Seconds Out – Round One
I know a number of you ask about my interactions with the good doctors, Dr E and Dr O so I thought I would take you back. Way back. My first involvement with these people of medicine was not with Dr E or Dr O but a fellow who I shall refer to as Dr M. I thought I would take you back to my first meeting with Dr M. It was a cold winter’s day when I entered the elegant building where Dr M had his consulting rooms. They are in the same building as where I would later learn that Dr E and Dr O practise. I was shown into a drawing room which had an open fire but it was not lit. The room was warm nevertheless. Dr M was already sat in front of his expansive desk. He rose to greet me but I walked straight past him and sat in a chair. He tried not to look taken aback but I knew that he was. He sat down and adjusted his position as he placed his fingertips together creating a triangle and rested his hands on his chest. He was clearly trying to conjure up an image of intelligence. I was not impressed.
“Good morning Mr Tudor, I am Dr M. I will be working with you. Thank you for addressing the administrative details with my secretary, I appreciate it is a bit of a bind but the paperwork needs to be in place. I thought that today we could just have a general discussion rather than launch into specifics. A fireside chat if you will. I usually take notes but I am not going to do so today. So let me ask how are you?”
I said nothing. I looked at the doctor’s shoes. I noticed he was wearing Chelsea boots which interested me but not enough to comment on it. The doctor waited and I could hear a clock ticking in the room. It was somewhere behind me. There was no other sound. The walls in this old building were thick, not like the tissue and spit of modern constructions. The door was solid as well. No noise would be heard from beyond and I reasoned nobody would hear what was said in here either.
“I asked how are you?” the doctor repeated after a moment of waiting. I shifted my gaze to look at him but I still said nothing. He seemed unfazed by my silence.
“Very well. Let’s begin by discussing why you are with me today.”
I waited but there was no question. I remained silent. I looked over at Dr M’s desk. It was an antique partner’s made from mahogany and was inset with maroon leather. It was one of those large desks which had draws on both sides so that a partner, in whatever business it might be, would sit on one side and an underling, some kind of clerk, would sit directly opposite him sharing the desk. There was a large leather chair on the other side of the desk. The top of the desk bore a couple of books although I could not read the titles from where I was sat and a neat pile of papers. I could see a pen lying on its side also.
“I appreciate you do not want to be here but you are now. In order for us to help one another we do need to have a conversation,” said Dr M.
I flicked my gaze back at him and focussed on his suit. It was navy, heavy looking most likely wool. There was a pinstripe in the material. I wondered if he purchased two pairs of trousers with the suit. He looked like a man who spent a lot of time on his backside and this would mean the woollen crotch of his trousers would soon wear away. A second pair was a must. I glanced at Dr M’s crotch to try and ascertain if I could see a hole forming. A small opening in the trousers through which his doubtless white underwear could be viewed. So far the wool was holding out.
“Very well. Why don’t you tell me something about yourself?” he invited.
I was nonplussed earlier but now I was becoming bored. I let my eyes wander over to the fireplace. It was substantial and I thought it was a pity that there was no fire lit. I could see logs stacked up inside the fireplace but the flames were absent. No doubt it would contravene patient safety having a fire in here. I baulked at using the word patient. That was what he regarded me as. I was no patient. I was not some drooling imbecile wheeled in by white uniformed staff and followed by anxious relatives. I was no drink-addled half-wit whose brain had turned to mush through years of alcohol abuse so he would routinely soil himself. Those were the type of degenerates, admittedly well-looked after degenerates that normally came to these places.
“Whenever you are ready Mr Tudor,” he gave me a short smile which I assume was meant to reassure me. I looked at him again and fixed him with a stare. Interestingly he met my gaze. His expression was not challenging not was it threatening. He just looked at me as I looked at him. He glanced towards his desk and then moved slightly in his seat. Yes he was prone to fidgeting, that crotch would soon be worn away on that suit. His shirt was white which amused me. Only police officers and airline pilots wear white shirts. Even though I could see it was expensive it should not have been white. I did notice that it was double-cuffed so that was something at least. Single cuff would have generated scorn and heaven forbid he wore a short-sleeve shirt under a suit jacket I would have walked straight out.
“We have plenty of time, so just when you are comfortable.”
Indeed we did have plenty of time. Two hours’ worth thanks to the power of my parents’ cheque book. So the pair of us sat in that grand drawing room with the absent fire and let two hours pass in complete silence. Dr M said nothing more as he waited for me to speak and I said nothing more as I had nothing to say to him. I concentrated on using my silence to make him feel uncomfortable. I could tell by the way he kept shifting in his seat he wanted to speak or listen. He made to speak on several occasions but something prevented him from doing so. I occupied my thoughts with planning the rest of my day and also how I might entice his frosty looking but obviously hugely efficient secretary into my world. I ran through a variety of scenarios which made the time pass rather quickly. I was almost taken by surprised when Dr M cleared his throat and spoke.
“Well our time is at end this week Mr Tudor. I shall see you again next week same day and the same time. Good day,” he said pleasantly as he rose from his seat.
I said nothing. I walked past him and headed to the door as the surge began inside me.
