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Thread: Diary Of A Redhead

  1. #361
    Platinum Member Jibralta's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by mylolita
    Today wasn't so bad. She didn't do anything wrong really. Maybe it brought up some past memories, or maybe I was just angry all over again with myself because, I knew deep down this wasn't working. I kept thinking, another one bits the dust.
    It really could have been nothing. She may have simply not felt up to meeting that day.

    I don't mean to diminish your feelings, but sometimes painful memories distort current situations.

    This phenomenon was vividly illustrated for me about 10 years ago (gasp).

    I tell the following story a lot, actually.

    In my journal, you may have come across the anecdote about my mom and the Christmas tree. This is not that story, but it is related.

    When my sister and I were growing up, my mom had a very unpredictable temper and the slightest thing could set her off. Life in that house was like living on a roller coaster. We learned to be ready for disaster at every moment.

    It became my understanding of basic human interaction: You should know the right thing to do without being told what it is. In fact, 'the right thing to do' will be hidden from you at all times. Bottom line is, you are going to f*ck up and cause problems. Don't bother trying to understand. It is completely unpredictable.

    I had no other baseline.

    Fast forward to my early 30s, when I started graduate school. I stayed at my uncle's house for long periods of time, because he lived close to my college. He and my aunt lived a laid back sort of life. Very different from my mom's modus operandi. I figured it was only a matter of time before someone's underlying anger bubbled to the surface. I had my aunt pegged for the insane one.

    But she wasn't insane at all. It took me two years to realize it. The way it happened was, she was setting up the fake, pre-lit Christmas tree. She discovered, in my presence, that the lights on one of the segments didn't work.

    In my mom's house, this would have triggered an eruption.

    So, I reacted to my aunt's discovery in the same way I would have reacted in my mom's house: total panic mode.

    I don't actually remember what my exact reaction was. What I do remember is my aunt looking at me in a faintly disapproving way, like "what is she going on about?", then taking up the scissors and peacefully cutting the defective lights away from the fake branches.

    Meanwhile, I stood there, heart racing, but thinking. In my childhood home, this would have been the apocalypse. Therefore, in the current setting, how could it be anything but?

    I slowly understood that this wasn't a disaster scenario. It was just light on a fake tree. I realized that I KNEW it. I'd always known that the drama was just B.S. But it felt so good to see it illustrated for me, by someone else--however inadvertently.

    Anyway, moral of the story is: based on my past experience I thought the situation was more of a disaster than it actually was. I discovered that my perception was actually very biased. But once I recognized the existence of my bias, it was extremely liberating.

  2. #362
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    How are you lolita? It's been a while. Did you give birth? :)

  3. #363
    Platinum Member Jibralta's Avatar
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    I saw this and thought she might have posted! Alas, she did not.

    Hope you're well, Lolita.

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