9 Apr 2011

cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (tell me more)
For the next three weeks, I'll be doing what I've been doing this past week - working from 9:00 - 1:30 Monday, and 8:20 - 1 or 2:30 Tuesday through Friday, minus time to see my therapist one day a week. The walk to or from the school takes around 18 minutes tops, and is quite pleasant this time of year. Unfortunately, I hate getting up at 6, but it takes me at least two hours to get myself out the door if I have to eat. To eliminate the dangers of being late I should really have at least three hours. On the other hand, I'm enjoying everything quite a lot every day and coming home cheerful and excited.

Which is why Dr. Petit-Chou the therapist shocked me to a medium level yesterday by suddenly saying "I don't think that you have social phobia." Read more... )So after close to 9 years of operating under the assumption that I had a weird form of social anxiety, the idea that I don't suddenly... perhaps ought to be a bigger shock. That was what I thought at the time, anyway, that I should feel shock or loss. But instead I immediately remembered my early doubts about the diagnosis, and after a minute of thought and asking for a little elucidation, instead it was like things snapped into place. If I were social phobic, said Dr. Petit-Chou, I would be afraid of the teachers and afraid of interacting with the students instead of excited or happy. My confidence wouldn't have grown so fast and rather than feeling energized or creatively stimulated, I would feel emotionally drained, he said. (Actually I do feel quite physically drained, but then, it's natural after years of full-time layabouting when I'm suddenly bouncing around on my feet five hours a day.)

I know a lot more about myself, about psychology, and about the human brain than I did at age 19, when I accepted the social anxiety theory. It seemed like the only thing that fit then, but as soon as I discarded that hypothesis, the other things I know came together. Blah blah blah about how this alternate explanation is possible! ) And probably the remainder of my problems can be vaguely described as a mutant monstrous school&/or authority&/or paralyzed perfectionism&/or achievement/fear of failure complex. And a tendency to dependence. So... not exactly simple, but it's something? I can't really be relieved, as my problems remain the same, it's just the terminology. On the other hand, it does feel nice to think you have a better understanding of something. On the downside, however, cognitive-behavioral therapy has been shown empirically useful for social anxiety. Gaga knows how it may apply to me now. However, Dr. Petit-Chou did assure me that he thinks it will still be useful to me since I still have those very similar behaviors. And possibly I should order some of these sort of books, but I'm really turned off by the hippy-dippy vibe there.
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (jewish)
Pursuant to the misconception common to all the teachers on my hallway that Easter is the same thing as Passover, I've been toying with the idea of offering to help present the difference to the kids. (Keeping in mind that Swedish language uses the word Pesach ("påsk") to mean Easter as well, the confusion is understandable, particularly as the crucifixion took place during Pesach according to Christian mythology.)

You see, there's one practicing Jewish pupil, whose (converted) father is apparently the chairman at the synagogue, and apparently she's been invited to say a few words about her beliefs on the relevant occasions in the past.

So my idea was to point out the difference - my proposed phrasing would be something like, "Because the Jewish Pesach is actually the holiday about Exodus, you know, Moses and the escape from slavery" - and suggest that I could participate in said pupil's being invited to talk about it since Pesach itself starts on the 16th18th (that's the first night, even though my dinner party is going to be on the 25th or 26th, the last and 2nd-to-last night - which is totally abnormal, of course, but Wax is working on the 18th).

I'm just not sure about this idea, whether it would come off as weird or presumptuous. In the past when I've been uncertain about these kinds of things I've asked Wax, but she often says "Don't ask me, I don't have social skills either!" She does have a cultural advantage though. Nordic and Finnish people would better know if something is "weird" from their cultural perspective, and then there are bound to be people with good social skills on my friendslist, right? What do you guys think? Is it weird? Should I? Any advice?


cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (Default)

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