Round one to HG.
22 thoughts on “Seconds Out – Round One”
As the “Fuel Flows” !
Wish I could see you handle my first shrink, the one who tried to use play therapy, but ignored play therapy pioneer Virginia M. Axline’s emphasis on allowing children to express their experiences and feelings.
The wanker used to grab the dolls away from me and make them do what he wanted.
What happened next week?
Paddy, haha I want to know too!
HG, i enjoyed reading this it made me laugh. His trousers being worn down haha
I dont understand why Dr. M asked you no questions whatsoever. He had 2 hours to do that. He certainly got his money’s worth.
This is not directly related to this article, however, since it’s a poem about narcissism, I thought of you and wanted to share it.
I recently googled how narcissism has been treated in contemporary art, because I was curious about how modern artists (i.e. painters) interpreted the subject. Artists are generally intuitive and creative, so I thought it would be interesting to see some of their insights.
This led me to find out about Salvador Dali’s, “The Metamorphosis of Narcissus”, a surrealist painting he painted in 1937. Dali also wrote a poem to go with the painting. The poem is as follows:
in his immobility,
absorbed by his reflection with the digestive slowness of carnivorous plants,
There remains of him only the hallucinatingly white oval of his head,
his head again more tender,
his head, chrysalis of hidden biological designs,
his head held up by the tips of the water’s fingers,
at the tips of the fingers
of the insensate hand,
of the terrible hand,
of the mortal hand
of his own reflection.
When that head slits
when that head splits
when that head bursts,
it will be the flower,
the new Narcissus,
Gala – my Narcissus.
I think the poem is fascinating, especially since it was written at a time when the scientific knowledge of narcissism wasn’t very advanced. At that time, Sigmund Freud’s theory (in general) was that narcissism was caused by an arrested development of the libido so that a person was fixated on their own body.
Dali’s poem above is ahead of its time, I believe, because it suggests that narcissism:
– is a combination of “the chrysalis of hidden biological designs” plus the “insensate”, “terrible” and “mortal” hand, i.e. both biological and environmental.
– is a result of “when that head splits”, there will be a “new Narcissus” and one that can be celebrated (“Gala – Narcissus”). This suggests that the “new” persona is a splitting, or an improvement, on the old one. The old one slowly becomes “invisible” due to its own “immobility”.
At least, that’s how I interpret Dali’s poem. I think it’s really interesting. It’s also interesting that Dali shows no judgement or scorn regarding narcissism and there is no suggestion of ‘evil’ or malice.
Since you are a writer and you have a creative and artistic talent for writing, I thought this may interest you.
Thank you Wisernow for taking the time to look this up and to share it. Not only is it interesting to understand how modern artists interpret narcissism, but with the poem that you have referenced we can read perceptive insight.
You’re welcome HG.
Very interesting. Thank you for sharing it.
You’re welcome E. B.
WN, I found your analysis most interesting. I have often thought HG’s art has Dali-esque qualities. I own a painting entitled Metamorphosis (by a local artist) that I really enjoy. I will never look at it again without remembering this. I think we all (Ns and Es) go through a kind of metamorphosis in life, just with different outcomes. Thank you so much for sharing. Merry Christmas to you and yours!
Thanks FYC. I also think HG has an artistic flair with his writing. He is both poetic and very direct and logical at the same time. I think you’re right about both Ns and Es. They both have certain natural traits that became overdeveloped and changed due to various circumstances.
I hope you have a very Merry Christmas too FYC. Best wishes to you and yours too xxx
WN, HG is a brilliant writer! I could not agree more. I wish you a very Merry Christmas as well, WN and all the best for a joyful New Year. Thank you! xo
This is ever an excellent and entertaining example of your command of control, HG. I wanted to let you know that auto correct assaulted you. You meant hole versus whole in his pants. I assume you’d want to know, because it is such a funny part of the story. You know I make far more typos and editing errors than you, so I know you know this is no criticism.
Thank you FYC, the hole has been addressed.
FYC, Because of typos I’m stuck on an island shopping for fishing lures instead of in an aisle.
Hell does indeed exist.
At least I won’t get hungry because I have fishing gear.
Silver lining and all that.
That’s how it is with us empaths. Glass half full, lemonade out of lemons and all that.
Hahaha Mercy. I hope your isle is a lush tropical one! Forget the lures and head out to the beach–the water is fine!
I still have so many questions surrounding your therapy HG. I know you say its about your mother controlling you but i also know with npd the lack of accountability. I feel theres way more to it like something big led up to your parents wanting you to see a therapist or perhaps you were instructed you had to from a legal standpoint. This just seems bizarre for a grown man to have his parents force this. A teen i could see or child.
Therapy isnt just for imbeciles its for anyone and everyone and can help so much. Ive had a few therapists some i connected with others not as much but i was able to get help from each one. Definitely not a waste of time. You help so many strong wonderful people HG and they are far from being stupid or mentally disabled. We need to break this mental health stigma out there. Its not only ok to see a therapist its a smart thing to do if youre struggling need support. I hope you keep going to your therapists or find ones that can help modify your npd. I dont mean this to be insulting but from a caring standpoint.