Some things just don’t make sense. I understand a certain thing, but somebody else is telling me differently. I experienced a certain trauma, and it makes no sense. I feel a growing frustration. It just doesn’t make sense.
If I keep trying, I’ll work it out. Or maybe not. If I keep trying and it still doesn’t make sense, my frustration grows.
Denying it allows me to keep working on task. But eventually even my denial is overcome because the damn thing still doesn’t make sense.
I’m working on it. I’m working despite it. I’m working to avoid it. But working doesn’t resolve the damn thing.
Eventually I can’t avoid it any longer, and even though I’ve long since forced the nonsense or the trauma out of conscious memory, my subconscious is still trying to resolve it. My subconsious puts me in situations much like the original thing that doesn’t make sense. I make the same mistakes over and over again, repeating the same nonsense, the same trauma, and coming to the same non-solution. I don’t understand why I keep doing these same mistakes over and over!
I deny my frustration so I can stay focused on my work – and distract myself from my nonsense or trauma and my frustration. But subconsciously I’m getting more and more frustrated. I just don’t realize it consciously, and all I know is that I keep feeling more and more driven to work harder and harder, because I just know there’s a reward that will come if I can just work hard enough.
I’ve forgotten what it is that doesn’t make sense, but my unconscious remembers and keeps working on it. My frustration keeps growing and growing. I can’t concentrate on my work as well anymore. I feel stressed and pressured, so I work harder and harder. I don’t know why. But my subconscious knows why: I’m avoiding the trauma that doesn’t make sense. But I fool myself into thinking that there’s a reward.
I don’t consciously know that the real reward is to resolve the nonsense and the trauma. That’s what I’m working so hard at, but all it gets me is money and a pat on the back. There is no resolution to the issue that I no longer remember. So, I work harder. There is more stress and pressure.
Under years of stress and pressure, one day my life breaks. I am driving down the road, and I turn right to avoid somebody walking in the road, and I run into another car. Big accident. I’m in the hospital for weeks. But there was nobody in the road. I was avoiding something, but I can’t admit it these days.
Or one particularly stressful day somebody complains, and it’s just one complaint too many. I break down and start to cry. What the hell am I doing? I’ve had stressful days before. Why are these tears coming down my cheeks? Why am I sobbing like a lunatic? It wasn’t that big a deal. But the big deal remains carefully forgotten in my subconscious.
One day I’m working my butt off to finish a project on time, and I just doze off. Not just once, but it starts happening on a regular basis. I can’t seem to stay awake. I’m stressed, but I choose the stress because I love the feeling of victory, of achievement, of doing something that makes me feel approved. If I can just do this, I’ll be okay. But I’m not okay, not subconsciously. I’m avoiding the pressure that comes from avoiding the real issue.
I’m totally overwhelmed by real life because it’s the life I choose so I can be distracted from the real life I am avoiding. I can’t go back and work on that issue now, I’m too busy at work trying to find excuses to avoid that old trauma, that old nonsense. My subconscious has other plans. I get in an accident. I start sobbing in the most inappropriate place “for no reason.” I fall asleep in the middle of a meeting.
I can’t function anymore. I lose chunks of my life: my job, my spouse, my day out with friends. I can’t do this, whatever this is. I don’t know how to fix this. I don’t even know what this is! I just know that things don’t work anymore. I don’t have any problems. I’m making good money. I have a nice family life in a fairly comfortable home. I drive a car that doesn’t need repairs for the most part. But something broke in me. I can’t keep up. I can’t keep doing this anymore. And I don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing. I’m lost, hopeless, anxious, worthless, and depressed. What the hell is going on?
What do you mean something happened in my life that didn’t make sense, that traumatized me? That didn’t happen. Nothing happened to me. I don’t have a pattern of repeating mistakes in my life. (Well, I do, but I’m not admitting it to you. And I’m certainly not going to go back and dig around in all that pain and anguish.)
I can take some drugs and feel better for months at a time. I get my life back to some semblance of order. And then, suddenly, in the middle of a pleasant conversation among friends, I panic. For no reason, I’m back to not being able to function. My job is gone. I’m afraid to see my friends because I might panic again. My spouse tries to avoid me, and I’m afraid to try to get close again. They give me more drugs, but eventually even the stronger doses, the stronger medicines, don’t work.
What is happening to me? There’s a devil lurking back there, in the back of my mind. I hate that devil. Why doesn’t it just go away? I’m afraid to face it. It’s gonna get me and destroy me. Rip me limb from limb. But what the hell, it’s already destroying my life. I consider suicide, but that is just more avoidance.
I have to face this devil. Talk to it. Talk through it. Cry it out. Admit that it doesn’t make sense. Admit that the solution wasn’t a solution at all. I have to stop repeating the same nonsense, the same non-solution. I need a new solution. Avoiding obviously doesn’t work.
All those times I worked through the same type of situation, and I didn’t even know I was looking for a different solution to that nonsense, that trauma. And now I have a different, more mature understanding. I have a different solution. In fact, I have several different solutions. I just have to notice when I’m making a wrong turn, getting ready to cry or starting to get sleepy; and then I can pick a new solution. Do a new thing. Reinvent my life. Have a better life.
It’s all clear to me now. I felt overwhelmed because I imagined it was all too big for me. But one little step at a time, and I can get away from that place where I’ve been living in my subconscious mind. I can create a whole new life. It’s all so easy. So super clear. There is a heaven, and it’s right here when I decide to live it.
- © Christopher Aune, 2018