Two particular words, as of late, have followed me around. Revel and rebel. At first I didn’t notice but today, listening to Renegades by X Ambassadors, I noticed the words again. I feel like the theme of my life lately, rebel and revel.
Here is a recent conversation I had with someone studying to become a therapist, of all things. You’ll understand after you read:
Future therapist: God, my latest cases make me nuts, I think I need counseling.
Me: Oh, why? Too many cases or people not wanting help?
FT: No, just pain in the asses, all of them. I have one transgender whining how he, or she, fuck, I can’t remember, doesn’t get any understanding from family. I try to listen passively, not judge, but damn, I can’t help but judge, I mean, what. the. fuck. He comes flouncing into my office ten minutes late complaining that the cab was late, complains that no one will hire him because he isn’t a he or a she and then started bitching something about bathrooms in Florida. I don’t understand what the hell he’s talking about half the time.
Me: Is it man transitioning into a woman?
Me: Then you should refer to her as she, at least respect her enough to refer to her as she identifies herself. As for bathrooms, I think she might be referring to Florida where they wanted to pass some crazy law that said transgendered people couldn’t use bathrooms of their sex. In other words, your client, as a transgender female, would have to use the male bathroom since, in the eyes of Florida, that is her sex since that is how she was born.
FT: Yeah, see, that is what I mean though, who the fuck cares, we aren’t in Florida! Then, another client, complains about how fat she is and the medication she takes isn’t helping so why should the surgery be any different. I mean, shit, just stop shoving french fries down your throat and exercise, maybe then you wouldn’t need surgery.
Me: What medications?
FT: Thyroid and antidepressants, I think anti-anxiety, too. But no wonder she’s depressed and anxious, she’s fatter than a house! Get out and maybe you won’t cry in my office all the time.
At this point I admit, I kinda lost my shit a little, I was so annoyed my response was nasty.
Me: You need to check your privilege. First, you’ve gone to the best schools paid for by your parents and you went into a profession to help people yet you have no damn empathy whatsoever. Your job is a paid internship, granted, but it was a choice you had that most people do not get. Most people are lucky when they have a service job, let alone get to choose what they want to do. Second, the transgender woman, you disrespect her by not caring enough to think that it is an insult to continuously forget if it is he or she so to you, Florida is something not to care about, but for her, it is her life, where she has to worry about what freaking bathroom she decides to use because someone might decide she is not a “real” woman. If so, if that law passed in Florida, it is a misdemeanor, something that would be on her record, just because she peed in a stall instead of a urinal.
As for your fat client, yeah, nice, saying this to someone who has struggled with weight, depression and anxiety my entire life, that you are so callous to not even understand that sometimes it isn’t about french fries and exercise. Even when there are no underlying metabolic/hormonal/medical issues for weight, there are often still mental issues where food becomes comfort. Depression, yeah, sure, just get over it, is that what you’re going to tell your clients? Because honey, if that is the case, you have clearly picked the wrong profession! I have had family, friends and therapists like you, who look only at the surface, who think it is just something to get over or suck it up or whatever idiotic idea that rolls around people’s brains. You, who have never suffered with depression or anxiety, who has had parents that never told you you were stupid but instead supported even the dumbest ideas imaginable because they loved you. You never worked through school, you partied through your first semester until you were on academic probation then became a serious student but even if you got kicked out, no big deal, you would have gone directly to another school. You were given a car, grew up in a nice neighborhood with a great school and had teachers that helped you. When you had some difficulties with math, oh, gee, there were tutors for you. You joined a sorority and never had social anxiety issues so to judge someone else who struggles, wow, why did you decide to become a therapist? You seem to think people need a kick in the ass rather than help. It really amazes me that people are still so clueless about depression, anxiety and all these other issues but you, of all people, should in the very least have some textbook understanding that people do not want to be so stuck, to fear being around people, to feel like they are crazy all the time. These are not choices and for those of us who suffer, we truly want a way out and in the very least someone to understand.
At this point someone else stepped in, calmer than me, and took over the conversation. Honestly, I was shaking with rage at the callous disregard for people suffering and this from a soon-to-be therapist! I truly feel sorry for her future clients. Shortly afterwards, as I made tea trying to calm myself, someone commented that I was such a rebel for not holding my tongue. They actually said, “I can’t believe how rebelliously you lashed her with your tongue!”
