Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I'm Now 5'7" and Have Massive Boobs

I'm supposed to be visited twice a week here by either one of my parents or one of two sets of aunts and uncles on weeks when I don't go home. When one of my designated visitor relatives visits on a weekday, I usually meet with a therapist with the relative also attending the counseling session. My Aunt Heather visited today and sat through the counseling session with me.

This particular therapist spent most of the session bringing up things I'd told her or she'd heard me say, and asking my aunt if they were true. The things she asked about were things that probably no one who was not a pathological liar would bother to lie about. Who cares enough about birth weight to lie about it, for example? I know people who lie about their present weight, but birth weight? Among the other matters the therapist confirmed with my aunt were my SAT scores (People do lie about SAT scores on occasion, but I don't. Were I to lie about them, I'd say my scores were perfect 800's straight across the board. How stupid does she think I am?), my father's occupation (which is listed in my files; the therapist could have looked it up instead of wasting my aunt's time), whether I donated bone marrow to my mother (this is in my medical records, to which any therapist who sees me has access), and my father's and brother's heights. How could it benefit me to lie about how tall my father and brother are? For that matter, they'll be here later this week. Were I to lie about their heights, anyone who's around would see that I was stretching the truth. She asked about many other things as well. Some I have forgotten. Others I will spare you from the tedium of hearing.

This therapist has seen me two other times in private sessions, and has presided over about four group sessions of which I was a part. Additionally, she has sometimes stood or sat on the periphery as various social events, both scheduled and informal, took place. I never really thought about what she was writing in her notebook. After the fact, she did seem to be staring at me as she wrote. I tried not to be paranoid, because not everything is about me, but I now see that it wouldn't have been paranoia to suggest this therapist was focusing on me, and it apparently really was about me.

My aunt and I went to lunch and then went for a walk on the beach. She (my aunt) asked me about my prior interactions with this therapist. I told my Aunt Heather that I had seen less of this therapist than of the other two and the psychological intern. My aunt wondered why the therapist found it neceaary to confirm practically everything I'd ever told her or had told anyone else when she was listening. For example, my old bedroom was blue, but the room I sleep in at home now is pink. (I haven't told anyone there about my extravagant newly decorated room because it might come across as boasting to others, although most of my fellow inmates come from backgrounds considerably wealthier than mine. Still, what would be the point?) Is there a good reason I would need to lie about that? It's not as though I sit around bragging while I'm at the facility. There are a few things (not a whole lot, but a few, nonetheless) about which I could legitmately boast, but I don't, because it's an obnoxious behavior.

After my aunt dropped me off on my floor of the hospital, she asked to speak with the director of my facility and told him of our session with the therapist who thinks I make things up habitually. I wouldn't have known about it, but a couple of the nurses and the psychological intern were grilling me about what happened in my session because they saw my aunt talking with the director, then saw the therapist as she entered and left the director's office, and heard just enough to know it somehow involved me. It was probably unprofessional of the others to ask me, but they were curious, just as I now am.

The therapist has given me ideas. Intially I considered making up lies about myself and telling them all over the place. I could say that I'm President Obama's illegitimate daughter. (Coloring can be fair on bi-racial kids, and I did have curly hair when I was little, so it's not impossible; it is untrue, but it's not beyond possibility at a glance.) I could say that I'm in the Witness Protection Program.
I could claim to have been an Olympic gymnast who was disqualified for drug use. I could claim to be fifty-third in the line of succession for the British throne. I could claim to know exactly where Jimmy Hoffa is.
The possibilities are endless.

The problem with my acting on my tendencies toward pathological dishonesty that the therapist believes I possess is that it could derail my therapy and keep me in this place longer than I otherwise might be. Plan B is that I could organize a "Pathological Liar Day," on which all the participants spend the entire day making up ridiculous lies that no one with an IQ as high as the highest category of mental retardation (note: these people were formerly categorized in a clinical sense as morons) would believe. It could be fun. As soon as my fellow inmates awake, I'll have to share ths idea with them.

Rebecca, I hope you're soon well enough to post. Matt, the story creeped me out, but I couldn't have walked away from the computer without reading the ending even if my building had been on fire.



  1. You didn't enter into this program because you have an issue with telling the truth. I don't quite understand why this is any of her concern. Since you're aunt confirmed that you were telling the truth and not lying. I can't see how they'd be able to keep you there longer. It sounds as if this therapist is a little paranoid.

    If you can, try to talk to the other kids to see if she's done a similar thing to them. You could also talk to the other therapists about it, picking up on the way she made you feel when she started (basically) calling you a liar.

