Over and Over
You never let anyone know what you’re thinking, Jeanine said to me this morning.
I know you go over things, again and again, in your head. I know you don’t make sudden decisions. No one else does, though.
I was still chewing on the manic-depressive description. Where did it come from?
You’re always stressing about something, she added.
I’m not stressing. I’m high strung.
No, not the same. I cannot help but go over things again and again. It’s the only way I feel safe. I am wired that way.
Okay, you’re high strung. But no one knows what’s going on in your head. I understand these perfectly formed nuggets or decisions come from stressing-
-whatever, about something. How long have you thought about getting a job?
What have you thought about?
And I went on to describe, at length, all the different thoughts I’ve had, what I’d like to do, why I wanted to go back to work, on and on. The steps I’ve already taken, the time I’ve spent looking.
At the end, she smiled and said, you know, it still surprises me when you come out with stuff like this. I didn’t know you were thinking about it so much. To be honest, I didn't know you were thinking about it at all.
I realize the reason why I was hurt by the manic description was because it showed a complete lack of understanding of who I am. I never, ever make quick decisions. The idea is terrifying for me. People described my move to Rochester, NY as sudden. Jeanine and I had talked about it for two years. There was a single event that pushed the decision forward. One I kept to myself. I was afraid to share it.
I asked Walter.
You’re crazy, sure. But not manic. I know you think about these things over and over.
Another friend said, You have your own way of being in the world. For good reason.
I think you have processed a little more than most people. Stop processing so much.
But I’m a lesbian. It’s my job.
You’ve processed enough for all the lesbians in Boston!
It’s true. There is a fine line between healthy insight and obsessing. I obsess. I wrote about it the other day. It comes from a need for safety. I never have felt completely safe. Ever. In any situation. I can talk and talk and talk. But if I don’t feel completely sure about something, I won’t say a word about it. I keep it in.
Time to try and change what I can. I know I can’t erase the abuse. But I can change my reaction to it.
Things I’ve been obsessing about, to no one’s knowledge:
Selling my mother’s condo in Florida. I have spent a great deal of time researching, thinking about, going over possibilities. Do I keep it? Can I alone? Why do I want to? What’s financially responsible? What’s my emotional attachment to it? Can I separate the two? I think about this every day. Every day. Pretty soon, I’m gonna blurt out that I want to keep it, buy my siblings out and it’s going to sound like a brand new, fresh idea. It’s not. Look in my desk drawer and you’ll find all the calculations on a sheet of paper. Ones from November, from December and January.
My mother. There is not a day, not an hour, that goes by without my thinking about her. Okay, you could probably guess that one but I haven’t talked about it a lot to my friends. As a good WASP, I think, enough already. Who wants to hear it again? But when I start to cry about her over the weekend, it surprised people. No one should be surprised. I think about her all the time.
There’s more. Little things like the stock market, what’s going on with those pesky small cap stocks and where the heck is the price of oil going to settle. How will a fresh terrorist attack affect everything, where is a good place to be positioned and who the hell is making all the money off this war? And the stupid baggie rule at the airport?
I think about Jake’s reading ability and whether or not we are doing enough to address it. I worry about Allan and the tests he’s going to be taking next week. Will Ben do well in middle school or should we have applied somewhere else? Can I get Zachary to try out for baseball or do I just make him do it? How do I approach it? Should I say this, or this, or this…
Over and over.
Which is why, I smiled broadly to Jeanine, I need to get a job…
I know I’m crazy.
I’m working on it.