My Psyche ‘Ethel’ and why she’s a Bitch

So I was thinking today about my psyche and I’ve decided to call her Ethel. She is a master of sabotage and just when I think I’m making progress, flexing my cognitive muscles – almost able to put a moment of clarity into sensible words – along comes Ethel and she’ll hide a phrase behind one of the little fluffy clouds that inhabit my conscious mind. My conscious self is a little like a big open garden with small shrubs and trees scattered here and there – it looks pretty and random but get up close and you’ll find those cute shrubs and trees were planted with precision and they hide a multitude of rubbish. That Ethel, she hides trash behind the trees and shrubs. If my brain is a clear blue sky with cute little fluffy clouds – along comes Ethel, just when the thought process is about to peak at a point of epiphany, she’ll come along a steal a phrase or a sentence so I can no longer find it, and she’ll hide it somewhere. And locating a hidden object… well that’s like trying to find a proverbial needle in an ocean of haystacks. [Interesting all these visual analogies!] And if a picture paints a thousand words and I’m in the midst of creating Botticelli’s Venus, then Ethel will attempt to steal vital components of that picture and squirrel them away somewhere until all I’m left with is a cubist version of the painting that was The Birth of Venus that now resembles sand and sea and shells – not a Venus in sight.

I’ve been reading about sobriety and the more I read, the more I find similarities with others who drink – drinking for the same reasons – to make the real world go away. And what is it about the real world I don’t want to face? Nothing obvious springs to mind (like a happy gazelle). [That bloody Ethel’s been here again.] Except some days I don’t like me all that much – but doesn’t everyone feel that way? – or maybe just everyone who drinks?!! And what is it we’re trying to forget or get away from? Most of the time I sort-of like me… that is to say, I don’t dislike me – is that enough? And most of the time I actually like my life – the person I share my life with, the house we live in, our surroundings, my job and friends… and sometimes my family. Oh, was that a clue? I have issues with my family perhaps? Really? yeah probably. It’s not like I see them all that often. I wonder if they judge me – in fact I sort of expect them to judge me. Well certain family members that is. Why do I expect them to judge me? It comes from having a Christian background – like I grew up thinking it was ok to judge others, everyone did in Christian circles (didn’t they?) and so I expect that they still do. And I know I used to. But that was then. Now I don’t choose to judge others and nor do I want to be judged. I’m not saying my family is judgemental – I’m just saying I’m afraid of being judged by a few who have been judgemental in the past (as I was).

These days I don’t see life in the blacks and whites I used to. I see a continuum of many, many shades of grey. Some have a lot of pink in them, or blue or yellow, but all of them are grey (or some varying shade thereof) and I’m ok with that. It follows the thought that unless you’ve walked in my shoes, don’t judge me. Who am I to judge someone else if I haven’t lived their life, or felt their feelings, their joy or pain, without experiencing their experiences, from their perspectives, their history, their culture, their worldview? Who the hell am I to judge anyone?

And having borne the brunt of others’ judging, why would I do that to my friends or to others I care about. I know the hurt it causes and I don’t want to replicate that.

So Ethel’s a bitch because she steals thoughts from me when I’m on the brink of self realisation. And I fear being judged, and more specifically, being judged by my family – so there’s a realisation she hasn’t managed to hide from me. And then there’s you (my lovely blog) who let’s me say whatever I want to say, without fear of recrimination, and then when I read it back, I discover stuff about myself -regardless of Ethel’s attempts to sabotage my thoughts. It’s a bit of a win/win really. And all this self-realisation in the privacy of my own little blog…. which is in turn shared on the inter-web with millions of people. Perhaps I am crazy!

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