Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I am trying to keep out of trouble this summer, but it is hard for a natural born trouble maker to do that

It has occurred to me that drinkers like Doc keep out of trouble by drinking! Doc is capable of making comments that get him into trouble, so I can see why he is afraid to commit himself to sobriety. He just too smart to risk being sober is I think the way he sees it. He is very articulate, observant, and his I.Q. has been registered at around 160. He graduated from college. But since then there has been a long decline.
He still has no problem understanding me and my issues and has impressed me as about the smartest guy I have ever had the opportunity to interact with. So why should a guy with such intellectual gifts end up staying drunk all the time?
I suspect that our society does not reward outspoken members and that alcohol and drugs are generally taken up by the rebels. Doc was raised in a very tight German Lutheran community. His parents refused to allow him to attend public school on the grounds that it might tempt into some bad behavior I believe. He was angry but gave in to their fears graciously I am sure. That is how he handles people. He can act very civilized with the most delightful manners.
I had three sons who were all rebels as were their fathers before them, their grandfathers, and great grandfathers. I observed that my father and my cousins took up drinking along with rebellion so I vowed that if I found it necessary to rebel I would not drink. Even my sons have followed pretty much the drinking and experimenting with drugs path to rebellion.
I was quite shocked when my outspokenness and rebelling ways got me in even more trouble than they did my dad. I was incarcerated in a psych ward which is about like going to jail. I was taken twice in my life by armed guard to a psych ward in two different states and I had a heck of a time getting out of both of these locked institutions. I could not just get out. I had to be released.
So from then on I had a record, which is what helped me get incarcerated the second time. Somebody with authority found out I had a record of incarceration. I am afraid I told him since I did not yet realize how foolish that was. But I had such a hard time getting out of there again I never forgot what I ought not to say when interacting with men with authority.
I made a huge splash the first time by getting incarcerated at the University of Utah in my last year of college. Nobody has ever been able to understand how this happened. Nor have they been able to understand what happened while I was in there. But believe it or not, I was in my right mind and I was orchestrating whatever happened to me. I had taken charge of my life the last year I was in college, which it seems you do not do without getting into a lot of trouble. I decided that up to then I would just be an obedient school girl and do whatever was asked of me without making waves. The main thing I did that bothered people was read all the time. But I reserved the right to keep doing that, so nobody was ever able to persuade me to become a pep girl or something like that that I thought might interfere with my reading time. Since I could not be a cheerleader, I told my aunt being a pep girl and cheering for the boys at all the games was too much of a waste of time. So I continued to read.
It is true that reading a lot of books tends to help foster rebellion. You get too many ideas about what is wrong with everything. But I was able to keep myself from rebelling in any noticeable way until I was in my 4th year of college.
My dad had already partied his way out of college after a couple of years or so. His grades were bad, so his dad told him he would not pay for him to go any more. He went home to work on his father's ranch and that is where he stayed.
But my dad was so used to me being so obedient, not drinking or smoking or doing anything that he had done, he did not realize that I was a dyed in the wool rebel just like he was. He was totally shocked when he got a phone call that I was no longer quietly attending classes and making no waves, I was locked up and he and my mother better come north to help decide what was to be done with me.
You would think my dad did not even know what a rebel was, or at least he did not know he had been harboring one right in his own family and had been paying for her college. He acted like he did not even recognize me for what I was. He did not realize that I was now prepared to defy everyone's efforts to keep me behaving well and was going to take charge of my own life and do as I damned pleased.
He had done this. He still got drunk every weekend no matter what his dad did to him after he had to leave college more or less in disgrace. He could take after him with a bull whip. He could yell and shout, but he finally had to accept that he had another alcoholic son, a rebel, somebody who was always going to be in trouble, who would get arrested during his life any number of times. But he was still a smart guy who could run the ranch when he had to, so his father by the time I was born had turned the management over to him, despite his wastrel ways.
The psychiatrists also found out I was one of the worst rebels they had ever locked up. I informed them that I was not crazy and they better not give me electric shock treatment. I did not need it. I don't know whatever possessed my mother and dad to sign for my shock treatment but I think they scared them into it as doctors usually do if they want to do something to you. They try to make out that you probably aren't going to recover unless you do get this treatment.
They had turned my case over to the Intern since he was the only one I would talk to. I didn't like any of the other psychiatrists and almost as soon as they started talking to me, they would make me angry, so I would just shut up and stare straight at them, refusing to say another word. This of course caused them to want to shock me all the more since they were not used to anyone defying them to the extent that I was doing it.
But once I turned loose my rebel personality this is the sort of thing I did to everybody, which was why I would have been ejected from college sooner or later. I was ready for that. I had made up my mind college had no more to offer me. I was leaving. I was 20 years old. It was not going to cost my dad any more money, but do you think I could have told him that?
