Following on from my rare moment of clarity, I’ve decided to face a problem that I’ve been avoiding for too long. I don’t want to get too self-absorbed, but there’s no point having a blog if I fill it with fluff and only fluff. Who knows, this unaccustomed self-revelatory behaviour may well be helpful in and of itself.
I’ve realised that I have a problem that needs resolving. I don’t think it’s a new thing (in fact I know it’s not, see below), but it is certainly worse now than before. And knowing the reason why doesn’t really make it go away. Though I only really noticed the problem when it momentarily seemed to go away …
I’m being cryptic without meaning to. Typical Finn behaviour when approaching something personal. Circle circle like a moth round a flame, but carefully avoiding the sizzle.
Okay, more bluntly then:
I’m pretty much an emotional cripple it seems. I only really noticed this in a way that made me realise the extent of the problem a couple of weeks ago when something nice and safe and distant upset me to the extent that I realised I was feeling upset… and then realised that I hadn’t really felt like that for months if not years. Then I realised that I hadn’t really felt particularly happy for months if not years.
My mother died a couple of years ago you see, in a not-particularly-pleasant way that was pretty hard to face. At about the same time the job I was in went belly-up and I had to work hard to secure things for as long as possible for my team-mates. It was a hard time and - I now realise- I got through it by locking everything down and running on cold efficiency.
Compounding the problem though is the fact that I’ve always been (forgive the boasting) a good observer of people, and a good communicator. I was able to give the impression of normality even as I became more and more disconnected from it. Only someone very close to me would be able to tell that it was all an act and, well, that wasn’t really a risk.
Apparently something like this happened before, when I was too young to remember it. I was very close to my grandfather it seems, when I was a toddler. And when he died I didn’t seem to be upset at all. But, so my parents told me, I just stopped hugging them. Stopped playing with other kids. Just kept to myself nice and calm and quiet. It may be eisegesis but it seems to me that this was the same behaviour then as now - withdrawal to avoid pain and risk.
Not healthy, not productive. I know that.
The next question is: what to do about it?
Well, steps are already being taken. But more on that later. All this honesty is tiring you know.