CTNAHM: A Tale of Two Doctors

By Aletha

Originally posted on Yllom Mormon

Created To Need a Help Meet, pp. 128—130

Today we get a lovely little anecdote about how members of various types of men appear in real life. Just a disclaimer, this is Debi’s story, through Michael’s words, so things get a bit…murky sometimes. Are you ready?

The Good Doctors

Yesterday my wife went to a new medical clinic run by two chiropractors. The clinic is more like a fitness center with many people in a large room, some participating in individual therapeutic exercises and others in group exercises. The doctors pass from person to person, occasionally stepping behind semi public enclosures to adjust people.

Two things stand out to me. First, it’s a bit odd that they would go to a chiropractor. If you browse their website, it’s all about natural healing. Yes, there are occasions where they discuss doctors, but chiropractors seem way out of the realm of “country living folk”. The other thing that I found odd, was there was no scathing rebukes about the “semi-private public enclosures.” I would think that people from a culture that stresses modesty would be more…scandalised by the set-up.

Yet even in the midst of this controlled chaos she guessed the two doctors’ types as soon as she walked in the door. The one doctor looked like he would be more at home with a football in his hand than holding a clipboard and studying x-rays. He was slow, kind, and was standing behind the counter looking earnestly at the other doctor for a final decision. The second doctor, whom I will call Dr. Command, was keyed up, very aware of what was happening all over the clinic. He walked with a laid back authority that oozed confidence. A Command Man, but the bold and busy setting suggested a Visionary had been here. Where was he?

I’ve said this before, but knowing just by looking someone’s type is so, so, so judgmental. “Oh, this doctor is looking at the other doctor for a decision-he must not be a Command Man!” What if the patient was the Dr. Command’s, and the other doctor wanted to make sure it was right? What if Dr. Football was new? Or was a fill-in doctor? What if the patient had a weird injury, and Dr. Football wanted to make sure he was explaining it correctly? My point is, seeing a person for 10 seconds, and deciding what “type” they are is ridiculous. Because there are things called circumstances, that can make people act in different ways. This is never taken into account, nor is the idea that their judgement could be wrong.

When she was taken into the small consultation room, the first doctor came in. He was a gentle giant and clearly a Dr. Steady. She told him “You look like you had rather be playing football than fixing backs.” He smiled, shook her hand with his huge mitt, and began to tell her how he was accepted into professional football but Hurricane Katrina changed his plans, since that was where the team was located. This doctor was nearly 100% Priestly, so he sure was not the man who was responsible for the structure of the clinic. She didn’t ask, but I bet he played defense rather than offense on his football team.

Interesting. I was curious how Hurricane Katrina effected the New Orleans Saints football team. Apparently after Katrina, the stadium was used as temporary housing. While the team couldn’t play any home games there, they practiced in San Jose California,  and then set up temporary headquarters in San Antonio Texas. They even played a few games that season at the Louisana Tiger Stadium (a college team). So it really seems odd that Hurricane Katrina would change the plans of the doctor, because, apparently, the team kept playing-just in different places.

I’m still trying to figure out how Debi knew he was nearly 100% Priestly. Because Michael has made it clear that Steadies are “hardhat workers” and “taxpayers” and work in factories. From what he’s said about Mr. Steady, he wouldn’t be at home making the life-or-death decisions that doctors sometimes have to make. And, call me crazy, but being a doctor takes at least some kind of leadership. Either you work at a hospital, or in a clinic, or open your own practice. Who would trust a doctor that has to look to another doctor for every decision? “Oh, sorry Mrs. Jones. I think you have the flu, but let me go ask Dr. Command down the hall…While I’m there, I’ll ask him what meds to give you and he can plan out your course of treatment. It won’t take more than half an hour.”  Yeah…that sounds like it’d work out well.

Dr. Command Man entered the small room and the congenial atmosphere was instantly gone. After a quick introduction he immediately began teaching Debi how the human body reacted to certain problems and how it could be corrected. Clearly there was no need to be friendly or conversational when there was serious business to attend to. If I had been there I would have concurred totally.

Stop the ponies. Debi went into this medical center alone? She was in a room with 2 male doctors by herself? And Michael let her? Michael, who wrote:  A good husband will not want his wife out at night in compromising or risky situations, like shopping alone. So shopping alone is risky, but being alone in a small room with two male doctors is completely harmless? Riiiiight.

Not to take Michael’s side, but from the sound of it, Debi was in the room with Dr. Steady for quite awhile before Dr. Command came in. If time is money (and if one makes their money by the number of patients seen), then why wouldn’t Dr.C be brusque? Not to mention the busy schedules Doctors have, especially if the clinic had “many people” in it.

When he stopped talking, she changed the subject. “So you obviously love to communicate?” He visibly relaxed. His voice reflected his earnestness. “Yes, I have a worthy message and I like to pass it on.” It was then clear that he really was a Command Man but with enough Visionary in him to dream and bring it to pass.

