20 March 2007

Ego Bruise

This Tuesday's Brain Dump is of a bit of a different tone that usual. But as I have said, the Brain Dump posts are always going to be about whatever is running around in my head. As Scary says, "So mote it be!"

I was handed my ego back with a bruise upon it the other day. The less said about the circumstances, the better, the latest in a series of cringe-worthy events in my life. It wasn't a personal attack, and wasn't really aimed squarely at ME, but it felt that way. The confident facade that I show to the world every day hides well the little girl who wants to run to her mum for comfort. I have worked hard to have a very confident exterior, hard-as-nails, cool-as-a-cucumber, takes-no-shit, but it started as an act back in my teens. Eventually, I grew to believe my own hype, and now, when I tell people that I was a painfully shy child, they don't believe it. Maybe I should have gone into the performing arts, been an actress. Anyway. I was talking about being bruised.

My first reaction to this bruise was typical: ouch! And then: DAMN! I was angry. How dare the implication be that my time, me!, wasn't worth all that much? Then, predictably, the thought following that was, 'well, screw that, who needs it? Glad we got that sorted before *I* invested anything else in it.'

I went through a couple more stages of various angst before I simply accepted what's been done, and was able to quietly take a deep breath and move on. When I reflected back on it, I thought that this was quite a lot like the stages of grief, as taught to me by my psych profs back in my Uni days.

Thinking about grief always makes me think about my cousin J, who died in 2005 on Mother's Day at 28 years old, leaving behind a husband and three daughters. I've written about it before, here and here, and have no urge to revisit any of what I've already talked about.

I usually wait until the anniversary of my cousin's death to write about her, and it is coming up, but not so soon that it is quite 'time' to scribble about her. Ridiculous notion. As if I'm not thinking about her, randomly, all the time. All sorts of things remind me of her. I even thought I saw her the other day, but when I looked again, the woman looked nothing like her, and remembering that she's gone all over again was a jolt. I think that this year I will refrain from marking the anniversary of her death because she wouldn't have wanted a fuss made, nor would she want to be thought of in terms of the horrible week following her death, I think she would prefer a celebration of her life.

And it is life more than death I'd really like to talk about. How strange it is, what a juxtaposition it is, that as much as I celebrate being alive, and think that life itself is proof of some higher power, our heartbeats and our every single breath a little miracle, that I am a passionate advocate for the right to die, palliative care, and abortion rights? Plus I'm an agnostic, that does certainly not believe in any patriarchal organized religion, or 'God' in the sense of the male, Judeo-Christian supreme being.

I'm thinking about the Idiot Administration's catch-phrase, "Culture of Life" when they talk about the anti-choice movement. As if anyone who does not buy into that crap believes in a culture of 'death'. I'll say this for the republicans, they've got the better spin-doctors of the moment.

Anyway. I've wandered far afield of the original intent.

Which was? Oh, that having my ego bruised the other day, being hurt, was almost a reaffirmation of being alive. I have been feeling mostly numb over the past few days and that bump was a wake-up call. I've been hurting so much in the past couple of months, in such a bleak and difficult spot mentally, that I have not felt much of anything. I *don't* want to go back on antidepressants, something I've been able to stay away from for more than two years, but this little bump I've got on my soul reminds me that if I have not been feeling pain, I have not been feeling joy either. Not feeling joy is worse than not being able to feel any pain. Sometimes it WOULD be preferable to be numb than to be in so much pain, but that even keel of no pain/not too much joy is very elusive.

I also don't really want to share this information with anyone outside of the computer, because as easy as it is for me to blather on about me, me, me in real life, it is very hard for me to articulate this vague something-terrible-is-going-to-happen feeling, this sort-of despair, when my life is pretty fucking fantastic, and I have no right to complain. Employed? Check. Married? Check. Roof over my head? Check. Good friends? Check. Enough to eat? Check plus... Good relations with most of my family, no abusive past or addiction problems to over come? Check. So grow the hell up already, Lucy, and get your head out of your ass.

That's the easy answer. Too bad it isn't the right one. When I do figure out what the right one is, I will let you know.

Listening to: Incubus, Morning View, "Are You In?"


MotherMe said...

Nothin' useful to say, except that I've read.

Writing is therapy. So is coffee and chat... at least, it works for me!



Lucy Arin said...

I'd like to think that I don't need psycho-therapy...can you imagine having to try to find one that isn't a misogynistic asshole? (I just read Twisty's most recent post and am reeling.)

But I'm trying hard to work it out inside my own head. I will survive and thrive. Given time.