Thursday, November 29, 2012

Outside In

This isn't going to be one of those beautifully poetic posts waxing about life, love, and the pursuit
of happiness.
It's going to be more of the type where I sit, in total perplexion (I just made a word up, I'm sorry, it's my license right now) and look at my life and say: what the fuck?

I stepped outside myself several times yesterday, as I was emailing my friend A. this morning, describing said phenomenon.  I was, between the hours of nine and ten in the morning, at my therapist's office, the place I go for help, and she was busy writing some summary notes in my chart at the end of our session, and my mind was free to wander.
First, I rooted myself by looking at the calendar on the wall behind her.
November 28th, check.
My appointment date, check.
I'm thirty-nine-years-old, check.
I've been targeted at my place of work by a person who clearly has some serious issues and is 'not being heard at home' as my friend A. so accurately describes it when people feel the need to 'project' like this. 
I am moved by this to thank God for my own hideous self-awareness, that has plagued me from childhood. Check.
I am looking now at the painting that hangs behind the couch my therapist sits on during our sessions (yes, she sits on a couch, I on a chair, it's a nice reversal of the New Yorker cartoon depictions of therapy and its many patients-on-couches). It's a blue watercolour, it's a building with little definition except it's definitely square, and it might be a church, or it might be a prison (that got me thinking to how often these two entities can get confused in our busy modern lives).  And I thought about how life is sometimes made up of a zillion tiny observations, and sometimes, our treatment of one another gets all snarled up while the time zips by and we lose site of how very small we are on this revolving-door planet.

Leading up to my appointment, I got myself up on time and to the coffee place in plenty of time to make my session without rushing. All very responsible adult-type things to do.
In the waiting room, I sat with my purse on my lap, the coffee resting on a nearby ledge, and read a  magazine, and didn't encroach on other chairs in the waiting room by 'claiming' a space that I didn't really need (why do people DO this?).  I read an article about a new kind of narcissism, where constant re-assurance is needed for this type to feel their own worth. Except they never really feel it, because they're so busy blaming their emotional state and their 'problems' on others. Ie, classic narcissist behaviour,  but in a much clever-er sense. It feels neat. It's not immediately apparent. But their refusal to accept responsibility for the upkeep of their own emotional lives leads them to a permanent state of infancy in dealing with said emotions.
Long story short: they just don't have the tools. And they don't want to get them or use them.

I had, as Oprah has coined, that "aha!" moment.  There is nothing that will change this person, this shell who wouldn't know happiness from suffering if it jumped up and bit her, and it made it a little
(note, a little) easier to bear the whole thing.

I will write more about this strange day and its odd effect on me shortly.
Mike and I are headed to wine country to enjoy some time away from the city, and I hope to use my
iPhone for my very first photos there, which I promise to post and talk about.

Happy Thursday. It's sunny (for now), and it's a new day.
Deep breaths.

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