Self-Control

In those moments…when she is offended by the kind of offense that comes without warning, with no opportunity to be prepared – assaults on pride, assaults on self-worth…it feels awful, unreasonable; there is no way to make it better then and there. The best she can do is stifle the sudden buzzing in her head, forcibly ignore the gravity-defying whirlpool that spontaneously forms in her mind, sucking into its depths all the insecurities and uncomfortable realities of her past and spinning them into a tightly packaged grenade, its pin begging to be pulled. The best she can do is walk away, rather than succumb to the moment and explode.

Although, an explosion would feel good, delicious and delectable, even – like a big, satisfying sneeze. But, in the end, what would be the result? Whatever the outcome, it would be hard to reverse. Most actions in anger are meaningful and effective; she doesn’t have the energy to go into repair and recovery mode anymore. If she explodes, she’s afraid she might throw in the towel, let it unravel, not caring to go too far to keep something alive that has already begun to destruct. She figures its best to simply not go there.

The tricks. She always needs to remember the tricks. She didn’t get this far without sophisticated methods of self-manipulation. There are certain triggers that ignite the potential energy inside her, ready to transform and seize the day. The muscles in the body tense, the need for release becomes overwhelming. Spinning, spinning, looking for options. Trying to keep the mind calm.

Distraction. There it is; that trick – distraction. She knows she needs to distract herself before she says something she doesn’t mean. Like a dog with a bone, her focus is laser-tight, and just as penetrating. She needs a squirrel to run past her – something that would make the bone less tasty. Get up and move. Walk away from the source. Move the body. Do something physical. Whatever it may be, she needs to get the blood flowing. Allow oxygen to diffuse the heat generated from the friction of excited defense mechanisms.

Feeling her feet move steadily beneath her, watching her hands do something innocuous, she starts to feel relief – anticipated outcomes resulting from benign actions. For Freud’s Ego, so helpful in those moments. The fog begins to clear. She can hear herself once again, speaking from the depths of the debris-filled pool that’s collected near the top of her skull. Her mini-self reminds her of her favorite songs, and that thing that somebody did the other day that made her laugh. Telling tales of the future that she’s creating for herself by playing along every day. The Superego is being fed the necessary components. A little less obviously, and so as not to offend, her mini-mental-self also calmly beats the offender into a bloody pulp. Her Id receives sustenance.

Thankfully, then somewhat satisfied from all angles, she quickly moves to a state of calm. She feels light again – her smile is back, and the offender has died a horrific death in her head.

She dreams of someday being able to let it all go, to regress back to a toddler’s state of mind. She could be missing out on her great potential by keeping it all in.

F*ck self-control. What does it really get her in the end? Stupid people just get to live another day. Somebody’s got to do the dirty work – why not her? She can own that.

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