(Stained Glass Masquerade – Casting Crowns)
I recently saw on facebook one of those type this into a text message and pressing only the middle predictive text, finish the sentence things. So, this one started “I couldn’t live without.” My phone finished that sentence with “my knowledge.” That seemed super stupid at first, but after further thought, I think there are aspects of that sentence that might be true. One of my strengths finders strengths as a first year in college was input. In their words, collection and gathering of all kinds of information is important, or in my words, I am a ferocious consumer of information. I have a need to know things and I would have a very difficult time if I wasn’t able to obtain knowledge. So I guess all that to say, I know cognitively that it is okay, and even good, to cry. But I’ve noticed that even when I am completely alone and there is no reason I shouldn’t cry, I still hold in the tears. I think there are a lot of reasons. One is definitely the abuse and fallout I experienced.
When I was a third year, the abuse was very obviously worse if I showed any negative emotion. Like it says in the book “Scattered” by Gabor Mate, “conditioned fear learning is particularly resilient…and in fact may represent an indelible form of learning.” So I learned that showing emotion, particularly negative emotion, was dangerous. Once this has been learned, it is quite difficult to unlearn, especially when it was compounded over the next few years. In September, I had to sign that I would not tell anyone what had happened or was happening, including not being able to tell them that I wasn’t allowed to tell them. There is only so much the deer in the headlights look can get you out of. I knew if I was caught crying or otherwise visibly upset, I was likely to be asked what was going on. I couldn’t tell unless I was willing to risk losing my student-hood at least temporarily while the legality of the contract was investigated. I couldn’t truthfully say or acknowledge that I didn’t want to talk about it, because I did want to talk about it. I needed to talk about it, but it wasn’t safe. If anything slipped, there was a direct threat to my security. Sure, at times there were things it would have been reasonable to blame the upset on, but I am truthful to a fault, and if it wasn’t the primary problem I was going to have a hard time using it to cover up the real problem. I’m not saying the sparsity of my tears compared to the depth of my pain this year at not getting a residency was completely my abuser and my school’s fault – it wasn’t and isn’t. Although that is a strong contributor, even before that happened I was someone who was fiercely protective of people and therefore want to avoid burdening them with my issues. Even before that happened, and probably more before than after, I wanted to avoid too much attention on myself. I don’t like being in the limelight, and am much happier working hard behind the scenes.
Fear learning explains a lot of things that I wish could just go away.
Another concept from Scattered that I thought was interesting was that memories of something happening are stored in our cognition, but memories of nothing happening when something should have are more often stored in our bodies. These implicit memories cause us to feel things that more correctly belong to the past which is why we might not understand our own behavior, reactions, and emotions until we understand the memories we have been storing in our bodies and move those memories into our cognition…just something to think about…I think about a lot of things…like someone I saw on youtube talking about milk and cookies. Her explanation of how bad milk and cookies are made no sense biologically – she explained that milk cause the stomach contents to be too acidic which causes problems. I was only half listening at the time, so I couldn’t put a finger on why that seemed so dumb, until I realized that milk is a base, not an acid. The thing is though, that when the stomach becomes too basic, LES pressure decreases which allows stomach contents to come in contact with the esophagus. Too basic for the stomach is a bit dependent upon age, but in an adult, the stomach pH is usually between 1 and 3. Too basic could be like a 4, which is still quite acidic (to brush up on your chemistry, a pH of 7 is neutral, milk is an 8 or 9). So even the too basic stomach contents is much more acidic than the esophagus is intended to experience for prolonged contact times. That can cause erosion of esophageal tissue which can lead to inflammation. So the person on youtube got the end result correct: inflammation, but the whole series of events to get there was completely wrong, as was the location of the inflammation.
This is pretty unrelated, but I recently discovered the facebook feature that lets you see what you posted on today in the past years. Looking back is kind of cringe-y and embarrassing. Umm, apparently as a high schooler I sometimes posted like 5 or more status updates in the same day…compared to now where it is quite rare there are even five or more posts in the same week or sometimes even month, much less the same day. Yeah, once in a while there might be two posts the same day, but it certainly is not common now. Also, it is super obvious that I used written words where my spoken words failed me, which is to say if you didn’t know how I used facebook at the time, it looked like an extreme case of overshare. What you don’t know, is that I said very close to zero words out loud at the time. My primary spoken vocabulary was hi and my name. This was supplemented for in person communication with nods, headshakes, and, well, writing. When writing is your only means of communication, you naturally are going to share a lot more. This is also why I was pretty selective as to which friend requests I would accept…and it is also why it is/was so devastating for someone to block me on facebook. Blocking me on facebook is essentially blocking me from relationship with you. Imagine if someone quickly walked away if it appeared you may speak, and refused to speak with you around. It would feel isolating, wouldn’t it? So anyway, I was looking through the list of posts, and thought today’s were a pretty good representation of me.
