Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Necessity of Silence

Yesterday I was a little quiet in the blogosphere, a little quiet in the head-o-sphere as well. It was necessary, because actually while "I" was quiet in my head, my demons and devils were pursuing me with all of their might, desperately trying to pick a fight, desperately trying to make me do something I would regret later. What I have learned over the past 2 weeks: when being chased by demons and devils, please do not do what they are asking you to do!

How incredibly funny, really, that I could ever think of following the guidance and advice of the thoughts in my head that have my well-being at the very bottom of the heap. And yet I've done it so many times. When I follow those thoughts to their ultimate conclusion, deep down into their rabbit holes where no light or sunshine or God's radiance is visible (though it is there!), all that is visible is the despair, all that is visible is how deep in trouble I've gotten myself. And man, that just sucks.

The demons and devils yesterday were playing this fun game with me: anybody I love (locally) who I haven't heard from in the past oh, say, 15 minutes, or if I've called them or sent them a text or an email and they haven't gotten back to me yet (because they are busy and have lives) and I do mean quite literally in the past 15 minutes, my demons will catch hold of that person's name and love and memory and they will start to torture me with it. "this person hasn't called you back because they don't love you anymore. they have found out the truth of who you are, they've seen right through you, and they don't love you anymore. don't you want to find out if that's true? don't you want to confirm that your worst fears are true? i promise you, if you reach out to them and tell them everything you're feeling right now, they will verify it. they will. that's why they haven't called you back. they want you to go away and leave them alone." Scary, isn't it? It was that kind of energy that made me post the entry that did, in fact, really damage one of my favorite friendships - expressing my worst fears, which had absolutely nothing to do with my deepest experiences.

A few years ago, I was doing some research on narcissism after being exposed to a pretty powerful narcissist (who was such an incredibly important player in my life, who still is. I have a whole novel dancing in my head about this magician. I'm so thankful for everything he's done for me!), and I read that there is a sub-type or a sub-clinical symptom or something like that in the narcissistic personality spectrum in which the personality assumes a degree of "invisibility," as in they don't consider themselves memorable and so they assume that the people around them do not have a thread of connectivity or recognition towards them. They assume that they will be forgotten, and they do not expect that people will recognize or remember them, even after many exchanges, and they do expect that even people who have claimed to love them will forget about them - out of sight, out of mind. This manifests in behaviors like the long-suffering do-gooder (and that would be me), or in the big, puffed-up, attention-seeking-and-hogging classic "narcissist" who is doing everything in his or her power to make sure that they are remembered.

It's taken me a long time to admit that I recognized myself in the description of a narcissist, even in that tiny bit. I do assume that people don't remember me. Over the past few years of living in my new adopted city, I have made more of an effort to connect with the random people I exchange with - my juice guys, my whole foods guys, etc. - as well as with my clients. Being afraid to be forgotten, I have a frighteningly good memory with names and faces, while always keeping my own identity somewhat anonymous. But what this means with my demons and devils is that they torment me by telling me that I will be forgotten. Not just remembered poorly - FORGOTTEN. Out of sight, out of mind, baby. And as a result, I am terrible at staying in touch with long-distance friends, because I assume they have forgotten me. Seriously.

Now, I don't have this misconception to a pathological degree - just to an inconvenient degree. I'm very glad to have seen it, both in that website and in my own behavior, because it has helped me get over it to a very large degree, to the point now where it's pretty laughable. Until I have a day like yesterday, in which there is panic and fear and a sense of loneliness and isolation and not-knowing, and it's not so funny anymore. Or, rather, it's even funnier and I don't get the joke.

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