Apr
08
2008

  Both Mother and Daughter

Does anyone else feel like this? Last night I had to box up the wii guitars and hide the boxes behind our A/V cabinet so I would stop playing Guitar Hero III. It was actually quite effective, I'm sitting in the TV room now and have little urge to play since nothing is sitting out tempting me. But having to hide toy guitars so I won't miss the tax filing deadline?

On one hand, I feel like I'm some sort of truculent teenager who is irritated that I can't blow another week just playing video guitar, that I'm being unjustly oppressed. But on the other hand, I feel like an adult since no kid that I know would be expected to do the tiresome work of preparing and filing Federal, New York, New Jersey, and Virginia tax returns sometime in the next seven days. Plus filing the 2005 & 2006 amended returns I prepared last month, and amending the states for those years within the 45 days or whatever the rules are. And I don't have kids, but I imagine that hiding the video game in order to help your kid focus on a more pressing task is a standard parenting technique.

The definition of multiple personality disorder from wikipedia is:

Dissociative identity disorder, as defined by the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), is a psychiatric diagnosis that describes a mental illness in which a single person displays multiple distinct identities or personalities, each with its own pattern of perceiving and interacting with the environment.[1] The diagnosis requires that at least two personalities routinely take control of the individual's behavior with an associated memory loss that goes beyond normal forgetfulness; in addition, symptoms can not be due to substance abuse or medical condition. Earlier versions of the DSM named the condition multiple personality disorder (MPD) and the term is still used by the ICD-10.

Well, I seem to have that thing about perceiving and interacting with the environment in distinctly different ways. But I don't have the memory loss. All my personalities know what the others are up to. My inner teenager knows that my inner adult has financial responsibilities, and my inner parent knows the teenager can't help but play the video guitar if it's just sitting there by the TV. So do I have a non-psychopathic form of DID (although that seems like an oxymoron), or am I "normal"?

If this is normal, we should all be aware how close we all are to a padded room in Bellevue, shouldn't we? Just a few misfiring neurons affecting our memory and it's all over, we're mad as hatters. How depressing.

As I was reflecting upon how my inner parent felt about depriving my inner teenager of the toy guitar, I considered telling my inner teenager that, "this hurts me more than it hurts you." But it doesn't at all. My inner parent knows full well that the inner teenager needs to get a grip and do the taxes and it's not really hurting anyone to put the game down for a few days, despite the venomous glares my inner teenager is giving my inner parent. So is it always palliative pap when parents feed this to their children? Why would discipline ever hurt the parent more than the child? The only thing I can think of is if the parent acts out in anger or frustration and metes out a totally unjust punishment then they should feel worse than the child since they know that as an adult they shouldn't have acted out. But the appropriate response wouldn't be "this hurts me more than it hurts you" but "I'm sorry." I don't get that one, maybe it's the sort of thing you actually have to be a parent to understand. . .