It’s getting easier to not repeat myself, either in my journal entries and emails to my therapist, or to other people. I had so much in my head and so much to say for so long that I would often tell the same story to different people and then forget who I had told, which made me feel stupid. The more I write every day, the easier it is to have a cohesive thoughtstream from day to day that doesn’t spit out as much repetitive material. It’s not just the writing, though: I have a definite sense of “rejoining” myself after having been split into at least three pieces since May 2018. There was me, experiencing life in the now, and there was another me, looking ahead into the future, along with a third me, sitting to my right side and observing me. The other two mes were like feedback mechanisms, telling me the information I’d need for whatever it was I was doing. Since then, at least insofar as dealing with my therapist goes, there have also been three mes: the me that comes to see him in his office, the me that sends him emails, and the me that does art. I’m hoping we can get the three mes, and any other mes in here, all working a little more cohesively. Maybe he can help me peel the crazy off of my experiences, because I’m having a hard time doing that. I’m stuck in the indefinable gray zone between crazy and not crazy, at least as far as our society goes. For a civilization that seems so fixated on religious and spiritual rightness, Westerners are awfully quick to dismiss intensely spiritual experiences as “crazy”. I guess it’s okay when your governmental officials are saying things like God surpasses the laws of physics, but if someone not rich, white, and Christian says they’ve had a beautiful vision of the Universe, well then that person must be nuts, especially if they’re a woman.
I have, of course, been thinking of Neil Peart quite a lot these last few days. The first day I was just in a daze, like someone had hit me really hard, but the next day I was more weepy. Sunday was better. I make no bones about the voices in my head, and I felt privileged to hear his deep, booming voice in my head for a few days. It comes and goes, and I don’t know if it will stay: I’m just a mortal, I don’t know how these afterlife things work, other than believing firmly that we each get a choice as to what happens to us when we die. I get the feeling he wants to stick around, if for no other reason than to see how things turn out for his wife and daughter, but I also get the feeling that he’s happy to be with his first wife and daughter, whom he had not seen for so long. It’s also my opinion that Mr. Peart may have been one of the greatest magicians on the planet, and if he wants to split his soul’s time between his dead family and his living family, he can probably do just that. Time and space no longer work for him the way they do for us, and given his nearly superhuman powers behind a drum kit, sometimes I wonder if they worked the same for him even here on Earth.
On a more personal level, I feel his death is giving my inner toddler a chance to process our own father’s death from 1974, the same year Rush got their start. People often express the wish to be able to process an earlier time in their life as they would if they were that age, only with the knowledge and experience of an adult. I seem to be strangely lucky enough to be getting that chance, and am in enough touch with my own inner psyche aspects and facets that I can sit myself down at the Mental Dinner Party and have a good chat. It used to be quite noisy at the Dinner Table, with a lot of people coming and going, and many arguments punctuated by the occasional food fight. But I knew they (I) were working something out, sometimes a lot of things, and when they get chatty, I know to do something quiet in the now and just let them chatter away. When they’re done, they’ll give me a report, and then we (I) will proceed accordingly. For now, the other attendants at the Dinner Party are doting on the toddler, who occasionally gets mad or sad that her daddy isn’t around anymore, but then I play her some music and give her a treat and she’s happy again.
I’m going to have to ask my therapist about the pace at which I seem to plow through my baggage. I recall when I first saw him several years ago inquiring “how long” it would take to be done (clearly not recognizing that a human being isn’t a project that is “done” until death), and he gave what was at the time a somewhat infuriating answer: “Longer than you want, but shorter than you think.” Thanks, Obi-Wan. He recognized my impatience at the time but likely saw that I wouldn’t take kindly to the information that a person with as much baggage as I have could expect to spend a rather lengthy amount of time sifting through it. Years, in all likelihood.
Well, it’s been almost a year and a half since I started therapy, and while I’m not always so sure how much work I get done while in sessions, they still make me think, which sparks the emails and journal entries I write. So while we may not have a standard back-and-forth banter like one might imagine in a therapeutic setting, there’s still processing and information exchange going on. I say “exchange”, though I think the flow has been largely one way for a lot of this time and the poor man has just been waiting for it to slow down enough for information to go the other way. Plus, I’m pretty good at analyzing my own problems, so some of the smaller stuff that may bother other people enough to need discussing in therapy aren’t as much of a problem for me. On the other hand, I’m sure things come easily to others that befuddle me. As I described myself last year, I tend to be quick to see what others don’t, yet also infuriatingly blind to the obvious sometimes.
I have no doubt that a great part of my ability to speed-process my internal baggage is having a profound desire to do so. It annoys me when others stand in my way, but when I stand in the way of my own progress, that’s when I get really irritated and generally call the Mental Dinner Party to a pow-wow to ask what the holdup is. Not everyone can do this, or even wants to, and I’m trying to be more aware of that fact. Even the psychiatrists tell me I have an unusual ability to talk about traumatic things that others don’t possess. I wish I knew what it was so I could bottle it and give it away: “Hey, you seem to be battling internal demons, here, chug some of this.” It might just be bravery, but being told I’m brave doesn’t always sit well with me, particularly if it’s the only response to a particularly revealing story or essay. It smacks of the Southern “bless your heart” to me, as though there’s an element of stupidity to my supposed bravery. I think that falls squarely under the category of “other people’s judgments”, though, something I struggle with ignoring. There’s a careful balance between self-awareness and self-consciousness: too much of either one can lead to paranoia (of different flavors). I’m not sure what to call the middle point between them. Just another one of the many poles in the multipolar sphere.