In search of monsters

I’ve been in therapy for nearly my entire adult life. My dysfunctional upbringing is something I blog about often. In the moments where I feel like I’m finally normal, it’s easy to forget my damage and blend. But then the moment passes and I realize I’m trying to do just that. That’s when my depression is the hardest to cope with.

My compulsion to heal is to keep my damage from hurting the people around me. The reason the cycle of dysfunction and abuse continues is that we fail so have awareness of the impact it had on others.

We go out in search of monsters to slay only to realize the monster was in us all along. Do you follow through and slay it? If you don’t, know then in whose interests you truly set out for in the first place. If you do, you martyr yourself for the sake of the common good. That the world would be better off without you. That the lives you touch are better off not having known you. That at best you were an ineffectual consumer of resources but at your worst a cataclysmic disaster that destroyed the beauty that surrounds you.

Reinforcements 

“We cross our bridges as we come to them and burn them behind us, with nothing to show for our progress except a memory of the smell of smoke, and the presumption that once our eyes watered.”
—Tom Stoppard, Rosencratz and Guildenstern Are Dead 

 My brother has been in touch lately. He’s keeping me in the loop as my mother plans to relocate from Massachusetts to the Poconos. She’s threatening to report my brothers car as stolen and have him arrested if he doesn’t cough up some imagined debt (which if you speak narcissist is only a ploy to get moving funds). It’s so frustrating when you can’t do anything to help, but I can’t get involved with her again to save my brothers beloved car. What kind of mother would do such a thing?? It just reinforces my decision to cut ties. 

Waxing Poetic

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I often wonder if we are a less mythical as a modern society compared to worlds like the Game of Thrones universe where gods are palpable and their powers felt more magically. When I began to expand my own understanding of the how’s and why’s of my world, It was during my first year of college, during an intro to philosophy course. The required text was an enjoyable read, and I found myself in a rapid expansion of my limited existing knowledge base, replacing myth with theory.

From there, I set off on a journey of self discovery, which ultimately tried to piece together a unified theory of life, the universe and everything. What I believe, is that religion is a social construct that provides guidance and group consensus on how to survive in tightly packed groups and not kill each other. I think it’s a framework of social control meant to pass on a subset of acceptable behavior because we were evolving into a densely populated society.

As we developed a need for social mores, adding a shared belief in a deity to a commonality among the people created a unity, something to root for. I think there’s just a lot of unexplainable things and affixing them to a mysterious all-knowing divinity is a way of humanity’s awareness of itself.

I feel like there’s a lot of coincidence in life and there’s an energy that connects and flows among all things. I don’t feel like when you did you remain yourself, but the body dies, and the highest part of your soul rejoins the ether, becoming part of all and perhaps born again. I feel what I would consider to be deeply soulful connections with people and am stirred on nearly a spiritual level when I’m with certain individuals and completely existentially drained when I’m with others.

Do I ascribe to a religion? Probably not, but if I had to identify with one, I’m probably closer to Buddhist than anything else.

A thing that happened

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I got an email invitation for a secret retirement party for one of my colleagues. She’s a nurse, and has been working in our field for as long as anyone can remember. I’ve collaborated with her on a few assignments, and she’s just an outstanding person all around. I hate these retirement parties that our hospital usually throws because it’s always a Friday afternoon tea and uncomfortable and awkward. But for her, though, I was definitely going to make it.

It was a happy little gathering, but I noticed my boss had sent an “informational meeting” request to our team before I left. It was scheduled for immediately after the party. Okay, I thought, so I won’t get lunch or whatever, I’ll just come back straight after. The coworker I do not get along with was already there when I arrived, chatting up someone in a similar print dress as she was wearing. You could feel how angry the woman, who is usually so flawlessly appointed, was sitting next to my coworker who was dressed just like her. Only not. I gave her a pointed look across the room, and she gave me a knowing eye roll back.

When I got back to the office, and sat down for the meeting in our conference room, my boss announced that the person who was retiring had little more than a few months to live. Turns out she’s retiring because she’s got inoperable, super aggressive cancer. I was sitting in stunned silence, trying to hold it together and failing. Tears began to slip down my face as he laid out what was happening. My coworker who was also just getting this same news at the same time, had an altogether different response. It was almost like she was enjoying the bad news, like she was feeding off of it. She wouldn’t stop staring at me, making references to me every time she spoke, as if calling attention to me would somehow give her more access to my growing discomfort. At one point she asked me directly if I’d signed a square of the remembrance quilt they were making for her. I didn’t answer. My jaw clenched as I looked right at her, daring her to say one more word to me. She didn’t.

For the record, I didn’t sign a square of a quilt for her. What’s the point? What good does some “funny thought” that they want to add to a pile of fabric going to do? In a month or so, she won’t be here to appreciate it, and someone will have one more thing to go through as part of her estate. I am not good with grief, but this kind of stuff just shuts me down. I’m lost to the futility of it, what good does it do? Why should I have hope when an amazing human being is being ripped from us, and the people who remain are the assholes like my coworker who seemed all to comfortable basking in another person’s pain?

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