|"Apollo" Sculpture at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rottedam, Netherlands|
"Why don't you pop your bike in the back of your car and bike home?" Dylan asked, supportively but also uncharacteristically. We don't bike a lot, though we are in such a bike-friendly city. I am a bit embarrassed about it, actually, even ashamed. The seat on my bike, purchased a couple of years ago, meant to be super comfy, hurts my back. I need a new seat and somehow never seem to get it, so then I don't bike, afraid I will hurt my back. Then I feel bad about not biking, though I bus and walk nearly everywhere, save the mall.
As soon as Dylan made her kind suggestion, my inner child and inner critic went to war:
You really should. You ate too much last night and you need to work it off.
But I feel sick from that, and it's really far and I haven't biked in awhile.
That's why you should do it - it's a nice long ride.
But I need a new seat...
Then get one. Come on, Miriam. You always are thinking you want to/should bike more.
I know, but...
But what? Do it.
...I don't WANT to do it.
Do it anyway.
(Frowny face sadness at being told what to do by myself and not listening to my own feelings)
After I vocalized this whole interchange to Dylan (talking about it helped me to realize what was going on; I simply felt sad and in lock down until I talked about it) I asked "Why is it that this kind of exchange still keeps happening?" She mentioned society's influence, parents, etc, and I acknowledged these as influences - but what I want to know is why I, Miriam, am still invested in this exchange.
Now. At 35, when I have been aware of it for years. I am not judging myself - but curious. Very curious. Clearly I get something out of this. What I said to Dylan was "I get to be a victim" - I get to perpetuate my own inner triangle in which my perpetrator hides under the covers and runs my marionette show until I feel shitty and the victim part of me feels the familiar role as comfort.
I am sure it is more complicated than that.
And yet, today, it came on so clearly and quickly, and passed in a similar way. And after those clouds have passed, I shake my head and say, like I might after a sudden storm, where did that come from? Where will it go to next? And what, if anything, can I do to prepare for it (not prevent it - it is chaos, like weather, after all)?
I think the answers are the same they have always been:
Where did it come from? Deep habits and an award system where being hurt is the safest position in a situation of confusion.
Where will it go next? It will latch on to whatever torment and confusion arises in me, again, to give safety when I have a gap between knowing and knowing.
What can I do? Work with it, just like today. Watch it come, watch it go. Talk it out. Let it go.
I can't hold on to the clouds rolling over the horizon right now, turning Madison a dark shade of grey. Nor would I want to. But they will come anyway. So will my thoughts and feelings, habits and inner conflictual dealings. See them for what they are and let go.