    Thanks for the encouragement. I'm still feeling weird. My step day was saying something about Dr. Nance (surgeon) "lifting" my stomach when he put in the tube. I have a bunch of internal stitches. I'm not sure why he felt the need to do that, but apparently my stomach wasn't where it was supposed to be.

    The tube itself is working great. I still get nauseated but no vomiting! I'm starting to question whether or not I have reverse peristalsis in my small intestines sporadically throughout the day now. I'll spare you the details as to why I think that. I tend to forget that not everyone is like Carlo when it comes to GI.

    Good luck, Alexis!!

  2. Here is a conversation a former oh, hang on... what term to use? Partner? Too business like? Lover? Well, yeah, maybe.

    Let's start again!

    Here is a conversation a former lover of mine had with a psychiatrist she used to work with. The psychiatrist told her that it was his opinion that everyone had some level of mental illness.

    She asked him if he though that psychiatrists also had some level of mental illness?

    He became quite heated and denied, vehemently, that psychiatrists had ANY level of mental illness at all!

    Here's a theory for you. The psychiatrist did a major study on pathological lies and wrote their thesis on this subject, so tries to shoehorn this diagnosis on to every patient.

    I had a lecturer whose thesis was on the Central Business District of Sydney, Australia. She tried to cram that subject into every student's thesis, even though it had no relevance.

    Sorry the story creeped you out, Alexis, but I am pleased you had to read it through to the end.

    I have another creepy story. I'll put that up, later.

    Becca, good that you are recovering. Take it easy.

  3. Hi Becca. It's great to hear from you. By the way. I'm not all that easily grossed out. I think it comes from being in a doctor's family. When you grow up dicussing blood and gore around the dinner table, it de-sensitizes you to some degree. I am interested in exactly what reverse peristalsis is (I have a general idea based on the name of the condition)and why you may have it; I'll have to research it so that I can converse more knowledgeably with you.

    It sounds as though your procedure was terribly involved, and it's therefore not surprising that you would feel considerable soreness. I agree that Carlo is the man, and he somehow needs to become involved in this.

    You may find this hard to believe, but even I had a dream about Carlo. In my dream, someone in the psych ward was having gastric problems, and he was called in to solve the problems. When he walked into the ward, he saw me and immediately recognized me as being your Internet friend. He cornered me and started totally grilling me about you. I told him what I knew, which wasn't all that much, and also told him he should probably call you or your parents if he wanted a more reliable take on your situation. He just walked away, muttering in a thick accent (Does he have an accent?), "Alex Ferrer is stealing all of my patients!" It was bizarre beyond belief.

    I would only be concerned that I would be kept here longer if I did start telling compulsive lies. I've asked other kids. They say she's weird, but she's never accused any of the rest of telling lies. One of the nurses told me that my dad called the director this morning and that the skeptical therapist is permanantly off my case. My aunt must have spoken to him, and he must not have liked what she told him. It's certainly fine with me. I don't really want her to lose her job, but I'd be just as happy to see her working in another branch of the psych department. I think it would be better if she worked with people who were more able to defend themselves against her b.s., although who would that be in a psych department? Beyond that, I don't claim to have been harmed by her rude questioning, because my aunt handled her pretty well. It was more amusing than anything else, although I admit to having been embarrassed.

    By the way, tomorrow is "Pathological Liar Day" on our wing of the psych ward. I'm busy comprising my list of patological lies. If you have any great lies for me to tell., please tell me.

    Again, I'm glad that you're improving, if not as rapidly as you would like.


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  5. Matt,

    My dad says that people in the mental health field are among the looniest creatures on the planet. Even if they started out sane, he says, which is a humongous "if," they eventually end up breathing too many ozone fumes and destroying the part of the brain that controls sanity. My mom has a doctorate in applied psychology, so he must think she's unbalanced as well. Come to think of it, he's never said that when she's around. Maybe he exempts her because she's not a practicing therapist. She works in public schools as a district office supervisor of counseling services, which is more academic than anything else.

    I don't find it hard to believe that the doctor whose research focused on compulsive lying found that in everyone. I think that's true of a lot of medical and psychological research anyway. My mom used to be a director of psychological services for a school district, and she said each of the psychs had their own pet diagnoses. It was odd how such a high percentage of the kids a Psych A's schools had ADHD, while those at Psych B's schools had PDD-Autism spectrum disorders, while kids at Psych C's schools had Reactive Attachment Disorder, and so forth. Subjective dignoses lend themselves to this.

    I look forward to reading your next story.


  6. I decided to go back to the beginning and see how this story began. You have done a huge amount of writing. It is not good for you, for a therapist to be suspicious of you lying. The last that I heard was psychologists have the highest rate of suicide.