Tuesday, October 28, 2008

i can see down this road.

i've been having a hard time with boundaries lately. literal boundaries. not really with setting them - people aren't actually walking around drawing lines in the sand that often, i suppose - but more with, i don't know, perceiving them correctly. putting them in their proper context. i am troubled by the concept, and by the inevitable breakdowns, a lot more than i should be.

two weeks ago, roaches and mice started appearing in our kitchen. seemingly out of nowhere. we've lived here for a year and a half, and never had a problem. and then bam - vermin. for someone who hunts down all the holes in a new place and stuffs them with steel wool the minute she moves in, this was a problem. i'll keep what has felt like a saga to my anxiety-ridden brain to this brief summation: we kept finding small spaces to plug up in the kitchen, they kept coming, then we found a big hole behind the fridge to plug up, then a mouse died somewhere in the fridge. so at the moment, we have a (knock wood) well-fortified apartment and a decomposing mouse somewhere in the kitchen apparatus.

this is not, of course, the end of the world. but it came on the heels of a lot of other odd boundary-related issues that kept cropping up for me. for months, anxieties about that inside/outside divide, and all the ways that it is and can be breached, had been pressing themselves into my consciousness. i worried about bug bites that took too long to go away; i lay awake at night scaring myself with house fire scenarios; i obsessed over whether the hallway smelled like gas; the tip of my tongue went numb. yes, numb. it was either a jalapeno injury or a psychosomatic thing. and honestly, i wouldn't be surprised at the latter. everything, it felt, was encroaching.

encroaching on what, right? the anxiety over the physical piercing of boundaries is, so my pysch major sister informs me, about control. i am not surprised by this, as this is certainly not the first time i've dealt with this particular problem, this irrational and impossible desire to control the uncontrollable. but this is the first time it has manifested itself with this consistent theme. my reactions have not been at all proportional to the situations at hand, and at the very least, i need to try to change that. because i can see down this road and i don't like where it leads. at all.

there's lots to be done. lots of slippery and distorted thinking to wrestle to the ground, expose, interrogate. lots of behaviors to put in check. lots of ghosts to get in line. because really, it's their doing - and while i've lived with them long enough to know that they're not going away, they are going to have to start listening to authority. because i've had enough of this acting up. i've had enough of feeling like i'm being forced to run along a cliff edge with my eyes closed. i've had enough of being held hostage by all the people i used to be.

and i need a decent night's sleep.


Lisa said...

Ohh, I feel you. Boundaries are hard. I was raised with almost none - or rather the ones I had were always set by other people. Learning to set them took me a lot of work. But setting them and living life on your terms - to the extent possible - feels a lot better.

Anonymous said...

"i've had enough of being held hostage by all the people i used to be".

I think that is a great line, AND boy do I know how you feel.