So, I just had a funny little, disturbing idea. I find myself interacting frequently with a person who I like and whom I consider, from my great psychological height, to be somewhat on the autistic scale. And so I adapt. Because I am benevolent.
I just went to the toilet and heard him, and again thought, Maybe Asperger’s? (Apparently 40% of the white male population have some degree of Asperger’s…according to another friend who has an Austistic friend with all this no-emotions-thank-you-very-much-we-prefer-to-think info).
It is sort of mainstream now, to label with these selectable conditions. You are allowed to be so many things these days. I, as well, enjoy labelling myself to give myself special conditions and allowances. I sort of enjoy the feeling of ‘not being normal’.
But this time, having dealt out my silent analysis of a psyche next door and I am I about to sit on the toilet I correct myself, the workshops on non-judgment are beginning to pay off, and say to myself, No he is just low emotion on his typology, he is a thinking typology, probably with sensation as the wing‘. And though I am affectively doing the same thing (psychoanalysing him), he suddenly changes in my head, from someone with a condition, to someone with a personality.
And it shocks me.
Perhaps even I am beginning to accept myself? Less judgment in my projections? I sit there quite smug.
And suddenly I think of all the teenagers I’ve hung around in classes pretending to teach, and kids of friends, all of whom are quick and keen to pronounce psycho-babble as much as I am. I remember an ex’s 12 year old girl saying how ‘Passive Aggressive’ the teacher had been that day and it shocked me because I didn’t know anything about passive aggression until I was about 35. How did she know? And I think of the waves of our joint consciousness informing us, as we, like mushrooms, communicate below the surface. Those of us able to stay awake, surfing the lastest wave, regardless of age. Evolution is not just about getting older. We are all in this together.
And now I am about to start to wee and I think…he who I can hear through the wall has no psychological problem that hinders him from living, he is simply ok. In his own way. He is fine. He is simply an individual. Equally different to the next Joe Bloggs.
Perhaps, as we have become more and more psychologically aware, instead of realising that we are ‘all different’, we realise that we are ‘different for a reason’ (dyslexia, OCD, ADHD, passive aggression developed from inappropriate upbringing, phobias, tendency to psychosis etc etc etc Roll out the DSM-5).
And perhaps, I think, going for the toilet roll, we have unconsciously created MORE of a norm. For the message is: your not-normal-stuff is due to a psychological issue. Therefore leaving lurking in the background a hazy undefined concept of a ‘perfectly normal’ or ‘perfectly standard’ person who would not find themselves reflected in a single page of the DSM-5, who has no psychological disorder at all – not one smidgen. For surely we cannot all have a disorder? That would mean we were all normal ordered. And the DSM-5 tells us otherwise. In fact, I have never met a person who was not psychologically damaged. But still…maybe…one day…
And so somehow, like a parallel dream world, this ‘who I would be if I were not psychologically damaged’ walks along a parallel corridor of life alongside us. The who we should have been but never managed to shrug off our imperfections to become. The normal adapted. The one who never suffers. Ever. Which of course no-one (consciously) believes in. Or do we?
Could it be that we are battering ourselves into a norm set by television and the homogenisation of nearly all of our human processes: the make-us-all-equal internet, the greater mix of regional influences that boil down into homogeny as we move around cities, counties, countries – the world…the greater connectivity. We all wear almost the same clothes as the television and the magazines, eat the same shitty supermarket crap that’s wrapped in beautiful designed packaging, hear the same news at the same time, have the same opinions as our friends on facebook etc etc
But of course, we all believe we are being completely Unique.
Perhaps instead of becoming our true selves we are, and stepping along the path of individuation, we are in fact becoming a mass of similarity and convention. It is as if we all aim, pay for, and talk so as to be ‘normal’ one day, to be accepted by Rupert Murdock, dropping like dandruff the peculiarities of our personalities (which we are calling psychological disorders). It is as if the room to be different is being reduced so much in general societies, it threatens our psyche…and so our psyche/soul needs to kick out.
And then we are labelled.
And suddenly I wondered if psychology, in its present state, is doing us more harm than good?