The Trifecta of Therapy

It is done.  The Trifecta in the big therapists office in the sky is complete.  Donald Eric Arvidson passed away on Sunday, December 6, 2015.

I got my period at age 12.  In the spring.  That summer, something changed.  I morphed into a depressed, sullen kid who had trouble with the simplest things.  I told my mom, “Something’s wrong with me.  I think I need help.”  She never looked up from her computer work, “You’re fine.  There’s nothing wrong with you.”  That fall, I tried a feeble suicide attempt because, oh I don’t know- I was stealing my parents wine, drinking it on the bus to school, and taking very long hall passes while sneaking pulls of wine that I had stashed in my leather jacket sleeve in my locker during class.  The police came, the ambulance came, they heard it on the very small town police scanner.  So, the next day at school, thank God, more people were concerned with treating me with kindness and compassion more than scorn.

So, I, naturally, started to see Mrs. Chrichton, the school’s best counselor.  I’d get a hall pass to go see her and I would go down and try to talk to her.  Hmm, no wonder I can’t sleep.  High winds and today was Don’s memorial.  I digress.  Mrs. Chricton could relate to me.  She was a wonderful, tough, and loving woman, who, ultimately, recommended me to Don.

I was terrified.  I’m going to see a shrink?  I’m 14! I must really be screwed up!  So, I go to Rochester.  And I met, ugh, a man of smallish stature, blonde hair, blue eyes and a great smile.  But I loved his smile, his openness, and his matter of fact, nonchalance.  He also dismissed my parental unit.  It was love at first session.

I came to know Don through his office changes, his relationship changes and my life teenage changes.  I told him about the drinking.  He introduced me to Nathaniel Branden- Romantic Love- and that not only did my secret, greasy heart desire it, it required and deserved some romantic love.  He thought I might be Bipolar, but was hesitant to label me at such a tender age, so he sent me to Bette.

Enter Bette.  I met her at her office in Birmingham.  She laid out the MMPI for me.  A week later, in her electric blue suit with leopard print go go boots, she gave me the results of my test.  And I quote: “You see this peak right here?  The one that goes off the page?  That’s PTSD.”  What’s that, I asked, horrified.  “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  You have the stress of a Vietnam Vet in a POW camp.  It was something that happened to you at a young age.  Figure it out.  This second peak?  The one that almost goes off the page, but not as bad as the PTSD?  That’s addictive personality.  If it’s addictable, you’ll become addicted to it, so stay away from it.  Oh yeah, and you’re bipolar.”  She then turned on her heeled leopard print ankle booties, blonde, coiffed mane held high, and probably went to catch a nooner with Albert Ellis.  No shit.  She fucked REBT man.  That’s what a bad ass Bette was.  Don knew how much I idolized her, and on one of my visits to him, he gave me some of her books, mixed in with some of his.  As soon as I returned home, the books went on the shelf, and have not left.

Mrs. Chricton passed from Breast cancer in the early double odds.  Bette passed somewhere in between, and now Don.

I’d known Don for 20+ years.  He was my father, friend, confidante, mentor and teacher.  He taught me the value of loving kindness for not only yourself, but your fellow man, compassion, boundaries, that it was okay to be where you were at- as long as you were authentic about it, and that it was okay to be awkward.  As long as you were authentic about it.  No walls, open heart, big Leo.  Big Grin.  Big hugs.

No one will call me kiddo again.  No one will give me heart to heart, soul to soul hugs.  No more Don.   But he went peacefully, quietly and with dignity and grace.  Tough till the end.  That was our don.  We are going to, and do, miss him very much.

We last spoke in March.  It was the last time we spoke.  I knew it would be the last time I spoke with him ever.  I found a picture of him Saturday.  He was in his usual state- high on Valium.  I tore up the picture.  The one and only photo of Don I had, I didn’t want to remember him high.  I wanted to remember the impish grin, the slitty eyes, the guffaw, the quiet soothing tone of his voice.

