Wednesday, August 23, 2006

R.E.M.'s 1994 Release: Monster - Critically Acclaimed, Publicly Shunned

The blatant honesty of it is this: We never tell each other the complete truth.
We never speak what's really in our heads. Never.
Anyone that says otherwise is lying.
Possibly to themselves as well as everyone else.

Yesterday morning, to the outside eye, I appeared a picture of patience.
A child on my lap, my arms around her, rubbing her back, soothing her, whispering calming words in her tiny ear, rocking her.
Exteriorly, I was doing everything right.
There was no need for her tears. She was not being harmed, she had just eaten, everything was fine.
But she was crying.

Inside - so was I.
Tears of anger and frustration.
I was mentally screaming: (pardon my language) "Shut up! Just shut up! SHUT. UP! Shut the fuck up! There's nothing to scream about!! No one is hurting you, no one is doing anything to you, you're not hungry, your diaper was just changed, you're a spoiled ass brat with a crackhead mother who gives you whatever you want so you'll shut up, but I'm not doing it! I'm not! You've got to learn that this is life! And you probably don't even need therapy! But you tested so low, I had to take you on the caseload. And you tested low because your crackhead mother sits you in front of a TV all day and gives you candy instead of teaching you something and feeding you healthy food and she tells you to shut up when you talk so you don't talk at all! And I would feel sorry for you, I would, but I can't right now because you've been screaming in my ear for the last 35 minutes for no reason what-so-ever and you have no tears so I know it's not sincere crying and it's not even crying or wailing it's out and out shrill screaming and I've had it, I've had it, I've had it. My head hurts from the endless minutes, which seem like eons, of auditory onslaught. It's pounding in time with your breaths. And I just want you to shut UP. NOW. Oh God, I'm a horrible person. I should never be a mother. Forget bearing children, I shouldn't be allowed to be around them. Who thinks like this? Me, that's who. I think like this. And I think it at least once a week.

Near the end of the session; after 55 minutes of ceaseless screaming, I could take it no longer.
I would never harm a child, regardless of thoughts to the contrary, so I put her down on the red plastic mat with the cream foam poking out of the broken corner.
I grabbed the blue and white gingham pillow from the therapy kit, the one presumably for the cabbage patch kid with the yellow curls and the pink crib with the baby blue bedding.
I put the pillow over my mouth and I screamed for all I was worth.
Just screamed. Something I'm ashamed to admit that I do with some regularity.
Hence the pillow in the therapy kit.

It's a stress release technique.
A psychologist friend told me once that he does something similar.
Though his release is more physical where mine is more vocal.
I think all therapists - speech, occupational, physical, psychological, have to do this.
They have to have a release. Any kind of release. An immediate one.
Because working with other people's problems is enjoyable, rewarding and wonderful.
But it's also grueling and hard and tiresome, at times.
There are times when you're certain you want anything else, anything else, as a job.
There have been moments in my short career that I would have gladly become a contract killer, a fast food drive-through worker, a nurse's aid or even the person who cleans up carnival rides after some small child loses his corn-dog and cotton candy all over the metal seating.
But I never admit these things to anyone but myself.
Because what kind of person would that make me seem to others.
No kind of person at all.
A monster.

"If I were you I'd really run from me, I'd really really wish that I were you, When I get loose I'll climb a tree, and drop a load on your head, This monster in me makes me retch, you messed it, messed it up . . . "


Drunken Chud said...

yeah, i'd have beat that kid with a cabbage patch doll. i'd have been swinging away like a man trying to put a fire out. YOU WANT ATTENTION! HERE'S YOUR ATTENTION YOU WHORE IN TRAINING!!!! i'd have been swinging so hard the poor little cabbage patch would be losing limbs. and sadly, the cabbage patch, would be the only thing i felt sorry for.

Jenni said...

I certaintly do not think those are the thougts of a monster. Just a human being.

HellmuthOut said...

I agree with Jenni. We all have thoughts we'd never tell anyone. Our sanity keeps us from acting upon them.

Coyote Mike said...

Those thoughts are like eating a piece of cheesecake while on a diet. Once in a while is needed to keep yourself sane the rest of the time.

trueborn said...

I've had all of those thoughts and worse, sprinkled with a little plan for world domination.

Congratulations you're human. Not everyone is;)

Dorothy said...

Meghan- Mom's have those thoughts when it's the eightieth day in a row with no sleep, an inconsolable child and it's 2 am.

I begged and cried, "what do you want so I can make it stop?"

I once heard a seasoned mom say that all mothers think it. It's just that the good ones don't do it.