Happiness is an Empty Colon

I talk about poop a lot.

Freud would say this means I am stuck in the anal stage of childhood development, and I am not sure that’s too far off the mark.  Let’s just say that The Beatles were wrong when they said that happiness was a warm gun.  No, no, it’s an empty colon.

—–

Since Brian and I get up for work at different times in the morning, we don’t get to see each other until we get home from work in the evening.  We supplement our communication needs with email and chats during the day.

me: You know, because of this bloating, I’ve had to get up and pee TWICE each night since Saturday

Brian:  eek

me:  My sleep hasn’t been good
Brian:  Have you asked Dr. Internet what to do?
me:  No…but it’s just going to tell me that I am dying.  Or pregnant.  Besides, I pooped this morning, so that’s a plus!
 Brian:  Was it a lot?
 me:  Not a lot…
 Brian:  Still good though
 me:  From 1-10, it was a 4
 Brian:  Hah
 me:  10 being MASSIVE, EPIC poo, you know, that breaks the water
 Brian:  On the Shat Scale
 me:  Right!  So at least my poo wasn’t a 1, which would be like two little nuggets…plop, plop.
 Brian:  Let’s change the subject.
 me:  Why?  This is awesome!  …This could be a blog post!

A Dangerous Method

I finally watched A Dangerous Method – a little movie about psychoanalyst  Karl Jung and how he helped contribute to the growing study of talk therapy towards the beginning of the 1900s.  Spoiler alert for anyone who doesn’t want details of this movie revealed to them.

The movie opens with a crazy lady being brought against her will in a carriage to this beautiful compound where Jung does his experimental work.  Now, when I say crazy, I mean fucking bitch-be-cool crazy.  This crazy Russian lady and real person, Sabina Spielrein, is played very hauntingly and skillfully by Keira Knightly.

Jung immediately takes a liking to this woman and tells his wife that he wants to begin his experimental treatment on her – psychoanalysis.

He sets up two chairs facing the same direction, has her sit in the front one, and he explains that he’s going to ask her questions while sitting in the chair behind her, so as not to distract her, even though all it does is freak her out at first.

These scenes of talk therapy were fascinating to me, because the woman presented as a person who had been terrorized as a child and was now suffering from severe PTSD, and she was hysterical to boot.  Her lower jaw jutted out, her body jerked and shuddered, and her uterus was clearly stuck in her madulla ablongotta.  I had her diagnosed after a few short minutes. *wipes dust from hands*

She confessed to being beaten by her father.  Made sense.  The kicker was that she confessed to being sexually excited by it, even at the early age of four.  (Is this even possible?, you ask.  In Crazytown, Switzerland in the time of the Great Chauvinists of Yore, they left no O-face unturned, I say.)

Enter Jung’s friend and mentor, the father of psychoanalysis everyone loves to hate: (Viggo Mortenson as) Sigmund Freud.  Based on one story involving Patient Crazypants and feces that I will not go into detail about (you’re welcome), he diagnosed her as being stuck in the anal stage of development (sound familiar?) and prescribed some good, old fashioned raunchy S&M sexytimes with her therapist.

To further make his point, Freud referred a client to Jung, and this client (also a therapist himself, pictured rubbing blow on his gums before strolling into an appointment) spends his therapy hour talking about how freeing it is to have sex with his clients and how Jung should do it too.  All the cool therapists were doing it, apparently.  Pun intended.

“I think that Freud’s obsession with sex probably has a great deal to do with the fact that he never gets any.”

Sidenote:  I went to a Jungian therapy training about a year ago, and people still worship this guy.  They still have yearly trainings pilgrimages to his chateau in Switzerland where they have orgies in padded rooms filled with cigar smoke in his honor.

In addition to the fact that I am insanely jealous that these Jungian therapists somehow make enough money to go to the Swiss Alps once a year, I like this guy’s ideas.  The dude made sense to me, for the most part.

As I sat watching, I liked this portrayal of Jung, too.  He was smart and dedicated to his work and to this exciting, emerging field.  He was painted as this logical, scrupulous scholar and clinician who wanted to make a difference in the world, one crazy lady at a time and I was like, YES!  He helped to create my destiny, you guys.  This was turning into a spiritual experience for me.

And then Jung caves and decides to not only bang his sexy, miraculously cured patient, but to flog her with a paddle.  Hard.  I felt like I was watching the movie adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey already, minus the butt plugs (thankfully).  Along with Jung’s dignity went most of my admiration and respect for this movie representation of him, right down the toilet.

