No offense to Dee's two degrees or Jo’s mom, but I’m not a big fan of therapy. I tried it thrice and didn’t get much out of it besides a whole lot of "So, what do YOU think?" In each case my issues arose from stupid habits like hanging on to jobs I despised. When I lost the habits, the issues went with them. The therapists, bless their earnest little hearts, had little to do with it.
(If you have any sort of affection for me, you might not want to read the rest of this post. I, however, need to purge this crap so that I can get to work.)
Lately my mental scene’s been a bit trickier, as I’ve been grappling with scenarios less superficial than whether or not to barf after dinner. Or pondering them, really--to be grappling with them I’d have to be actively engaged. That is the real issue.
I used to drop by Plain Layne sometimes, before she opted out of blogging [Ed. note: she was back about two days later]. Her space was never dull, not with Josh and Ryan leading the commenting chorus. She hooked me with posts about her birth mother and taking in a young mother and baby. Good stuff. But what really got me was her straightforwardness, and the way she could crystallize her emotional state in two or three sentences. She seemed to write from her core. I want a core!
I am extraordinarily jealous of people like her who can harness their innermost emotions and thoughts. Maybe I surround myself with these beings and gorge myself on their writings to make up for my own deficits. (If you are reading this, then it is likely that you are one of the hosts I parasitize.) Impossible to explain how exciting it is to be with people who have great pulsing plasma clouds of intellect and fury suspended over their heads, whose every word crackles with energy. Too bad I don’t know how to have a non-superficial conversation with them--my energy tapping process could be streamlined.
My own core just isn’t there. Well, maybe it is--I don’t know. But if I dig down I hit a tough, fibrous sheath, and whatever’s inside is alien to me. I’ve never bothered to break through. Never needed to, until now. On the off chance that it contains a magical source of strength and endurance, I need to break it open. I need to do it now. People are depending on me. So my fingers are the hammers, the keys my chisels. Chip, chip, clickety chip.
Here’s how the sheath works: it’s a network of my basest and purest emotions. They stay so tightly woven that I can’t wrest them free, nor can new ones find purchase. This means that, from what I can tell, I am a cold and calculating person for whom much of life is an interesting sociological experiment.
There are exceptions, of course. Nuclear torpedoes like coming home from a party at which a dear friend hadn’t shown up, and being told by my mom (ER nurse, plugged into such things) that the friend had swallowed a shotgun blast. Anger. Quick on that one if someone is fucking with my family or friends, or assholes are making decisions whose effects they can’t possibly comprehend (those fuckheads who got the "partial birth" abortion ban passed had best pray they’re at least fifty feet away if I ever get my hands on a red-hot poker). But usually, I’m observing rather than connecting.
Probably the best example of my onlooker’s approach to life happened during college, when two boys let me juggle them for over a year. I couldn’t believe they’d let me switch back and forth every few weeks, but they never turned me away. It was fascinating, to a bent girl. The power of sex? Again, I don’t know.
One boy was an ass and a loser, and in his case I’m not sorry. But the other was a sweet, funny physics boy who offered to stand up as the father of my child after the ass’s condom broke and I got knocked up and the ass tried to sue me for custody. (The baby was born a month early, so the ass found out too late that his 30 day window to prevent the child’s adoption had closed.) Ah, physics boy, I hope you and your rheometers are well.
Emotional remove did not serve my family well in Leelo’s case. This is not happening, this is not happening, this is not happening, for months and months and months. Wasted months. Were they critical? Did we miss our window? Since the medical and psychology communities know fuck-all about the causes of autism, we’ll probably never find out.
And now the hand grenade, the reason I need to crack open my chest and rally: My wee seven-year-old second cousin needs help.
[several paragraphs deleted]
It looks like the next step is the one that gets us actively involved, the one that we can’t take back, the one that commits us [deletions]. The one I need that magical core for. Chip, chip, chip. There'd better be something inside.