Who’s judging whom?
A few weeks ago, I wrote about an awful encounter with a new psych doctor at North Central Mental Health –via Stonewall Columbus, the LBGT organization in Columbus. In a nutshell: One Dr. Bela Agabalyan assumed I was some sort of Klonopin addict (because Klonopin is so fun) and induced a panic attack with her slouchy demeanor and accusatory behavior.
FUN SIDE NOTE: I filed a formal complaint against her, which came back finding no fault on her part. I discovered what may have been the reason for this when I got my so-called “continuation of care” paperwork from North Central. For my diagnosis she listed Substance Abuse and Borderline Personality Disorder. For the record, I have neither. Also BPD requires a lot more diagnostics than carping at someone for 20 minutes about how he’s just in the whole mental illness game for the Klonopin.
The good news is I believe I have finally found an organization through which I can get the proper care –and Klonopin. The only downside with AccessOhio is that I have to see a case manager, Peter, each time I go in. Normally, I would think this was just typical bureaucratic hoo-ha, but Peter’s office decor really gives me pause.
His walls are covered with diplomas and memorabilia from Bob Jones University, an ultra-conservative Christian “school” in South Carolina. You hear about the joint every four years when presidential candidates you would never vote for in a billion years stop by to pander to the haters who bleat every second about how much Christ-like love they ooze. I could take this memorabilia on its own. After all, every second inch of wall in Columbus is covered with some sort of paper from THE Ohio State University. But consider what Bob Jones III, the Chancellor of the “university” has said on the record about his feelings towards the gays:
From the AP in 1980: “I’m sure this will be greatly misquoted, but it would not be a bad idea to bring the swift justice that was brought in Israel’s day against murder and rape and homosexuality. I guarantee it would solve the problem post-haste if homosexuals were stoned, if murderers were immediately killed as the Bible commands.”
So, I’m sitting in this case manager’s office teetering on the edge of full-blown homosexual indignation. After all, mouth-poop like the above gave cover to all those bullies –especially the Young Life crowd –who felt they were “right” to throw things at my head. Worse yet, it reinforced the idea in my own head that I was somehow misshapen and wrong.
Oh, this hater’s gonna get it. I’m on the edge of my seat, just waiting for him to say even the slightest judgey syllable. Then I will stand up and declare, “I am a homosexual American! You have grievously wounded me. Good day, sir!” Then I storm out, making sure my ass looks good doing it because you know all the haters are picturing us gays naked 24/7. Why else are they so concerned?
“I said ‘Good day!’”
But there’s a sign next to the door that basically says if you storm out, you don’t get your meds. Not even your precious, precious Klonopin, you filthy addict.
And Peter is like the nicest guy. Stupid non-judgey ultra-Christians ruining my preconceived notions. I look around at all the Messiah tchotchke, and I think back to something the actual Jesus said before the Bob Joneses of the world ruined Him for everyone. “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone…”
I was subjecting this poor guy to the stereotype of the intolerant Christian sub-human, lumping him in with Bob Jones, the Young Life kids in high school, and that fame-whore County Clerk in Kentucky. I have no way of knowing if he’s one of those poor creatures who fashion their religious beliefs around how “icky” they find all that gay stuff. “You do WHAT? in the WHERE?.”
Again, stop picturing me naked! You will only be disappointed.
I’m getting no outright bigotry from him –“So what’s it like being a bipolar faggot? Can’t decide whether to be the “man” or the “woman?” (Seriously, this is the kind of stuff that runs thru my oh-so-oppressed brain). Outright bigotry I can deal with –“I said ‘Good day!’”
But even more I need to be on the lookout for what’s going on in his mind. You did know that people with mental illness can read minds? I do it all the time. I’m reading yours right now.
It’s how I know the cashier at the Panera where I’m writing this thinks I’m a spastic goon because I can’t get my Rewards Card out of my pocket without also pulling out my headphones.
It’s how I know the people on my bowling team think I’m wasting their time with balls in the gutter.
It’s how I know that guy who gave me his number has no interest in my throbbing mind.
It’s how I know the cat’s judging my taste in pornography and string cheese.
So, I’m sitting across from this nice man Peter just waiting for him to screw up, to say some turn of phrase, some arching of the eyebrow, any sort of tell that will expose him to be the bigot his decorating scheme screams he must be. I’m chomping at the bit, just waiting for him to says the word “lifestyle” or “choice.” If he does that, I’ll scream, “Lifestyle? Choice? I’ll tell you what’s a lifestyle choice –your hateful seven-headed Beast of a religion!” Seriously, why is someone’s religious beliefs protected by law while they complain that sexual orientation isn’t protected because it’s a “choice?”
Or maybe he’ll cock his head in that way bigots do when they’re telegraphing that they “Love the sinner/Hate the sin.” I mean, how can he hate the way I was born, yet still love me. Note to the haters: We seriously can tell when you’re doing so, and we laugh behind your back. By the way, I’m allowed to hate him based on where he went to college. After all, in Columbus people hunt down those who went to the University of Michigan and pelt them to death with buffalo wings.
One slip up Peter or Peter’s mind, and will rip that Thessalonians quote off your wall and make you eat it. I’ll give you something to give thanks for.
Then it dawns on me, Peter doesn’t know I’m gay. I’ve never mentioned it to him. It’s not on any paperwork.
And I never do.
I’ve worked myself into a lather and back into the closet.