How I Became Victor Frankenstein
I was supposed to meet the doctor at 1:30 PM. It was threatening rain, so I
brought an umbrella with me. I hoped that the doctor wouldn’t think that it was some
sort of weapon.
I entered the office and was directed to a waiting chair. A few minutes later, a
portly man with spectacles that gave his face an owlish aspect emerged from an inner
office. He looked vaguely like Roger Ebert, the film critic. As I waited in my chair the
man examined his reflection in a mirror and spent the next seven minutes or so combing
his hair and fussing with his appearance as he put on the mask of his professional face. I
thought at the time that either he was so intelligent that he was slyly trying to provoke an
impatient or angry response from me, or he was just a tad neurotic.
After several more minutes of fussing in the mirror, the doctor finally
acknowledged my presence and ushered me into an inner office. The doctor began by
asking me what the date was, who the president of the United States was, and why was I
here in his office. Other than that, no clinical tests were ever performed by him or his
staff. I quickly gave him the date and even included the two middle names of the
president of the United States at that time. Lastly, I told him that I was there to explain
the letter that I had written to a former supervisor after she had resigned her job and
moved to another state.
I began by explaining to the doctor that my former supervisor had approached me
at work one day and told me that she wanted to commit suicide. I later realized that she
had an eating disorder and was starving herself to death. I pointed out to the doctor that
she had a constant sensitivity to cold, an obsession with food that she wouldn’t eat, had
TMJ from the whiplash effect of frequent vomiting, frequently had vomit on her breath,
and always wore a bandage on her middle finger: the same finger that she repeatedly cut
with her teeth as she forced it down her throat to induce vomiting. She was also quite
thin, but she had previously shown me photographs that clearly showed that she had lost
a lot of weight before she moved to this area.
I told the doctor that she had been seeing a psychiatrist for depression, but she
told me that she was just using him to get pills and had no intention of pursuing
psychotherapy. She also told me that she had done this before with several other doctors.
Thus, she had a history of abusing prescription medicines. There was one very important
point that I did not mention to the doctor as I tried to remember and relate the many odd
things that I experienced in the preceding year and in the brief time that he would allot
me: She also told me that the most recent doctor who she was manipulating for pills was
sitting right in front of me at the moment.
The doctor sat there with a look of horror mixed with shock as I ticked off her
symptoms. Of course, these were the same symptoms that he -- a trained forensic
psychiatrist -- failed to notice. He seemed befuddled as I failed to sound like I was
suffering from whatever psychological disorder he had decided upon before he met me.
As a close friend of mine later put it: pinheads hate it when you exceed their
expectations. As he grew aware that he seemed to be losing control of the session, his manner became much more officious and he brusquely turned our
conversation to the letter.
I earnestly tried to tell the doctor the facts of this matter even though I didn’t have
all the pieces of the puzzle at that time. I only had a dawning awareness that day of what
had been done to me and how it was done. I told the doctor that after I confronted my
former supervisor about her eating disorder and told her to seek help, she became really,
REALLY angry! Her denial and anger were so great that she began an off duty
relationship with me, just to study me and provide the information to set me up for a very
cruel mind game.
Previously, I was approached several times by an extremely odd coworker who
asked if I was into role-playing games. Being new to the department, I perceived my
coworker as just a lonely, harmless eccentric. What I didn’t know was that he delighted
in playing sick, psychological mind games on unsuspecting staff members. Burning for
revenge because I saw her for what she really was, like Diana unleashing the hounds
upon Acteon when he saw her naked, my former supervisor provided him with just the
opportunity he needed to make me his latest target. I told the doctor that my coworker
and my former supervisor began to talk and behave so oddly at work that I began to
suspect that they might have something to do with a string of local forest fires that had
been set, and a child who had disappeared or had been abducted when he went to watch
one of these fires. As these two role-played their parts in front of me on a daily basis I
was subjected to several months of emotional torture as I feared that a great crime was
happening right before my eyes. As the doctor half listened to me I noticed his growing
resentment. I could almost see the little wheels turn in his head:
“I could have helped her! I – the great doktor! But this love-sick ninny scared her away
before I could help her!”
I told him how she tried to physically assault the assistant director, how she
threatened me with a knife in a restaurant, and how she seemed to me to be a true
multiple personality. I told him how she once showed me a letter that said what a terrible,
insane person she really was -- a letter without any postmark! I told him that on two
occasions I saw her face go slack and change into a leering mask that radiated insanity;
her eyes so brilliant with malevolence and madness that she resembled a demented little
girl or a possessed person. I told him that I was afraid of her. As I started to indicate that
she was much sicker than he realized from his brief contact with her, the doctor finally
reverted to type and began to bossily question me in the fast, staccato fashion that he
learned in medical school to ask a patient about symptoms that handily justified his
predetermined misdiagnoses. His mood started to turn ugly as he pressed me:
“Tell me about this game!”
