Tyler Mendelsohn

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Poppa Tyler…or The Secret Writings of Sigmund Freud

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chaplinUniversity of Baltimore MFA student Tyler Mendelsohn’s grandfather Poppa, the analyst patriarch in a family full of psychoanalysts, is “exploding with ideas,” a good thing — sometimes, though, he’s a very, very close talker, which proves more challenging.

The person whose company I most prefer at family functions, my grandpa—or Poppa, as we call him—has halitosis. And he’s become an increasingly close talker, as his hearing goes. Every family event, I face a strange dilemma: I can choose to have my brain tickled, while my nose suffers in olfactory agony, or I can ignore Poppa. My fondest memories, needless to say, are of conversations we had while sitting across very large tables.

A Finger on My Pulse

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image courtesy of irinagriskocritical.wordpress.com
image courtesy of irinagriskocritical.wordpress.com

University of Baltimore MFA student Tyler Mendelsohn has always understood her various disorders and neuroses — less so, her self.

When I was a kid, I kept my parents alive by finding all the spots on my body I could feel a substantial pulse, and counting and counting.  I still feel that the numbers 1 and 6 are neutral; 2, 4, 5, 7, 9 and 10 are lucky.  Three and 8 are bad.  Despite the overwhelming probability of anything I count ending on a lucky number, I often feel bombarded by 3s and 8s.

Both of my parents are psychoanalysts.  So are an unbelievably large number of my other relatives, but that’s a separate story.  When I was a kid, I realized that my parents were the most perceptive people in the entire world, especially my mom.  There was not a thing that slipped past my mom’s radar.  I always thought that all moms were like this, but I still believe that mine has a perception super-sense unlike anyone else’s in the world.  Sometimes, I feel like she knows what kind of trouble I’m getting into all the way from New York to Baltimore.  Over the span of my childhood, I was thought to have a cocktail of mental impediments to my highly praised and mythical potential: ADD, ADHD, Asperger’s, bipolar disorder, OCD, anorexia, body dysmorphia, narcissistic personality disorder, dissociative personality disorder, a whole host of learning disabilities, sprinkled with a healthy dose of paranoid delusions and separation anxiety.

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