Thursday, March 14, 2013

On Mindy (AKA The Beast Within) Or Me Admitting I am a Little Insane

Today as I walked home, I stopped and listened.

To the peepers.  To the moving waters.  To the breeze that has not yet found her true voice among the trees.

I breathed.  It smelled of early spring.  Rejuvenating, invigorating.

All of it filled me.

I paused for as long as I could.

Drinking it all in.

After all that has happened this week, I felt revived for the first time.

And I smiled.  A true smile of peace and contentment.

It was a beautiful, brief reprieve.


NOTE: if you thought that was lovely and would rather not have your opinion of me tainted by my honesty, feel free to stop reading now.  You have been warned.

Now prepare yourselves because I am about to go into an extended metaphor that delves deep into the psyche of me.


Because I know there are several people who read this who would understand and right now that's what I need. Understanding.  Support.  And a good kick in the pants.

Remember THIS post?

This is an extension of that.

I've spoken here and there about the 19-year-old in my head.

This is all about her.  She is the beast within.

I think she needs a name.  At least for this post.  Because it gets tiring to keep typing "the 19-year-old in my head".

Let's call her Mindy.

So.  Mindy.

I keep her carefully locked away.  And by carefully, I mean she is shut off by whatever material my mind is able to muster at the time.  Lately it has been flimsy chicken wire.

I try to keep her complacent.  I've found that as long as she is starved of all things she desires she is pretty docile.  And so I have hammered a big sign by her cage reading "For the Love of Pete do NOT Feed Mindy".  Too bad it is invisible to all but myself.

People unknowingly toss her crumbs.  Nothing substantial, but it is enough.

Mindy can survive on very little-and a little goes a long way.  Before I know it she is relentlessly clawing at the chicken wire which begins to give way.  I wish desperately that my mind had invested in reinforced steel for her cage.

I can feel her gaining ground.  The enclosure begins to give way.  I try my best to patch up the damage.  But before long she has broken free.

She wrecks havoc.

Most often in the form of one of the most dangerous emotions: infatuation.

The state of being carried away unreasoned love.

A foolish, unreasoning attraction.

All in all, a stupid thing.

Here's what happens (exaggerated, of course.  But you get the idea).

Mindy sees the particular individual in question and instead of seeing him for what he realistically is, she plucks away every single possible redeeming quality.  THEN, she molds and fashions these into a kind of idol.  And it is him and only him she sees.  I (the mature 25-year-old) approach her as she kneels before him (praying to her false idol that he would just SEE her for what SHE is).  I put a kind hand on her shoulder.  I begin to try and help her see reason.

She lashes out.

Defensive of the lies she had told herself about this person.  This false religion she has created.

I present her with clear and obvious flaws in this idol.

Suddenly I am brought back to all those high school discussions on religion and the LDS church.  One side tries to convince the other they are right.  Both with convincing and knowledgeable arguments.

That is how Mindy is.  For every hole I poke into her logic, she comes along with an argument to fill that hole.  It's hopeless.

See why I never feed her?  Never let her out?

I don't mean that I seek to see only the flaws in people to save myself the aggravation of infatuation.  I just mean that I try to see what is real, rather than this perfect, false being that has been created by Mindy.

Her pillar of stone can never love because he does not exist.  Not as SHE sees him.  

I know that these feelings aren't real.  But for Mindy, they are VERY real.

All she sees is that he makes her laugh, shares many of her interests, pays attention to her.  Seeks her company.  These are all things she thrives on.  And they make her stronger.

So I do the only thing I can think of.  I try to remove the smorgasbord.  I starve her of what she craves.

But my attempts aren't always 100% successful.  I'm still the only one who can see that sign.  So there are still people feeding Mindy little bits here and there (often it is her idol unknowingly doing this).

And even after all this time, all my experience with infatuation (and unrequited love for that matter) I would think to create a cage of sturdier stuff.  Sadly I can only use what my brain provides.  And all I have is this chicken wire.

Sometimes I can reinforce it with boards or planks (provided by wonderful, loving friends and family).  But these have a tendency to rot away as time goes by.

Mindy is a beast. Sometimes she makes it really hard to be around those that I would simply see as friends.  It happened in high school, college, you'd think by now I would be past all this.

But Mindy is ever present.

So it is up to me to do what I can.

Truth is, I eventually win out.  The battle may be long.  I may lose ground several times.  But infallible logic always prevails.  And if not logic, the relentless passing of time will do the trick.  Eventually Mindy will see that the idol she has created is either rusting, crumbling, or simply never replies to her pleas.

It is in those times that I am there.  Just me.  Having triumphantly locked Mindy away.  And for a time, I feel blissful relief.  Peace.

Here's hoping I find that peace again soon.

Because right now, Mindy is winning.


Avoid false idols.


Kailey M said...

This is beautiful. Maybe its because I know you but, I really like this, even though its kind of depressing. Hang in there... its nice to have the 19 year old take control for a little while.. (this coming from a 19 year old lol)
Kailey M

Peeser said...

So, do you know what's scary about this? I work with a girl named Mindy, and I kept picturing her as I read this. Because she also seems pretty nice and docile. Most of the time. But she has a nasty side to her- when she gets frustrated or annoyed or angry, she gets snappy, shrill, and quite mean and rude. I almost think I'd like to keep her behind walls of reinforced concrete...

I know how frustrating it is when the Mindy side tries to get out and take over. I think what makes it all the more frustrating- for me at least- is that I sometimes worry that if I keep trying to "lock" that side of me up, it may impair my ability to love for real. Or, put another way, I worry that I may lose a chance for something amazing because I was so focused on being practical and realistic.

It's a fine line, either way- and while experience has sadly taught me that the "something amazing" is not as likely to happen, I try not to be ruled by the cynicism that wants to push its way onto center stage. I try to cultivate hope.

And please be willing to take risks. Sometimes it is necessary. And even if the risk doesn't yield the anticipated result, there is still much to be gained from the experience.

(And I will try to avoid feeding Mindy, but I don't always know what she's willing to eat- so if you see me accidentally dropping her crumbs, kick my butt!)

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