Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Tame the ghosts in my head

A really strange thing's been happening to me about 10 or 11 p.m. I feel tired. I lay down. I start to drift off. And my brain takes over. I don't mean the logical part of my brain that's spent the last year undoing years of emotional abuse. Or the part that takes an insult, looks at it objectively and puts a counter-argument next to it, nice and neat, in a column so when anxiety or panic sets in, I have a reasonable way to handle it. No, no, that part stays silent. The part that runs wild is the part that spent its formative years being insulted by someone who was supposed to love me. The part that thinks my writing is worthless and my passions are meaningless and the work I do to try to better the world will never amount to anything. The part that thinks I'm lazy and stupid and who will never amount to anything.

THAT part of my brain gets real active around 11 or so. And there's not much room for logic at 11 p.m. when you know the baby's going to be up in 7 hours and need all your attention. You know you're going to need to be ready for such ridiculous games as "how much milk can Goshie* spit out in one sitting?" and "how long will it take Goshie to figure out how to undo all the child-proofing hardware it took Mama and her crew literally 3.5 hours to install?". Not to mention the math homework you're making the 9 year old do all summer so you he won't forget it before 4th grade hits. Plus, you're going to take everyone to the pool for merriment despite the inevitable migraine it brings on literally every single time you go. So you try to silence that voice. The one that says you're an idiot. The one that says you're worthless, a lousy housekeeper and really, when it comes right down to it, not much of a mother either. You think of the things the counselor had you physically write down as counter-arguments to those statements. You try to repeat them. Sometimes it works, at least half-heartedly. You repeat them. By the second run through, you're basically going through the motions because you're not sure you believe the insults OR the counter arguments anymore.

And that's really the problem. You find yourself going through the motions. Oh sure, there are the moments that really, really, profoundly matter. The hugs and kisses with the kids. When Nathan smiles sweetly at you and tells you "I love you Mom." Or, when Joshie grabs your hand for a quick impromptu dance to Mumerd and then claps his hand and says "up, Mama, loaf you". The sweet snuggles before bed when we read and say prayers. The quiet nights with Mr. Wonderful who is full of sweet things, compliments and plenty of his own counter-arguments to those insults and anxiety-inducing thoughts.

But the problem really comes that when you've spent so long trapped somewhere you didn't want to be, you find it hard to trust that you deserve genuine happiness when it comes along. So you question it. You push it away. You fight against it, when there doesn't need to be a fight. If you're lucky, and I am, your guy will see what you're doing it, call you on it, and remind you he's not going anywhere. He'll remind you that he thinks you're worthwhile, he sees about 1001 things to love and he'll never be going anywhere because this thing, and you, are worth it, worth everything. If you're really lucky he'll remind you of those 1001 things until you start to say maybe 2 or 3 things that are worthwhile. Maybe even eventually you can think of 5 or 6 or, hell, 10 or 12.

I'm not sure where I was going with all of this. Except that sometimes I need to brain vomit onto paper Blogger. What is it Hemingway said? Something along the lines of "there's nothing to writing, you just sit down at your typewriter and bleed"? I think that's pretty close. I'd like to say I think I'd do less brain bleeding/brain beating myself up/brain-being-riDUCKulous if I actually had tv and could still watch Leno and Conan at night. Therefore if you'd like to chip in money so maybe someday I could have DirecTV or satellite or something, feel free to send me money. Or pay me to be adorable. Or pay me to make you cookies. Or pay me to brainbleed for you. Or pay me to stop brainbleeding for you. I don't know, something.

Go to bed Erica, you're drunk. I uhh don't actually drink. Can one be drunk on Bigelow's Sweet Dreams Tea? That might be the case here. Go to bed Erica, you're tea-drunk. 10-4 Good Buddy.

*"Goshie" is actually how Joshua pronounces his own name. It's the most adorkable thing ever.

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