“You scare yourself with this story…”

I aggravated my cold by going into work, but I needed to see my bartender, and there were design review meetings, and so on. As it so happens, I will not be getting design reviews done, but I did see my bartender.

This is probably one of the more important sessions in a while, because my bartender had an epiphany.

Subconsciously, and consciously when I out-and-out think about it, I am scared of my parents finding me. That’s what drives the nightmares. This story, of abusive parents following their daughter across the country and locating her and—well, killing her or worse—haunts me.

So he tried to construct the narrative, starting with the past, and talking about how I had built my new life, and I told him to stop because I wanted them separate—the past and the present. I didn’t want them to touch, and I wanted the past to, in fact, disappear. But it’s not so much that they’re intertwined, it’s that I let myself be rooted in the past while ignoring much of the present and how things have changed.

We talked about how I had turned Mother’s Day, which is usually a triggerfest and actually started that way, into awesome. He said that it was a matter of me deciding to make the present matter more than the past that day. He said I should do it more often—yes, the week days are less flexible in terms of being able to run wild and all that, but if I think about it, work is just as much a factor of the present, distinguishing it from the past.

As for the story, my bartender wants me to desensitize myself to it. That means thinking about the story—not just being scared about it, but to think about how the story “works” (or doesn’t work). For instance, my parents would be in their late 60s, which is not exactly spry—even if they were plenty spry when I last saw them. And even if they did find me, there are things I can do so that I feel like I can deal with it if it does occur. (Self-defense classes for abuse survivors, most likely.)

There’s a lot I can do to unravel the story and take away its power over me.

It’s all going to suck.

And yes, lots of this would be circumvented if I happened to find out that my parents (one? both? preferably both) were dead. I don’t like to poke in this bucket, because I’m scared to death of being backtracked. Also, I hate the past. Even though I seem to dwell on it; at the very least, my subconscious dwells on it.

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4 thoughts on ““You scare yourself with this story…”

  1. Google Social Security Death Index. It doesn’t keep track of inquiries. It works best if you have a lot of information. Parse the input information in various combinations if it doesn’t come up with what you need at your first try, and be aware many people have the same names. It is rare that they have lots of other things in common.
    I agree that would be a good solution, but being in my early 60s myself, I can tell you that is not particularly old.
    Your bartender sounds very smart. Desensitization is a good idea – ultimately the best position is “I don’t care enough to spend energy on that.”
    Good luck.

  2. Thank you for writing these posts. You write bravely and well, and reading them has been very helpful to me (in dealing with some complicated, bad stuff).

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