Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A TV Guide.

I had my second appointment with Dr. M today. We actually talked about real things in this session. I told her that I think I watched too much TV as a child and while I tired to convince myself that I wasn't affected by it, how I knew that real life problems didn't resolve itself so neatly and so perfectly and in under half an hour like it did on all the great sitcoms of the eighties, I can't deny that I some of it seeped under my skin and played itself out in my own life.

Like how they make friends on TV, the new kid happens to be a her locker at the exact same time her future bff goes to open her locker right next to the new girl or how a fresh face navigates through the cafeteria forlornly looking for a friendly face when someone calls out to her and there is an instant connection or upon being gawked at for being new, the somewhat awkward girl gets rescued by the person who she will soon be having sleepovers with and sharing intimate secrets.

My experiences as the new girl didn't quite work out that way and maybe because I believed it would happen just like on TV, I lingered at my locker but never reached out to the girl one locker over and I wandered aimlessly in the cafeteria until the bell rang signaling that lunch period was over instead of asking if I could have a seat with someone. It was that way when I was 10 when I started a new elementary school and the same when I was 18 starting freshman year at college a quarter behind all the newbies. And I wondered why I had a hard time making friends and so when I finally did I tried so desperately to hold onto them in any and every way I could. I molded relentlessly thinking that if I could be the person these new people wanted me to be I would have a friend for life. So I became the tough girl who picked on others because my new gang needed a bully, I tortured and stole lunch money all in the name of friends, but when we went to middle school, my friends and I were no longer the bullies but the bullied so I was no longer needed so I faded away.

I wore all black one day and the goth people thought I was one of them so I obliged. I painted my finger nails black and started listening to Marilyn Manson and wore dark eyeliner, my first try at makeup. But when we got to high school and I was put in all the honor classes my goth friends didn't want anything to do with me. It made me wonder how it was possible for the Saved by the Bell gang to incorporate the jock, the geek, the cheerleader, and the straight A student in such a cohesive group. So I played up my scholarly side and joined the national honor society and the debate team and organized study sessions at the library, and true to form the friends came but instead of devoting myself to them I held back and observed how they were able to juggle different groups of friends yet still hold onto their smarts, perhaps because they knew who they were or as much as they could know about themselves as teenagers, but for some reason I just couldn't get the hang of it.

At this point in the session, Dr. M asked me if I knew who I was now and I told her that I'm still getting the hang of me but I often feel uncomfortable in my skin and I'm practically 30! She told me that a lot of people feel the way that I feel that it takes an entire lifetime for people to have a true sense of who they are because people change always, people progress and advance and learn and make mistakes and that is the beauty and curse of being human. I told her that I understand that but I feel like a walking contradiction and I don't know who I am at all. She suggested we go back in time to see if there was anything I suppressed that might shed some light on my current state of mind, but before I could reminisce, she said that time was up and we would have to continue next week.


M.J. said...

Suppressed memories...juicy!

Errant said...

love how u analyze things ..

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