Purple Banana

Lately that that tape has been playing in my head, you know the one (Doctor, everything’ll be all right … sorry, reflex) – the one loaded with every negative, bad, mean thing that anyone ever said to me?  I do wish we could find a way to reverse human nature so that the stickiest parts of our brains were the ones that have been influenced positively and have the very best moments of our lives permanently attached and could be presented, ad nauseam, live and in technicolor.  Someone find me a team of scientists to get right on that.

My tape has such awesome moments as that thing an ex said long after he broke up with me that I think he honestly thought was a compliment but was actually super mean, the time those boys asked my friend why she brought her cow to the pool with her (moo.), those things that a couple of people said when I broke up with them (point accomplished, apparently), the words a boss said instead of “thank you” after I busted my ass for 16 hours doing the jobs of 3 people on a moment’s notice at one of the hardest times in my life personally, the lies of the person who one-night stand-ed me (and hello, truth would have been TOTALLY fine, you sorry ass coward – I one-night standed someone and had the balls to say so, chickenshit), the sneering condescendence of a certain teacher when I couldn’t understand something and asked for help  …  No need to go on here because I’m sure everyone has their own tape of ickitude that gets plenty of play at times.

So how do you deal with yours?

I’ve made multiple decrees in the past along the lines of I’m not going to take it anymore, I’m going to live the life I want to live, No one can hold me back but me, etc., and I do still believe in all that.  Previously, when I’ve made what feels like yet another decree, I’ve felt like I failed on the ones before.  Now feeling, I don’t know, shifted again since my last one, I realize that it isn’t failure; it’s maintenance.  Everything in life needs maintenance.  No one is magically cured of their misgivings, regrets, or painful moments, and “finding yourself” the first time (or the third or the tenth) doesn’t make it a guaranteed lifelong change.  Once you figure yourself out, it takes maintenance to remind yourself who you really are and to constantly update the file because of course we will still change along the way.  So I guess when the tape starts playing is a good indicator to stop and reevaluate because something in my life isn’t playing out in a way that is true to who I am or who I want to be.  If those prompts are coming up that press play on that sucker, then I’m letting something happen that is making me feel bad about myself.

Damn, that was kinda deep.  And stuff.

So now I guess it’s a matter of figuring out what it is.  For me, right now, there are a couple of things.  

[ed. note:  This writing was started a few days ago.  The original text is in italics.  Today’s update follows.]

The first is huge and utterly beyond my control.  It’s worth waiting through, but not something I can do a damn thing about.  That’s a tough one because it isn’t something that I’m remotely willing to walk away from and yet I still need to find something that I can do personally that will bring me some sense of relief.”  A few days later and I’ve been made painfully aware that my thought process was very, very wrong.  Waiting is not an option available to me, so I can only progress to maintenance of my self and soul. 

The second problem is also something that I don’t want to walk away from, but definitely need to change the parameters of and I’m mostly at a loss on how to do that.  I’ve found a lead on something that I hope will help, and I have ideas of how I want things to look in the end.  Now it’s a matter of getting there.  I think I took a step today, but I’ll have to wait a few days to see if it pans out.  If not, then it’s time to reevaluate the strategy again.  Still in the waiting-ish stage on this one, but I’ve taken more steps and am feeling a little stronger in my choices that they may actually work out as intended.  My perceptions have had to change just a bit because of changes to problem #1, but things still look positive on #2.  That is a very, very good thing.

Third, I need a freakin’ hobby.  I’d like it to be something that gets me outside and moving but is something I’d enjoy and doesn’t put me in a position to feel unsafe.  Dave Barry said that, “There is a very fine line between hobby and mental illness.”  His context was great, but taken for my context, he’s right in a different way.  Not having hobbies lends itself to mental illness because you’re not doing things that fill you back up after you spend day after day giving yourself away.  I need infusions of goodness and fun, simplicity and kindness, activity and well-earned rest.  I need to be a better friend to myself.

I’m very hopeful that these steps of maintenance and updating will put my tape player back into the cobwebbed corners of my mind, covered in dust, where it belongs.

