to amputate or detach, that is the question

because sometimes people can be real asses

because sometimes people can be real asses

I believe that this is the first time, in a long time that I have gladly welcomed Monday morning. If I reflect on this past weekend it’s from a “running in the opposite direction while trying to kick up enough dust to impair my view of  it” sort of way. Yea, it was THAT kind of weekend. What made this weekend worse was that I didn’t see it coming. Well, I knew the weekend was coming, it was the holy shit your ex wife is an effing lunatic” crap I didn’t see coming, especially since I was the one in the line of fire. Oy! Seriously, you could have nailed me across the head with a 2 x 4 and I would have been less stunned, though I’m sure my headache would have been much worse with the whole 2 x 4 thing…anyway.

OK, so the weekend actually had potential to be great and would have been perfect had the “I’ve been making a complete idiot out of Amelia” thingy hadn’t gone down. That threw a real hitch in my giddy up. I mean I am pretty good at making an idiot out of myself without the aid of someone who clearly hates me to the very core of my being.  And is there anything worse than being the last one to figure it out? It’s like crossing the finish line after everyone else has finished the race, showered and  has packed up to leave the field just as you cross the line and they’re all like it’s ok, you didn’t look stupid at all. You know they are just trying to reassure you because who really says  “man, you looked like a total ass, we’ve been shaking our heads in complete disbelief and laughing at you the whole time.”  That's totally the stuff you say behind their back, though I actually know people who would make that last comment, out loud, to their face.

It’s exquisitely painful people to be the last person to get a clue, catch the drift, open the memo- ok, natural childbirth may really define the category of exquisite pain, but natural childbirth is also physical pain that goes away. Heartbreak, hurt feelings, and yes, I’ll throw in a dash of betrayal doesn’t go away so easily, especially when you didn’t see it coming. I swear what they say about me must be true;  I really do think we all live in Candy land where everyone is nice, laughing and snacking on Twizzlers together while singing Kumbaya. Ah, but in reality, even in Candy land others are waiting on their opportunity to climb right over you and beat you to the booty, the stash, the candy covered finished line. Christ what are we teaching our children when we give them these board games?

Anyway- I want you to know that I responded to her child like, juvenile, clearly I have not matured since junior high school behavior with an equally mature response, I chose to amputate. Yes, you read that right, my first reaction was “oh, you don’t want to play nice, fine, I’ll freaking amputate you and show you!”

Now, I admit that amputating the people who hurt you is a character flaw (and just for clarification, I don’t mean to imply that I cut off any part of their body, I just mean I cut them out of my life because cutting off a part of their body would be a felony and a character flaw). I tend to hurl myself into relationships with other people 110%- which is probably another character flaw and certainly lays the ground work for getting my feelings hurt- the more I give to a relationship, the greater my need to cut them out if they mess it up.  I’d like to think that this is some clever, survival defense mechanism which has proven historically to improve the quality of the human gene pool, but it’s not- it’s just a standard, run of the mill defense mechanism- it kicks in when my feelings get hurt.  If you aren’t in my life anymore, then you can’t possibly hurt me with your childish, clearly you got caught in a pattern of arrested development bullshit anymore.

I don’t care who you are that just makes sense.

The problem is, amputating makes it pretty hard to maintain necessary relationships, and I’m now looking around for my big girl panties.  And since I am trying to live my life in a way that creates opportunity for growth; I wouldn’t want to burrow in emotionally (amputating = burrowing). I realize that the last statement sounds a lot like cheesy, armchair psychology, and that’s because it is courtesy of M Scott Peck.

So…..I’m attempting to shift from amputating to simple detachment- you know, when you sense danger (physically, emotionally, mentally) you just step away, get the eff out of the line of fire. Pull back, regroup, you don’t have to react but think and choose to act etc etc

Choosing to step away from something/someone that threatens your sanity without going all “I’m never going to speak to you again, and by the way, yes those jeans do make your butt look fat” crazy. Because somewhere between laying down to be a doormat and amputating someone completely out of your life exists detachment. Detachment affords me the opportunity to simply pull away from what or who feels dangerous, to create the space to choose how to act versus reacting in an overly emotionally way. Simple right? Ha! So, if you need me today I’ll be over hear reciting,
“I will not amputate, I will not amputate, detachment is my friend.”