How PP Nearly Destroyed My Marriage
The controversial disorder dividing Clinical Psychologists
Last night I was with some friends of mine, gossip, snacks, and wine: a nice girls’ night out. Things were fine, great weather, well-groomed bachelors and young CEOs; we were chatting and catching up when Mandy asked me that God-awful question: What does your husband do these days?
My therapist has started me on low dose Xanax and has been encouraging me to go out, socialize and keep myself busy. It’s been increasingly difficult for me to even get a good night’s sleep these last few months. This stupid diary writing is making it even worse. I think I’m getting depressed too.
At our last session this morning with Dr Suhbski, I was told I had a panic attack in the room and blacked out, I don’t remember any of it. Like a vulture he then sat next to me, his happy childish smile and warm comforting hands give me the creeps.
If I had only known he suffered from PP when I married him. They say he’s a maverick, a polymath, a genius! Fuck him and his cunty students and readers who come fawning at the door step showing him their notes, notes my ass! Half of my girlfriends in college slept with their professors when they were their age.
At home, about two hours after our session, I started eavesdropping on him on the phone, ‘I swear to God, if it’s another one of his fans, readers, students or whatever the fuck…’ I thought to myself as I approached his study’s door. I overheard him talking about some cases, the latest World Snooker Championship and Jazz. ‘Jazz? is that some technical term or code word?’ I thought. Mike was going around in circles on his rotating leather chair laughing like a french putain. He was chatting like best friends with our therapist, my therapist! He called me in his study and said that Dr Suhbski bought us tickets for an Alex Skolnick Trio gig on Saturday; I didn’t know what to say or do. Last thing I remember was seeing strings of hair in my hands, and then I was told I blacked out. Twice in one day now.
That night I woke up in the psych ward where Dr Suhbski was on call. I barely remember anything except a dreamy drunk feeling and a dark green-eyed hunk of murse, I wanted him to violate me as if his life depended on it, I couldn’t even touch myself…I can’t remember what I told him but he was laughing so hard as he tightened my hand restraints, hell, I must have made a fool of myself again. Fuck it. I bet they loaded me with tranquilizers so I wouldn’t panic and black out again. I haven’t felt this spaced-out since they took out my appendix. I could hear the junior doctors and interns hushing around and moving behind the curtains ‘Dr Donovan! It’s Mike Donovan!’ Goddamn motherffFFUCKER!… ‘Darling? Are you OK?’ …ugh I need to calm down before I black out again…when will I wake up from this nightmare! I’m married to Lucifer!
Session next day
Dr Suhbski: So how are you feeling today Anna?
Dr Suhbski: We can still postpone the session if you want to sleep more, we’re not due till next week.
Anna: Jesus, you’ve said so already. I don’t want to stay at home.
Dr Suhbski: OK, I see. So what would you like to talk about then?
Anna: What would I like to talk about? (turning back and forth to Mike and the therapist) Do I have to say it? Do I have to spell it in words?!
Dr Suhbski: I’m afraid so. This is what our counseling sessions are all about after all. To put words to the feelings we dislike and communicate them, just like children we have to give them names before we can let them out in the world.
(Mike nodding along gently)
Anna: OK… so how come I didn’t know about PP when I got married? How come no one told me about this then ha?!
Dr Suhbski: Well, like I told you last time Anna, PP is a very controversial topic in psychology today and there’s lots of debate about its definition and whether it is a disease at all.
Anna: Whether it is a disease at all? What the hell more do you need to call it a disease?! Do you call this (pointing at her husband) normal? Do you call jumping like an ex-con from one job to another normal?
Mike: What is PP? I keep hearing it on Oprah and Dr Phill.
Anna: Oh now he doesn’t know it, Mr big-shot know-it-all doesn’t know it.
(Dr Suhbski looking down holding his smile and rubbing his forehead)
Mike: I really don’t know what it is darling, I mean I did some undergraduate psychiatry and skimmed through the DSM-IV but never read about PP, doc?
Dr Suhbski: He’s right Anna I’m afraid. Not only is PP a very rare, controversial, and a recently defined cluster of tendencies , it also hasn’t yet been added to the DSM-V.