What Jung did maintain in this movie was a healthy skepticism of Freud’s obsession with everything sexual.  In this portrayal, Freud saw most normal problems in sexual terms, interpreting everything as such.  Sure, we’re sexual beings, but that doesn’t mean everything has to be conceptualized through that lens.  In this space, Jung and I continued to jive.  And I guess I should give him props that he did eventually regain his senses and broke things off with his Russian mistress.

The one thing missing from this movie was more cocaine.  I thought I read somewhere that Jung and Freud had a few gentlemanly get togethers that included cigars, brandy, and doing enough lines to kill a small horse.
Now that’s a movie I’d like to see.

Spell check doesn’t know how to spell ‘mammaries.’ True story.

Two Time Magazine employees are having a conversation at the water cooler.  In their doubled-up paper cups is wine, straight from the cardboard box in the fridge down the hall.

Time Maggy:  So, I have this great cover story on attachment parenting that people find controversial.  What should we put on the cover?

Time Zany:  How about a nice white woman lovingly holding an attractive, blue-eyed baby.  That sounds lovely, don’t you think?

Maggy:  Not nearly shocking enough.  I want this cover to say, “I’m a smug, trendy, extreme parent.  I parent better than all y’all and I am all up in your face about it.”

Zany: Hmm… how about sexy, pouty chimps doing that social grooming thing.  We could put them in bikinis.  I guess we’d have to wax their legs, though.

Maggy:  No way America is ready for that amount of leg hair, so true.  But seriously, we need to think of something over the top.

Zany:  Well, breastfeeding is over the top.  I mean, I lose my lunch every time some crazy mom decides to use her mammaries  the way they were intended.

Maggy:  You mean displaying them prominently in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition?

Zany:  Bizactly.  And at Time we have to compete with that shit.

Maggy:  I’ve got it!  We’ll compete by showing one of the most natural, loving acts known to mammals in an unsmiling, hands-on-hips, no-nonsense kinda controversial way.

Zany:  And to make our audience even more uncomfortable, which means they’ll just have to buy the issue, we’ll replace the baby with a full-grown man.  On a stool.

Maggy:  Stay right there.  I’ll get the stool.

One of my mom friends suggested I write my reactions and opinions to this Time cover story making waves in the media.  She said that she’s interested in hearing the point of view of non-moms (or momily-challenged, if you prefer), and I thought that was an interesting idea.

First of all, I think they did a great job of taking a controversial photo that we all agree was meant to get attention and sell magazines.  Bravo.

What I find ironic about the photo is that it’s supposedly supposed to portray attachment parenting, and yet, I see emotionless faces.  Sure, they are literally attached at the boob, but they aren’t even looking at each other.  The kid is awkwardly standing (and I don’t know about you, but I don’t know ANY moms who prefer to breastfeed while both parties are standing up) and the mom looks more focused on challenging other moms out there and less focused on her kid…which I thought was the whole point of attachment parenting.

Shame on you, Time Magazine for the not-so-subtle mom blaming going on here.

Before talking about the parenting method itself –  full disclosure – I am not a mom.  I do have my own mom.  I also have some training in a certain variety of attachment parenting meant to be used with kids who have witnessed or been the direct victims of sexual and/or domestic abuse.  I have taught parenting classes to moms using these techniques.  This is not the same attachment parenting that is described in the Time article, but of course my training and experience is going to flavor my opinions.

I am a big fan of not going to extremes.  Being an attachment mom purist does not sound like fun to me.  I can’t imagine quitting my job to spend 24/7 raising kids, having them sleep next to me every night, having them in a sling every second.  For one thing, (according to the Time article) this method seems way too sexist in that it seems to assume that only mom can provide the great, nurturing parenting.  Dads are encouraged to help out by doing the dishes so mom can focus more fully on breastfeeding.  While that may work for some people, I don’t see that working for me.  I envision my future co-parenting life to be as balanced as possible, given work schedules and biology.  And that’s another issue – what happens if a kid is being raised by two dads?

Do I imagine using a sling with my kids?  Yup, sometimes.  Do I want and plan to be able to breastfeed?  Yes.  Do I consider the possibility of co-sleeping?  Perhaps.  Do I also imagine date nights away from the kids?  You bet.  Do I envision handing the kids to dad so I can go on a drunken bender?  Oui, oui.

To be fair, I really don’t know what it will be like or how I will feel once I have kids.  But I do know myself and I know my values.  And for me, it’s all about balance and flexibility.  I don’t like any rigid set of rules I’d have to follow.  I don’t like the mom blaming that results from not following said rules.  I say do what works for your family, and you let me do what works for mine.

