I’m still who I was, but different.
I don’t know if it’s OCD or what, but I get stuck on things. Weird, random things. You know those articles you see on Facebook, like “World’s Creepiest Abandoned Places” or something? I can’t just scroll through the slideshow, oh no. I’ve got to Google map every place, look at it on satellite, look at other pictures of the place, read about it. I’ll spend hours stuck in an article like that. Or I’ll decide to go look through the Unicorn’s pictures and then I’m Googling and consuming as much information about him as I can. (No, not in a creepy way, jeez. He’ll know what I mean and understand.) I used to do it all the time before he came back into my life. Of course, back then, I would only do it late at night, while I was working midnights at a hotel and not at home with the Sperm Donor. I can get lost in him and his work for hours, even now when I actually have him as a daily presence in my life. I’m just in awe of him, really. He’s beautiful and talented in so many ways and brilliant and all the good things that I’ve already written probably a hundred times about so I’ll shut up now about that.
My point is, I get stuck because I am infinitely curious about everything in the world. People, places, cultures, foods, belief systems, forms of government, just everything. Animals and plants and… you get it. I see a thing that sparks my interest and I mass consume it.
However, my curiosity with people has always stopped just short of actually expressing it out loud. I’ve always felt uncomfortable asking questions out of a fear of making someone uncomfortable. I figured that if there was something they wanted me to know, they’d tell me. Not everyone wants to talk about themselves or about certain topics. But I realized today that I have no way of knowing if someone wants to talk about a thing unless I ask them if they want to talk about it. I don’t have to ask direct, uncomfortable questions about a thing; I can ask if it’s okay to ask. This realization brought with it the idea that I am not a burden, an annoyance, if I express curiosity. I mean, I made a post on Facebook like 7 months ago asking if anyone would be interested in reading this journal. Within minutes, I had a message from the Unicorn. Did I feel burdened or annoyed with his expression of curiosity, in his wanting to know me better? No, I most certainly did not. So why should I allow myself to feel that he would see me in some negative light if I expressed curiosity about him? That doesn’t even make any sense now does it?
Along with this little realization came an awareness that my thoughts have become like blowing leaves. I still have the occasional negative thought, but those thoughts have lost all of their power over me. It’s as if a wall has been erected between my thoughts and my emotions and my emotional reactions to my thoughts. I can choose now, which thoughts to react to, and how I react to them. I can pick the prettiest of the blowing leaves and let the rest just blow away. I don’t have to give those ugly thoughts power over my emotions anymore. I feel no need to break my own heart, to hurt myself, cause myself emotional pain. That’s a first.
Having a PTSD episode without any of the accompanying physical side-effects is… well, it’s a bit unsettling, but in a really fantastic way. And I also have this strange sense that time has slowed down. I know it hasn’t and that it’s really just the lack of anxiety and mania that I’m feeling. Everything feels less frantic now, less pressing. Like oh, this thing, I can deal with this thing, no big deal. I don’t have to freak out about dealing with too many things at once because suddenly I seem to have all the time in the world to deal with all the things. Nothing is urgent, there is no emergency, the world is not going to implode if I don’t perform perfectly or immediately or efficiently all the time. I’m a normal, flawed human, and that’s okay.