This is Dr. Marcie Franklin, recording the progress of my patient Charlie Brown after our therapy session of 12/24/2012.
Mr. Brown first came to me about six months ago and while the problems he initially complained about seemed routine on the surface, after numerous weekly sessions I now believe he is seriously psychotic.
Mr. Brown first displayed symptoms of bullying. He complained of low self-esteem and also showed signs of paranoia. A constant refrain he used was, “Why is everybody always picking on me?”
A particular injurious name that many bullies call him is “blockhead.” It is ironic in that Mr. Brown’s rather large cranium is not block-like at all, but instead resembles a globe. Of Jupiter.
I first began to have serious concerns about Mr. Brown when we delved into what I call, “The Snoopy Delusion.”
Evidently, Mr. Brown has a pet beagle to which he ascribes behavior that is not possible. In addition to sleeping on top of his doghouse, pretending he is a World War I pilot and typing a novel, Snoopy also supposedly plays shortstop on the Little League team. These are, of course, hallucinations.
One thing that is not a hallucination is a certain female named Lucy Van Pelt. She is the focal point of much of Mr. Brown’s stress and repressed anger. She calls him names, belittles him and regularly tricks him into attempting to kick a football, then moves it away at the last second, resulting in him falling on his head. I believe that Mr. Brown has incurred numerous concussions, which have exacerbated his delusions of Snoopy. A brain scan is scheduled.
As if that wasn’t enough, I just found out this past week that the same Lucy who has tormented Mr. Brown for years also pretends to listen and then give him advice for a nickel. I have notified the American Psychiatric Association, who I am confident will do an investigation of her unlicensed psychiatric services.
I have regularly advised Mr. Brown to try to get out of his own head and maybe take up a hobby like having a local musician named Schroeder teach him to play piano or perhaps doing some community service by helping his apparently homeless neighbor Pig Pen . . . all to no avail.
Mr. Brown does have a best friend, in fact his only friend, Linus, who is ironically Lucy’s younger brother. He has proved to be a stabilizing influence. Of course Linus has his own issues, such as constantly sucking his thumb, carrying around a security blanket and believing in the Great Pumpkin, but in Mr. Brown’s case when it comes to friends, beggars can’t be choosers.
At our session today, he recounted what happened last Saturday. Evidently he was to help put on a Christmas play and yet when he got there, all the people were doing strange dances, which he described with some difficulty. One he said appeared to be a “Zombie MC Hammer.” I’m only speculating, but the people in question could be in a cult and/or on drugs.
The crass commercialism of the Christmas season began to get to him and more than just a reaction to it, I believe it was a search for meaning in his own life. Linus responded to a query about what Christmas was all about by quoting from memory the section in the Gospel of Luke that depicts the birth of the baby Jesus.
Thereafter, ridicule that Mr. Brown had received for choosing a less-than-stellar Christmas tree faded away and the neighborhood bullies suddenly decorated the tree and began to sing together. It was the first time I have seen Mr. Brown smile as he recounted the story.
While on the surface it seems like a breakthrough, I thought it was my duty to help Mr. Brown face certain realities he conveniently chooses to ignore. Like that fact that he is a 62-year-old man who dresses as a child and wears the same clothes every day. And that when authority figures speak to him, they sound like muted trombones yet he somehow understands them.
I am prescribing a cocktail of anti-psychotic medications.
Fairfield writer Tony Wade says “Good Grief! Have a Merry Christmas!” Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.