You may know me as Mrs. Cap’n Firepants, mother of Wonderbutt, Mrs. P.I.B., and Dimples, but my psychiatrist knows me as the woman he treats for clinical depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. (Believe it or not, our bulldog, Wonderbutt, and his house demolition attempts were not the cause of either of these mental illnesses.)
I wasn’t planning for these two women to collide with each other on my blog, but a few recent blog posts from other authors have brought them together.
So, today, I invite you to the somewhat disturbing dialogue between Mrs. Cap’n Firepants and Mrs. Eeyorewearsnopants (referred to in the rest of this post as Mrs. F. and Mrs. E.)
Mrs. F: One of your favorite bloggers, Aja, gave you an award at Writing and Recovering.
Mrs. E: I know. And you totally don’t deserve it.
Mrs. F: Oh geez. Are you in one of those moods again?
Mrs. E: Again? How about “still”?
Mrs. F: How about snap out of it?!!!!
Mrs. E: Yeah. That always works. I’m going back to bed.
Mrs. F: Fine. Then I will accept the award.
Mrs. E: You can’t.
Mrs. F: Why?
Mrs. E: Because you have to tell what your diagnoses are, and no one has diagnosed you with anything but a bad case of Wonderbutt.
Mrs. F: It seems like “Wonderbutt” should be a good thing, doesn’t it?
Mrs. E: There you go, roaming off the subject again. That’s why you’re never depressed. Because you can’t keep your mind still enough to obsess about how hopeless your life is.
Mrs. F: Yes, that’s definitely a weakness on my part – the inability to get pre-occupied with my meaningless existence. I’ll try to work on that.
Mrs. E: I don’t care what you do. I’m going back to bed.
Mrs. F: Wait, I thought of another diagnoses. What about my eating disorder?
Mrs. E: You mean my eating disorder?
Mrs. F: Oh, you get to have that, too?
Mrs. E: Yes, I get the great gift of three mental illnesses. Lucky me.
Mrs. F: What do I get, then?
Mrs. E: An Awards Shelf.
Mrs. F: Well, that doesn’t seem quite fair.
Mrs. E: To me, or to you?
Mrs. F: Umm. Both? I’m not sure at this point. Have you noticed Wonderbutt is really quiet right now? That usually means he’s in the middle of consuming a shoe,or a table, or something…
Mrs. E: Changing the subject again? I think someone has a bit of an attention problem – and I’m not talking about Wonderbutt.
Mrs. F: Well, stop whining about all of your problems and finish up accepting our award.
Mrs. E: I’m going to pretend you didn’t say “our”. Not that I care. But I noticed. Anyway, to accept the Strong Person Award you have to list
your my diagnoses and –
Mrs. F: Check
Mrs. E: And, post a picture of yourself, or something representing you.
Mrs. F: Crap.
Mrs. E: What’s wrong?
Mrs. F: I can’t post a picture of myself.
Mrs. E: Why?
Mrs. F: Because I made myself up.
Mrs. E: Hmm. That does pose a problem. And we both know we can’t post a picture of me.
Mrs. F: Why?
Mrs. E: Because I hate myself. Are you not paying attention? AGAIN?!!!!
Mrs F: I’m trying, but you aren’t doing a very good job of keeping my attention. Just find a darn picture, and post it.
Mrs. E: Fine. Here.
Mrs. F: Hey, that’s pretty good. We do both do that. Hide from the world, I mean. We don’t literally stick our heads under the bed. At least, I don’t.
Mrs. E: O.K. So, let’s pass this sucker on. All of these responsibilities are making me tired.
Mrs. F: Well, this part is easy. We are passing the Stronger Person Award to Miranda Gargasz, a very talented writer.
Mrs. E: You’re just giving her that because she gave you a Reader’s Appreciation Award, and she got you Freshly Pressed.
Mrs. F: No, if those were the reasons, then I would hyperlink those two items to which you just referred, but I’m not going to do that. I’m giving it to her because she has overcome a lot of obstacles in her life, and she is a very talented writer.
Mrs. E: Brown-noser.
Mrs. F: Also, since
you we suffer from depression, and she just wrote a very heartbreaking piece that touched on this very subject, I thought it would be fitting.
Mrs. E: That was sad.
Mrs. F: Yes, it was. But it’s a very real problem, and depression has been in the headlines a lot lately. Here’s another article that people should read – even though it’s not by the super-talented Miranda.
Mrs. E: Have you noticed people keep searching the web for our “John Denver and Depression” post?
Mrs. F: Now, who’s getting off the subject? I think I better go check on Wonderbutt.
Mrs. E: Fine. I think I’m going to go take my medication.
Mrs. F: We’re all grateful for that…
After reflecting on my year of blogging, and the subsequent downslide of readers, I have come to the conclusion that changes must be made. One suggestion from somewhere by someone was that blogs should have a niche. I think this might also be known as a “gimmick”. I have thought long and hard, and fallen asleep, and then woke up, and now have come to the conclusion that I will appeal to the hypochondriac hamsters who read my blog by offering you a new diabolical diagnosis every once in awhile. It won’t be daily, although that is implied in the title of this post. I like alliteration, and “Disease/Disorder of the Moment during Which I Feel Like Writing About It” did not really seem to flow.
Have you ever looked at a loved one, and thought, he/she is an alien, and I probably should club him or her over the head with the frying pan to save mankind? If you do not live near Roswell, and have not recently had any unexplained power outages or crop circles in your back yard, then you, my friend, may suffer from Capgras Syndrome.
Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen and Hamsters, this is a true disorder from which people can suffer. Sometimes, the poor patients become convinced that an impostor has taken over a close friend or family member – an impostor that looks identical to the true person. This, as I am sure you can understand, can be quite disconcerting. Sharing a bedroom with an alien pretending to be your spouse can tend to put one a bit on edge.
There are different thoughts as to the causes of Capgras Syndrome. One of the world’s most famous neuroscientists, V.S. Ramachandran, believes that it is related to a disconnect between the parts of the brain that recognize faces and emotions. This structural defect could be brought on by a physical incident, such as a car accident. Other scientists surmise that it is purely a psychological issue.
Despite all of my research, I have found no evidence that this is a syndrome that occurs once a month, usually lasting about a week. So, I think my husband and I will need to do a bit more investigating to uncover the reason for our own apparently cyclical personality changes. We cannot seem to agree on which one of us is the impostor. Which is worse – to be the person who suspects a loved one of having his or her body taken over by aliens, or to be the person who actually was taken over by aliens and doesn’t believe it when you tell them (I’m not sure what they call that syndrome)? You can see our dilemma.
So, the next time you look at your husband, wife, or child, and think, “This person is acting completely out of character,” rest assured. The problem you think is a problem is not really the problem you think it is. In other words – it’s not them, it’s you.
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or psychiatrist, and I’m not particularly intelligent, so don’t go bonking your husband or wife on their noggin with a kitchen appliance and blame it on this post.