Saturday, October 27, 2012

I don't want to live in New Jersey. Not even in my dreams.

I had a very interesting dream recently, over the holidays.

I dreamed I bought the house in New Jersey that Ivan the Terrible was renting. I did this so I could watch his children, since he’d bought the house across the street. Spy on the children, I guess is more like it. I didn’t see them, but I saw Ivan. I never saw his face, but I saw him from behind. I really didn't want him to see me, and I didn’t particularly want to see him. Just wanted to the kids, but I don't think I did.

I also was paying my Spanish-speaking cleaning lady $40/week, and she sat down with me and said I had to pay her $56/week. I was talking to her in Spanish, so I felt intimidated and I capitulated.

Then I was wondering, how often do I have to have the cleaning lady? Every other week or once a month? And then I thought, how am I going to afford this? Living in Manhattan and just going to New Jersey on the weekends to try to see Ivan’s kids? I have a mortgage now? I don't want to live in New Jersey!

I went out into the street. It was erev Yom Kippur, and some people invited me in for the pre-fast meal and then Kol Nidre. And at Kol Nidre I didn't know where to sit. I couldn’t tell if it was mixed or separate seating. People were singing and praying, and I couldn't follow what they were doing. So I left.

Interesting dream. Pretty sure it means I'm just about done with Ivan the Terrible.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Hello again, David

Two years ago I met David at one of ET's Simchat Torah meals. I thought we had a connection, but it petered out pretty quickly. I friended him on Facebook, but after he failed to comment on my posts and demonstrated no interest when I saw him at shul, I unfriended him.

Last July, mutual friend Aviva posted a cute picture on Facebook that David and I both commented on. He apparently noticed that I'd unfriended him and sent me a friend request. I accepted, not expecting much. However, I committed one of my stupid-but-I-think-it's-cute attempts at flirtation: I told him he needed new glasses and a better haircut.

David's an engineer, so I shouldn't expect him to know better, but he looks kind of like an extra from the 80s nerdfest Weird Science. Feathered hair and big round glasses. So when he friended me, I commented publicly that he needed new glasses and a new haircut, and I should take him to get them.

I don't know why I always want to take men for a better haircut. It got me in serious trouble with Ivan the Terrible, back when he was still JV. But then another friend, Cosette, said she needed new glasses too. So I created an event for 8/12/12:

David and Cosette are getting new glasses

It is time. Long past time. I am taking David and Cosette shopping for new glasses frames. We're going to go to the flea market first. If we don't find anything I like, the adventure will continue. Also, David has to get a haircut but I suspect Cosette would not enjoy watching that as much as I will enjoy supervising it.

It didn't work.

David: My flexible spending account is too low. Reschedule for 2013, please. (Also, I have plans all day on the 12th.)
Ayelet: Plans all day is an acceptable excuse, so give me a better day/time. If nothing else, at least you can get a haircut.
David: As I said, 2013. (Although I can get a haircut in 2012.)
Ayelet: So be a man, call a nice salon, and book an appointment!

He did not. So after that, I left it alone.

This Simchat Torah, ET made another meal the first night. I ended up sitting across from David, and noticed with distinct pleasure that he'd gotten a much better haircut.

"My usual barber was out," he said after I complimented him on it.

"That is your new barber!" I said.

Again the conversation and flirtation seemed to flow. He even told me to go where he would be the second night. Which I did, but had already made plans to hang out with a friend that night, so I didn't really hang out with him. I don't know if that would have made a difference. I thought he might suggest we hang out after the holiday, but he didn't.

I shouldn't be surprised. He's younger than I am, and not very sophisticated. He probably could not handle a woman like me, and wouldn't want to. But I'm still disappointed.

I'm distinctly aware that I'm not giving a very full or engaging account of what happened with me and David. Writing is not coming as naturally to me these days. I don't know if it's because all my emotional energy is being drained at work or because I'm interacting more with people on Facebook and Twitter.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

I santorumed Dr. Incompetent

Dr. Incompetent's office is a block from my apartment. Despite that, we've rarely run across each other, until I saw her at shul on the second day of Rosh Hashana. I went to shul at the end of services so I could hear shofar. She was there and approached me and asked why I was there; I indicated I wanted to hear shofar and sat down and ignored her.

Usually that's all I'll see of her in five years, but then she turned up at a different shul on Simchat Torah. Again, I ignored her.

Apparently you don't ignore Dr. Incompetent. She wrote me a letter.

Dear Ayelet,

It's been many years since we've met, and I'm writing to you now for several reasons. Your blog entry about me as an incompetent, callous and hypocritical therapist pops up right under my name as an online permanent indictment.

In other words, I've Google-bombed her. Just like people who search for Senator Rick Santorum will encounter a naughtily nasty neologism, people who Google Dr. Incompetent's real name have seen my blog post about her (I included her real name in some of the comments to the post).

As the first result. Which I take a little pride in.

Although I don't challenge your assertion that I was not helpful to you (the treatment ended badly, after all)


as well as your perception that I was uncomprehending and even obtuse about what was going on with you and how to deal with it,  

I ended up in the hospital in a coma. You told my mother not to hospitalize me. Do the math.

I do have some different memories about our relationship.

Perhaps because you don't remember being tied to a bed with a ventilator down your throat. Oh wait -- that was me.