“Who else was involved?” What evidence do you have ?
“He left me little time to answer him between questions. He wanted details that I didn’t have at that time, but I told him that a student who knew
my coworker well finally he told me that an elaborate mind game was being played on me. She told me that the
purpose of the game was to see how far they could push me.
“And how far did you go?”
I told him that I went to the police because I wanted someone to investigate this
matter so that I could get back to living my normal life as it was before I met these
bizarre people. I also told him that I knew that several faculty members were aware that
this mental harassment was going on and did nothing to stop it.
The doctor blinked and shook his head as though he couldn’t believe his ears.
Being largely motivated by the profit motive, the doctor had a difficult time accepting
that men with advanced degrees like him might be capable of cruelty, deception, or
He became openly contemptuous of me as he inquired, “You a local boy?”
The way he said that was so odd: “U, AHH LOCALBOY?”
The doctor had recently moved here from Maine. I later saw a picture of his
daughter in the local newspaper. Her face was pierced, her nails were black, her hair was
dyed a brilliant shade of blue, and the caption under her photo read, “My dad says I’m
crazy!” No doubt the doctor had many acquaintances with “local boys” before he met
me, and now I had to pay for the resentment he felt toward his daughter’s boyfriends.
Since the interview was going so badly I decided to explain the letter and hoped
that he had enough human compassion or empathy to understand my reactions to being
basically terrorized by two people for the prior six months.
Not a chance.
Well, nobody is perfect. I suppose that I had to admit that the insanity I was subjected to
at work for six months by an ensemble cast had to have SOME effect on me, and the
doctor was clearly a man who saw aberrations everywhere except when he was blinded
by his own prejudices. I decided to throw the doctor a few bones in the hope of
satisfying his need to be right.
The doctor seized a pen in his pudgy hand and snapped off a small square of note
paper from its container and slapped it down on his desk in one fast motion that
resembled a baccarat player dealing a card from a shoe. As I continued to talk he took
phrases out of context from my narrative and scribbled them down. These were
statements that weren’t even true, but intended to satisfy his thirst for self-incriminating
details. Then, he would pick up each piece of paper and hold it in front of his face and tilt
it from left to right as he held the paper in such a way that it resembled a four pointed
diamond while he muttered to himself.
“I spent so much time with such sick individuals that I got sick myself!”
Another card from the shoe.
“The only delusional thinking I ever had was keeping clothes that no longer fit me in the
hope that one day they will again, or if I eat a piece of pizza and no one sees me eat it – it
As I watched the doctor’s ritualistic way of taking notes I thought of my earlier
observation while he fussed in the mirror: Definitely neurotic. I wondered if he ever
behaved this way in front of his staff, and I began to grow frightened at the thought that
this neurotic narcissist had been put in a position of power over me. He was starting to
remind me of the rogue psychiatrist played by David Cronenberg in Clive Barker’s film,
It was rather obvious that the doctor had based all of his preconceptions of me on
the aforementioned letter, so I futilely tried to explain the circumstances of how & why it
was written. Under the circumstances, it was hardly a polite note, but there was
absolutely no intent behind it other than to get at the truth that had eluded me for months.
I was once taught a trick – a type of self therapy actually – where you write down all of
your deepest fears and negative emotions on paper. For example, I could write “I felt
afraid when the doctor didn’t believe me” or “I felt angry when I learned how I had been
set up by my former supervisor.” And so on. You write until you get out all of the
garbage and doubt that’s troubling you, and then you throw it away. But… what if?
What if you can’t just throw it away because you were led to believe for several months
that two monsters may have abducted a child? What if you had been pushed so far and so
hard for so long that you just had to KNOW? So you dig down really deep and open the
floodgates as you ask every nagging question that has been keeping your brain in a
virtual tempest for months:
“What was all that craziness at work about?”
“Why did you behave like a criminal sneaking out of town before the police arrive?”
“What do you know about all of the forest fires?”
“What do you -- or your other personalities -- know about a missing child?”
“Why do two senior faculty members seem to know more about this than they are
“Why were your sneakers dripping wet with green slime a year after you said you last
wore them in Seattle?”
“What the # is wrong with you?”
And you send the letter in the hopes that these questions – these mysteries that
had kept you preoccupied for months -- will finally be answered. And if they are not
answered? Too bad, but at least you can sleep at night knowing you did your very best to
try and help a child.
