Tuesday, December 14, 2010

PARANOIA RUNS DEEP. Some of you may know Robin of Berkeley, who dines out (or at least dines in on take-out) on having achieved conservatism despite the twin impediments of coastal California residence and employment as a psychotherapist. She is one of the Sadlynauts' favorite subjects; I last noticed her speculating that President Obama is nuts and perhaps using cocaine. Her primary schtick is imputing mental illness to liberals and other people she doesn't like.

I almost missed her latest exercise. It actually starts promisingly, with a memory of her Jewish family and their mistrust of outsiders, and this analysis:
I think that the feeling of being safe in one's tribe is hardwired into most of us, immigrant or not. We think that our family, neighbors, church, or synagogue is the trustworthy one. There's an illusion of safety, a feeling of protection within our own boundaries...

But life often intervenes; it can sometimes destroy the dream of being safe in our own home, or even our country. We may feel devastated to learn the truth, to confront the unpredictable nature of this human life.
OK, sure. And as we grow, we learn to cope with negative people and environments without letting them make us mistrustful of everyone. Right?
Of course, Americans were reminded of this reality on 9/11, when this country, the only remaining superpower, became another chilling statistic.
Hmm. Well, alright, I... I suppose you could look at 9/11 as a growth experience...
We all go through it: the harsh wake-up call that things aren't as they appear to be. One of my friends has never fully recovered from the day she uncovered her husband's year-long love affair.
Another friend has been broadsided by the news that a close family member has been sabotaging her. Just this week, I've been dealing with people undermining me whom I thought I could trust...

The wise Abraham Lincoln understood the menace of the Enemy Within. Lincoln stated, "America will never be destroyed from outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."

Now that I've awakened from my trance, I am stunned by what I was missing all of these years. Earth to Robin -- remember those nutcases who bombed this nation in the '60s, people such as Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn? Well, maybe we don't want them having influence over the president of the United States. And perhaps all of those America-haters on the Left, now in charge, aren't exactly the greatest guardians of the public trust.
I guess I was taking it wrong: Robin sees all these untoward experiences -- a bad marriage, a personal betrayal, a suicide attack killing 3,000 people -- as evidence that her family was right all along. Except for one thing: Even your family wants to kill you!

After more talk about The Enemy Within -- including "radical Islam and drug dealers invading our borders" and subversive school-teachers -- Robin tells us,
With the sabotage going on in my life, last night I couldn't sleep a wink. I lay in bed disturbed, thinking of these people who want to harm me.
I prescribe daily therapy and perhaps Ativan.
But even in my discomfort, there was a part of me that felt grateful for the reminder.
Too late -- the voices have got her.

UPDATE. Thanks, all, for great comments, with references to Poe, Jim Thompson, The Caine Mutiny, etc, and to the Guest who corrected my spelling. (How did I miss "Ativan"? It's right there on the bottle!)


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