Picture of the mind

In reflection on November 29, 2011 at 02:43

As the big “other” writing thing is nearly complete, time has come to resume over here.

Today’s question was what occupies my mind. The question came at the corner of a conversation where I had to hear first how “not transparent” I appear to be in my social interactions. The provider of this comment explained that lack of transparency may be a liability to some people, although we both eventually agreed that others, such as ourselves, value the corresponding lack of predictability as a clear feature of welcome originality.

I had no immediate answer. The subsequent required self introspection, to reflect on my own state of mind and come to an answer that would fit into words, probably has hurt our communal time together in the hot waters of the De Miranda pool through the ensuing silence. Besides, I failed to satisfy the inquiry. I ended up trying to compensate my failure by a feeble invitation for dinner, but it did not work out. I took this circumstantial rejection as a homework challenge to get my act together.

There are factually two topics on my mind lately, intertwined like the beams of a golden braid.

One is the interaction between my expectations and abilities regarding my interaction with a psychologist, specifically how I should manage and exploit our next upcoming session. While these interactions in general seem useful to characterize and formulate a number of questions using the immediacy and unavoidability of words, as opposed to the nebulous play of imagery that usually hold them at the back of my mind, I am still unsatisfied at my general lack of connection with my practitioner. In her pattern of speech and behavior she suggests that I am pushing her out of her usual boundaries and frames of reference. In a different setting, I would find this realization charming and a possible ground for a friendship; unfortunately in this specific setting I find it unsettling: if she does not really know what she is doing, I would rather play with my feelings and my uncertainties without interference from someone else’s. And then, despite these vague feeling of inadequacy, I cannot summon any confidence that I would find any better support elsewhere, as the person seems otherwise both friendly and competent. To summarize, out of sheer necessity I am taking charge of my interaction with the therapist, and it keeps my mind busy. In particular, we agreed last time somewhat vaguely that I would formulate a number of topics or activities where I feel that my uncertainties play as an obstacle to my further development. When we had that discussion I was considering theater and music as two such activities; there my subjective lack of self-appreciation in these domains, combined with my objective lack of financial means to support the kind of interaction I would seek (private courses), are clear obstacles. I will probably bring them up, and yet I have no idea about what will come out of that discussion.

Maybe more worryingly, I am not really interested to seek the outcome of that specific discussion, since I already figure I have reached a point where I could venture on my own into either music or theater without help. Our previous sessions and some self-study have already helped me overcome those barriers already.

The tricky topic where my uncertainties prevail, and which I am not too sure I want to talk about with my psychologist, is truly an emotional and logistical minefield. This is, by the way, the second bead of the golden braid. Reason and privacy dictate that my words here stay shaded and void of specificity.

The only specific and determining statement will be that my recent exercises in introspection have helped me acknowledge and consciously observe the feelings I experience towards outside of myself, where I would previously either ignore or suppress them. My recent foul burst of nightmares are merely the (relatively small) negative side of this new reality; truth is that my daily existence is far more exciting since I started to become a willing subject of my social interactions, and acknowledge that the experience of fellow humans is similar. Exciting, but also disorienting. The minefield is a metaphor, although the results of stepping on the metaphorical mine would likely be as much invalidating. Moreover, the mines come in multiple layers.

Today, I danced around the turmoil of my maturing appreciation for someone whom I shifted from their self-appointed position as suitor to mate and relative. Should I share my recent emotional developments and risk losing the safe havens we have constructed together over these many years?

Today, I danced around my frustration at my inability to share a sudden, unexpected and yet peaceful and determined fondness towards an acquaintance about whom, despite the dramatically small number of wholehearted conversations over the course of a few years (countable on the fingers of two hands), I now entertain the hope we will keep geographically close and able to regularly renew our relatively superficial (by my standards) encounters. Again, should I share? Would they even understand the nuances of the situation?

Today, I danced around the turmoil caused by a flurry of recent discoveries around a self-appointed “entity from outer space”; on the one hand, I see there a subtle shadow of my former indecisive self, searching outwards for confidence and missing the opportunity to find it here and now, combined with a tremendously greater ability to achieve and accomplish, dotted with an extra hint of destructive self-depreciation, and complemented by various physical abilities and attributes with far greater potential than I will ever hope for my own. Curiosity and respect would tend to make me pass on that one; on the other hand, I also see open wounds, or maybe fresh scars, similar to those I struggled to heal alone for years, by lack of suitable external support. Recognizing these has re-activated a fierce protective instinct that I had somehow forgotten; now how can I can communicate my desire to comfort and support without giving wrong signals about my intentions and hurting the wounds even further?

Meanwhile, opportunities to find solace and entertainment from other sources have started to cross my path. I dance around these, out of respect for their expectations: how can I trust myself to return any favors I would receive, when my mind is so busy dealing with a maze of emotional discoveries? How should I carry the point that my multi-layered and diversified interests do not signify lack of focus, but rather my modest attempt at distributing my strength and confidence? Should I get the point across at all, or should I keep it internalized?

These are but a few example internal symptoms of an onion kernel of uncertainties.


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