1 YEAR AGO
…yes I am wearing a soggy t-shirt…it may not occurred to me that if I wanted to wear my back-up pajamas as real clothes I might need to wash the shirt before this morning so that it didn’t smell like pajamas…oops…there are certainly worse things than a soggy t-shirt…lol, like I could call it moist…how many people hate the word moist?!
Umm yeah, a year ago at 6:07am I was sitting in my car in my soggy pajamas thankful that the staff wifi reached the street, because I had the ability to show up, but was struggling with the ability to let anyone know I was there. Actually, I used the staff wifi from my car a lot that year, because I desperately needed community, and being right there almost at church was super helpful, but I didn’t really have enough social confidence to actually *be* there, so I’d come, but not actually necessarily leave my car, or if I did leave my car I didn’t actually go inside – just as far as sitting under a tree on the median, or on the curb of the median.
2 YEARS AGO
Today if I were going to write an autobiography it would be titiled ppl respond to emails faster when you hit send…
Yep, as always, I struggle enough even with written communication at times that by the time I have written the email, I have thought about it so much that I can’t remember whether I’ve actually sent it…and sending it is also hard, so I might have thought about sending it once it was written every day for the past month, which does not help elicit a response any faster…see also why things become emergencies when I’ve had forever to figure them out…
3 YEARS AGO
knew I was forgetting a major food group when I bought my lunch today but couldn’t figure out what it was…I had the dessert group, the fruit/veg group, the carb group…yep, it was the protein group…and this is why I usually plan meals in advance…but my juice has 4%DV of iron, and that’s kind of like protein…right?…
Yes, when I meal plan, I more like food group plan…which is why I end up with meals like taco meat, gold fish crackers, an apple, and ice cream. None of the foods seem like they really belong together, but I got something from each major food group so it seems like an appropriate meal to me. This post also sparked a hilarious conversation about earthworms versus sour gummy worms. I laughed at work today.
4 YEARS AGO
…at least if I was going to really seriously learn that I shouldn’t be attempting to travel while significantly impaired by anxiety I did it in such a way that I didn’t endanger anyone’s life…and hopefully having a real consequence is enough to finally make the lesson stick…someone asking me questions BEFORE rather than AFTER I acted would have been really nice to prevent this, but considering the other ways I could have learned this lesson, I at least found one with relatively lower stakes…
I guess I kind of cheated – there were really two posts along these lines, because I posted one on each account and I have two facebook accounts, but they both essentially hinted at the same thing. I was really having a hard day and asked housekeeping to cut the lock off my bike. That was a bummer, because it was an expensive high quality lock. Yeah, my key broke, but I had a few more keys at my apartment…but they didn’t question whether I was sure or what I was going to do without a bike lock until after they cut the lock off. I’m sure watching my reaction was priceless as I explained that at home I had other ke…oh crap…I can act impulsively at times, and I do have trouble with thinking things through when I am really upset. There was definitely the positive side pointed out in both posts that I could have messed up some other way and for example been run over while running a red light…
6 YEARS AGO
can let the help desk find out in less than 12 hours why her computer beeps and turns itself off as soon as it is unplugged…hopefully they are less confused than I am…
Another one where I cheated and there were actually two very similar posts…so yeah, I have always struggled with technology. In this particular instance, my computer was at like 76% battery life, but would not stay on if it wasn’t plugged in…kind of a problem since I refused at the time to plug in my laptop in classrooms because the plug in areas seemed to germy. I rarely used my computer in class, but there were certainly times when it would have been helpful or even necessary.
7 YEARS AGO
“She who trims herself to suit everyone will soon whittle herself away. Stay true to you!” –post-it phrase of the day
thinks this weather is stupid…can we please have some weather that allows me to be outside??? My bike misses me.
occasionally entertains herself with the call duration information on her phone…in the past 2 months she has talked (well knowing me mostly listened) on the phone (received or dialed calls including voicemail) a total of exactly 27 mins…and the number is probs going to go down now that I can avoid calls even more with texting…definitely don’t use up my share of the minutes…
First one: yep, I have always been one who wants everyone to be happy.
Second one: classic me, not I miss my bike, but my bike misses me.
Third: Another reference to me and my social struggles. I think 27 minutes in two months was actually above average for me, and it was primarily listening to voicemail (usually from my parents) or calling my parents for a ride or to let them know I arrived at my destination if I had driven myself. The other *maybe* one or two minutes being telemarketers and the rare occasion in which a friend called me or I called someone else. Those occasions were exceedingly rare because I would rather send an email or even go across town to talk to someone in person than to talk on the phone (and I wasn’t such a fan of talking either).