Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Dial M for Torture

Psychiatrist's office. Cold, esoteric surroundings make me shiver. I am captivated by all the ADHD pamphlets for children sitting on the table. "Does your child speak out of turn?" one asks and I shudder at the thought of filling little children full of largely untested chemical combinations. "They may be attention deficit hyperactive disordered!"

"Come on back," the receptionist says in a very heavy Southern accent as she opens the door.

"Kermit is ready for us," my father whispers, as we get up from our chairs, and walk down that sterile seeming and long, boringly white hall to his office.

"How are you, today?" my doctor asks as he greets us, shakes my hand, and we sit down again.

I chuckle. The thought of my father's words of calling this esteemed and learned man, Kermit, makes me smile. I envision a little man up under the table animating and speaking for the personage sitting in front of us. He does look like Kermit, I think.

We talk of side effects.

"How is your sexual health?" my doctor asks after a myriad of questions.

"I haven't m-a-s-t-u-r-b-a-t-e-d in months," I reply. "I have no desire for sex."

I can't believe I said the M word. I look at my father and he is leaning forward in his seat, interested. I want to curl up in a ball and disappear with a wink. I felt like the proverbial bull in the conversational china shop.

"Are you okay with that?" my doctor then asks. He goes on a long diatribe about how my medications can cause sexual dysfunction.

"I want him to get married again and to have a normal life," my father chimes in, looking at me to see if saying this was okay.

I am so embarrassed, by now, that I want to run out of the room and hide in my father's car. I still can't believe I said the M word.

"Dad, did I say too much?" I ask my father on the ride home.

"Son, he is your doctor. You need to talk about those things with him. We all want you to have a normal life and everybody masturbates," my father said.

I felt sick at my stomach talking about it, but dad's words did make me feel better.


Amanda said...

Yikes. I like to think of myself open minded but I'd feel dreadfully embarrassed mentioning it too. In front of mom/dad no less!

PS. They want to use my kid as a guinea pig too. Uh, no thanks.

Josie Two Shoes said...

How miserable to have to discuss something so private in front of your father! Is he always present at your therapy sessions? Why? Obviously, we do need to talk about sexuality issues with therapists and doctors if they concern us, but it sure can be darn uncomfortable, I agree. It's sad though, that our society is so hung upon sexuality when it is a normal part of being human. I'm glad you were able to be honest with your therapist... but it concerns me that your Dad has his own agenda for your life, and shares it in that setting. He shouldn't be influencing the therapist. Are they friends?? Seek the life that is right for YOU Andrew, you are doing just fine!

justLacey said...

I agree that there really is no reson that your dr had to discuss that in front of your father. If you went in and were babling away or acting psychotic then he might call your father in, but you are a grown man and doing well and deserve some sense of privacy. Your dad is obviously in some kind of denial if he wants you to go on and get married and have a family. Have you spoken to him of your thoughts on the matter? Really there isn't any reason you couldn't get married if you are doing well long term. I think having a family brings it's own problems. You like older women though and some have grown children and or don't want children. Only you will know when you are ready or if. Don't totally rule it out for good though.

paul said...

Yep, that does sound mighty uncomfortable.

Good for you for speaking up. I don't know if I could have, under those circumstances.


Sounds like a rather rough afternoon. As long as your father wasn't uncomfortable that should help make you feel a bit better. (remember, he see's quite the few individuals with erectAIL (intentionally mispelled) dysfunction with the perscriptions viagra and so forth..)
If I so much as even spell the word s.e.x, my mom will respond with the tone raised, "CRUSTY!"

on another note; all children speak out of turn..unreal that that pamphlet would single that "symptom" when all children do's called lack of control..that pisses me off. I agree with you about the chemicals that are being filled into childrens bodies-terrifying.

p.s. as long as you're content, that's perfectly fine. So what if you haven't done "that." it's your body, your feelings, and when you want to do be it-only you know yourself the best.

~Vital~ said...

