November 10, 2018

zero shades of gray

In my ceaseless, muttering internal pursuit of discovering a core, some part of me that gives me a self instead of capriciously fluctuating with chemical manipulation, I've made it as far as noticing that sitting in the chair next to the empty one I'm trying to fill is the idea of honesty.  Honesty sits next to reality.

Am I honest?

It's something of a joke with those closest to me.  I'm not referring to the fact that I don't lie because I suck at it; it's deeper than that.  I go beyond wearing my thoughts and feelings on my sleeve; I hand them out on a tray.  Therapist Gumby and I have laughed together ruefully at what we call my tendency toward "excessive disclosure".  Somewhere along my developmental line, the road forked and instead of heading right and learning to withhold most things, lest they invoke disapproval, to be a closed book, I steered left and became someone who shows nearly everything, holding it out for examination.  This technique sometimes backfires, but most often it allows me the sense that others see me and aren't displaying any signs of wanting to annihilate me because of what they see.

There's probably a psych term for this, buried somewhere inside a tome on attachment disorders and object relations.  I just don't know what it is.

There are problems here.  One is that I can't have a stable fantasy life.  I have next to zero mental tolerance for allowing something to exist in my mind that isn't real.  Any fantasy either crashes and burns within seconds because a voice interjects like a snobbish art or antiques expert and points out all of the reasons it's a fake, or it turns toward plans and, eventually, behaviors meant to render the fantasy reality.  Things that are not true are lies and lies deny reality.  Nothing is allowed to set up house in that gray twilight space between the light of real and the dark of not-real, between want and cannot-have.

In this, I am still a child, still Lille.  And this fundamental lack of grayness is the reason my preoccupation episodes wreak havoc.

Sometimes I post something on Facebook and then delete it within an hour.  This has been happening with increasing frequency.  Last night I whined about getting hit yesterday with a stomach bug.  Three people said get-well, so I decided it constituted attention-seeking and that no one needed to know I was sick (the audacity of asking, asking for sympathy!) and I took it down.  If no one likes a post or someone misunderstands me, or if I re-think what I've said and decide I don't want to be perceived that way, I delete it.  But it's usually the former; otherwise, I'd think this was an absurd sign of progress toward keeping some things inside, learning discretion, even if it's retroactive.

This question has been added to my growing burden:  If I harbor products of my mind instead of putting everything in a display case for others, if I retain things that are not seen and thus externally validated, am I honest?

1 comment:

  1. Yes....and no. Hope the stomach bug leaves you PDQ.

    I could have gone into the 'concept' of honesty for much longer, but you intellectually understand it.