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About dyskinesia

Woman, mother, human being, grammarian. I have Attention Deficit Disorder. My child has Asperger syndrome. Philosophy, laughter, therapy, living. Life after divorce.
This entry was posted in Decisions, The Ugly Truth, Therapy, Who am I? and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Purple Banana

  1. crisi-tunity says:

    I used to deal with the tape very badly: by letting it run over and over and over and over and OVER while I looked in the other direction with my fingers in my ears and went “la la la”. This one time, thinking about something that happened in 2005, I got tired of hearing it and turned directly toward the tape and said “So, what bothers you about this incident so much that you need to relive it like this?” My brain stuttered out an answer, and then a better one, and I worked mentally through the whole thing, and then it was gone.

    (That incident was gone. The tape deck is indestructible.)

  2. Oregon Sunshine says:

    I woke Bad Pants in the middle of the night a couple weeks ago with tape deck type garbage having to do with my ex. It was stuff I either suppressed or consciously forgot about, but still stuff that impacted me and the way I felt about the ex. I talked to BP about it, then fell asleep, dreamed about it, replaying it in my head and was miserable for a couple days. Then, one night, in the dream, I changed my responses to the ex and the situation. I woke up feeling better about myself. But, I was reminded why I hate (yes, a strong but warranted word) the ex.

    I usually talk and talk and talk about it until I process it enough to let go. Sometimes I need verbal validation, mostly, I need to talk out loud to process stuff myself. During that time, I end up listing reasons why “X” isn’t a valid statement about me, reaffirm it a bunch with said talking and then am able to move on. It really helps if whomever is listening knows you well enough to help you make said former statements invalid about yourself.

    I don’t think this is much help. If we were closer, I’d help any way I could.

  3. Heather says:

    You already know that I’m not the most forgiving person, so the ‘tape’? She’s always running.

    I’m with you on the maintenance. It’s not failure to change directions or plans of attack. You have to be open to the flexibility because nothing is absolute (except the vodka chilling in my freezer). I think we set ourselves up to fail when we DON’T allow for change and make resolutions to do things that are unrealistic and unattainable. Constant maintenance is the way to go and you’ve got that down. 😉

  4. Dyskinesia says:

    You guys crack me up – and hey, the vodka moment was totally true! 😉 C – I used to deal with the tape by believing it; therapy and pharmaceuticals are good. And Oregon, I’m absolutely a talker too – even if it’s to myself. Finally with all the bluetooth headsets, I fit right in. 😉

    I totally agree on the flexibility and the challenging and the total validity of having a listener who knows you/gets you – let’s face it, we all need to be understood by someone. I think another thing that is true is that you also have to love and trust [u]yourself[/u] and get to know yourself well enough to know when it is demons talking and know when it is just an indicator of something — maybe it’s unfinished business that has to do with the tape, but maybe it’s just a prompt for something you need to be dealing with in the present instead (such as in my case).

    I like the idea of challenging the tape, especially when some of the talk is from people that one can’t or wouldn’t care to actually challenge anymore (those boys at the pool are 40 now; it’s their 13-year-old selves that I want to drop kick, not whoever they are now). It’s my story; I can write it however I want, as long as I’m caring for myself and being honest with myself in the process.

    Thank you ladies! 🙂

  5. Oregon Sunshine says:

    Now I feel extra bad that we didn’t come up for WEG and that we won’t be making it this weekend either. 😦

    If we lived closer I’d listen. And I’d help you find hobbies outside the house and heck! Even do them with you. I’ve gotten the feeling from TB and BP and blogland that we have a lot in common and would probably get along fabulously IRL.

    • dyskinesia says:

      Well, if you ever do get ’round this way, would love to see you – entering the winter season, maybe I should come your way instead though! I definitely need a prodding to get out of the house more (working from home has its downsides that way), but I’m trying. The lovely fall weather most definitely helps, so I’m very in my element with that right now. 🙂 I would have loved to make it to the WEG myself, but not in the budget I’m afraid. I’m at least in a good spot for other events routinely if I decide to go that route; not something I’ve taken advantage of since being in this locale, and I really should!

      • Oregon Sunshine says:

        How ’bout the Derby? We’re thinking about coming up then. Or, if ya’ll come south, there are tons of things to do here. And if you’re interested, I have horses too!

        By June 2012, we have to make a decision about where in the US we’d like to live as BP’s work is pretty portable. All we need is to be within 90 minutes of a decent airport (ie, not Helena, MT) and we’re golden. He’s been talking TN, KY and ID. The last because of his parents. So, who knows where we’ll go yet?

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