At this point the doctor stopped actively listening to me and focused his attention
on his desk top as he rapidly asked me when I was born and the birth dates and birth order of my siblings. As he ignored me and continued to scribble,
I wondered if he wastrying to work out if there was a statistical probability that I might be a schizophrenic,since I displayed no real symptoms of
genuine mental illness. Suddenly, the door to hisoffice was thrust open by an elderly woman who burst into the room. She was extremelyangry at having
to wait for her appointment and my first guess was either senile dementiaor Alzheimer’s. Startled by her abrupt entrance, the doctor shrunk into his
chair and clenched his eyes shut in fear? Exasperation? He looked like an angry little boy about to throw a tantrum, and that’s just what he did.
The doctor noticed my involuntary laughter at his fear of the angry woman and now his dander was really up. He started to ask me if I had any weapons
. I was a Hippy for god’s sake! He wanted to know
if I made a habit of threatening other people – I am so polite that I say excuse me when I accidentally bump into a wall or door at work! His
questions were both demeaning and offensive and he asked them in a contemptuous manner that insured that they would be.
He jabbed his finger at the letter:
“THIS IS A THREAT!”
He jabbed his finger at me:
“YOU ARE A THREAT!”
I reminded the doctor that I had reported these people to the police and I asked
him why I would be a threat to people that I had already reported to the authorities.
“THE POLICE? YOU WENT TO THE POLICE?”
I quickly explained to him that the student hadn’t come forward with the truth
about this cruel game until after the letter was sent. Privately, I sometimes think that she
only came forward because she was sent to me by the panicked role players once their
game got out of control. I’ll never really know for sure.
Then I drove the final nail into my coffin: I told the doctor I went to the FBI.
“THE FBI! YOU WENT TO THE FBI?”
As a student of psychology I was quite aware that there are paranoiacs in the
world who report nonexistent crimes to the police and other authorities based on scant
evidence. I was in a state of near panic after months of emotional abuse that bordered on
brain washing when I saw an article in a local newspaper about a police search for two
women who visited a nearby house and presented fake credentials to the residents. These
two women claimed that they were from the Division of Youth Services and they would
take the resident’s children away if they did not treat them better. There were two police
artist’s sketches of the women in the newspaper. One of the women looked exactly like
the woman who supposedly “baby sat” my former supervisor while she was on suicide
watch. The other woman looked just like my former supervisor with sunglasses and a big hat. The police artist had even captured her chewed and cracked
lips from her eating disorder.
When I told him that the feds wanted to know who her psychiatrist was and what
he had prescribed for her, the good doctor – the same doctor who had been treating my
former supervisor and who should have recused himself from this interview due to an
obvious conflict of interest -- went ballistic.
He clenched his fists at his sides and made a stifled grunting sound that sounded
like a rutting animal:
His voice dripping with anger and contempt, he told me:
“You can’t think like that!”
“Look, I thought you might have something there for a minute with the eating disorder symptoms but you’re completely delusional!” He brought the
interview to a close. I didn’t watch the time, but I think he gave
me maybe 45 minutes in total to organize and relate six months of strange experiences
that I was only dimly beginning to understand myself. I asked him what my chances of
returning to work were and he angrily replied that it wasn’t his decision but that he was going to recommend that I not be allowed to work. I told
him that if I should lose my job over this nonsense that involved both supervisors and senior faculty, I would sue the college into the Stone Age.
He contemptuously told me:
“Thank you very much for telling me that!”
I found out shortly afterward that he was being sued for malpractice and that he
may have been just a wee bit sensitive about possibly being investigated by the police.
After that, he had been let go from the staff of both local hospitals. Possibly because of
his greedy little plan to have every hospitalized patient visited – and billed – by a staff
psychiatrist. I have been told that this bookish looking man drives an expensive sports
car with personalized plates. You don’t need to be Freud to figure out what he’s
compensating for. A month after I returned to work I obtained a copy of the letter that he
sent to the state disability office. A mere two sentences long, it simply said that I was
“extremely delusional – especially at work.” So whose letter really did the most harm,
and to whom? I have heard about a few other souls unfortunate enough to professionally
encounter him, and I have little doubt that he is just as impartial as the infamous “Dr.
Death” who always testifies for the prosecution and always recommends execution in
capital cases. I’m willing to bet that he sees mental illness everywhere except in the
mirror. The last time I saw him was on the local television news. A reporter asked him
about the topic of self esteem. When she asked him how someone develops self esteem,
he responded that accomplishment gives a person self esteem and that you needed to be
someone accomplished, like a doctor. And he grinned for the camera as if to say:
Someone like me!”
