Today I came home and contemplated calling Dustin, but I hesitated. No, calling would not be a good idea, I thought, for no particular reason other than, well…nope, can’t think of one reason. I just thought it wouldn’t be a good idea and mused over it for far too long and couldn’t move past the point.
I would take a nap instead.
But when I woke up from my nap, it occurred to me that I wanted to talk to Dustin – and I momentarily forgot that I had earlier decided (again, for no particular reason) that it was not a good idea to call him, and so I grabbed my cell phone and dialed his number.
It went to voicemail.
Then I remembered that calling was bad and I started to feel Anxiety.
“Are you an idiot?” she said. “We just had this conversation not even an hour ago. It is a bad idea to call him, remember?”
She was rude and sarcastic and she wasn’t alone. She had her gang with her – that bloody dissonant chorus and their chants. They all yell out one after the other – it’s hard to make them out, but I recognized a few.
The first voice ringing out inside my head was my grandmother’s:
“In my day, I would have sooner died than call a boy,” she was saying. “A girl should never call a boy.”
I heard Shaun’s voice too: “Your expectations will only set you up for disappointment.”
There were quite a few of my girlfriends from high school ganging up on me too. I couldn’t tell them apart, but they were saying:
“Let him call you.”
“You’re suffocating him.”
“You’re too clingy.”
“You want too much from him.”
“You’re so stupid.” (That one really hurt.)
And of course, Terry’s voice was there too: “Never second guess yourself.”
“Um, excuse me,” I spoke up. “How is that last comment relevant to this situation?”
Anxiety just sneered. “You’re so stupid, you know that? I try to help you – now he is never going to want to date you and it’s all your fault. You stupid, ungrateful brat.”
Earlier today, a friend of mine had introduced me to the Karpman Drama Triangle – Anxiety was acting like a persecutor and a victim at the same time and I had had enough. I was removing myself from this scene.
Very calmly I replied: “I called him because I wanted to talk to him and quite frankly it’s none of your business. When you want to behave like a reasonable part of my brain and quit calling me names, come find me. Otherwise, take your band of unhelpful fools and go back to the region where I store the things that happened in the past and don’t matter anymore.”
Anxiety didn’t say anything – she just left – and I breathed a deep sigh of relief.