Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I'll Just Not Hear That

It's a particularly dysfunctional thing I do. Information that I don't want or can not absorb, I just find a way to not let into my consciousness. We have plenty of evidence that I do this. I hear you. "Really? You BELIEVED that your husband was working late all those nights? Seriously?????" It's a fair question. I did. And I believed that his public shaming of me was accidental. He just didn't know any better, I hypothesized. And, I do this in a thousand other ways that have nothing to do with Math-Rat.

On some level, the psyche is hard-wired to do this. Massive trauma can be buried entirely, until -or unless- the person is ready to deal with it. Even with sudden horrible news, such as news of an unexpected death, we can step outside ourselves and watch the information sink in, one tiny step at a time. It's healthy and protective that we have this skill. But like anything else, it can be over-done.

I have to un-learn this pattern, just a bit. For months now, the message from my friends has been "slow down.... you're doing too much." Picture me, with my fingers in my ears, singing "la, la, la" at the top of my voice. Andrea pouts.... donwanna hear it... won't hear it... you can't make me. I've even postulated that people advising me to slow down are engaging in a strange hegemony, asking me to want less, settle for less, to BE less.

But I think this is information that I need to let in. I'm not at all sure what I'm going to do with it once it's all the way in, but I think I may have been conflating slowing down with settling. But what the heck does it look like to simultaneously slow down and yet claim that you want to play in a bigger game? Seriously, on the ground, what does that look like? Or is full-speed-ahead, leaning into your life the only path that is going to work? Trying to break my thought habits may melt my brain. Stand by.

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