"If you like pina coladas, invasive pelvic exams..." (ala Jimmy Buffet)
Dr. Luz - famed therapist and kindred spirit - pointed out something interesting to me in a discussion last week. We were speaking about my sometimes frequent Google-induced freak-outs when she enlightened me about a particular aspect of my personality: I have become habituated to trauma.
Now, I know what you're thinking: "No shit, Sherlock. You're paying her for these tips, are you?"
It does sound simple, but really it's not. (And yes, she's worth every sanity-saving dime.) Dr. Luz says that I've come to expect trauma at every turn (because, let's face it, that's been my life in recent years) and instead of waiting patiently for Trauma (it's a proper noun now) to show up and bitch-slap me when I least expect it, I decide to go out and hunt her down. Thus, the endless queries and scary searches on the internet. Somewhere in my psyche, I figure if I can find out what might happen to me, what might go wrong, and put myself in those shoes first - I've beat her. Well, sort of.
But that's the problem - the "sort of". In the process, I cross some line between "good to know" knowledge and "scare the bejeezus" knowledge. And I force myself to imagine myself in traumas that will likely never occur. (You see, Trauma always shows up on my doorstep wearing a different guise than the ones I've prepared for. Kinda like the weird uncle who shows up for Thanksgiving in drag.)
Now, before I bore you with the ins-and-outs of my innermost self, let me introduce you to another aspect of my personality that I met up with this weekend: The Hope Addict.
That's right. Through it all (and I mean all in the true sense of the word - not in the rock ballad sense) she, too, has been there. She gets overwhelmed at times, and quietly waits in the corner of the room until the other, louder personalities in my head have quieted down and quit shouting. But she's always there.
She waits until the soft moments when I'm alone and pondering things of great consequence, like "Is that bush in my front yard really dead? Or will it come back in the spring?", before she comes out to speak. And when she does, she articulates so clearly and speaks with such authority that I couldn't miss her point if I tried.
Hope Addict came and hung out with me this weekend. She showed up when I got the phone call from my best friend that said her baby is a little girl - a healthy little girl. She went out with me and all our friends this weekend and kept me so calm that I didn't even feel compelled to fill anyone in on "me" and my latest sagas. And she came to church with me this morning, giving me the power to smile at all the babies and appreciate a new-found friend.
So, the Hope Addict has agreed to stick around (she's even tougher and more stubborn than me!) and she's agreed to help me find that line in the sand so we can send the Habituated Trauma Searcher into early retirement. We know she means well, but Hope brings better food to the parties.
I'm quite pleased with the arrangement. It's handy to have all of these characters in one neat little package - handy in a hermaphroditic, self-lovin' kinda way.