March 6, 2017 (Monday)

by Yule Heibel on March 5, 2018

This morning, in an hour or so, I’ll be driving A. to S. for his operation. I hope everything goes really well and that he has a super-swift recovery. I know he’s obviously somewhat scared–which is normal: there’s general anesthesia involved, which carries risks, and the invasive extraction of four embedded teeth–but it’s interesting that I, too, am grappling with fear and worry about this. Again, obviously I should be concerned. It is, however, also touching a nerve for me around loss–the fear of it, anxiety around it. I can’t quite explain it, but it’s part of a pattern, and it goes something like this: the person (or persons) I love most in life are in pain or danger, and I can’t help them. Further, even if I could help them, they wouldn’t let me, or would laugh at me. (Sound familiar? It should. It is of course the story of my childhood, my interactions with my parents.) The only thing I can do effectively is to be an even worse wreck than they are, even if this, too, is ignored (because, paradoxically, I have also become extremely adept at hiding my own pain). Hence, the self-destructive behaviors and the fear of success. If I come too close to it (success), I might take away from the importance of others’ pain. If I can’t help the others, I should hurt myself instead. It’s fucked up, but I think this is what’s operating, what’s preprogrammed, somehow. Perhaps the one time I really left it behind was when I had babies, young children, teens, because their survival and mine was at stake, was inextricably bound together. And curiously enough, I felt a real surge of power in those days, a wholly unfamiliar feeling at first, but one which I came to associate with love as well as being comfortable with being authoritative. Not authoritarian, but authoritative, knowing almost instinctively, in at least a Big Picture kind of way if not down to every detail, what to do and what was right. Somehow, the way I had been brought up wasn’t part of it (this new knowledge, this love and power), wasn’t anything I could really draw on. And yet, there it was.

Last night I had some key insights into another issue, totally different issue–and I didn’t make a note of it, didn’t write it down. This morning it’s gone. Lesson: write things down, dammit. My subconscious, especially during these cusp moments, wants to be heard more often these days. And I should be paying attention more.

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