Monday, November 23, 2020

Fugue States

     Man I'm so tired but this stuff is literally swarming my brain so I'm gonna run with it. 

    My new psychologist Yousef, who I started using at the beginning of the pandemic based on a friend's recommendation, is brilliant I can tell. I feel like I have a sixth sense about brilliance. We had about six or seven phone meetings before I met him in person. I do this thing with people I admire, I deify them, so much so that it is a detriment to me and them. I imagine a lot of people do this, but with me it's very intense. It was really intense with Yousef because he was like this disembodied voice imparting wisdom from the Heavens and he makes himself available to certain clients for after hours sessions and I used that a lot in the Spring - not only pandemic but was having kid crises and work stuff was really stressing me out. I thought I had graduated from therapy after the divorce but nope, here I was again seemingly back again at square one. 

    Once we met in person it got better - he was less God-like. He told me that when I called him sometimes in crisis he could tell I was in a fugue like state. He asked if I remembered the late session at Beaver Lake when 45 minutes into the session I realized I was on the phone with him and was confused how I got there. The last time I did it I was on the back porch of my house and I started normal but ended fugue and woke up in my bed thinking, "Well that was a waste of a $200 session." I googled fugue. It's not very common. It happens in times of deep crises. I do realize when it happens and I get really embarrassed, like what the hell did I do or say it's non-recoverable.

    When I was little, I sleepwalked. I wonder if this is related. I'd wake up on a couch in the house far away from my bed and wonder how I got there. My sister would recount entire conversations we had that I had absolutely no memory of. I researched the pathologic version, maybe dissociative disorder - but I'm not that bad it usually only happens when I'm really stressed out and it's not like I wake up in another state wondering how I got there it's usually only a few minutes or an hour or two and I'm back. I told Yousef that I wanted to meet with him weekly until I stopped and he complied. That was a couple of months ago. I recently went three weeks without a session. He agrees I'm much stronger now than I was in the Spring.

    When I met Jesse McKenney I had another strange sense of brilliance. I soaked up every moment I had to learn from him because I realized he was just starting out but was going to go far. But when you put people really high on a pedestal you are putting yourself down it doesn't work out too well. Plus, they eventually fall, we are all human. With Jesse it was one time when something nasty and political was happening in the department - I was a resident - and I vented to him and wanted him to take up my cause and support me - start a freaking revolution. He balked. I realize in retrospect this was self-protective and smart - academics can be brutal and he didn't yet have enough experience and power to wield. But I was so disappointed it was like he fell from the Empire State Building and I drop kicked him into another dimension, that's how intense it can be. 

    And take Rex Bell, my partner. He is retiring in June I'm already beginning to mourn. When I first met him I was dazzled. I say knowledge is sexy but musical talent and quick wit are a close second and third and he had all three. I love his wife and mean this to be complimentary not weird. I'd wander into his office and he would be being interviewed by NPR based on his accomplishments as a jazz pianist. When I was telling him today about my weekend with my husband on the porch in the rain with drinks and Fritos and bean dip he said "So you got gassed and gassy." I swear it comes so fast I can't keep up. Once a few years ago we got into a tiff about a billing charge he was checking I made and error and I took it too personally and exploded. I got him so out of sorts he sent another partner to tell me if I had a billing error for FOUR years he is just now comfortable with me again. Except that incident this Summer. For a future blog. I really can have a temper. And I love that despite all of his accomplishments and talent he still wears his heart on his sleeve.

    Recently Jesse and I were sharing kid pics on texts and comments about new crazy ass lung cancers. He is at the Cleveland Clinic - career pinnacle. So impressive, and I take a little pride in knowing that I predicted it. So human mistakes are recoverable. But my experienced outtake - sliding into 50 like an anonymous bad DM, is that I need to quit deifying and start having enough confidence in myself to being equal to even those I admire. Like pretend I'm sitting in a room with Obama and have a not weird normal conversation and not sweat. Because we all sweat and have anxiety and sit on the toilet. No matter how accomplished we are, anonymously or publicly.

    I've been winding down to Dave Chappelle at night. I was in residency when his show came out and missed all that. It's kind of fun reliving the Bush years and he is so funny I LOL that is the best medicine after a long day of cancer. Happy Monday. Much love, E

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