Anna: So just because you quacks aren’t done yet with your academic cockfighting means my suffering is not real?! PP exits!! ( bangs on the coffee table) And Mike suffers from it and it is killing our marriage if you still haven’t noticed!
Dr Suhbski: No one is denying you are suffering Anna, all we are saying is that Professional Promiscuity isn’t agreed upon by everyone in Academia as a psychological disorder.
(Mike bursts out laughing and chokes on his water)
Mike: What? (coughing) professional what? Do you mean like a gigolo? (coughs) I’ve never been one, although I did meet a good friend who called one, she said the service was excellent and she was very happy about it, they get paid pretty decently by the way…Right! his name was Dave!…about 200$ an hour actually, of course depending on the quality and the type of…
Anna: Do you see what I’m living with?
Dr Suhbski: PP doesn’t mean that someone is promiscuous and makes it a profession like your male prostitute friend Mike, PP refers to someone who is promiscuous in regard to professions, someone who does more than one thing and can make money off of it, someone with no stable career like what you arguably do. You are a major in medicine, teach logic and philosophy, work as screenwriter, play bass guitar in bars and…what else?
Mike: Ahaaaa, now I get it. Well, anything else that brings in money is OK too (he smiles and bends closer to Dr Suhbski and whispers) being a gigolo isn’t half bad if you know what I mean.
Anna: I heard that! You animal! I knew it! I always knew you were a good for nothing womanizer!
(Mike curls in a ball giggling as Anna’s punching him)
Dr Suhbski: Guys guys! (barely holding himself together and breaking off Anna)
Mike: Darling, darling! but I’m married to you for…for..years now!
(Anna goes mad and jumps attacking him on his sofa)
Anna: He doesn’t even know how long we’ve been married! (she breaks down and starts crying) I want a divorce! That’s it! I want a divorce!
Dr Suhbski: Calm down now everybody (grins and stares at Mike to cut it off while trying not to laugh) Anna…Anna, but Mike’s been making more money than all of your friends’ husbands, he pays his mortgages, has no debts, hasn’t been unemployed in the latest financial crisis, puts food on the table…and I’m sure he loves you very much.
Mike: (bending on his knees next to the sofa she’s sitting in) I do, I really do dear.
Anna: (sobbing and holding her head in her hands): I hate him! If he loves me then why does he embarrass me like this? Why is it that when anyone asks me how my husband is doing and what he’s doing I feel like shit. I love him but I can’t take it anymore…I’m tired of explaining what my husband does not do! Everybody I know has a stable and decent job except him! Who are you? What are you?! Your career is a joke, he spends most of the day playing snooker, video games or reading old useless books from the Middle Ages! God knows how he makes his money!
Mike: (smiles warmly) I love you too dear.
Dr Suhbski: Interestingly, it was in the Middle Ages that people were born into a job that they never left. A smith would remain a smith and have smith children, a peasant would be a peasant his whole life and so on.
Mike: That is right doc. Capitalism with all it ailments did give us more options. So tell me doc, if a gigolo also has many other occupations what should he be called? He is professionally promiscuous but in this particular case, he would also be promiscuous in his choice of professions, wouldn’t he?
Dr Suhbski: Hmm, excellent point Mike.
(Anna absentmindedly starts to pull her hair out)
Dr Suhbski: I would say that in your case my dear friend, the term Promiscuously Professional would be linguistically and syntactically more appropriate than the other term, Professionally Promiscuous like your gigolo friend…we might need a linguist to settle this…let me see, where is Professor Hadley (scrolling through his phone contacts), did you know that his PhD thesis was on Freudian slips?
(Anna blacks out on the sofa with chunks of hair in her hands)
Mike: (crossing his other leg) Really?! I can’t wait to read it. How is John doing by the way? (in a low voice) Does he still like transsexuals?
(Dr Suhbski nods affirmatively with a slightly tilted head and raised eyebrows)
Dr Suhbski (leaning closer to Mike with eyes wide open): By the way, do you think your gigolo friend will agree to come along with us on Saturday night to the Jazz concert?
Mike: Oh Dave? Yea! He probably would! (tapping his hands on his lap) Socializing is good for his business. Maybe he’ll throw some paying customers our way!
Dr Suhbski: Ha! You old dog! (giggling) But I don’t think Anna will like that very much…Anna? Good God! Anna!