Tuesday, July 15, 2008


What to do. My brain dulled by summer and the full-time surround of kids and kidsounds. I don't think even the book chicklet recommended can help me. She described my experience so accurately:

" Sometimes, you want to post about the things that mean the MOST to you, but you're just not sure how to put it out there in a way that makes it REALLY make sense, you know, in the way it does in your HEAD"

I flatter myself. She's more spot on when she talks about "
your brain's just FRIED and you're having one of those "dumber than a rock" moments."

Call me Petra. And I flatter myself to think it's just a 'moment'.

BUT, I found the solution to having "That Man Was A Bastard" on my opening page for weeks.

I give you:


I have 38 years of intact diaries floating around. Surely that can be good filler material? Sort of like having a rock quarry in my back yard for building a road, should I need one.

So, for my first installment of excerpts, I offer Existential Angst, from August 1993 (I'd been married for 16 months, about to turn 37 in Oct. I wasn't even thinking about kids.). The therapist I'd been seeing for seven years, Sharon, and I had terminated our therapy relationship in January. That had been an unhappy experience for me.

Sometimes my terror is about how alone I really am. I don't really experience it as terror (like extreme fear for my survival), though I used to, I think, when I'd see The Abyss. Perhaps the abyss, which I've worked in lots of metaphores--in climbing, boating, in the story of my mom blaming me for the lost puppet and I circled a large hole in the field, looking for it there, in the bottom-of-the-well analogy--perhaps the "gapped rage" discussed in Earth Spell also symbolized this abuss (or the Abyss symbolizes the gapped rage.) Back when I was a teenager and aware enough to experience these feelings as an Abyss, come to think of it, was when I was very aware of how alone I was. I had a slew of very complicated feelings and found when I tried to explain them to someone else that the someone else would be hearing something that was different from my experience. It was frightening especially when I realized I couldn't even explain my feelings to myself in ways that matched what I was feeling. Then I would wonder if what I was saying was REALLY what it sounded like to other people and I was "just" denying it because it sounded bad. And then it would seem I "should" accept the other person's version of it because if I didn't it meant I was just making excuses. Then it seemed that the feelings I had around that (of terror that maybe it was RIGHT to accept these other's interpretation) were further proof that I should accept the other's view. It was a horrible bind.

Somehow, Sharon was able to interrupt that cycle, but there were times even with her where I felt she pressed her overlay onto what my feelings and experience meant. (This, even from the person that I was lucky enough to feel as close to perfectly understood as I've ever felt with another human being.)

So there is a way I can never be fully understood by Another, and in that sense I'm alone.

I've sought understanding through the route of explaining my interior experience perfectly enough to match it. I usually fall short, and despair. Its complicated sometimes when I try this with another person and I sense they have another interpretaton. That increases my discomfort, especially if I sense their interpretation may not be favorable to me or may involve a judgment.

(An added twist is that I wonder if my discomfort comes from "knowing" they are "right.") (Especially since I'm well aware that our defense mechanisms may keep us from being able to see ourselves objectively, even if its in our best interests to see ourselves as we are.)

So there is comfort to be found in thinking that light can be shed on some of these convoluted areas.


Douglas W said...

Have you ever read Peter Berger's book "The Social Construction of Reality"? or the TV series and book "Ways of Seeing"?

What we see, the way we see it, how we interpret what we see, how we understand it - we assume others see things and understand things the same way. But do they? Ever?

chicklet said...

I'm glad the book could give you an idea to pull from, and a whole new tag for your site:-)