Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Voices in my Head

Not those voices! Happily, I am spared delusions of voices telling me to...oh, I don't know... take off all my clothes and walk down Michigan Avenue. (And if that's what the voices would say, you should be profoundly thankful that I am spared. My comparative sanity allows for yours, in this circumstance!) No, it's the disparaging voice of Dave Rusin that lives in my head, and I definitely need to evict him!

Yesterday, the girl-child and I were cavorting in the waves (see below) and I learned that Dave arrived safely in Hong Kong, (Oh?? What for? With whom?) after having spent a week in London (Oh???? What for? With whom?) I realized almost at once that asking those questions (and I didn't ask out loud) was reflexive. I really don't care about the answers. I did care that he's off gallivanting on other continents and I was in... Indiana. I felt for a tragic moment like my perfect day was less-than and didn't measure up. If only I had been enough, shrewd enough, a person who planned ahead.... I too could be in Hong Kong.

But I was with Victoria, on the beach which restores me, far enough away from my troubles.... I knew enough -just barely- to avoid giving him the power to ruin my one and only vacation day. I told that voice in no uncertain terms to shut the #($& up. And it did.

The interesting thing was this (and don't say..."FINALLY, she catches on". I know. I know.) Victoria told me that he never asks how I'm doing. She told me that he understands that he's hurt the kids, but apparently doesn't believe that he's hurt or wronged me in any way. Until he left for London, he checked my blog almost daily -I assume for information he could use about my travels and resources. But he doesn't care how I'm doing; he probably doesn't spare me a second thought.

Which means...drum roll please... that the voice in my head isn't his. He doesn't give a flying flip. That voice is mine, projected onto him. Well, hell. To avoid seeming totally pathetic, I need to remind myself that I have decades of him belittling (very subtly, but very effectively) my efforts at almost everything. I think he needed to do that to make up for his own poor performance in some areas of his life. It made him feel bigger. But if I let him continue to do that, that's my responsibility.

The bad news is that I think this will be a very hard habit to break. When will I stop having conversations with him in my head? When will I stop wondering what he's doing now? When will I realize that it's been days since I even thought about him? There is no question in my mind that I am healthier than I was in October. I'm even healthier than I was a year ago, before I ever knew this was going to happen. But true health? Self-actualization? Thriving, at no one else's expense? That's going to be a long time coming. I wish there were medicine to quiet these voices that make me feel like a failure, equivalent to the medicines that work for the voices telling other people to do risky and risque things. Alas, I have to do the work of stilling them, like everybody else who's tried to reclaim a life :(


Lisa :-] said...

Decades-old habits are hard to break. But they will fade with time and distance from Mr. Voice-in-your-head.

lonelywombat said...

I had to face up to my nightmares in the form of seeing my daughter's dad this past week. He seemed to be aware that I was not overjoyed to see him or to be around him. However I was polite and said the nice polite sorts of things you say. He could have said things to make it better but didn't. The part that makes me mad about him yet today, he gets to have the wonderful adult daughter I raised up all alone, walk her down the aisle and I never once got a tiny thank you from him. Men are self absorbed hair balls.