Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Stockholm Syndrome

I’ve seen Dr. Shoja sixty-two times.  That’s only sixty-two hours — not even a single working week — but she knows a lot about the core of me. Yesterday was … well… shocking.
Dr. Shoja comfortably lays blame for my condition on the Tyrells. She does not often reference them but when she does she has no trouble using harsh words to describe what they did "to me” and I always object. Yesterday she wanted to talk about why I object.
It was easy. I explained that a good parent differentiates between accident and intentional misbehavior, punishing the later but using the former as a learning opportunity. I similarly feel that evil parents should be vilified but not parents who themselves may suffer from abuse by their parents.
It went back and forth. It was very comfortable and highly engaging and in the end, I conceded that my inclination to protect the Tyrells' reputation is odd. I’m too protective, illogically protective; but I felt I knew why. If I’d hated them — if I’d left them — I’d have had nothing; I’d have been an orphan again.
I have what psychiatrists call Stockholm Syndrome. Boy did I cry.
I never linked those words to me. Not once in my life have I ever thought I had that condition, but I have been a passionate Patty Hearst fan since reading about her “conversion” by her captors and her trial. I always wanted to contact her and tell her: “I get it. I understand you. I know why you did that. I love you.”
I believe Dr. Shoja wants me to accept that my parents were predominantly selfish and cruel. She keeps asking me how I would feel if I saw neighbours treating their child the way my parents treated me. I know what the answer is.
She asked me if I wanted to “go there.”. She said some patients don’t want to delve into their anger. I said I absolutely hated talking about my past but that I’d totally willingly go anywhere she wanted me too if it would reduce my anxiety.
“What am I coming here for if not to get my anxiety below clinical levels?”
 I’ve only six more weekly sessions then I start going twice a month. I’m glad that if we’re going to “go there” it will be less frequent.

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