a Tiny description

a full time artist, stepmother, radio personality, and mom to an energetic Chug dog, tries to get through the days without committing a felonious act. My life is a rickety Zen circus.


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

the rest of that thought

sorry - fell asleep before i could finish thinking what i was thinking. but anyway, to pick up on that train of thought...the learned response thing. it's funny, but you see people in impossible, yet (to you) easily changeable situations and think, "why don't they change/move/quit that job/leave that person, " etc etc. In my Abused Person training (some good did come out of that horrid job!) the instructor explained about learned behavior....after a while of reacting a certain way to a certain situation, a person's brain will naturally follow the same patterns it has become used to - ingrained, conditioned. much like a well worn path through a meadow, except usually not as healthy. at first, (and i'll use the abused woman example here, as it's easier to picture) (unfortunately), when a partner acts unacceptably - yelling, cranky, limiting - our first nurturing inclination is to Make It All Good. fix the boo-boo, give them a "pass" on bad behavior for any number of real or manufactured reasons. That behavior then (sometimes) becomes the norm and may even escalate. by then, we've already mentally established a higher bar for tolerance..."well at least they aren't hitting." but by then, you're feeling nervous, caged in, whatever...you aren't happy about it, but what's to be done? so as the patterns and responses become more ingrained in your head, they become the "norm" even if you don't like them. if you haven't changed them by changing the situation, they will continue to deepen. much the same with my adrenaline/fight-flight response. anything other than calm order would trigger the "high alert" mechanisms in my brain, and full mental body armor would clang into place. till i changed. it took quitting that job, and taking some well-deserved time off. luckily, i found the wherewithall to do that. don't ask me where or how. i just did. and it's funny how they say "cops stick together" or "the blue brotherhood" but it's true in a sense...you cannot imagine what they see/hear on a moment by moment basis during the course of a workshift. i would come home and try to tell my husband about an incident that disturbed me particularly that night - talk it out to get it gone - and he'd say "cool!" It was all cops-n-robbers to him...thankfully, he didn't have to talk to a person who was just shot and keep them going till an ambulance arrived...promise them you'll deliver messages to their moms or babies, etc. So the only folks that truly understood the ramifications of what went on during a particular incident du jour were the ones by my side at the job. it's a strong bond. and breaking that bond, cutting those ties, was part of the process to erase the patterns. i tried to stay in touch for a while, but found my heart racing and palms sweating while they recalled stories from their day (or night, as crime doesn't punch a clock!). you cannot stay "friends" with an abuser. and in my case, my job was my abuser. And i had become an adrenaline junkie - my mind telling my body that this feeling was a Good Thing, perpetuating the chemical drama. so i guess recognizing that these physical feelings of anxiety are there to tell me Do Something, i also recognized that i had a choice in my current opportunity: i could let them turn to fear, or recognize them as the excitement - good excitement - that they were intended to be. can i tell you...i'm excited! mostly because of the opportunity, but also because it was a "checkup from the neck up..." and i passed. but to read my past post it is strange to see how very real and contorted things can look if you don't seperate out the logic of the situation....roller coaster enthusiasts will tell you they feel the same mix of fear & exhiliration...now - which one wins? stay on the ground? or hit the loops? (in that case, my friends, you ride alone...bad example). trust me - don't let familiar fear rule your life...there's just too much out there to enjoy! boy can i ramble after a few cups of double-caff ! off to my rust! L.

No comments: