There is no electricity. Electrical power was alright this week, but in other recent weeks, it’s been unreliable. They did some maintenance work somewhere, I guess. There was a fire and a line was knocked over by a tree. I have no idea what today’s power outage was caused by, or when it will end.
My laptop battery isn’t what it used to be and I have only 1 hour left. So I cannot meander from the point or procrastinate, as I often do.
I gave a talk today on phonemic awareness. I think 50% of the teachers were interested and 50% were bored. But I think being the center of attention is difficult for me. Visions of bashing my head in or smashing my hand with a hammer flash through my head. It’s not difficult to think I may feel inside that I have done something very wrong.
The Developmental-Maturational Model helps me in these times, especially when I connect it to the two systems within our brains: System 1 and System 2. I think my mind recognizes attention as a danger point. Danger creates a stronger sorting mechanism in the mind for relevant details. While I pushed gamely on, engaging with people when I was raised not to engage with them, this went quietly on, leaving me vulnerable to seeing indicators of whatever I am doing as being unwelcome or unacceptable.
Someone with a preoccupied style might experience this as thoughts racing. Mine doesn’t. I don’t actually know why I am being slammed with shame. I work really hard at trying to connect my feelings to something so that I can create some order in my mind, but I am starting to see I have had a lot of contact with people who have a preoccupied style and for them this is how the mind works–not just theirs, but everyone’s. How other people have presumed my mind worked is that all of this stuff was frantically swirling around and what I ought to do is make it stop, because that’s unbearable. So their advice has often been to use dismissive strategies–to do things that make the danger seem less immediate and less alarming.
But the danger is within myself. I can’t actually distance myself from it. I am not seeing that the danger might be someone’s disapproval of me or their rejection. I am seeing it as something within me–something I did or felt.
The DMM model says this kind of thinking happens with consistent parenting. Thinking about it that way kind of horrifies me to think about. My mother may have been consistently neglectful. I developed a causality within my mind that drawing attention to myself would not end well. Inconsistent parenting would sometimes reward and sometimes punish the same behavior. Intermittent reward encourages behaviour. The parent might sometimes pick up the screaming infant. Crittendon’s idea makes me think my mother never or almost never picked me up when I cried.
I sometimes have this overwhelming urge to lie down when I am struggling emotionally. I end up wondering if this is actually because that ended up being the most reliable strategy. Lie still, don’t scare mom, she may eventually get lonely and pick me up….Cry and mostly she hits me.
It’s not a nice thought.