Monday, May 11, 2015

Defenses

Ron is furious right now, belligerent and name-calling. 

Ron and I have a friend.  He calls now and then when he's manic.  He is clearly bipolar.  We have discussed it with him, explained he doesn't "have to drink it away", explained medication can give one a great quality of life, etc. 

He has said he doesn't believe I am ill, I have, in turn, explained it is only BECAUSE I am taking my medication.  I encourage him to seek help, and if prescribed medication, to take it as directed. 

Anyway, he called tonight.  Ron said, in passing he "wanted to send him the TA book".  I refused to help. 

The whole premise of TA - "transactional analysis" - a cult-like popular movement in the 70's, was that one could control one's brain with will alone, bad or inconsistent parenting was responsible for all societal ills, etc. 

My favorite part, one that never made sense to me, even as a dumb, eager-to-please (Ron), 18 year old kid "Schizophrenia is caused by an inconsistent Mommy", blaming alcoholic mothers.  Let's examine that for a moment.  We all know, now, the illness is caused by messed up neurotransmitters in the brain.  One can have terrible parenting and grow into a wonderful person; or one can have excellent parenting and develop severe mental illness.  The only thing you can say is that mental illness often runs in families. 

Why would anyone credit a book, promoting "Bad Mommy makes schizos", as a landmark bible on mental health?  It's not logical.  Ron was obsessed with the book, using slangy terms from it and distorted logic to manipulate me; forcing me to read it again and again whenever I'd object to his ongoing mind control and verbal abuse. 

As a result, I clearly hate the book.  I hate it because Ron used it to manipulate me; to demean me and make me feel inferior, and to harangue me about my "failures".  I've talked a little about that, some, small, failures were acceptable, but others were worthy of lengthy sessions of verbal abuse and "punishments" (cancelling plans, etc) because "You hooked my parent". 

I also hate it because it has a completely unrealistic view of mental health, as I've already illustrated.  Why would I throw that to a drowning man?  "It'll just make him feel worse" I told Ron "It won't solve anything and just make him feel like a failure".  He got very angry, and insisted I "Had to help him". 

"If I'm going to help him" I told Ron "I would get him The Bipolar Survival Guide" - and I believe I will.  I found it tremendously helpful after my diagnosis.  I also told him I would not, under any circumstance, help him "find the book and mail it".  "You can find someone else to do it". 

He could do so easily at a used bookstore, and pay to have them ship it, if he wanted.  But he wants to be a victim.  

He pouted that he couldn't, attacked me verbally for a while, accused me of faking my illness, and derided "the great expert".  "My doctor thinks so" I would have replied, but that would have fed him.  I know the truth about who I am.  I am a lot stronger than I "need" to be, in no small part due to his ongoing verbal abuse. 

I just get tired of having to set up my defenses. 

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