You were under the care of a psychiatrist, to whom I had referred you, who made his own diagnosis on the basis of which he prescribed medication -- on which you then overdosed. He presumably did not get it right either.

Damn right he didn't get it right either, but that doesn't absolve Dr. I of responsibility. As a clinical social worker, I am in frequent communication with my patients' psychiatrists. I spoke with one today and I'll probably call another tomorrow. I am academically as well as practically trained in medication management (practically because I've tried most antidepressants and mood stabilizers and my fair share of antipsychotics). I make it my business to know what they're taking, if they're having side effects, and if the meds are helping them. You don't have to be a psychiatrist to recognize when someone has decompensated.

I also made many attempts to reach your mother and sister because I was aware that things were not good or even dangerous, and we met several times, including on a Sunday or two.

Yes, we did meet several times, and I did not get better. And then you told my mother, "Ayelet's out of control" after I missed five or six appointments with you. Which you did not fail to bill me for, and I, like an idiot, paid the bill. You blamed me and not the illness. Certainly not yourself.

You may not have liked my style, or me but I was taken with your spirit and intelligence and very much wanted to help you -- although obviously that did not happen.

Flattery will get you nowhere. And the therapy probably went nowhere because the psychodynamic therapy you practice is 100% ineffective without a good therapeutic alliance. Even with a good alliance it's not that effective. (I think I've mentioned that Dr. Incompetence got her doctorate at The Bad Place, although I don't know if she studied under Drs. Dragon and Octopussy; I'm pretty sure Drs. A and Stone were there.)

Your suicide attempt came as a great shock to me, not only because of the action itself, but because I (and the psychiatrist as well) had no clue that this was where you were heading.

Such a shock that when I asked you for help in the hospital -- how do I explain this episode to my employer? -- you completely blew me off and had no suggestions for me.

I would like to ask you to consider removing the online posting about me, and if that requires expert technical intervention, I would be willing to pay for it.

Of course you would. You have family money and your husband is loaded. Which is why I just removed all references to Dr. Incompetent's real name from this blog. I can't afford to defend a libel suit. I've Google-bombed her since about 2009 -- that's enough. Unfortunately, even after I deleted the comments, the results are still coming up in the Google search. I guess I will have to contact Google for help with this.

But I will not take down the original post, or any discussion of her incompetent and ineffective treatment of me. People need to know that effective therapy requires a good alliance, and a good fit -- and that if you're not comfortable early on, you should try a different therapist. I felt an immediate bond and rapport with my individual therapist during my first hospitalization, and with other therapists as well. And I pride myself on establishing rapport with my patients, but I'm not always able to do that. (When I'm not, I try to find an employee that the patient actually does like and have them be the good cop when I meet with the patient again.)

It's clear that you felt/feel very angry at me, and if you are convinced that this online condemnation is my "just desserts," then there may be nothing that will allow you to look at things differently.

Still making it all my fault. If only Ayelet could see things differently, I wouldn't be angry at Dr. Incompetent for taking so much of my money and almost killing me. I don't like being manipulated.

Separate and apart from my request, and especially as we still seem to be neighbors, I would be interested in  meeting with you and trying to understand and learn from you what went so wrong. Perhaps these many years later, we might both get something from it.

Drat. She is appealing to my curious and vengeful side, offering me a chance to confront her and say all the saved-up zingers I've been collecting for more than a decade. Especially now that I'm an educated and (somewhat) experienced mental health professional.

I was inclined to consider meeting with her. Then she called and left a voicemail.

"Um, hi, Ayelet? It's Ida Incompetent calling. I sent you a letter on Friday, and um, I would really appreciate it if you could give me a call. My number is"

Don't push me. I just got the letter yesterday, and I got home too late to blog about it. I'm always curious to know what my readers think. Should I meet with her, or should I let sleeping dogs lie?
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Another damn Russian

A few weeks ago I was contacted on a dating website. By a 27-year-old.

Hey Ayelet, I just wanted to wish you a happy and sweet new year. Looking forward to getting to know more about you, let's talk soon! Asher

Please. You are TWENTY-SEVEN. I sent what I thought was a nice brush-off.

Shana tova, Asher. Have a sweet 5773.

He was not discouraged.

a little more about me

i was born in Moscow came to America at he age of 4 I am a Employee Specialist for people who have a mental disability. my ultimate goal is to open a college for disabled kids . The reason why is because when I was younger I was diagnosed with being dyslexic and they told my parents he would never graduate school and I proved them wrong so I want other kids also to prove there former teachers and parents wrong. im a romantic Kind of guy im looking for marriage. my grandfather was a schindler jew. Hopefully I didn't bore you to much hehe :) Cant wait to hear from you

i love kids and i love to travel, i love to cook,i love to read , i love to explore something new

p.s.s..s I am Arkady nice to meet you :)

He sounds nice, but he's FIFTEEN years younger than I am. I don't really think that's appropriate. He has dyslexia; maybe he thought I'm 24? I'll let him down easy

Arkady, you seem like a very nice guy, but you are too young for me.

He bounced back quickly:

can you help me find a girl

No, because I'm not your damn matchmaker, and I have enough on my plate. Story of my life: the only people interested in me are 10 to fifteen years away from my age.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"