There is a Fine Line between Genius and Insanity, and Between Pain and Pleasure, and Between Laughter and Tears

Someone emailed me and asked me a series of questions, and I likewise offered a series of answers. As it is somewhat humorous (from an outsider’s perspective; though he admitted also seeing the humor), I asked if I could remove his personal data and “share with the class”; in case it might help others somehow, even if only in perspective.

Someone asked: What was it that you called being in a situation where a response is needed and you do not think of it until later, when it is too late?

My reply: after-thought? hindsight? lack of fore-sight? brain pause? stage fright?

Someone asked / commented: Thank you I get those a lot. I was having an argument with my wife and I told her that she was mental and that something she is eating or taking has changed her. Her reply was that she is not mental and she phoned her friend who is a nurse and asked her if she was mental. The friend replied, no. Had I not had an after-thought I would have told her that a patient of a mental ward cannot ask another patient if they are mental. Are we all not mental living under the curses rather than the blessings and find it to be normal? I am a mental case and I know it and am trying to do something about it. Others choose to remain oblivious.

My reply: Yes, that is what I write in my books. “I am an ignoramus.... but thank God I am a RECOVERING ignoramus... what about you?” But telling your wife she is mental is not the best approach, since, as you aptly observed, another mental case is in no position to offer diagnosis of any other mental patient—or even of herself; so, informing a person of something that she is unaware of and unable to control or does not have the desire to control, even if she could control it, is like jabbing yourself with a needle in the eyeball. There is most probably a better pastime. Maybe a hobby. Bungee-jumping? God said they are the weaker vessel; and you will catch more flies with honey than vinegar (or prozac). Part of this weakness is allowing the emotions to cloud judgment of the intellect, and also hormonal imbalance / changes / monthly cycle / post-menopause may cause some of the symptoms of being “mental” (as you so eloquently called it), without truly being mental. Understand, God informing us of the weaker vessel is not for our own arrogance (which we have enough of on our own), but to be understanding—even as you would your own body (Ephesians 5:28,29; I Peter 3:7). Even as if you had an injury or a painful illness, you would be understanding of your own body, that it had limits and weaknesses, and flaws, so also are we to consider the weaker vessel. Realize also that men also go through menopause, and again, one mental attempting to diagnose another applies here also.

Someone asked / commented: So having a hysterectomy would accredit to the hormone imbalance?

My reply: Yes indeedy. And that is why it is so named; and I am surprised the feminists have not outlawed the word. Even as a frontal lobotomy* had the goal of reducing interference of “static” between the two hemispheres of the brain miscommunicating, so a hysterectomy was supposed to alleviate HYSTERIA; though it does not always work... and then of course there is also the psychological trauma left of having had part of her womanhood cut off.

[* Did you hear about the drunk mental patient who said to his psychiatrist...?  “I’d rather have a ‘bottle in front of me’ than a ‘frontal lobotomy’.”  Well, sadly, that’s how it is with most people.  The “cure” is often worse than the disease (and definitely so in the case of frontal lobotomies, which were brutal).  Unfortunately, many choose to ignore problems (like the drunk in this joke) because it is a lot “easier”.  But, painful as some things are the remedy has to be employed.  One time in Florida at the beach, when I was 15 or so, a little kid got his ball caught in a palm tree.  I, in shorts and bare feet climbed the palm tree to get it for him; but was unaware that the bark of some palm trees has thick, stiff hairs, which, on the way sliding down I received as reward for my good deed several hundred splinters in my feet, toes, sides of my feet, knees, elbows, palms.  soaking my hands and feet in hot soapy water, and having mom and I both pull them all out, or as many as we could, was no fun, but it had to be done.]


Someone asked / commented: Now that explains so much. Thank you. I just do not know how to counteract. I get responses that she is leaving me even while I am in the middle of going to great lengths in helping her with projects that she is doing and enjoys, but which require a lot of time. If I kid around with her she blows a gasket. Any advice?

My reply: Prayer. Hormone replacement. A bomb shelter.  A good supply of extra gaskets.  And a double dip of understanding and compassion.  Think of it as 2 mental patients helping each other.  The best course of action is to take a breath.  Step back.  Relax.  Don’t “re-act”.  Pray.  Give God time to work.  As the story goes: A man hired a plumber and asked how much he charged.  The plumber replied, “$100 / hour if I work alone.  $200 / hour if you help me.”  Robert