Originally posted: June 1, 2007 - Friday
It's hard being the youngest child of two therapists. While I am proud of the professional strides that my parents have made, Lord only knows that their wealth of knowledge about the human psyche is both a blessing and a curse.
Take for instance a simple conversation I had with my mother just a few days ago:
Me: Mommy (yes, I still call my mom "Mommy" – especially when I want something), I don't have any money.
Mommy: Of course you have money. You just got a nice check from that project you finished a few weeks ago.
Me: Yes, mommy. You told me to put that money away for a rainy day, don't you remember that?
Mommy: Yes, I remember that. So, if you have money in your savings account, then you have money. So, don't say you don't.
Me: Mom, can I just complain sometimes? I mean, damn! (I didn't really say "damn", but I sure as hell was thinking it!)
Mommy: Well, it really benefits your mental health if you would just say, 'I have money, but I am not going to touch it because going shopping is not really the reason why I have set it aside.' You really should try to practice positive self-talk for the sake of your psychological well-being.
Me: **Rolling eyes violently** Alright, Mom, you're right. I have money.
Mom: Now, don't you feel better?
Me: Whatever. I'll talk to you later. Goodbye. **click**
Sometimes, I really would like to have a normal conversation with my parents that didn't involve every statement I utter being picked apart by overly analytical mental health providers. But, such is my life. And, truthfully, I should be used to it by now. This has been going on for nearly 28 years.
Another (somewhat) funny story. Picture me at 2 years old. I was a damn cute kid, but that's a different story… lol. I had a Fred Flintstone bottle that I loved to death! Get this – it was actually shaped like Fred Flintstone (Fred was wearing his leopard print muumuu or whatever he was dressed in) except Fred had a nipple attached to the top of his dome. Yeah, pretty funny now that I think about it.
Anyway, the story goes that one day my dad got tired of me carrying Fred around. He calls me into his office – yes, an actual office in our home. (Seriously, this is so my father – who the HELL "takes a meeting" with a 2 year old??) Daddy got down on my level and told me that the only people he knew who carried bottles were babies. And he asked me whether I was a "baby" or a "big girl". Now, if 27 year old me was having this convo with my pops, I would have known to play it safe and answer "I am a baby" and kept it right on moving with Fred in my right hand, But this was 2 year old me. Little me who wanted to be a "big girl" more than anything. And, of course, my father, trained in myriad counseling theories and techniques, knew that he could harp on this to get me to do what he wanted me to do.
So, when 2 year old me answers, "I'm a big girl", he grabs his wastebasket and says (so it is reported to me), "Well, a big girl would throw that bottle right into this wastebasket and never ask for it again." And, (so it is said) I looked from nipple-headed Fred to the wastebasket and back to nipple-headed Fred, took one last nip of apple juice and tossed his ass in the wastebasket. And, guess what? Because I was a big girl, I never asked for the bottle again.
Now that I reflect on this story, I find it amusing for at least three reasons:
My father had an actual "meeting" with a 2 year old in his office. (Loco. Totally loco.)
My father used basic reverse psychology principles to manipulate me into doing what HE thought was right (apparently, my mother wasn't all that concerned about me wielding a bottle at 2. This was all about my dad's hangup.)… and this is something he STILL does TO THIS DAY. Booo!
I had mad willpower at 2! Where's that willpower now when I absolutely HAVE to order dessert after every meal in a restaurant?!
At any rate, the sum of my experiences with Mommy and Daddy have made me who I am today. Which isn't really that bad of a person. So, I suppose – when I really think about it, having two shrinks as parents really is more of a blessing than it is a curse.
Until, once again, I'll make a comment in jest and they overanalyze the hell out of it, pushing me one step closer to joining some of their clients in the looney-bin.