Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Professional Follower

In the comments of the last post Novella asked if my sister could get professional help.

I need to explain more of the story.
In this post, Sister = S.

The root of the problem is not that my sister is too skinny, but rather that she is a Follower. We are all followers to some extent, but she is a Follower in the most extreme of ways. She Follows to the point of becoming brainwashed. She is 27, and so far I can count 3 wash cycles each of which last years.

The first wash started in High School. S was popular. The popular group was her group. You have to be somewhat brainwashed to be popular in high school. I guess I haven't read much about this topic because it is one of the more socially acceptable ways to not think. Someone once said that religion isn't the opium of the people, fashion is. In high school she told me that I shouldn't let my date drive me home if he was drunk. That was good of her to tell me, and one of the signs that her mind wasn't totally mush.

When popular high school girls go to college they do one thing: Join Sororities. And that is what S did. Until she quit a year later to join what I call "the sorority church."

The second wash setting is: Fundamentalist Non-denominational Christian. The Sorority Church was on the edge of our college campus, and provided for all of a Follower's needs. You aren't Saved unless you specifically ask Jesus into your heart. The only requirement for a good husband was that he has asked Jesus into his heart. You don't have to worry about discussing things like financial plans, children, or relationship needs before you get married because hell, whenever things that like arise you can pray about it, and Jesus will tell you what to do. You know that eating disorder you had in High School? Just "give it to god" and it will go away.

S married a Christian guy from the Sorority Church. They moved many miles away after college to a place where her Husband has a job and where she can go to graduate school to get her masters in counseling.

The third wash cycle is: Psyco Camp complete with Psyco Drugs. Away from the Sorority Church and the Harem of Followers she was "friends" with, S gets lonely. Lonely in the way that her husband is gone on trips for work 80% of the year, Lonely in the way that the Female Harem is gone, and Lonely in the way that everyone is when they move far away to a new city. But in Psyco Camp where she is being trained, she names her Loneliness: Manic Depression. She sees a doctor who gives her so much medicine (Psyco Drugs) that when she is taking it as prescribed she passes out and hits her head on the bath tub. She goes to the emergency room all the time now that she is in the new city far away. S is always having accidents. She starts smoking cigarettes. With five years now between the present and the Sorority Church she tells me that she maybe was brainwashed (at that time.) Praying looses its magic. She is taking tons of Psyco Drugs. My dad says to me: "I warned my kids about the illegal drugs, but didn't think to warn them about the legal ones." I have the feeling that her starvation is a result of her drowning her unhappiness in Psyco Drugs rather than an eating disorder. My dad says that her brain would work better if she wasn't so skinny.

I am not sure what the answer is.

Is there such a thing as professional help for a Serial Follower?

*Please note that I believe in Psyco Drugs when used properly. However sometimes they are used without really helping the patient. I judge this to be one of those times.*


Clay Perry said...

rough stuff... the roughest of life.. dealing with a drug addicted individual is one of the worst. being a follower is, i think, even tougher. sadly, there must be an awakening within that individual and the only way for that to happen is for them to make it happen for themselves. tools can be used as catalysts, intervention, talks, therapy, self confidence camps.. But ultimately, its up to them. the question that comes in now... and its one of life's ugliest.. is the love you feel for her worth the heartache and pain and down right work that will have to be put in by you and those closest to her to help her go the right way. she has to be told, in plain cold words, what she is doing and what it will take for her to get out of it. the bad part is that she can begin and even get all the way, but the danger will always be there for a fall.. the statistics are against her. prescription drugs and a clingy personality are two of life's biggest battles to wage, the underlying cause is usually loneliness as you said. i know it means little coming from an anonymous guy in the woods of north west georgia sitting on the other end of a wire staring at a computer screen, but if there is anything that i can do...

Fermi said...

Thanks CP.

She has often become angry and stops talking to my parents because they tell her something that I think is a reasonable truth.

I want her to be healthier but at the same time I feel that this situation is largely beyond my control. She lives over 21 hours by car away from me.

I am starting to send her regular emails. Just to talk about life, and eventually I will include a subtle suggestion of some healthy change she can make in her life. That's all I can afford to give right now.

Clay Perry said...

get her to start blogging! then we can all gang up on her....

Tino said...

I remember her. She was in one of my short story writing classes. I was very surprised to find out that she was your sister because of the follower tendencies you described, and because you are not at all that way.