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Poem #30

Diagnosis with the Crypt Keeper

The first time I meet my psychiatrist, he asks if we’ve met before. This does not bode well. He asks why I am meeting with him today. It’s in my chart: “She thinks she has ADHD.” My primary care did not believe me, of course, they never do. But I asked, so I’m here, meeting the Crypt Keeper. He does not know my name, keeps calling me Merlin. How could I ever give it up? We speak of history and I’m not sure if this guy knows what Complex-PTSD is, keeps asking if my parents hit me. I keep telling him no. It was different, pervasive, you wouldn’t understand. We talk about school and how the kid struggled onto honor-roll, to college, to a job in the big city. She’s a winner, and nothing is ever wrong with winners. Coping is what I do, I say, please believe me when I tell you that this is not normal. I am not normal right now. When have you ever watched tv, read a book, written an email, and folded your socks at the same time? It’s compulsive, not designed. He listens more then, wants to know about the family history. I tell him about cousins, all boys, who were diagnosed after throwing a chair at a teacher, after running themselves ragged in the schoolyard. Girls aren’t noticed, they just have to cope, I say. Didn’t I, huh? Nodding, he stamps me with a diagnosis that feels true, and gives me anti-depressants because we’re going to “move to controlled substances, if absolutely necessary.” It’s Day 5, I feel calmer, but still not my best. Focusing on art takes twelve hours, not two. At least the work gets done.


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