Monday, June 13, 2011
The Treatment Excuse
Random Girl: Hey!! OMG You are the coolest rep ever. Way to stick it to the Republicans!!!
Weiner: Thanks. What are you doing?
RG: Hanging out. About to make dinner
W: About to make dinner naked?
Everyone is outraged. Liberals, conservatives. And Weiner is taking a leave of absence and entering treatment. This is what pisses me off. I'm not exactly sure what treatment he's going to get, but I'm guessing some form of therapy.
I've been in therapy for most of my adult life. Starting when I was a kid and my parents got divorced and put me into therapy I think to assuage their guilt that they might screw me up. Didn't work, mostly because 50 minutes a week doesn't negate all the crap that your kids witness and get the rest of the week. I've had good therapists and bad therapists, but the fact of the matter is that therapy is work and it takes time to identify patterns and histories and to work to change those you can and to accept those you can't. And being self-aware can suck. It results in much more thinking and processing and sometimes you just wish you could float through life. Though I know that in the long run, its better to work through this all before it squeezes out later in life.
So with all that being said, Weiner knew what he was doing was wrong. He could have sought therapy at any point in the last 3 years to talk about it with someone and identify why he was doing that, what it did for him and what he could do to try and change it. Instead he got caught in a really bad way and is entering treatment, which could be meds or therapy. But either way, it takes time. It's taken me over a decade to get at issues that are much less acute than Weiner's, so he could be in "treatment" for awhile. Or maybe he could be as lucky as Ted Haggard who went from gay to straight in 3 weeks. Maybe I should see those people for 50 minutes a week.
The fact is that therapy takes real work and dedication. When celebrities or politicians get caught doing something untoward and then enter treatment, it tells people that you don't have to work on the problem before it explodes. Which, to use a term not in the DSM-IV, is bullshit.