Here's the gist of what my cognitive behavioral therapy psychologist and I discussed during today’s appointment. –Jonathan Harnisch
Notes from my doctor:
I noticed how much more at ease you appeared after things seemed copacetic with everyone. You stated, "Well, things are not ok, but my attitude is ok." That really got me thinking about the power of our perceptions- and the impact that they can have. I then thought we should discuss the pros and cons of chaos vs. calm. I understand you have some strong feelings about chaos and calm- and I thought a practical analysis of this would be beneficial.
This all then led me to think, "Jonathan has a pretty nice set-up. If we could figure out a way for him to sit back and accept more things- maybe he'd be happier and more at peace overall!" Again, I bring all this up b/c you end up suffering more than anyone when things get overwhelming.
I brought up that the "forest"- the big picture- is one in which your father set up a trust. As far as I understand it- the trust is intended to support you with a very decent lifestyle for as long as you live. That includes the property, all the necessities, and all of the money you get biweekly and for the holidays.
I think you have ended up hyper-vigilant about the "trees"- the details- because you believe you should be getting more than what's being provided to you. From what you've described, this goes back to not getting the financial recognition for your ideas, not being provided nearly as much money as you believe you are worth, and not having as much freedom to do what you want with your money as you'd like. I also believe your traumatic experiences have a lot to do with this, and the fact that people have taken advantage of you in the past.
In addition, I think there are real things that occur daily that may be frustrating. So- when you identify a "tree" that bothers you- I think there's often some truth to it! I do not think many of these things are delusional! But rather the type of cognitive distortions that all human beings deal with.
So- what does this all mean? Well, I guess it all comes down to strategy. It reminded me of that gamble in which you can take a high-risk (e.g. 1/100) chance to get 1 billion dollars or nothing, OR no risk and a guarantee to receive 10 million. I feel like all the frustration and anger you feel, and the resultant behaviors, have essentially led you in the direction of taking the high-risk chance- instead of just accepting the 10 million.
I understand this may not seem fair, and I am certainly not one to suggest someone just settle for less. But, I feel like the focus on the trees ends up upsetting you over and over again- and then everyone else around you. And the ultimate consequences of only focusing on the trees could be a lot worse than the guaranteed- no risk- "compromise." The fact is- we are all really trying to set things up so you can indefinitely live on the compound and enjoy life as much as possible. But- there could be a point in which we can't sustain what you may need. When you focus on the trees, it exacerbates this. I've discussed my limitations, regarding being a sole practitioner with a full practice. And your wife is tasked with managing quite a bit. We want to help- but cannot provide an infinite source of support.
I likened the whole thing to accepting you'll never be allowed to purchase a Ferrari- but have to "settle" for a top-of-the-line BMW. (And you pointed out: at least it wasn't a Honda Civic.) It's not ideal- but swinging for the fences may just not be practical all the time.
I really believe we would all rather have you feel healthy, and be thinking clearly, and handling your own resources. But, because of the circumstances, we are tasked with being the board members to your CEO role. We are happy to do it- for as long as we can. But let's try to focus on the forest- and not the trees!
I hope this all makes sense. We can discuss as much or as little of this as you'd like- whenever you'd like!
Hope to see you on Tuesday at noon!
… Until next time, take care of yourselves and each other to once again paraphrase Jerry Springer!