Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Tuesday 02/21/06

A friend of mine called last night, & hearing something dangerous in my voice, tried to spy out what it was & why it was there. When I repeatedly changed the subject, they said, "You don't like to talk about yourself much, do you, kiddo?" Huh. Interesting! I LOVE to talk about myself! Me me me me me... hey, it's why lots of us have blogs, right? But sometimes it's just not the best idea.

Healing.. helping.. doing nice things for people you care about. We often call those things "selfless", and in a sense they are. We do them because we want the people we care about to have the most pleasant life possible, & if we can do anything to effect that, we do. At the same time, we do get a return from doing those things. Sometimes it's a material return, sometimes it's knowing their lives are a little better... but there is a return. There has to be! Emotions don't run counter to the laws of physics -- what goes out must come back in or eventually it will be gone. There has to be a gas tank somewhere inside you that holds everything you are & everything you have to give. No matter how efficiently you run, or how much surplus you do or don't maintain, when you give out to other people, someone or something has to fill you back up at some point so you can continue to give it back out. Some people take... some people give.. the best relationships have over time a healthy balance of both, even when the balance tips one way or another now & then.

Of course, there are different sorts of fuel that are compatible with different areas of your life. I'm incredibly blessed that I have more than one friend who understands this concept - cognitively! - and who work to keep that tank (mine & theirs) full with the type of fuel(s) they can create. Some kinds of fuel are signature marked - can only be created by a particular person or persons, or situation, or combination of situations. Some fuels are cross-compatible, and some aren't. I guess that's a trigger for me: When the tank gets low, there aren't any reserves, & the source for what I need makes itself scarce, that's a bad combination: trouble hits.

As I get older, and particularly since B was born, I find that the things I feel on the spectrum of emotions are often so much more intense than they used to be. Especially negative emotions - pain, sorrow, anger, abandonment... sometimes I see them coming & sometimes I'm surprised when something triggers them. I wish it were the other ones! Euphoria would be so much more pleasant to feel in that sort of intensity. When they wash upon me like the tide crashing on a rocky shore, it's all I can do to contain them from spilling over onto the other people around me & damaging not just me but them as well. Oh, but I have a sharp tongue that is very very good at saying things that slice & damage. Things that may be true... but that don't represent the whole truth, or often even most of the truth, just the most cutting parts of it. These emotions can be so wild & powerful that the only thing I know to do is to initate an immediate emergency lock down of self to protect those around me. At least then the damage they cause is limited to the inside of me.

It's not usually very long before such wild passion wears itself out crashing about inside me. Then I can begin to assess the damage, & hope I managed to shut down before much slipped out. Then I can think about the causes & reason what I might do to avoid that particular trigger in the future. I can only change myself, so what was it in me that allowed (or created) that sort of response? Occasionally I find that there just isn't anything left in myself I can tweak or alter or adjust any more, that there's instead an outside influence of some kind that has to be removed. Or that I am the influence that must be removed from the situation. But the vast majority of the time I can move something around in myself to make the ebb & flow of emotion & thought more functionally pleasing to all in my life.

If it's a person who is the cause of the trigger, they could shut it down far more quickly by diving in & holding on tight... could heal the cause rather than simply letting me limit the damage as best I can on my own... but most people simply don't care that much. I've only been surprized three times in my life by someone actually doing that. All of them created and reinforced a lifetime sort of bond in their respective moments. My Mom shouldn't have surprized me, because that's what Mom's do. But I guess some lessons we have to learn in life are obvious ones, and sometimes the people we love & count on the most are the ones we most need reassurance from. Trixy, isn't it? For Tammy, I think, her choice to dive in & save me - us - was intentional. Twenty five years later she's still here.. I'd say that's a pretty good argument for intention. For him.. well.. the jury wavers. I'm often afraid that what I see/saw may be only accidental byproducts of who he is & not intent. I carry within me humanity's frailings: I fear and I doubt.

Another friend of mine doesn't like my analogies - First, she worries that containing that sort of raging passion damages something she cares about - me. That the damage is greater when kept in a small space, and that it would be better to let those passions out than to keep them in. But then, she doesn't feel them. (These - I'm sure she has her own!) And even if she did, she is the sort of person who would simply absorb whatever damage was dealt for love of her friend & then find a way to heal herself. She is truly a healer - she makes it her life to reach out, feel for what's hurting & do everything she can to fix it in the people she loves, even at the cost of herself. May all the gods bless her and hers for all of eternity! Second, she worries that I don't hold other people responsible enough for how they make me feel. I understand, and when reason comes I have to take into consideration whether or not there is enough return in my life to keep them around... but I can't change them. They can, if they care enough, but I can't. I only have jurisdiction over myself.

So until something better comes along, if I want to protect the people I care about, I just have to shut down til the passion subsides, then think... analyze... talk... change... whatever it takes to make things work again. With luck & love, I won't have to do it alone.


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