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Ideas of Reference - Part 2

Posted by StarMountainKid , 10 June 2013 · 327 views

In the restaurant I sit alone at a table for a few minutes. The same two men who were at my door enter, walk to my table and sit down. The one who spoke to be yesterday leans over the table toward me and says quietly, “Dr. Schnedlemeyer is interested in your case, Mr. Grayson. He considers your paranoia to be real, and this interests him. This is what we wanted to talk about yesterday.”

“I’ve told him these people were real. Now he believes me, is this correct?” I say.

“Exactly,” the man agrees. “Dr. Schnedlemeyer wants to study real paranoia as it associates with the mental disorder.”

“What made him change his mind?” I ask.

“We don’t know, Mr. Grayson.”

“Yes, but all this doesn’t explain why these people are watching me, does it?. Wait; has the Doctor hired these people to watch me so he can study this relationship?”

“No, Mr. Grayson, he has nothing to do with these people.” The man leans back in his chair. He glances over to the other man. “Well, we really don’t know for sure, we only know what the Doctor has told us.”

“So he could have hired these people, either the ones who are after me or the ones who say they are protecting me.”

“I suppose,” the man answers, looking around the room.

“Well, what about the danger I’m supposed to be in?”

The man returns his gaze to me. “The danger is real for you, Mr. Grayson. That’s what the Doctor says.”

“Yes but, how does he know if he’s not associated with these people?”

“If your paranoia is real, then there must be danger involved, of course,” the man replies calmly.

I sit back in my chair and run my hand over my face. “All this doesn’t make sense,” I say. “I still don’t know what’s going on.”

“That’s just it,” the man says, as if relieved. “You’re not supposed to know. If you knew, you wouldn’t be paranoid, you’d just be frightened.”

“But I am frightened,” I say.

“Yes, as you should be,” he says.

I look around the room at various people eating at their tables. Any one of these people could be watching me. I return my gaze to the man sitting opposite me. “So these people mean me harm.”

“Of course,” the man says, absently picking up a menu.. “Why else would you be paranoid about them?”

I think for a moment, trying to sort all this out in my mind. “So, am I paranoid because they are watching me, or are they watching me because I’m paranoid?”

“Good question, Mr. Grayson.” The talking man turns to his associate and whispers something in his ear. The other man nods.

“Okay, so what should I do now?” I ask anxiously. “I mean besides fearing for my life?”

“What you do is no concern of ours, Mr. Grayson. We are only here because Dr. Schnedlemeyer hired us to speak to you.”

“Well, your speaking to me hasn’t helped, has it?” I say, raising my voice in frustration. “All it’s done is confuse me even more. What’s the point of you telling me all this?”

“Please lower your voice, Mr. Grayson,” the man says, again looking around the room. He leans forward. “The point is, Dr. Schnedlemeyer wants’ to talk with you. You have an appointment with him at two-thirty this afternoon. Good day, Mr. G.” With that, the two men stand and turn to leave. They hesitate a moment, the talking man speaks something to the other, then they continue out of the restaurant, not looking back.

At two-thirty sharp I enter Dr. Schnedlemeyer’s office. His secretary looks up at me and beckons to continue to the Doctor’s office. Inside, Dr. Schnedlemeyer is sitting calmly behind his desk. “Hello, Mr. Morgan, nice to see you again”, he says with a smile.

“Hello, Doctor,” I say. I sit down in a chair to one side.

“Well, Mr. Grayson, how are you feeling?”

“Like a criminal,” I say blatantly. “What is all this, you hiring people to talk to me? What’s going on?  I don’t understand.”

“It’s simple, Mr. Grayson,” Dr. Schnedlemeyer begins calmly. “Some people are trying to kidnap you or kill you, and that’s why you’re paranoid, and other people are trying to protect you. The people trying to protect you seem to be adding to your paranoia, however. How is that?”

How is that should be obvious, Dr. Schnedlemeyer,” I say loudly.  “How would you feel if all this were going on in your life? Listen, you seem to know something about all this, please tell me what this is about!  All this is driving me crazy!”

“Now, now, Mr. Grayson, that is not a term we use in psychiatry, as you well know. What is going on is, “all this”, is part of your paranoid personality disorder. You cannot tell your reality from your delusions. No one is after you, no one is protecting you, and I have hired no one to speak to you.”

“Then what about the men I met in the restaurant? They seemed real enough! They said you’re studying my delusional paranoia versus my real paranoia. You seem to think I’m suffering with both. I can assure you, Doctor, I am not. These are all real people, and I want some answers!”

“Have you been taking your medication?” the Doctor asks soothingly.

I brush off this condescending comment. “Let me ask you this: Who set up this appointment today?”

“Why, the men you met in the restaurant, of course.”

“I though you said there were no men, that that was part of my delusion.”

Dr. Schnedlemeyer leans back in his chair and folds his hands in his lap.” We all have delusions, Mr. Grayson, and who is to say some of them are not real? Perhaps you did  meet two men at the restaurant, and perhaps I did send them. What difference would it make? You’re here just the same. I suggest you go home and put your faith in the people who are protecting you. They will protect you as long as you fear your enemies. You see, your paranoia itself is your protection, real or delusional. For my part, I’ll keep tabs on the whole situation. After all, as your psychiatrist, it’s my job to take care of your mental health.”

“Well, you’re not doing a very good job!” I say angrily. I stand and briskly walk out of Dr. Schnedlemeyer’s office. In the waiting room I briefly look at his secretary, who looks up and smiles a generic smile.

Standing on the sidewalk, I look around, trying to notice if anyone is staring at me. Among the crowd I spot a man leisurely leaning against a lamppost reading a newspaper. Occasionally he peers over the paper in my direction.

I walk up to him and stare into his face. After a moment he puts down his newspaper and stares back. “May I help you?” He asks innocently.

“Yes,” I say. “You’re one of Dr. Schnedlemeyer’s agents, aren’t you?”

“Oh, no,” he answers, “I’m not one of those. I’m one of those who’re trying to kidnap you, Mr. Grayson. If only you’d become a little less of the “P-word”, you’d be a lot better off. Your protectors keep hanging around you so tightly I can’t do my job properly. It’s very frustrating.”

I am taken aback at his calm statement. “But why do you want to kidnap me?”

“To remove you from the trouble you’re in, of course,” he says. “I would have though you would have figured that out by now. These damn protectors, they’re everywhere, and Schnedlemeyer and his agents are a nuisance, too. Tell you what, why don’t you just come with me now? That would be the simplest solution to all this, Mr. Grayson. Then you would be safe and we could sort all this out. It would be to your great benefit if you would do this.”

I quickly back away from the man, turn and walk down the sidewalk toward my parked car. “You are making a mistake, Mr. Grayson!” the man shouts behind me. “By ignoring the danger you are in you are only making matters worse!”

I hurry to my car. As I make my way around to the drivers’ side, I notice a different man walking quickly toward my car. I get in behind the wheel, start the car and pull into the street. As I drive off, in my rear-view mirror I see the man standing at the curb.

“I’ve got to sort all this out somehow,” I say to no one in particular, almost with tears in my eyes.

Jun 10 2013 03:01 AM
ideas of reference and delusions of reference involve people having a belief or perception that irrelevant, unrelated or innocuous phenomena in the world refer to them directly or have special personal significance: 'the notion that everything one perceives in the world relates to one's own destiny'.
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