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Re: bubba makes me ANGRY!!!!

Posted by Joslynn on April 6, 2004, at 22:24:10

In reply to Re: bubba makes me ANGRY!!!! karen_kay, posted by Dinah on April 6, 2004, at 21:46:12

I don't see how he can just change his mind and it does make one wonder if he felt threatened by your challenge. If he's a therapist, and he wants to do group therapy, he should have a strong enough ego to handle confrontation.

Regarding smiling...when I was so, so depressed that I woke up every morning at 3:30, couldn't eat, imagined driving into a tree, drowning myself, etc., I still had the ability to give a fake smile. Like so many women, I learned to cover my feelings with a pretty smile. It was only at the very worst of it, before I ended up in the hospital, that I couldn't even do the fake smile.

Afterwards, some people said, we didn't know you were depressed because you could still smile. You expect your average non-therapist layperson to say that, but I even had a doctor use the smile factor as a puzzling "affect" that didn't fit his diagnosis, though later he figured out it was a mask.

Similar thing with a friend of mine. She kept smiling and people pleasing when she was in a hospital for severe depression. One counselor said, I don't think you belong in here. Another more experienced counselor said, you belong here more than anyone else, because you are not even dealing with your problems, you are still just smiling and trying to take care of everyone else. I think the more experienced counselor even corrected the less experienced one, who was taken in by the smile.

It is amazing that if you are a pretty woman with a cute smile, people think it means there is no pain behind that.

Of course, I should have not resorted to the smile as a defense, but when you get used to random men on the street saying "a pretty girl like you should smile" etc., as if it is your obligation to smile, it gets ingrained. (Not that I oblige when men say that.)

It just amazes me that even with all we know about therapy etc., and the roles people feel forced to play by society, there are still therapists who think a smile=not depressed, no problems.

So...just my diatribe on the smile thing, I totally get how you would feel when you realize that you are being misjudged because of a smile.

It's kind of ironic.

I know I was part of the problem too by hiding behind a fake smile, but it's not just me who contributes to the syndrome. The world wants to see a woman smile.

I am sorry you are going through this. I know what it's like to feel disappointed. I think he should have met with you to discuss the incident, not just slunk out of the appointment. (And I am not saying I think you fake smile, but what he said does kind of bring up the subject of misjudged smiles.)




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