Fear and Indecision: Unlocking Painful Emotions

This morning I find myself in a mad mood, not at all conducive to creative thought. If I started to vent I would end up looking bitter, twisted and in need of immediate psychological help. This does not sit well with how a woman of my age, wisdom and maturity should behave. I know because past experience has taught me it would only end in tears – mine.

I have no wish to expand on the reason for my simmering mood and intermittent chuntering – all I will say is the Dutch Health Insurance Company and leave it at that.

Unfortunately in my angst and rage against the DHIC I can’t focus on writing and I really want to. As usual there is a silver lining – I have a piece of writing I wasn’t sure I wanted to post but I’m going to.

Here’s the issue – it’s not lively or funny or quirky, it’s actually quite grown up, something I’ve spent my life trying to avoid. Essentially it doesn’t feel like me. But what I discovered behind the words was an emotion I am uncomfortable with, something I can’t identify. Or refuse to.

I was recently asked to submit an introductory writing sample about the American South for an audience not familiar with the area – a pretty huge chunk of the USA you’ll admit, and a pretty open remit on how to present it. After some discussion it was decided to start with a general overview, some facts and figures and zoom in on a smaller area, the Deep South.

Once I zoomed in and started writing it pretty much wrote itself, and I realised as the words came out that some of them were coming from a place deep inside about a city I had a love/ hate relationship with for ten years and who I still feel ambiguous about.

The place I raised my children, the place that taught me more about myself than anywhere I’ve ever lived, whose endgame was a challenge that proved the human spirit is greater than any of us realises and at the end of the day other people and our relationships with them are all that matter in life.

I didn’t write any of that in the piece, but I realised behind the conversational tone and informative chit-chat there was a deeper emotion at work, one that is determined to find its way out. Perhaps it’s time to let whatever force is in there express itself, who knows. What I do know is that the prospect scares the hell out of me.

My argument against it is some things are better left in a box and stored way, that opening the box and examining it’s contents will be like picking at a scab on your knee – painful, messy and only of interest to you.

Then of course there is the problem of the box itself. Its fine while it sits there happily, content to exist quietly somewhere deep in your psyche, quite another thing when it decides to start making escape plans.

So what to do?

What I usually do, nail the lid back on, wrap it in chains, and sink it in concrete. Only this time something has changed, oh so subtly, but it’s there. I think about Pandora, and realise that in opening her box she was left with the greatest gift of all.

Oh Lordy, I’ve rambled on again. Guess I’ll post the Deep South thing as a separate blog, as I’d like to know what you think.

And at least it takes my mind off the bloody DHIC…

About wordgeyser

Our anglo/american family used to live in four countries (USA, Canada, UK and the Netherlands) on two continents, separated by distance, time zones, circumstance and cultures. It has been a scary, enriching, challenging place to be. The only things guaranteed to get us through were a sense of humour and the amazing people met along the way. . . This year everything changed with a move for us from the Netherlands, – and a move along with us for our son and his wife from the UK – to Houston, Texas, the same city as our daughter. With our youngest in Vancouver, Canada, we are now all living on the same continent. How this happened, and more importantly why, will be the subject of this ongoing blog...
This entry was posted in Inspiration and Reflection, Personal challenges, USA, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Fear and Indecision: Unlocking Painful Emotions

  1. Post it. Pandora box or not, the signs are there. You’ll do it great justice. Do post it.
    (BTW, loving the new photo. Now people can see that we really DO have sunshine here in the winter!)

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