Sunday, August 17, 2014. My calm-stress response system is so finely tuned at this point in my life (63) that I do not wish to tolerate ANYTHING that includes even the tiniest hint of anxiety stimulation. How sensitive am I?
Well, I am recommending the reading of someone’s post today and as I introduce this topic I will NOT do so by including any hint of “anticipation” about its main point. Anticipation contains some degree of anxiety. I will tell you right up front – which is the way I like life to be. Never mind life actually feels to me to be of the highest complexity!
This post by neuroscientist Dr. Mark Brady, The Most Brain-Damaging Word in the English Language, is ABOUT the word and concept of “SHOULD.”
Now you know!
This word brought a memory to mind from 1974. I had just turned 23 and OH! What a troubled life I had already lived up until that point! I went to talk with another therapist for the second time in a year’s period. I wanted to especially talk about the difficulty I was experiencing not being able to begin a day of my life without a “shot of pot.” I know now I was self medicating deep depression for the “unmentioned and unmentionable” horrendous traumatic abuse I had lived through in the first 18 years of my life.
But, no. Like the first therapist I had seen did NOT do for me, I received nothing useful from this honest and desperate attempt of mine to “get help.” This second therapist just launched into some bizarre lecture based on his PERSONAL belief: “There’s no should about it. Drop the should. If you want to smoke pot, smoke it. If you don’t want to, don’t.”
Oh, geeze! That first therapist, btw, attacked me with her first question the day of my first appointment out in the LOBBY of the clinic as she preceded me toward the hallway to her office: “What was going on in your life when you were pregnant with your daughter?” She evidently had at least bothered to read the initial statement of concerns I had made when I made this appointment several weeks earlier about my difficulties as a single mother. (I was nearly a full decade away from even beginning to KNOW I had ever been abused, and certainly NO therapist I ever consulted gave me what I truly needed to heal from any part of that abuse.)
My response to her and to her question? I stopped dead in my tracks. She noticed and stopped dead in hers. She turned toward me as my thoughts raced backward through the dark, troubled corridors of the difficult complexities of my young life (I was 22 at this point).
I looked her straight in the eyes and responded with all the power in me (though I didn’t know what my power even was at that time): “You don’t want to know. You don’t EVEN want to know.”
And I walked out.
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