Lord ahve mercy, I think I'd flat out die before discussing that infront of my mom or dad. What you were feeling was totally normal. I agree that maybe your dad needs to wait out in the lobby next time. I do applaude you however, being able to discuss that with your Dr. while your dad was there. Ok, I understand your father wanting you to get married and all, parents want that for their kids, but I do agree that it was a bit inappropriate for him to state that in that setting. Wither you get married or not is your choice. Children must make their own way in life even if it is not the way the parents have dreamed. All that really matters when you get down to it, is that your children are happy in their life. My daughter is a lesbian, not what I had choosen for her. I grieved the traditional wedding dream and now all that matters is her happiness. Do what makes you happy Andrew and you can never go wrong with that. Your dad loves you very much and that is all that really matters to him in the end.

Pen and the Sword said...

That must have been so uncomfortable, Andrew, and I certainly don't envy that situation. I think that you handled yourselves as well as could be expected considering your father was there and such.

R. U. Serious said...

I may not go with mom and dad, but I can tell you that if you haven't left feeling you talked too much you probably haven't said enough.

Scared Bunny

Cheryl said...

Oh, reading this post made me cringe with embarassment for you. Talking about that with the doctor is one thing. He's right to bring the subject up. Was it having your Dad in the room that made it so uncomfortable, or was it saying the word?

I've had to talk about very unmentionable things with my doctor, but she made it seem like everyday conversation.

Willow said...

I've had occasion to find myself sitting in the other chair, hearing more information than I wanted to know about a loved one. I just had to get over it and say that everybody has different things they're interested in, and that's cool as long as it's not illegal. But I couldn't look the other person in the eyes for a while. It really is OK now, some things just take a while to ferment in your mind.

gurnt said...

Don't worry about it. To the doctor, you're just the 1:45 appointment. I had to have surgery on my butt last year.

Ranzige Bunzing said...

Andrew, if it makes you feel any better, think about your parents having sex. Maybe just as awkward, right?

Hang on in there, your blog is interesting.

peppersalt said...

You'd be worst off if the doctor is a lady.

Anyway, love reading your blog!

umangexuberance said...

must be real embarrassing for you to discuss your private life in front o your dad
does he have to be there during your sessions
can't you go alone..don't you feel it would work better if you are more relaxed discussing everything, which i do not feel would be possible with your dad present

STAG said...

Sounds like the doc wanted to see what the influences on your life were, and where they were coming from. Likely your doc has a different definition of "normal" than either you or your dad has!
Initially upon reading this post, I thought "oversharing"! Then I realized that you are declaring what you are, your sex life or married life (or lack thereof) is what it is, and it really doesn't matter who knows it. Certainly it makes no never mind to ME!
But, this little episode does show that you are loved and respected by a family member.
You can twist and turn on the noose of embarrassment about a dropped phrase, but your dad wiped you ass when you were a baby. You did a hundred embarrassing things as you were growing up which he knows about, and just takes it as a "given" thing. A few years and few experiences later, he cares just as much.
I automatically rebelled for most of my life, then I discovered that the older I got, the less I hated the old man, and the more I liked his quirky life. Though up to the end, he was HIM, and I was I, and that was that. Clearly you have learned this lesson, but your old man has not. And you cut him some slack because you KNOW that. Your wisdom is a joy to behold.

Barb said...

Your dad said, "Everyone masterbates" OMG I blushed FOR you~~~lol


Eric said...

First, let me see if I can get my face to turn a lighter shade of red for you. Man, I feel for you.

"Drug them kids up, and then you don't have to deal with them and you can continue to ignore them and their needs." Maybe that line should be in those brochures. If only there was truth in advertising.

Ogle said...

No s##t ,..I thought this being shy and embarrassed talking about the M word was a black thing?

Anonymous said...

Why was you father in the room with you and your doctor? You are an adult and deserve to be treated as one by your doctors and your father! Next time leave your father in the waiting room.