When I took undergraduate psychology classes I learned that sometimes people
need therapy because they had therapy -- bad therapy. I never thought that could really
be possible until I encountered this man. What does the Hippocratic Oath say? First do
no harm? After this hack dismissed me I had to go see a friend to try and heal the
damage that fool caused to my already fragile ego. I just needed to be with someone that
wasn’t trying to trick, manipulate, or dissect me for their own amusement. I was as open
as I could be with the doctor about everything that had happened to me and how I thought
and felt. Instead of healing I found rejection. Instead of empathy I found contempt.
Instead of a thirst for truth and justice I found only an appetite for power and lucre.
Instead of curiosity and intelligence I found only a small, unimaginative mind. The
doctor attacked my very right to think about and interpret the evidence that was put
before me, albeit misleading evidence manufactured by the role players. To me, nothing
is more sacred than the right to think. As I recalled the doctor’s tirade, his attitude that he
alone could know the absolute truth about events that he hadn’t even witnessed or
experienced…I felt filthy. I felt so dirty, so very, very dirty.
As I sat with my friend I remained absolutely motionless for hours as I felt the
pain of pure shame radiate from my core. Shame that I had been manipulated like a puppet by those two monsters at work. Shame that I risked my career,
reputation, ana sanity to help a child that I didn’t even know. Shame that I lost. Shame that the doctor didn’t know the truth. Shame that I even
listened to that idiot and let him get to me.
Shame for thinking. Shame just for being. Shame. If it were possible to die of shame I
think that I would have that day. I had never had an experience like this in my life. I had
no way to understand what had happened to me. I had no frame of reference to help me pick up the pieces of my shattered self other than to recall some
of the literature I had
Several days later, another friend of mine, a social worker, would explain to me
that I had been “Gaslighted”: I had been subjected to a series of shocks and specific
psychological techniques had been used against me in a cold blooded attempt to drive me
crazy. She told me that there was even a “how to do it” manual available for purchase.
However, this understanding was days away. For now, there was only awareness and
pain. “So this is what it feels like to be raped?,” I thought to myself. It took me hours to
recover in the womb of my pain and shame. My arms and belly ached as I somatisized
the effects of such toxic shame. My god, the pain!
The worst part was the realization that I hadn’t been tricked by the role players
because of any naivety or gullibility on my part. The whole con job hinged on exploiting
my strongest character traits: my intelligence, my sensitivity, my creative thinking, my
empathy, and my curiosity. Someone lacking in these key areas would never have
become involved or brought to the point that I was at now. That awareness was
devastating. As Thomas Harris observed in his novel, Hannibal, it’s a hard thing to know
that someone can understand you without even liking you. It seemed as though the only
purpose the doctor served was to try and finish the job that the other fiends had started.
I thought about my futile attempts to solve a situation that was only aggravated by
my efforts to stop it. I couldn’t help but think of Br’er Rabbit trapped by Br’er Fox’s Tar-Baby. I thought of poor, pitiful Hurstwood’s
tragicomical last words in Theodore
Dreiser’s Sister Carrie: “What’s the use?” Finally, I recalled the words of the professor
who started me out on this journey and who could have stopped this whole mess, who
should have warned me:
“The hero will face a number of tests, some psychological.”
And again, when he first asked me if I had met the main role-player:
“Who’s he? Why he’s the devil himself!”
I recalled the words of his colleague:
“Be sure to take your breadcrumbs…uh, I mean stones with you!”
I thought of these two learned men and I wondered how could such men be so
cruel -- so utterly without mercy? Ah, but I’m not one of them, see? Not a Full
Professor! Not a colleague! Besides, it was fun for them: fun to see me taken down a
peg; fun to see the boy wonder charge around like a loose cannon; fun to see me
subjected to months of psychological abuse that would have destroyed a lesser man; fun
to keep me in the dark for months while they fed me a steady diet of crap. Fun. Fun. Fun.
I would later realize that these men dwell in a world of academia where a system of
mutual self-interest has taken the place of actual ethics.
And so I sat until dusk, silent but thinking and aching all the while, until I
remembered nearly every detail of how I had been played for a fool for six months by
monsters with human faces. You see, in the final analysis I was right the entire time:
there was a horrific crime going on for the past year, and the people I thought might be
monsters actually were monsters. The only thing that I had gotten wrong was the identityof the victim. It wasn’t the local boy who disappeared. It
wasn’t the boy whose body was found near a construction site in Edison, New Jersey. It wasn’t my insane former supervisor and her host of
personalities. It wasn’t even the local forests that had burned…………It was Me
edit on 19-2-2013 by Zanti Misfit because: (no reason given)
edit on 19-2-2013 by Zanti Misfit because: (no reason