Sunday, January 23, 2011

All Right, Here We Go...

I just read Time magazine's Saturday article on Jared Loughner. In light of the venting I did out of my disgust with him over at skippy's place (here and here), I want to think DBK is right: it's about time I looked for a good clinical psychologist. Which means, at those of you who have at least a basic understanding of my personal history know, that I won't do that. Not of my own accord, anyway -- it's going to take an order from a judge to make that happen, since I'm just getting a little bit more stubborn and set in my ways every new day.

There's another reason. In the old days, there was the practice of exorcism. Today, we call that shit therapy. If you're possessed by demons, then therapy just might be the solution for you. I'm not possessed by demons, though; I'm haunted by ghosts. There's a major difference...

Most of the time, if not nearly all of the time, my temper is under control -- believe it or not. But once in a while, something will happen that will just piss my ass off for days on end, and all I can do is ride it out until runs its course. This time around, it was the Tuscon shootings. At first, my anger was directed at members of the right-wing noise machine and their violence-heavy rhetoric, Sarah Palin in particular. But when I first saw Jared Loughner's mug shot, it made my blood run cold. I wrote that I saw a younger, chunkier version of myself in that mug shot. That's superficially true, by the way, if that: I have a shaved head and face like he does, and our noses, ears, and even the shapes of our heads are similar, but he's 22, I'm 40. When I was his age, I still had hair. And unlike him, I don't have buggier-than-batshit eyes -- just the beginnings of crow's feet and some slightly dark areas courtesy of working 12-hour night shifts for too many years and losing too much sleep. I guess I was too astonished at how similar we still look to process it all properly.

That might have happened sooner if it wasn't for the information about this kid that dribbled in over the following days. Some of the similarities bother me. He's a loner, I'm a loner -- and have been for much of my adult life. He's abused alcohol, I've abused alcohol -- and though I've managed to curb that somewhat, I do still drink more than I should. He's seriously contemplated murder and suicide, I've seriously contemplated murder and suicide -- although those are two things I don't do anymore, and haven't done for many years, and unlike Jared, I can say that I've never attempted either one. And then there's that lucid dreaming stuff. I happened to have an interest in that when I was in my twenties, too. I never got wrapped up in it, though -- after all, the lucid dreams I've had were all in my head.

There are a couple substantial differences between him and me, though, aside from me never attempting suicide or homicide. One, Jared Loughner is clearly mentally disturbed. I am not. What I am is an individual haunted by ghosts. The second difference between him and me is, I don't want to die. Not now, not yet, anyway. I mean, shit, I don't feel like a kid anymore, and all that drinking I've done over the years has clearly taken a toll on this old mocker's carcass, but I'm only 40 -- I am not finished with this world by a long shot. Maybe, when I'm 50 and I learn that, say, my liver and kidneys are just about shot, and oh by the way I have a tumor the size of a baseball where my prostate used to be, maybe then I'll reconsider suicide. But I got at least ten more years to go, goddammit. At 22, your life hasn't even begun. Suicide should not be a consideration for a physically, if not mentally, healthy 22-year-old person -- much less suicide-by-cop after becoming a mass murderer.

What I meant when I said that Jared Loughner and I have stood on the edge of that same cliff and looked down, and while I backed away from it, he jumped right on in was, I don't want to die. This is the difference between him and me. He's tormented by demons that have persuaded him that he wants to die; I'm haunted by ghosts that are there to remind me of what I have forgotten from time to time. Therapy just might work for Jared Loughner if he wants it badly enough. But it will never work for me. Two different cases.

Because I'm not tormented. I'm just haunted. Sometimes I get angry as hell over it and say things that scare a few people. But that's just how this deal works. If you think this is the last time I'll fly off the handle like this, then you have never understood a single word I've written in the six-odd years I've been blogging.

I have a lot more to say about how I came to these conclusions -- and I came to them long before the Tuscon shootings. But for now, suffice to say, Jim is what he is. One human being among many trying to figure out what it all means, knowing that he will never figure it out in this lifetime...

4 comments:

  1. I recommend homeopathy, actually. Despite any skepticism one may have, trying it is the only way to discover whether it has effect for you. Do consider Arsenicum album 30C.

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  2. "One human being among many trying to figure out what it all means, knowing that he will never figure it out in this lifetime..."

    Welcome to the club, Jim; there are many more of us here than you previously imagined, and we're taking on new members every day. Things are what they are, and such have they always been. Keeping your head up and your mind open is the best way to deal with them.

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  3. I am in therapy, I am not on pills. I go to talk about my anger I have towards some people, my emotions, and other personal issues. Oh, and I am not posessed. I've been in therapy since June 2010 and it has helped me tremendously. Some weeks are boring and I don't have much going on, other weeks are filled with emotional shit that I never realized even bothered me until something would just pop into my head.

    As your sister, and seeing as how we have basically lost touch due to your anger towards me actually worrying about you, I suggest therapy. Mom, TJ, and myself have been dealing with your up/down mood swings since you were about 18; 22 years now. You need professional help, and I don't mean this in a "mean" way. You have bi-polar like symptoms and this is a very dangerous way to live.

    Therapy is not a bad thing and it doesn't always mean that you will be loaded up on medication. I just go to talk and get shit out that isn't always easy for me to talk to a family member about. If I didn't go, I probably wouldn't have a husband right now; he was ready to kick my ass to the curb because of my disregard for him, his feelings, and becasue my emotions were all over the place.

    As your little sister, and knowing some of what you have been through, I beg you to seek help. You say you don't think about hurting yourself ANYMORE..you need to figure out why you used to think that way so hopefully you never will again.

    You know what?? If you do need pills who gives a shit. Half the family is on some type of mood altering pills, some persicribed, some not..lol. Pills aren't necessarily a bad thing. Eventually, either now at 40 or when you are 70, you will be on pills for something. Just calm the fuck down, grow some balls, and talk to a professional.

    Your Little Sister

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  4. im angry and selfmedicated.. works like a charm

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