Sunday, March 16, 2008
March, and especially this next week, is full of bad memories for me. I've talked about this on the blog before, and I've discussed it ad infinitum with various therapists. Last year actually went fine, although the year before didn't, so I hoped that this year I was going to sail through.
However, my psychiatrist informs me that it takes three years for body memories to go away, which means that I have to have two more years of an uneventful Spring Solstice before my lizard brain won't be screaming "Run away, run away!" every third week of March.
Two of the traumatic memories involve the implosion of important friendships; in both cases, people I loved handed me a long laundry list of all my faults and told me that a) they didn't actually like me much and b) they never wanted to speak to me again. I haven't heard from person #1 since, although person #2 and I have exchanged cautiously civil e-mail recently.
Last night, I had a dream about encountering person #1, who acted like nothing had ever happened. In the dream, I was very uneasy about this and felt like I was walking on eggshells.
This morning, I learned that I'll be seeing person #2 later this week. I might be able to duck the encounter -- which is probably what my shrink would advise -- but if I do that, I won't have the chance to replace bad memories with a better one, which is what I'm hoping will happen.
I thought I was dealing with all of this like an adult, until I went to the health club to swim and realized that I was actually a terrified little knot of anxiety. There's nothing rational about this: it's lizard-brain PTSD stuff ("Run away! Run away!"). My Inner Lizard is convinced that somebody in the world is out to get it this week, and all it wants to do is hide under a rock to keep itself safe. It doesn't even like my writing this post, because it's scared someone will use the info as ammunition. The Lizard's motto is, "If you show your soft white underbelly, someone will consider it an invitation to stab you."
This isn't a week when I can hide under a rock, though, and I'm choosing to trust my readers and ask for help (which is the theme of the homily I wrote last night, so I'm trying to practice what I preach!).
Whatever your method is of sending positive, loving energy to people, please send me some until Saturday. And if you know of any techniques to reassure frightened, suspicious lizards, please send those, too!