Tag Archives: strangers

it’s not always anxiety.

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it’s not always anxiety.

People have always said that I have “such a great imagination” and it is!

It’s a great imagination! I mean, I have the most amazing dreams and I can draw things and I can remember things and I can visualize and I can mimic and I can create things!!!

…but I can also break my own heart. In fact with this great imagination, I can completely tear my own heart out of my chest, 10 times a day.

I can spend 3 minutes considering possibilities and scenarios that have probably never even crossed another person’s mind; imagining situations that other people might be in, scenarios that other people might have been in, might put me in…
Oh and the conversations I have in my head!
Wow… The subsequent fall out from those imagined interactions.

Oh reverie, what a cold bitch you can be…

I spent a lot of time alone when I was younger…
Out of choice,
Out of necessity,
Out of fear,
Dissociation… my head was my safe space…

I also read a lot; read a lot. I’ve decided that’s probably why I’m the semi functional adult you find here today…I can empathize and imagine reasons for every behavior, even to my own detriment.

That’s probably why I always liked law and social work… huh…

I remember going to school and regaling people with tales about “my friends” from somewhere else, telling my mom about “my friends” at school, and then when questioned, realizing I meant “Oh, I mean this girl, in a book I read”…

Now don’t get me wrong, I appreciate my “Choose your own adventure” brain, I do. I really do.

And honestly, the older I have gotten the more positive the potentials have gotten…

All the various versions of my world… my self imposed variable simulations that I run… they aren’t as dark anymore. Well, mostly not as dark anymore…

Sometimes they’re lovely little scenes that play out and comfort me;

My ability to put myself in other people shoes… to anticipate the next move… word… feeling… it’s a tool. Less a maladaptive coping mechanism now.

Somedays I even think, as I’m sitting at my desk, listening for the differences in one case to the next… struggling to check my bias and my imagination and then an oft random thought, it crosses my mind…

As I’m fake smiling at the person across the room…
Boy, had I the nerve I’d have been an amazing actress…

But I didn’t and I don’t…
But here?

Today?

In this body?

In this state?

In this life?

This version of myself?

I can convince myself we have a connection… we are meant to speak to each other. This is no coincidence, me being me, and you being you, and being here:

at this time,

in this place,

and now.

I have already run the paths, the various iterations of us, the probability, determined the risks to mitigate and the possibilities that we are going to have the most amazing life together.

But, we haven’t even spoken. Not really.

If we passed again on the street… I don’t know if there would even be a glimmer of recognition from you. But me?

Oh, I’d know you. Anywhere. I’ve seen you open your eyes while kissing me. Seen you cry at our first grandchild’s birth. You’ve held my hand while we were given the most heartbreaking news. I’ve watched you grow old, watching me grow old.

I’ve already loved you more fiercely than I’ve loved anything or anyone.

I’ve broken your heart and you’ve broken mine and we came back together so many times we’ve both lost count, because that’s just what we do.

That’s what we do for 33 years. 33 passionate years.

But we haven’t even spoken. Not really, not you.

But me? Well, I’ve got a great imagination.

Creepers!

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Creepers!

Given the populations I have worked with and my own issues, one could say I am a hyperaware parent. I wouldn’t say I am a helicopter parent, but I am slightly untrusting of the general public and probably have inflicted this upon my children a little too much.

However; I have always worked to make sure that they are critical thinkers who listen to their guts and stay aware of their surroundings. I think it is a good skill set which balances with the hyperarousal I may have passed on 🙂

The Girl Child initiated a conversation with me around Christmas about how it is kind of a mixed message that from birth we tell our children not to talk to strangers, take candy from strangers, etc. but then encourage them to sit on Santa’s lap, take candy from him, tell him secrets and expect him to break into our house and give us gifts. All classic grooming techniques.

I immediately thought of Jon Benet Ramsey, who was murdered around Christmas and was told by “Santa”  he would bring her a special gift after Christmas. No one has ever proved Santa did it, but that’s where my money has always been….Don’t worry, I didn’t share that thought pattern with her.

Just this morning, we watched a commercial that had M & M’s dressed as the Easter Bunny, sneaking through someone’s house and leaving candy for children. The Girl Child said, “See? Another creepy thing that we tell kids its ok to let in the house and as long as they bring them candy.”

The next commercial was one of those Febreeze commercials wherein they take people into scary looking places blindfolded and ask them to describe what they smell….

We looked at each other, reading each other’s minds.

These people let strangers with cameras lead them into scary places because they are told what? Who cares. It doesn’t matter what they told them. They have been told their whole lives strangers with cameras, ahem, candy won’t hurt them. Or will they?

We live in a weird damn world of conflicting mores and social rules.

I am surprised there hasn’t been a string of Santa, Halloween, Easter Bunny, Febreeze hostel serial killer situations in the media.

We want to think that the people we need to worry about all look like the people in this video:

But they don’t.

Have we outgrown the safety of our own traditions? Anne Frank said “Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart.”

Do you agree?

Do we need to change the mythology we pass onto our children?

“The world has changed. I see it in the water. I feel it in the Earth. I smell it in the air. Much that once was is lost, for none now live who remember it.” ~ Galadriel