How is your heart these days?
What about your brain?
My heart holds massive compassion and hope. It’s new every day. And I’m grateful for that. It makes me feel as though there’s some part of my life this huge mess hasn’t touched.
My brain is a different story. This is my brain, every day: “This is fine, it’s not so bad OH MY GOD I AM GOING TO LOSE MY SHIT okay it’s getting better, things will start to even out and then WE ARE ALL GOING TO FUCKING DIE, LONG, SLOW, PAINFUL, HIDEOUS DEATHS!!!!!!111!!!!11”
It’s confusing in here. And crowded.
The cynics among us are simply disappointed romantics, as the truism goes. And I believe this. (Otherwise, how would goths even exist?) It describes me, no doubt. Swinging back and forth between these world views is, how you say, my jam. Or anyway it’s the only way I know how to operate. But it’s been years since it was this intense. In fact, it’s a little like reliving my under-18 years (a block of time for which, I’ve often said, there’s no large-enough sum of money to entice me into repeating).
Much has been said (out there, on the internet, where they say things) about how the current American president is a constant, low-level PTSD experience for those of us who were raised by a narcissist. And those of us living in the US with cognitive thinking skills have spent each of the last four years being unpleasantly surprised by ever-increasing levels of threat, stupidity, cruelty, and destruction, among other things. (I assume now that this situation is what David Bowie saw, 40+ years ahead of time, when he wrote “Chant of the Ever Circling Skeletal Family.”) We’re nearing the end of this utterly dark presidency and so the kicks come more often and with ever-increasing unpleasantries. The latest of which includes a psychological return to a time in life when I had less agency over my person, when I spent hours in my head to avoid what was happening around me.
I realize, of course, that this is one person’s experience, but writ large? It’s an effective way to break a large group of people down. And we can’t afford to be broken down.
So, what do we do? That’s an earnest question. I don’t know what to do. Currently I’m giving myself endless pep talks, focusing on love and beauty and other truths, and indulging in escapism. (If you’d like recommendations on endless numbers of light, fluffy fiction to read, just let me know.) And when the crash comes, as it inevitably does, I let myself wallow for awhile.
Please don’t think I’m unaware, however, that this is, actually, nothing—in the grand scheme of things, my little feelings don’t matter. I’m safe, I’m housed, I’m not going broke, I’m not going hungry. But I suspect the heart and brain operate on different equipment.