Man, I've had it. There is this crazy woman in Dallas who is a Dr. Phil fanatic, and apparently, delusional as all get out.
She tweets nonstop about her need for a brain-to-ass makeover, including cosmetic dentistry (but never, you will notice, for the psychiatric services she needs most), all the while denigrating people who make sensible use of the entitlement systems that are in place for... you know, people who need those services! No... she would rather tweet the cast of the Dr. Phil Show, any partial blood relative of his, any entertainment spinoffs, like The Doctors.
She tells these poor people about her "10/10" pain in her ribs, how she thinks she is on the verge of actual, physical death. In a tweet.
Never mind that a 10/10 pain wouldn't allow for the formulation of one tweet, much less the million she can produce over a single somatic symptom.
Never mind the complete assification exhibited by using Twitter as your private 911 line.
Never mind that you become a fascinating creature to watch, in terms of all sorts of anthropological data collection.
But recently, she began to sound a little... grounded. She was tossing around terms like "responsibility," and this morning, even compared herself to Thoreau. I had a ridiculous moment of hope on her behalf. Stupid me, I thought, "Hey, she's finally hit on the miracle of self-reliance!" [Yes, I often confuse Emerson for Thoreau.]
Intransigeant, ridiculously rigid , yes, I can see the reasoning in her referencing Thoreau.
Aw hell. You know what she tweets about as much as anything else? Her personal Paradise Lost. Her rape. The battering that caused the dental problems she now wants a celebrity to fix, for free. The same dozen memories, from something she thinks people said at one of her failed childhood birthday celebrations to verbatim quotes from 1996, when one doctor decided not to take her as a patient because she did not have health insurance.
She reminds me, God damn it all, of my Father.
Not that my father would ever tweet, I mean, at all. Much less, tweet his personal problems in the hopes that a male power figure would swoop down into his life and alleviate all need for force of will. No, how they are alike is in this scary affinity for backhanded "Nyah, nyah, I told you so"s.
Once, when my brother Grader Boob was all of 16, he had a rare emotional meltdown that resulted, if memory serves me correctly, from having had the distance between the end of his sideburns and the tip of his ear lobe measured with a ruler. In order to understand this scenario, I guess you either have to be from a military family (of a certain era) or you had to be there. Let's just say that the teenager felt oppressed, judged, harassed. It was late in the evening, too, so add "tired."
And out of his teen-aged mouth came this: "I wish you would stay out of my life."
My father could not quote this son, verbatim or even approaching such accuracy, on any topic of import to that son. No knowledge of his core beliefs, no knowledge of his heartbreaks, not an inkling of how generous and kind a child he'd produced. But -- should anyone ever suggest, say, that he throw the kid a life preserver, as he appeared to be drowning in the deep end of the pool, my Dad, without fail, would say, "You know, on X day in 1970-something, Grader Boob told me to stay out of his life. And I have, and I will continue to do so."
I can't reproduce the tone. The tone is the clincher. You'll just have to use your imagination.
Anyway, this Dr. Phil-crazed woman is the same way. Someone, somewhere does something once within her sphere of knowing, and it is as if all of humanity acted in tandem, and not for an instant, but for a really boring eternity.
But like I said, I saw signs of hope. She paid for a checkup, for example. That may sound weird, but that was a huge step. She needed a checkup. She spent, I dunno, about 16 years needing one. When she got "connected" to the world through computers, she started a campaign to guilt-out Nice People Of Means into providing her with what she wanted and needed. All of that intelligence and creativity, wasted in needling, wheedling, whining -- like an overgrown, over-the-hill Shirley Temple, dressed all in crinoline that barely covered her ass, graying hair in shellacked ringlets.
And yes, damn it., I know perfectly well that the adult Ambassador Shirley Temple Black was a woman to be admired.
That's the only teeth-grinding allusion that will come to mind, somehow.
Hope, I was talking about hope.
Out of the blue, this woman began to say stuff about how maybe it is a good thing to do things for one's self... and we here at Marlinspike Hall burst into fits of cheering and expectations of feats of derring-do. Not that we are a completely independent people, no, far from it. In fact, we are about as intertwined and joined at the hip as it gets. But should there be a pressing need for X in our world? We get X. We buy it, rent it, borrow it. We finance it, we replicate it, we steal it.
Just checking to see if you're paying attention. No, we don't steal X! C'mon! Captain Haddock would make of us a finely minced tartare...
This morning, I made my once a week perusal of the Dr. Phil Crazy Lady tweets -- and saw that she was back to her old habits and, well, I lost it. I tweeted her a link to PCIP -- one of the wonderful provisions created in the Affordable Care Act. It is the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Program., and if you read this blog regularly, you know that it has probably saved my life. It still is too much of a secret, so I try to spread the word however I can.
Admittedly, suggesting to someone living in Fantasy Land that she be proactive and use some of the money she spends on television and computing to buy herself some health insurance was not my most reasoned thought of late. Particularly when she assumes that people who contact her via Twitter -- but whom she is not "following" -- are HACKING into her account!
I'd roll my eyes but I have a headache.
Basically, if I write anything at Dr. Phil's website (which usually results in a nasty, itchy, red contact dermatitis) or on Twitter, she considers herself hacked.
I imagine that if you look at her sideways, she screams that you're inflicting a bloody murder upon her person.
I've seen her be ingratiatingly cruel to people she considers beneath her -- moments when your own quick intake of breath registers the real mettle of a person.
She does not respect women, though she'd go all purple in contradiction. She doesn't respect herself. That's what needs to change. There's no need to whitewash or otherwise disguise the violent episodes of her life, but there is no need to continue to proffer them as the only real examples of having lived.
Okay. She's a lot like me, in some ways. I know that my days would be much happier if, every time I felt the urge to launch into a litany of woes through the vehicle of an anecdote, I would stop... just stop... and explore how saying nothing feels.
The armchair psychologist in me wants to diagnose rampant anxiety as the stultifying culprit in such matters --when we with ourselves too much discuss. But clearly there is also PTSD, and that needs treating, too.
I was at the Pain Management Dude's Place this morning, being "pharmacologically managed." In my curly head, on the way, I regaled Fred with all the witty things I planned to say to the PA -- most all of which stemmed from the fact that they failed to help me and Go-To-Guy in an hour of true need.
She came in the exam room, smiled, and said, "It's been a while. Where have you been?"
Well, that took a while to answer. The last time we'd communicated, she'd emailed me that Go-To-Guy should manage the Baclofen issues, and that I needed to make an appointment and come in if I needed further help. Of course, within 48 hours, we had called 911 ("Tante Louise!") twice and I ended up in ICU, making my surgeon stomp his little foot and yell, "You almost died!"
By the time I got to signing out AMA from the LTAC, and the details about the second surgery, and the wound vac... her brown eyes were bugging out.
I was -- and this is the absolute truth -- restrained in the manner of my telling. Instead of making a single insinuation of dissatisfaction over their response to the whole spaz-spaz-spaz crisis? I stated, simply, that their failure to respond in a meaningful or helpful way had shaken my faith in them.
Her response was not what I expected.
She said, "What email? What are you talking about?"
Oh the blows to ego! Aren't they wonderful? It's like someone pushing your reset button.
In the moment, I knew I could either go ballistic, as in "What the hell do you mean, 'What email?' The one where I begged you to help us find a way to treat the dystonia without overdosing on Baclofen!" -- or, I could do what I did, which was to laugh, look her in the eye, and say:
"Well. There you go!"
It's an improvement for me, I think, don't you?
A look in the eye.
"Well. There you go!" (with a lilt, mind you)
Best of luck to you, crazy Dr. Phil Lady! There you go!