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oh, it's a threesome!
except not as fun...
by maigen thomas (@Maigen)
4.19.06
pop culture

There is a clinical psychotherapist living inside of me. There’s also a clinically depressed (and in all likelihood, teenaged) girl in there as well. That’s not to say I’m schizophrenic –- if I were, it would almost be easier. They’re certainly not the only personality types I embody, but these are the two who are closest to the fore this past weekend.

A funny thing is, I know I’m not the only one who feels like this. We all do, our warring personalities taking over as the situation permits. You may not be able to admit this, even to yourself or your diary, your mirror or a friend. But you know it’s true. And it’s okay.

I have to admit something: I have really bad moments. Sometimes they’re just really horrible thoughts, something is going to go wrong in this lovely life I’m living in and I’m not going to be able to handle it. I imagine myself absolutely losing my shit over something that has a 1 in a billion trillionth chance of happening. This visualized self is agonizing and crying and weeping and ready to kill herself. Sometimes she does. Most of the time she doesn’t.

Even in the middle of having these moments of debilitating fear, my therapist side steps in and taps me gently on the shoulder, bringing me back to my senses. “Excuse me, Self,” she says calmly, without raising her voice. “I hate to be the one to ruin this delightfully tragic moment, my dear, but what you’re doing is over-reacting to a specific set of stimuli created to extort this precise reaction from you. Do you want to let the fear control you, or do you want to control the fear?”

That inner-therapist of mine is the reason I can’t fake crying. I used to be able to in high school, for drama class. I won an acting award for playing the distraught and distanced wife of a man who committed suicide for no apparent reason. These days, I had better be bleeding before my tear ducts will squeeze out some moisture.

It’s really good to have that kind of personality at my disposal. I am learning how to ‘fight fair’ in my relationship. It’s not all about tv drama. I’ve never once gotten to throw anything at him, although I’ve wanted to a few times. The therapist in me is helping me understand where he’s coming from and why we’re saying certain things to each other in certain ways. We’re both learning and growing, even when it hurts and you’d rather just roll over and pull the covers over your head until it’s all better.

The depressed teenage girl inside me, however, is dying to lash out. “How dare you make me feel this way, asshole!” And then she lets go with an array of expletives that makes my dear grandmother run for the bar of soap.

What I’m learning from both of these interesting aspects is not to repress myself. If you have anger -– express it. Don’t hold it in. But express it in a way that isn’t attacking the person who made you angry. And it’s a learning process to do this. Sometimes I find myself at a loss for words because I can’t put my finger on the one that will tell my fiancé why I feel angry, neglected and frustrated when he does a particularly grating behaviour. He’s working on being able to express the same thing.

One thing that I keep reminding my teenaged avatar is that you have to just accept what people offer. Take their love. It’s easy to block it out, to turn away, to shrug it off, to leave it where it lies. But instead of holding them accountable for something given freely, hold yourself accountable for allowing yourself the freedom to take it, to soak it in, to absorb it.

There’s a lot to learn from both the angry, rebellious girl and the calm, confident counsellor. They’re all aspects I’ve learned to like about myself, and to respect what they have to offer. But I also have to learn to listen to the Buddha in me. If I would just let him take over more often, most of my unfounded worries would be missing come the next roll call.


ABOUT MAIGEN THOMAS

Maigen is simple. is smart. is wholesome. is skeevy. is spicy. is delicate. is better. is purer. is 100% more awesome than yesterday. She';s traveling the world and writing about her experiences with life, love, yoga, food, travel and people. Mostly people. Because they';re funny. hear more of her random thoughts @maigen on twitter.

more about maigen thomas

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COMMENTS

robert melos
4.19.06 @ 3:49a

See, now this makes me think you are a girl whose got it all together on so many levels. I actually envy that, since my other personalities often do take over and lash out and cause trouble. I did put it in writing, admitting it to a journal. That helped, but reading this was much better.

maigen thomas
4.20.06 @ 7:26a

I'm learning that even when I'm being irrational, I KNOW I'm being irrational - and that's what drives me more crazy. I feel that because I realize I'm going over the deep end, I should be able to stop doing it somehow.

I can't, but at least I realize my weaknesses and work with them, not against them.

tracey kelley
4.20.06 @ 10:52a

Ugh. That's what I hate: when I know I'm being irrational, but can't put a plug in it.

sandra thompson
4.22.06 @ 6:20p

Emotions are irrational by definition. I've just learned to appreciate my emotional, irrational self and control the excesses I used to be unable to control. I don't know when or how I learned to do this, but at the ripe old age of 71, I'm finally doing it. In general I express my anger productively and constructively, (you cannot imagine the number of emails I send my scumbag congressman, for instance!)and try to enjoy swimming with the tide of it all. I don't want to lose my passion, but I'm feeling unexpectedly and mysteriously happy the last few years. I think a large part of it is self-acceptance and the realization that I'm never going to be perfect. After all, none of us are.



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