And now for a rant on the problems our culture has with breastfeeding that were so beautifully triggered by the above Time cover photo.  First of all, it drives me insane when people sexualize the act of breastfeeding.  I don’t care what you say, Freud!  It is not obscene and it is not a sexual act.  It is nurturing, it is bonding, it is a woman using a part of her body the only way it was naturally intended to be used – to feed her frickin baby.

Somewhere along the line, our culture sexualized the breast and that got all entangled with breastfeeding.  Somehow, we’re more comfortable seeing breasts doing nothing but being hung out, pushed up, and squeezed together all over the place than we are seeing a breast feeding a kid.

What bothers me the most is when people who are uncomfortable being around breastfeeding moms try to make their discomfort the breastfeeding mom’s problem by saying that mom needs to cover up or go away or whatever.  It is my view that this is not the mom’s problem.  If you’re uncomfortable, I urge you to take a moment to wonder why and to find another way to manage your feelings other than mom blaming.

As for me and future parenting styles, all I can hope for is that my kids stay off the crack on weekdays.

Victory is mine!

HOLY CRAP, YOU GUYS!!!!!

Break out the limoncello, cuz I PASSED MY FIRST ‘SO-YOU-WANNA-BE-A-THERAPIST’ LICENSING EXAM!!!!!!

 

This was a grueling 4 hour exam sitting in front of a computer screen, not being allowed water or wallets or pockets or hoods or even my own used tissue from home, answering no less than 200 questions about treatment, diagnosis, and how to properly hide your ongoing drug addiction from your boss.  It probably covered more than that, but my brain turned to mush around question 156.

Needless to say, I am mentally and physically exhausted.

But man, for a person like me with ongoing poop issues, there is no better natural colon cleanse than preparing for an hours-long, stressful, the-future-of-my-career-rests-on-this exam.

Nothing better.

And How Does That Make You Feel?: A Freudian analysis of my blog

What would Freud think about all this blogging nonsense?

He’d probably say that I didn’t get enough love in my childhood, therefore I have penis envy, and my id is now perpetually searching for approval and pleasure using this silly bloggermajig.

Basically, I’m fucked. Hysterically fucked. 

But I jumped the gun a little bit.  Please, make yourself comfortable on this here leather couch and we’ll get started.  Ahem.

I am anal about most everything, including blog posts

I obsess over sentence structure.  I obsess about what might sound funnier than some other word or phrase.  I am a proud member of (or sad slave to) the grammar police.  As soon as I finish a blog post, I not only begin refreshing my stats page every few seconds, but I also begin to obsess about what my next blog post will be about.  How can I make this thing perfect?  Yarg.

According to Freud, based on my above behavior, my blog is stuck in the Anal Stage of psychosexual development.  No wonder I have never ceased to grow out of my love for poop jokes.

My id, ego, and super-ego battle it out right here in my blog

My id is the childlike, impulsive part of my psyche that wants – craves – blog hits, glowing comments, and to be Freshly Pressed, like, NOW.  My ego is the conscious part of me that signed up for this blog and keeps feverishly drafting blog posts as a way of fulfilling my id’s unconscious need.  My super-ego is constantly fighting with the other two, wanting the posts to be perfect, showing that I am a good role model, and editing myself into something socially acceptable, whatever the hell that means. 

With these three parts perpetually at odds, it’s amazing I get anything done.

So far I think my id is winning.

Free association and the unconscious

I write blog posts about what has been on my mind lately.  I usually write in a stream of consciousness style, and then it’s only a matter of time until my super-ego steps in and needs to organize and edit.  Because I start out a post without too much of an idea of where this shitstorm (poop reference intended, not Freudian slippage. you’re welcome.) is headed, I often surprise myself by where the post ends up ultimately.  Just how a session would be with a stuffy psychoanalyst, each blog post is written against a literal blank slate (minus all the cigar smoke-haze).  The nice thing about my sessions with this blog, however, is that it doesn’t keep asking me and how does that make you feel?

I talk about my ladyparts a lot

From Freud’s perspective, women are silly. They cannot help but focus on the fact that they don’t have a penis and all the power that goes with it.  My question is, how does this principle apply to me when I only have one ovary and like to make jokes about it?  Perhaps I have testicle envy instead?  Indeed, this is why I value courage and balls above most other things…excluding my daily ration of ice cream, of course.

Although, Dr. Freud, you are one to talk.  You know what I learned today?  Your middle name is Schlomo.  Schlomo.  After some free associating and a brief investigation on urbandictionary.com, I totally get why you were obsessed with your manbits.

—–

So, where do we go from here, doc?  I hope I get to be hypnotized to do the funky chicken whenever the microwave goes off!

What’s a microwave?

Sigh.

[He jots something down and hands me a baggie.]  Do three lines of cocaine and call me in the morning.