I keep saying I have vanquished Reeducation but it is never quite true. Now, however, I think I have it by the gonads. (I hope to drive up my hit count by saying gonad.) If a degree and practicum were optional, if all that were absolutely required were to pass an exam, I would study for, take, and pass the licensing exam for clinical psychologist (remember I am already a Dr.). Why? Because I am the most competent!
Assiduous readers may have inferred that after Reeducation, I sought advice from other Reeducators as to how I might return to normalcy. Some of them had some interesting things to say, but most said Reeducation was right. This drove me to despair. The useful comment I got during this time was that Reeducation had had a very negative countertransference to me — had seen in me, projected into me, everything it feared and hated and wanted vanquished. Nobody, however, asked what I transferred onto Reeducation. I have at last deduced that this was the key question. It has taken me fifteen years to understand that, but then I am not educated or licensed in the field, and I have consulted several people who were.
So there, Reeducation, it’s sock it to you time. Anyway, what I transferred onto Reeducation was my first education, in addition to a few things about my infamous first academic job. That is not to say that Reeducation did not also do all the things I have already said it did. But it does explain how it is that Reeducation held me so in its thrall.
I realized this because I was thinking about how I am still reticent to do the things that make the day pleasant — because Reeducation thought I was doing too well and in insufficient pain for a person with the background it was convinced I had. Only if I could get into worse shape would I improve (because then I would “feel”). And if I were unwilling to do that, it would only mean that I had even more shadows in my soul than Reeducation believed. (Remember, Reeducation already believed I was a victim of infantile sexual abuse and was hoping for bipolarity, alcoholism, schizophrenia, and multiple personality disorder, which it wanted to heal by hypnotizing me and getting me to reveal repressed memories.)
I was willing to do myself some harm if it meant I could be saved from really heavy drugs, hospitalization, permanent disability, and all the other things Reeducation had intimated I might need once we started this cure (to which in the end I never agreed). I drew the line not only at hypnosis but also at some other activities I consider major harm, including self mutilation and weight gain. Minor harm like learning to smoke, renouncing my research program, getting turned down for tenure, giving up excursions to the mountains and seas, not working out regularly, and undergoing regular sleep deprivation, all of that I was willing to do if it would absolve me of the accusations being made and save me from the remedies being threatened.
I was thinking today, as I got ready to go do some pleasant things, who besides Reeducation was jealous of your having a nice day under your own steam? And I realized: my first education.
Suddenly everything became easy. I have resisted my first education before and I know exactly how to do it. Reeducation made that a lot harder but if I just leave it to the side for a moment — I have it by the neck and gonad anyway — and consider that it is only my first education I must resist, at least for now, then life is easy, and I can run and jump.
That is how I know I transferred my first education onto Reeducation; that is why I am surprised nobody I consulted ever suggested I investigate this question; that is why I deserve a license in clinical psychology much more than many who hold these.