I’ve been up since 2am with a fever & a stomach bug. I’ve listened to quiet music, concentrated on my breathing, read, crocheted, stared out the window at the slowly dawning sky. It already feels terrible & mildly headache-y to be awake at this hour of the morning even when I’m well. But since I’m sick & most likely won’t be going to work or doing much of anything today, I’m here blogging, trying to figure out what I can do to keep myself occupied.
If my husband wasn’t asleep, I would clean. And it’s quiet enough that I could spend the time writing. What could I tell you, dear Reader? I actually just finished listening to this week’s This American Life episode, which I found compelling. Without giving too much away, the story is about a kid who’s mentored by someone who fills his head with a terrifying worldview & how the kid tries to unlearn those beliefs as he grows up. I recommend you listen to it if you’re interested, but I can say that the podcast kept my attention because I went through something similar with my own family & the religion I was raised in.
I think the thing that resonated with me the most is that this kid is fighting his own mind’s anxiety so hard, even years later after breaking off contact with this person. I totally knew what that struggle was like. There’s a part of me that logically knows that many people go through something similar at an impressionable age—I just wish the inner turmoil wasn’t so encompassing sometimes that that idea would be easier to remember & reach out. For myself & for those others who struggle to right themselves after a similar incident.
And I think that the other thing that is ultimately sad & frustrating & revealing is that people who influence us like this, with a unforgiving philosophy or an argument built on self-interested emotion or even what they might think is an inspiring anecdote, I think for the most part believe they are helping us. They reach out to us because they think we need their insight or guidance. I doubt I will soon forget the absolute tear-eyed conviction of the woman who told me & a Sunday school group of my peers that the world would end in our lifetimes & that we had to rise to the occasion. Or the sense of absolute worthlessness that flooded my 11-year-old mind then & has stayed with me in one form or another 25 years later.
Which is another reason why it’s a struggle to speak up sometimes, because I never want to do that to another human being, even by accident. Sometimes I fear that I already have but I’m learning to live with that fear & to be more aware of my choices.
Anyway, this is getting kind of deep for a blog post. I’ll sign off now & go stare at the Kitten Academy live feed for an hour or so until I feel like my stomach can handle breakfast. See you over there?