but it would appear to me that you aren't a very religious guy. I know that it has been a source of strength to me over the years, through trials and troubles.

Just know, no one can answer deep troubling questions for you. Oh they might be able to listen, advise and draw upon their experiences to help you see your way, but you have to figure out the important things for yourself. You must have some strength to draw upon, a support, an aid. Not only has religion helped me, I have been blessed to have a strong family to draw upon.

From visiting your blog and reading many of your posts, I have gotten the feeling that you are angry and stressed most of the time. All of us, at one time or another will have difficulties in life. It is how we deal with them that makes us stronger, like the hardening of steel.

I wish you the best and I hope you can obtain inner peace by whatever means that best suits you. If it is from a Dr, than so be it. Good luck.

2:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do not think you sound like you are always angry or stressed... it mostly sounds to me like you are being geniune. Your humour, your sadness, your struggles, your triumphs; your life.
I just wanted to say thankyou for sharing parts of it with me.

I am rooting for you : )

4:09 PM  
Blogger Aurelius said...

Hey Voom,
Dunno how it goes for you, but I refused to be sent inside. Knew they'd kill all the people behind the voices in my head....

5:18 PM  
Blogger Lily said...

Chin up V! I hope 70's tie man can shed some light and help you through this. Keep your humor intact, who knows we may have the making of Good Wil Hunting 2.0 here.

Seiously though, I hope he can help you come to terms with what your dealing with.

6:08 PM  
Blogger Bar Bar A said...

Praying for you to get to the bottom of this so you are able to enjoy life and smile often.

You're an excellent writer, I just love reading you.

8:42 PM  
Blogger Camphor said...

You're strong. Very strong. Stronger than 99% of the people that I've seen.
Just keep that in mind.
What I know of you, you rock.

8:00 AM  
Blogger Meow said...

Going through the same thing Vavoom. Doing acupuncture for it.
It fucking hurts (left side only) but it's working. And is expensive as fuck but my insurance will pick up a portion of it.
Get one of those sunlight lamps or bulbs and keep it on for a couple hours.
It'll perk up your spirits.

2:33 PM  
Blogger James d. said...

It's brave both to talk to someone about things that are bothering you as well as posting about it in this kind of detail. Stay strong and know people out here really are thinking of you.

9:27 PM  
Blogger Raine said...

V: Long time, no read. Sorry about that. I'm such a terrible blogger that I deleted my blog and have barely checked in. Just want you to know I'm rootin' for ya.

P.S. I think Skewedview might be on to something. Sometimes a combination of spiritual strength (e.g., religion, meditation), anti-depressants, and therapy are in need.

Take care!!!

11:59 PM  
Blogger An80sNut said...

Vavoom, I'm proud of you for going and seeking help. A lot of people suffer from depression but it seems that they recognized yours quickly. I don't know what you've gone through but I am behind you and your recovery. You are a fighter as proven by 3 doctors as well as any of your peers may attest. Thank you for going in to talk to someone.

12:14 AM  
Blogger LoraLoo said...

Vavoom: I've got ya in my prayers. Like others have said - I'm glad you sought help. You will overcome whatever this is. As you can see, we all have the faith in you.

1:19 AM  
Anonymous Daniel said...

Thinking of you, V.

11:21 AM  
Blogger Fred said...

Ditto on the above comments. We're all pulling for a successful conclusion.

11:04 PM  
Blogger dusty said...

aw sweetie..your in my thoughts..take care of yourself and hang in there. addressing a problem is the beginning of the solution.

2:50 PM  

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