I don’t get this paragraph. If I was Dr. Command, and I just explained the body and what was going on, and the patient looked at me and said “You love talking, eh?” I wouldn’t relax. I’d get snarky and say something like “Well, considering my job is to make people feel better, and I can’t follow them around all the time making sure they do the right thing, then I guess I have to talk a lot!” I wouldn’t bother with that “worthy message” nonsense-I’d be mad!

Also, I am struggling to figure out how saying “I have a worthy message and I like to pass it on.” equals Command plus a bit of Visionary. That sounds more Steady to me. Command would be “You need to hear this, so pay attention!” and Visonary would say “How cool would it be if you did this? I designed a pamphlet with all this info in it! Look at the font!” But maybe I’m confused somewhere.

When she hesitated making a long-term commitment for treatment, his countenance again visibly changed and this time it was not positive. He was ticked. His Command image spoke, and without actually saying these words his message was clear, “I am the doctor here. If you want to do the right thing you will do what I say, the way I say to do it.” His drive to be in charge (King) and his vision (Prophet) will help him succeed. It will make him a better doctor and cause the practice to excel. He will not be satisfied with what the doctors before him have said is the best way of doing things. He will search until he finds his own answers.

OK. I can see a Mr. Command saying this more than I could the whole ‘worthy message’ bit from above.

Dr. Command/Visionary’s choice of a secondary doctor was excellent. Dr. Steady will make everyone feel cared for, special, and safe. No one will feel rushed with his slow patience, kind regard and willingness to speak of his own personal life. The patient will not get lost in the rush of making Mr. Command/Visioanry’s dreams come true as long as Dr. Steady plays a role in their recovery. It was a good working team. I told Deb to decline the program since it was obviously set up for more youthful bodies.

I agree. This sounds like a good team. Maybe I’m biased, because this is the dynamic of my husband and I. I am the Command/Visionary that is more efficient than personal. And he is the Mr. Steady that makes people feel cared for. Though I am wondering what kind of doctor’s office doesn’t have different levels of programs that cater to differing ages and levels of treatment.

Dr. Command Man is almost like a superhero character. He likes to save people from harm. He is into dramatics. At this time in his life he is not married, but when he does marry he would do well not to marry another superhero type. He would take her success as competition. His ladylove needs to be the same type as his partner, Dr. Steady. But chances are he will marry a superhero lady because those people around him that he listens to and appreciates will assume he needs a counterpart as a wife. He will listen and choose to please them.

Interesting. Dr. Command refuses to be “satisfied with what doctors before him have said is the best way of doing things”, but will listen and heed others’ advice about whom to marry. Is it just me, or does Michael seem to not have a very good grasp of what his types actually are/do.

Oh, and it is completely possible to have two motivated, “superhero” people in a successful relationship. Just because someone else succeeds, doesn’t automatically mean the other one fails. In fact, a sign of a healthy relationship is being able to be happy when your partner succeeds. Those who want their partner to never excel more than themselves are usually not mature enough to be in a healthy relationship. It’s a companionship-not a competition!

And so will begin the struggle of supremacy. If he is a wise man, or seeks wise counsel, he will choose someone who has one purpose in life: to help her man shine brighter, climb higher, and become better at everything he does. He needs a steady, hardworking servant who will not bring attention to herself in any area of life. She will knock off the brittle edges, and he does have brittle edges. People will wonder what he sees in her and why he would choose such a nondescript lady. But if he loves her and puts her at the head of his team, she will soon lose the retiring image and become a leading lady made in his image.

This section chills me. Michael is commanding men to find ladies that will serve them, not outshine them, and do nothing but help their man attain glory. This is not a marriage-this is servitude. A healthy marriage is between equals who want what’s best for each other, and help the other one get there. Not an “unequally yoked” pair, where one of the couple’s job is to do nothing but “help” the other.

I’m also a bit creeped out, because the sections about the three types of men were called “In His Image”. As in the image of God. And now Michael is saying that a proper marriage is one where the wife becomes a leading lady made in the image of her husband?? Talk about idolatry! Not only is Debi’s book promoting equating one’s husband with one’s God, Michael’s book is saying that men have the right-nay, the duty-to mold their wives into their image.

Nowhere does it talk about what the wife wants. Only picking a wife that is nondescript enough to not attract attention for anything other than being the wife of such a great man. And that makes me sad.

Next time, following this train of thought, we get to hear what Michael thinks the wives of the two doctors should be/are. You should feel privileged that Michael would share his Prophet skills with us lowly readers.

About Libby Anne

Libby Anne grew up in a large evangelical homeschool family highly involved in the Christian Right. College turned her world upside down, and she is today an atheist, a feminist, and a progressive. She blogs about leaving religion, her experience with the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements, the detrimental effects of the "purity culture," the contradictions of conservative politics, and the importance of feminism.


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