No, he seemed to think that because I had not given him any trouble by drinking and smoking and that sort of thing he owned me. I was little Miss Obedient he expected somehow to boss the rest of his days. I had already worked for my room and board the last two years of high school in order to go to school in Salt Lake. I had a job for those two years, so I could be independent and go to high school where I wanted to. You would have thought that would have given my dad some clue that I would be able to live independently of him if I left college.
But it seems that the doctors were not going to let go of me that easily. Everybody that I talked to in there were getting electric shock treatments. They just could not seem to bring themselves to agree to let me go without me being shocked. I think they were quite insulted to think I rejected electric shock treatment so indignantly refusing to be persuaded that I was mentally ill. Nor did I accept the psychiatrist's actions who incarcerated me after possibly not even a two minute interview. Why?
Well, he asked me in a very bored way what my problems were. I thought this guy is not interested in why I am leaving the University. I didn't like his attitude. I did not think he would be able to understand any of my reasons for leaving. He was just going to argue with me. So he asked me another question in the most bored uninterested tones possible and I thought to wake him up a little before I walked out of the university forever, and decided not to answer his question. I figured that would jolt him to more awareness, give him a little more idea who he was dealing with. When he hardly even blinked, but continued to ask me in his bored way another question or so I didn't answer those either. I knew that was rebellion to the 9th degree, but I was thinking what could he do to me, I was leaving. I had already done exactly this to the head of my department which was theater and he did nothing. Which was why I felt safe to do it to the psychiatrist. Instead my department head acted like he could not cope with me and wondered if I would go to talk to the school psychiatrist as I was apparently not going to talk to him, as he put it. This busy guy had already kept me waiting for 45 minutes through one appointment he had set up. The secretary finally told me to go home and she would make another. He was a half an hour late to that one and by that time, since I was leaving college I decided I would not talk to him to express my annoyance at his lack of interest. I was performing the second female lead in a play he was directing on the road so he probably wanted to make sure I did not fail to show up for that and thought to foist me off on the school psychiatrist. He surely did not imagine that he would never see me again and would have to replace me in about two days in the play!
No, I wouldn't have done that to any director. I fully intended to perform for the second week in the play, and figured I would be able to finish out the run before I was actually thrown out of college. I had timed my rebellion and exit so I could finish the play. I was also directing a student production of Phaedra and hoped to be able to finish that, too, before I left.
I really did not think of leaving college as a completely insane thing to do. As others came to think of it later. My dad had ordered me to become a school teacher or a secretary or he would not pay, so I had had to take a number of those classes to satisfy him. Now I had decided that I would not be able to rebel and at the same time become a school teacher, so that was out. It had never been my choice or intention to become either, so there my dad was trying to control even what I studied. If it had been my choice I would have left all those classes out and took only the ones I thought would help me become a writer, a playwright, would give me acting experience, directing experience and so on. My dad, naturally, did not think I was being practical, so this was why I was finally rebelling against him. I was tired of him telling me what I could or could not do with my life by withholding financial support. I was now going to tell him to go hang.
So, yes, I knew he was going to be angry. He was the one who was going to act insane. Demented. But I thought I will just have to handle his tantrums when I get to them.
In the meantime the psychiatrist got up and left the room and said he would be back. He didn't come back for a long time, so I decided he wasn't worth messing with any more and I was just going to get to my feet to leave, still thinking I had the right to leave, and he suddenly popped back in and told me I was being taken under guard to a mental hospital. I did not have any choice. It seems he had been scaring up an armed officer and police car. I was to be escorted out of there. I took it that I had now become one of the most dangerous rebels this guy had ever seen at that college. An all out alarm must have gone out, and I was not going to be allowed to get away!
I had just committed an act that was going to get me locked up and nearly killed as it turned out. I came within a hair's breath of losing my life. But did that teach me a lesson? No, it did not. It just made me mad. I thought if this is the sort of thing they are doing to rebels, I had better investigate.
I didn't know it but I had found my life's work.

3 comments:

FrankandMary said...

Some never find a life's work, they just turn (& stay) beige. ~Mary

Have Myelin? said...

Well I will wait for the rest of the story....

Connie said...

the teachers used to ask mom-'how do you get her to shut up'? she would answer back 'I don't-if you figure out a way-let me know' In actuality-I honestly do not remember myself as talkitive-I was ass-backward...to this day I am pretty much un-aware of my surroundings,not nosey,not easy to get to know..a loner..as I have always liked to be..if I voice my opinion or knowledge of something it is swept under the rug..so I keep my mouth shut-always have..it's odd how others perceive us differently than we do ourself.


Herrad

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