I’m frustrated this morning. It’s hard to explain about this frustration.
I’m tired of making decisions. I would like a break from deciding anything. I’m not sure I even want to decide my next meal. I would like to have everything decided for me for a few days–to just have the luxury of doing what I’m told. Not forever, but just a couple of days.
And yet isn’t the right to make my own decisions what I have worked for? Isn’t not having anyone tell me what to do the privilege I have sought for so long and so hard?
So it’s hard to explain this frustration, even to myself.
If nothing else, I wish the decisions were easier. I imagine if I were more integrated they would be. I could simply weigh the pros and cons of various paths and decide among them based on the most acceptable set of pros and cons of that option. But when you are dissociated as a person, the pros and cons don’t even exist when you occupy a different mindset. How can you possibly compare two alternatives when reality seems to change depending on which one you are considering?
Let me give you an example.
I have a bicycle. I cannot seem to decide what to do with the bicycle. As a consequence, I have done nothing.
It is driving me mad.
From Perspective A, this is a very useful bicycle. I haven’t ridden it in some years, partly because my health really wasn’t up to anything so energetic as bicycle riding and partly because the area where I live is so congested I can’t imagine riding it in the street. Other people do, but they are probably much better cyclists than I am. So, it needs a bit of repair–the tires are flat, and I did something to the brakes in moving it to my current place. But I’ve done that before to it, and it’s not a terribly expensive repair. It’s quite worth doing.
From Perspective A, it might be worth keeping the bike. If nothing else, I should sell it because I won’t get a paycheck until February, and that will probably end up being worth about 20 bucks. In other words, I could use the cash.
Seen from Perspective A, this is a practical and financial problem, but the solution is not especially complex: either sell it or keep it.
But from Perspective B, the problem is entirely different.
I hate this bike. The bike was in part a gift from an emotionally abusive partner. It represents in my mind a period when I was allowing myself to be exploited even though by then I had other choices. I just didn’t know it. So I went on allowing it. And it enrages me that I did that.
Not only that, but the bike represents the particular way in which exploitation works, because in exploitative relationships nothing is free. I give up my right to have opinions, and in return you will indulge a few of them. I give up my right to be treated with dignity, and in exchange you will provide some warmth and affection.
It reminds me that I was still for sale.
Those are her stuffed animals.
So, from Perspective B, this is not a financial or practical matter. This is a symbolic and emotional decision. What I do with the bike is a way of telling myself I am no longer for sale. You cannot buy me. You cannot buy my silence, or my affection, or access to my body. You cannot buy a point of view off me and you most certainly cannot buy a fantasy from me.
I am no longer for sale.
From Perspective B, throwing the bicycle in the dumpster would be the most satisfying course of action, and therefore the best.
Which do I need most: money or emotional satisfaction? That is really what this is about.
But it’s so very terribly difficult to see both perspectives at the same time,. I wish that when I considered the practical side of what to do with the bike, I could still see the meaning it has for me, and that when I see the deeper meaning it holds for me, I could still see the practical end of things. But I can’t. I cannot hold them both in my head at the same time.
And almost everything about moving has been like this: when I consider the practical aspects of a decision, I imagine there are no feelings involved in them. And when I consider the emotional aspects, I lose sight of the real-world consequences. Because I know both views are incomplete and inaccurate, in some cases I have found myself unwilling to do anything.
But I can’t wait any longer to get my head together all in one place. It isn’t going to happen. Or if it does happen, it won’t happen soon enough. And in the meantime, some things need to get done.
The cat needs a home.
I need to get rid of some things, including the bike.
I need someone to help me move the things too big to carry myself.
I need to see a dentist.
Those are the four things that I seem to be paralyzed about, that it would actually be better at this point to make any choice at all about than to continue to do nothing at all.