Conditional Musings


“One thing you who had secure or happy childhoods should understand about those of us who did not: we who control our feelings, who avoid conflicts at all costs, or seem to seek them, who are hypersensitive, self-critical, compulsive, workaholic and above all survivors…we’re not that way from perversity, and we cannot just let it go. We’ve learned to cope in ways you never had to.”  ~ Piers Anthony

“Anything that’s human is mentionable, and anything that is mentionable can be more manageable. When we can talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting, and less scary. The people we trust with that important talk can help us know that we are not alone.” ~ Fred Rogers

“Unlike other forms of psychological disorders, the core issue in trauma is reality.” ~ Bessel A. van der Kolk, M.D.

What kinds of moods might be evoked by monotonous weather? I’ve no desire to answer that question, but I do admit that the monotonous weather is starting to annoy me. Yeh, it’s partially concern for the lack of moisture, and the danger of fire that is engendered by such dryness. And I feel resentment for the lack of snow because the optics of fresh snow are so utterly entrancing to me. Snow delivers its built-in smile, and its silent melody. I could use some of that right about now. And all this from a guy who has long been fond of saying “Nature makes no mistakes”. Only once has this statement been impugned. I said it to some guy and he was quick on the uptake: “What about the platypus?”. And I was like dude, really dude? Anyway . . . what it really is about is feelings. I’ve been semi-casually observing my own behavior lately, trying to see if I can see myself as others do, or at least . . . well, it’s a thought experiment, but I am also aware that it can be a therapeutic exercise, one that softens up my rigid self-consciousness. A thought came to me as I was driving down to Ranchos yesterday to pay my phone bill (not a relevant detail, but that’s what I was doing, k?). Is my rigid self-consciousness an after-effect of brain trauma? So I googled it when I got home. Yes, it can be. This is one of those things I will never know for sure. My current model of regarding behaviors that might be perceived by others as egotistical or even arrogant by others is fueled by the fear of my cognitive faculties slowly eroding due to the brain trauma back in 1984; another thing that is not possible to know. Someone I know, who had trauma more severe that mine, was sharing about their recovery efforts after an accident that brought on the trauma, and I was like wow, cognitive therapy?! I’ve covered some of this in my book, and probably in this or my previous blog. After my accident there was nothing, no treatment, no support in recovery. It was as if nothing had ever happened, yet to me it was all real, simply because it was all real. It is said that you can’t change things in retrospect. And that memory is somewhat arbitrary and thus unreliable. I don’t totally agree with that but I do acknowledge the relative uselessness in such a ‘what if?’ obsession. The point here is that I had to engage recovery on my own, with no guidance to speak of. For the first two years daily reality was, for all intents and purposes, all dreamlike; each and every day. All of it. It was the realm of angels and demons, and I had them both, each and every day. Because I’d had an NDE concurrently with the trauma I felt protected during those years, but I still developed an intense focus on myself as a means to survive some very primal fear that just happened to be with me, each and every day. Please spare me the admonitions about having no clinical diagnosis. I know that, and I consider that to be irrelevant. I died, I came back, and the world I came back to was totally new, totally weird, and really really scary. Furthermore I had to deal with a brain that had been rattled around in my skull like jello (probably lime jello). And the tool I had to use in fixing what I wasn’t really so sure was actually broken was the self same brain. I came to refer to that puzzle as bootstrapping. Silly me, I actually thought I’d made that word up. That’s how far gone I was. Which brings me back to this morning. Let’s leave it at that ’cause I am on the edge of diving into psychoanalysis here. Besides. it’s time to feed the cat. I can certainly afford to leave my state of mind be for now. For some reason I am remembering Kenny Rogers singing, “I just stopped in to see what condition my condition is in”. Yeh, what he said.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

2 thoughts on “Conditional Musings

    • Thanks for stopping by! And welcome to my blog. The trauma was from a near-fatal bicycle accident, many years ago. I wrote about it, or at least mentioned it, countless time in this blog. Have fun reading!

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