The trifecta of therapy is now complete.  Heaven, or the cosmos has gained some great clinicians.  Lucky bastards.  I’d like to end with a Don-ism, or something clever.  But it is what it is.  Don was Buddhist.  Light a stick of incense, not just for ones you have lost, but for life and yours as well.  Nam ay oh ho ring gay quo…

 

 

 

 

 

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes…

So, last Sunday, Sheila integrated.  She was my angry, spend money to hurt you, pay attention to me cuz I need your love and don’t know how to ask, part.  She was tired.  I started stepping up in the finances department.  As a result, mom’s been mellower, spending more time with us, because: A.  She’s learning to relax and B. I’m stepping up to the plate more.  So, really, it’s a win/win.

I’m also doing something a peer-age-wise only-offers= holistic therapy.  A combination of traditional talk therapy, holistic principles, yoga and naturopath essentials to bring you/me to optimum health.  Having trouble staying in my root chakra.  That is grounding, your body, the earth.  I’m an air sign-Gemini, yeah, I know, so I like to stay in my crown chakra so I don’t have to deal with the trauma to my body- root chakra.  So, I’m trying really hard to create art/beauty daily, practice my Ahimsas- I am positive statements.  At first, I just wrote them down.  Now I’m verbalizing as I write.  Then, I’ll move up to repeating in the mirror while looking at myself.  Ugh.  I’m dragging my feet.  I’ll own that.  I’m dragging my feet about a lot of things.  And it’s only my time I’m wasting.  It’s just life anyway, right?!  No one gets out of here alive anyway?!  D’OH!!  COME ON ZUZU!!!  FOCUS!!!!

So, I’m sick.  again.  I got the flu from my folks.  Quarantine means quarantine.  No Exceptions.  So, oops.  Now I can’t go to my concert tonight- aside of the horrid gut feeling I have in my stomach about it, which I am totally heeding.  My gut is Ma (God).  When it speaks, Kinda like EF Hutton, I listen.  Whatever happened to them?  Did they go down with everyone else in a coke fueled blaze of glory like most companies in the 80’s?  I wonder who bought them?  Yeah, Morgan Stanley.  Interviewed with them in May of 2001.  I would’ve been doing my internship in the WTC in September of 2001.  I didn’t get the job.  My friend was livid.  I told her, “there’s a reason, we just don’t know what it is yet.”  Holy Moly!

Speaking of New York and God and no such thing as coincidences, I sent a family friend/parents old student a letter with our new address.  Only took me three years…But left to my folks, they never would’ve sent her a letter.  I adore her.  She went to New York City to be a dancer.  I remember her doing Pas De Chats in our kitchen making our whole kitchen shake (Our old house was 1890 ish) and we’d go visit her.  And she is in my top 20 favorite/amazing women I’ve been blessed to meet.  Well, I received a letter (2, actually) from her yesterday.  The day she got my letter, was the day she busted in her OLD building- in 35+ years, she finally moved!-and retrieved her mail.  As was her change of address form.  Mailperson ain’t all that, apparently.  I can relate.  So, I sent her an email.  She’s amazing.  SO Grateful to be reconnected.  Whew.

I did a new map and made new treatment goals.  I’m down to therapy once a week.  Doing the holistic therapy twice a week.  So, as soon as I decide to shit, get off the pot and improve my quality of life, we’re gonna be rockin.

I had my MRI for my right knee last Saturday; I go Tuesday for results.  God, NO KNEE SURGERY!!!  I REFUSE TO HAVE KNEE SURGERY!!!  But, it’s my own damn fault.  My Pre-Diabetes?  Probably now type II.  My fault.  So, I’ve got a lot on my plate.  How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time…one freaking bite at a time.

Well, I’m having a spate of ambition, so I’m going to finish up some tasks that I didn’t finish yesterday.  Then, I’ll collapse.  My fever didn’t break.  I’m still hot, but I feel better.  Tired, but not dying.  Well, hell, we’re all one day closer to our Lord, but whatever.

Have a great day!!  At least you’re not in a third world country!!  And if you are?  My soul goes out to you…Gratitude 101.