What I can’t believe is that it is rebellious to speak up against such attitudes.
Speaking of weight loss, since January I have lost (so far) 70 pounds. I still have a lot to lose so, while I realize I’ve done a great job so far, I tend to lose sight of the progress as I focus on the end goal. So, during lunch with a friend I have not seen for almost a year, when she saw me, she was surprised and thrilled. Honestly, she walked past the table not recognizing me the first time.
She told me I need to revel in my progress and the changes I’ve made within myself. When I mentioned the above conversation, she laughed and said, “yeah, you have always been a rebel, revel in that.” She said it isn’t so much me speaking up against it but how passionately I do it. I guess I don’t see it and while I know she meant well, as did the previous person who made the comment about my rebellious tongue, I can’t help but feel as though I need to learn to shut up. I never did learn when to hold my tongue, much to my mother’s annoyance.
On my way to the gym the other morning, I kept the windows wide open instead of turning on the air conditioning. It was warm, around 90, but not humid so it was nice having the wind blowing in and not the usual bubble. Of course, I also listen to music, loud, so I can sing along and not hear myself because, well, I sound like a bag of dying cats scratching their claws against a chalkboard. But I like to sing!
I also have a tendency to… uh… drive a little over the speed limit. In this particular case, I was doing about 50 mph in a 35 mph zone.
It’s the car I tell you! It is, the speedometer tells me I’m doing just fine and the gas pedal hits the floor all by itself. Yep, that’s my story, nothing to do with my foot pressing down and not paying attention to either the digits on the dashboard or the road signs clearly stating what I should be driving. Nope, the car, it’s all the car doing it.
Anyway, yeah, I’m a speeder. Always have been. No excuses, terrible habit, I know and trust me, my insurance bills scream at me every month. In a former life I was a race car driver… hell, probably just the race car! I’m not reckless in the sense that I don’t speed around people, I don’t bypass school buses and cause people to leap to safety as I whiz past. Nor do I have accidents (oh please, karma, do not punish me for this statement now). The two accidents I’ve had in my life were not my fault. One, I was stopped at a red light when I was rear-ended. The other I hit black ice; driving below the limit as the conditions were bad.
However, that is a neither here nor there with this particular story. I digress… guilt probably. As I was heading to the gym, windows open, singing at the top of my lungs to music that was loud enough that I could not hear, it didn’t occur to me that others could actually hear me. Lucky for me though, the cop found my performance hysterical. He walked up, laughing, and said that he was ready to give me a ticket but because I was clearly enjoying my bad singing and made several people laugh along the way, he decided to let me off with a warning. Plus, he said, the lyrics I was singing seemed appropriate and made him laugh harder:
You’re the judge, Oh no
Set me free
You’re the judge, Oh no
Set me free
I know my soul’s freezing
Hell’s hot for good reason
So please, take me
The song is The Judge by Twenty One Pilots. I would like to note the part where he sings “set me free” is quite high, much higher than my range, but damn if I did not try to hit those notes! No wonder he was laughing. Other lyrics for this song: I don’t know if this song is a surrender or a revel.
REBEL AND REVEL
Which brings me back around to the two words, rebel and revel, and how they’ve been the theme words of my life the last couple weeks. Perhaps it is because I’ve been happy and, in finding my happiness, my rebellious side is re-emerging. I don’t care as much about what others think about me and, slowly, I’m letting go of the fear that has strangled me most of my life. I still struggle but it is getting easier, finally, which means on my death-bed I’ll finally have achieved my utopia haha!
Now, for your enjoyment, here is the song that got me out of a speeding ticket The Judge by Twenty One Pilots. Note: this is audio only so, for visuals, imagine a fat, middle-aged woman with an extremely short haircut in workout gear with windows wide open on a hot summer day, singing and car dancing trying to hit the high notes and failing — badly.
Finally, the song that brought the theme words clearly into focus for me, the one I am currently listening to, Renegades by X Ambassadors. I’m surprised this band isn’t more popular.