Day 61: Heroism as SI >>might be triggering<<; and Plan for the Week
I realized I need a plan to take me from now until the gynecologic exam. I learned from the week of the gynecologic consultation that my emotions become increasingly buried as the date approaches, so I experience increasing physical symptoms. I also become more protective/defensive of others and of justice. In my childhood and early adulthood I learned never to show unwarranted emotion. I learned to focus excess tension on things that others would find reasonable. For example, if someone says or does something unfair, I am free to jump in on full attack and vent every ounce of pent-up emotion.
I excuse my behavior by thinking it's heroic. But, I'm learning to admit my motives are not heroic. I am full of unexpressed rage and have learned socially acceptable ways to vent it.
Here are two examples of this behavior (a behavior I think I need to moderate):
I. Punishing the Snake Abuser
One time, when I was a teenager, I was riding my bike down a steep hill and saw a guy (probably a little older than me) pick up a snake and slap it down with all of his might on the gravel where he was standing, off the side of the road. I was moving really fast and was instantly incensed. He picked the snake up again, which was still moving. As he lifted it overhead I screamed, "NO!" and skidded onto the gravel. I leapt from my bike (I was able to ride it standing up). I drop kicked him and, somehow, managed to land on my feet. I guess he took all of the kinetic energy from my fall. I surely would have been horribly injured by landing on the gravel at the speed I had been moving. Instead, I ran back to my bike, jumped on and sped off. I didn't even look back to see what happened to him. I never saw him again. I don't think he was from our neighborhood because I had never seen him before.
II. Threatening the Threatening Man
I was working the customer information desk for the University where I was a work study student. I worked the desk at night when there were almost no staff members on campus. There was the security officer and myself after about 5:30 pm. It was approaching that hour when a man came storming toward me yelling about "that bitch down the hallway." He had a thick accent and I was struggling to understand what was going on. I thought someone had done something wrong to him. I prepared to contact security to help him. But, then his words become clear to me. He said, >>trigger warning for inexcusable language. I'm quoting him.<< "that black bitch won't give me my fucking money." When his words sunk in, I saw the person he was speaking about coming down the hallway behind him. It was my friend who worked in the financial aid office. The funny thing was, in that moment, I thought to myself, "Oh. Yeah. Amy is black." (Not her real name by the way). I didn't know who he meant when he first said it. As she approached he started to move toward her as if to grab or push her, maybe worse. I pressed the open key on our security radio so our security officer would hear and then I leapt up and over the desk to land in between this furious man and my friend. I shoved him in the chest and told him to back off and calm down. Right after this happened we all turned to the sound of the security officer running up the hallway toward us. The angry man backed off and was escorted off campus.
My point in sharing these examples (and I could come up with probably two dozen more) is that I need a better plan for this week so I don't use a moment of stress to act out the anger and fear I have stored inside. I could get injured or worse because of my out-of-control temper.
When these things happen I feel proud of myself, rather than afraid. Part of me likes the danger and even craves the injury that might happen. In a sense, I guess I have to acknowledge this is a form of SI. Oof, that was a surprising thing to see come out of my fingers. It makes me feel sad. But, I think it's important for me to be honest with myself, even if it's painful at the moment.
So, the plan for this week:
- Keep posting daily.
- Take it easy. If I get insomnia, cut back at work. Stay home if need be.
- Let others help. (I don't have to tell them what's going on.)
- If I feel the urge to SI, call my T. (Whew, it's really tough to plan for this since she doesn't know about my SI yet.)
- Listen to music that gives me joy.
- Take extra time in the shower to just relax. (I always rush in the shower so as not to waste water.)
- Repeat pubic grooming on Thursday morning so I'll not feel self conscious.
- Print appointment plan and put it in my purse.
- Check my health savings account balance so I am sure I can pay for the appointment.
- Go to my T appointment the day before the G appointment.
- Make extra time to exercise daily.
- Play as much as possible with my kids and with the dog.