This is something that I’ve thought of in defensive and angry contexts but am now thinking about when I’m not triggered…
Some people who I talk to totally understand weird crazy shit in my brain. I can talk about a reaction to something that I know isn’t a rational or logical reaction, and they get it.
It’s fine that they don’t. In fact, how unsarcastically amazing for them that they can travel through life without this thing in their brain that makes them not react in unhealthy ways.
That wasn’t one of my cards. Am hyper-aware of that. Done lots of therapy. Am relentlessly working on myself and trying to heal wounds from decades past that keep getting ripped open by assholes present.
I suspect, at this point, that this will be a lifelong process.
Part of me is envious of people who don’t have this problem.
Part of me wonders if they’re just lacking self-awareness and don’t know they have this problem. (Unlikely.)
Part of me knows that they have other problems and we just don’t happen to talk about those, or those aren’t problems I have and am therefore not hyper-sensitive about, so they don’t set off the same reactions.
Part of me is grateful for my path, because while it has been really hard much more often than I’d like, it’s made me a hell of a person now. And I know that all hell I go through now or recently or soon will only serve to make me better.
Because I’m introspective. Because I’m resilient. Because I own my shit, learn from it the best I can in the moment, and move on to the extent that my crazy brain will let me.
Which is not to say that people who have had a mentally easier life can’t or don’t have any of those qualities—anyone could have any of those qualities. And the act of living through struggles doesn’t grant you introspection or learning—we all know people who have been through hell and are bitter, nasty, judgmental people as a result.
I was recently introduced to a podcast: Armchair Expert. Dax Shepard, a person I was previously unfamiliar with, chats with a different person each week. I’ve only listened to a few episodes, but I’m enjoying it. Easy on the brain, which is what I was looking for. (Most of my podcasts induce a lot of thinking, and I wanted something…different.)
Anyway, he sat with Jay Leno on a recent episode. What was striking to me about it was how differently they’ve experienced certain similar things. Dax points it out several times—”so that’s how a mentally healthy person thinks about that” (or similar). Which is what got me to thinking about it. Even though this is supposed to be a podcast that doesn’t make me think.