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Dr Jerry last night. I was so mentally disheveled – just talked in circles and cried and apologized for my lack of mental organization. I’m rarely that scrambled… I just kept saying “I’m sorry, I don’t know what’s wrong with me.” He instructed me to stop apologizing – that everything is connected and sometimes talking about it is the only way to realize how they relate to each other.

I started by talking about last week’s blog drama and how upset and betrayed I felt. How I had relocated my blog, locked it down, and was feeling very defensive and reactionary. He told me that I had bought into “the hysteria.”

hys·ter·i·a n. Behavior exhibiting excessive or uncontrollable emotion, such as fear or panic.

And I realized he was right. I can usually manage to separate myself from the “excessive behavior” of others when it comes to petty, ridiculous issues that ultimately just don’t matter. But during the last week or so, I’ve completely bought into it. I involved myself, participated, and made it even worse by acknowledging, and therefore validating, the behavior of others.

Actually, the word “hysteria” applies as well to some of the reactions I’ve witnessed to the presidential election. Wow, people, get a grip. Breathe in. Breathe out.

So I’m stopping. I’m attempting to no longer participate. I’ll let y’all know how that goes.

Which brings us to the question: WHY did I allow myself to be sucked in? The answer: Because I was unusually emotionally vulnerable last week. There was a series of unfortunate events that made me feel very exposed and out of control. Once I started listing them for Dr Jerry, it fell into place. NO WONDER I’ve been overreacting to every little thing. NO WONDER I feel like I’m emotionally hungover this week, complete with pounding headache and queasiness. Once I separate, compartmentalize, dissociate myself from the emotional roller-coaster, I realize that there was some heavy shit last week that knocked me out off my already precarious perch. And as a result, I became reactionary and volatile and psychotic.

  1. My almost-job became a non-job. Thus relegating Bobby and I back to that dreaded place of financial instability. We are perilously close to a financially scary place, and the safety net just got jerked away.
  2. Susanna’s moving out. A good thing, but one that I’m dreading. Bri’s right – I’m actually suffering from “empty nest syndrome” on some level… this house is going to be so damn empty.
  3. I’ve been feeling a bit like a social pariah. The almost-job would have been a great social network with people that I already know and like. This blog has become much more socially important to me than I ever imagined it would – and the realization that the public isn’t always kind or understanding made me feel like I had been betrayed. Sue’s become more than my sister – she’s become a friend – and she’s leaving and I know that, on the friendship level, I’ll be replaced by the friends that she’ll make. I think the last few months of unemployment are finally catching up with me socially – I’ve been isolated, sad, and increasingly lonely.
  4. I was rejected as a substitute for Sue’s parent by the loan companies. Thus emphasizing the lack of my father’s parental participation. Thus highlighting the fact that Mama’s gone and we really are ORPHANS.

    or·phan n.
    1. A child who has lost both parents through death, or, less commonly, one parent.
    2. A young animal that has been deserted by or has lost its mother.
    3. A person or thing that is without protective affiliation or sponsorship; not supported; isolated; abandoned.

  5. And the worst one: last week, Daddy started regularly talking about remarriage. This upsets me moreare-you-my-mother than I’ve been willing to admit. I’ve been reacting with a strange, cynical detachment to my father replacing my mother. But this is a BIG DEAL. I’ve been telling myself it’s not a big deal. But how could it NOT be a big deal?

And so when the family drama entered the picture, I overreacted even though it was silly, petty, and completely not that important. Whew. Funny how making a nice detached little paragraph for each crisis makes it a bit less overwhelming.

We had a children’s book when we were little… I’m not sure what happened to it, or if I would keep it if I did actually still have it. It was entitled “Are You My Mother?”… a title that now makes my heart hurt. A baby bird is hatched while his mother is away from the nest. Confused because he’s been denied the experience of “imprinting,” he asks a cow, a dog, and a bulldozer “are you my mother?” Of course, at the end of this particular story, the baby bird is reunited with his mother in what Amazon calls “a glorious moment of recognition.”

Huh. There’s a bulldozer making a huge mess down at the end of my street. Perhaps I should go inquire… Um, excuse me. Are you my mother? No? Well, you’ll do… I have pretty low standards for parental participation these days.