Irony is such a strange word. I never fully understood it. Until, I found myself uncovering the trash bin of history that covers my blood. And, until, I found myself needing to look long and hard at my own ‘hate crimes.’
The irony of my parent’s sharing the same psychiatrist…Dr. Koutras, the hand who filled the bottles. Until the, irony of shared psychosis…Forty five minutes with my father (the wife killer.) Forty five minutes with my mother (depressed ex nun looking for abusive father figure.)
Until, until, until…
Dr. Koutras became a stone pillar within a graveyard. Not until, the doctor’s death, did I understand how the sharing of time together…can become a pebble that lay the pavement. The pavement that cover the path…to their children’s own bouts with depression, anger…addiction.
My mother had told me shortly before she passed away. Informed me that both she, and my father did not reside well. Did not perform well, as parents should, after Dr. Koutras passed away.
Gee! Do you think so?
After all, the good Dr Koutras and Mr. John Hawkins, had lay the ground work for my father’s quick dismissal from murder. After all, both psychiatrist and psychologist, along with many of those with power, knew Janice and Harold had created a child…under the hospital’s not…watchful eye.
The irony that struck me?
It had not been my mother’s discourse on loosing a psychiatrist of good faith. The irony struck me that…many abuses of doctor/patient professional relationship…had occurred.
My father, essentially, lived weekends, at John Hawkin’s home. Lived not as the killer he had been…less than two years before. My parents shared the same confidant for over twenty years, Dr. Koutras. He had allowed them to visit, have sex, get married and give birth. Give birth…to me. Give birth to an addict with OCD and generalized anxiety disorder.
The humor? Years later…had been that I became a counselor. Receiving a degree and psychology and working as, a mental health worker. Going even further than that…a master’s degree in social work.
Paradoxically, I had worked with adults, dual diagnosed, at a private psych hospital. Still, I found the bowel’s of addiction held me close at night. Still, I had bouts of anger that would only be semi controlled by destructive and risky sexual behavior. Still, with papered degree in hand…I did not know of my history. A history that possibly could have helped explain my abhorrent…after work…behavior.
Nothing from my childhood to my thirties seemed cohesive! Would it have helped to know? Could I have changed?
I took so many friends, lovers hostage…as they say, in AA. I ran and hid. Ran and hid. Ran and hid.
If I took the time, depression would set in.
Being gay appeared to be yet, another personal flaw to be ashamed of. Growing up catholic, living among adults who did not hold the tools to console and reflect. Having siblings much older, I found no comfort there.
I lay no blame on my own homophobia. Lay it nowhere and it no one’s feet.
However, when dressed in my best gray wool skirt, green polyester blazer and pastel button down shirt. Reading of family values…one man, one woman, two and a half children. Beholding a ceramic blood infused man hanging from a cross. And, being scolded for inquiring about a couple, two women (Maryanne and Dawn), that seemed closer to one another than most…
It, the Bible, the Scriptures, distances placed between myself and two, possible role models… IT all instilled in me feelings of insecurity, remorse, guilt. And, the unspoken words of
being gay…was not okay!
When I did eventually come out. Come out… and running with ‘freak’ flag, flying. Closet doors not only splintered but knocked off it’s hinges.
My mother spoke few words…
‘I am ashamed of your choice. But I’ll get over it.’
Criticism began my adolescence. My mother and father did not want me to have anything to do with Maryanne and Dawn, the not gay, but gay couple. I had been told to pray for them. My sister with baggage of her own, slipped birth control pamphlets under my bedroom door. I had been dressed in gray wool skirts with pastel button down shirts and green blazers. I had been dressed in the Good News Bible!
Whether any of us knew it or had the ability to understand!? Slowly, the encouragement to shun gays…rooted and grew in my subconscious.
In school, I used with frequency the words…
fag, dyke, queer…
With friends, I did not confide my inner turmoil. My wanting to play with GI Joe and not, Barbie.
I hid deep within me, self abusive and risky sexual behavior with men (starting at the age of 14.) Hurtful scars for my teenage mind to own. And, own alone.
A sore that was deeper than a chasm of my leftover souls. Souls that held no reality. Or, at least, in my young mind…a life I could live not live with any certainty.
That is…until, irony brought me to a woman with her own demons. Another graduate of New Hampshire Hospital. A woman whom… with her innocence and love, rescued me from all the turmoil that stir inside my defunct and dysfunctional persona.