The following March the police came to my house, tossed it and arrested me for all kinds of crimes: I was accused of being the Barstow Abortionist, the Cinderella Bandit, possession of illegal lethal weapons, dope peddling, statutory rape, leader of a teenage mafia, and just about anything else you can think of. I made headlines in the paper, lost my job, and thought I was going to prison (another worst nightmare. One that my parents had been threatening me with throughout my childhood – and my brother was already in prison at the time.) The sergeant who arrested me finally realized that I not only wasn’t his criminal and also that I was just a dumb kid that fell off the turnip truck, so he acted as my lawyer at my arraignment, negotiated my bail down from $50,000. To $500., helped me get a bail bondsman, and then in court got the D.A. to stand up and say to the judge, “We demand in the interest of justice that the charges be dropped.” And the judge said, “Okay, kid, get out of here.”
The following March (no longer an operating room technician, but a hod carrier) I got hit by a cement truck that crippled me for a year. It was my fault, and I got the ticket. I jumped out of a company truck and ran around the front of it to cross the street to my truck, when along came a big ready-mix concrete truck to meet me half way. I turned, looked, and knew I couldn’t make it either way. This was really because of my ADD and cross-dominance. It occurred because: As my foreman and I left the Yard to go to a job, I remembered that I forgot my cigarettes. My foreman said, “You ain’t gonna be bumming cigarettes from me all day, you little bastard, so we’ll stop at your place so you can get some out of your truck, but by God you’d better make it snappy, ‘cause we’re on company time.” Well, I run around like a chicken with its head cut off anyway, so naturally, I didn’t see the cement truck coming until it was too late.
Then when I was 25, the worst one of all: I got trapped in my brother-in-law’s attic, while helping him install a cooler, and suffered severe electric shock. I woke up in the hospital emergency room with the doctor pinching my eyes to see if I could react. I sat straight up, and he pushed me back down, saying, “Whoa, lay down, your heart’s not beating.” The after effects were terrible. I couldn’t move my jaw for 2 weeks afterward. And that’s how long the diarrhea and vomiting lasted. After that, I had a permanent case of the whips and jingles. I couldn’t touch a light switch without a big thick towel in my hand. All anyone had to do is say hello to me and I’d damn near jump over the moon. That one still dogs me. Those electric shock Primals are every bit as painful as any of my Birth Primals. But it was those Primals that normalized my startle response.
Probably of equal importance is the fact that I had 3 LSD trips and smoked grass regularly for a number of years. I’m sure it could not do less than aggravate my leaky gates, and further incuse the lack of coordination between my right hand and left eye.
It’s harder to get by with money and no drugs than it is to get by with drugs and no money (Old hippie saying)
Well, unlike Mom and Gramma, Art didn’t just leave me hanging with all this. He was also doing his own research, looking for other kinds of treatment.
One treatment that could hold promise is called transcranial direct current electrical stimulation. The military is using it to amp up learning in order to teach Air Force pilots who guide unmanned attack drones. It helps the recipient to be alert, focused, and more able to find anomalies on the computer screen. It also cuts learning time in half. I have ambivalent feelings about it, because of my experience of severe electric shock. I’ve relived a lot of it but much of it is still there and vulnerable to restimulation. I fear that it might nullify the positive effects. I was almost relieved to find out that it is prohibitively expensive.
There is also a similar treatment called transcranial magnetic stimulation and another that is chiropractic called BioCranial Technique designed to adjust the bones in the skull to allow better distribution of spinal fluid pressure.
But then Art suggested pharmaceuticals. He thought we should try a neocortical stimulant given along with something to quiet the brainstem. Along with a psychiatrist, we settled on Adderal extended release and a low dose of Inderal as an adjunct to my Primal Therapy.
This was at first a bit of a problem to me. Early in therapy my therapist suggested something along those lines, but the very thought of speed struck a nasty chord. I also feared it would interfere with my therapy. Instead I took Strattura, and outside of a placebo effect at first, it did nothing for me so I quit.
Now I had used speed before. Back in the early 60s my favorite self medication was one of my wife’s diet pills (Dexamyl Spansules) along with a whole lot of beer. The problem, when you are young, desperate, and ignorant, is that titration is replaced with saturation. So what might have been helpful and useful went undiscovered. I also had a restaurant in the early 70s, and in order to work 20 hours a day, I took whites (these little pills were the first street manifestation of methamphetamine). By the time my restaurant collapsed, I was in the middle of the blind staggers and a nervous breakdown. I couldn’t even say a compound sentence without getting lost. In fact, that is what got me into therapy in 1973.
Nonetheless, Art’s suggestion was the most promising. Of course in treating all this we want to get to the origin of the symptom in order to feel the pain the symptom is defending me from. Drugs don’t do that. But wait. Drugs used as an adjunct to Primal Therapy might open some doors. So I agreed, even though I was still apprehensive about the possibility that it would prevent me from getting to my feelings. What I had not considered was titration of dose, starting with a 5mg extended release capsule and 20mg Inderal (a sympatholytic non-selective beta blocker). The Inderal dose was fine and I titrated the Adderal up to 15mg, i.e. to a point of alertness without the whips and jingles that can come with speed. Then WOW!