This blog is gonna be short and messy because I had a thunderbolt of a realization last night and I wanted to get it out before it lost its impact. I can feel it fizzling away the farther away I get from the initial thought.
Saying nice words to the people you love is important. Saying them more often than you do negative words is even more important.
Why is that?
Welp, I can only hear my dad say one thing in my head.
That’s it. That’s the only part of his voice that has stayed in my head. He’s been dead since 1997, so I had a lot of time to forget a lot of things.
In my head, I can hear my Nana’s voice saying “Schatzi!” and that’s the only word left. That was what she called D was she was a wee baby. She’s been gone less time than my dad, so I lost her words fast.
Do you know how many things I can hear in my ex-husband’s voice?
Or my mom’s?
Or former coworker’s?
I can hear lots of them.
They’re all negative towards me though.
And the words are the only concrete memories that stick with my brain. So the words get stuck playing on a loop in my head. Thankfully, therapy was immensely helpful in getting those loops to stop way earlier or, in some cases, shut up all together.
Because of having aphantasia, the only way I recall what anyone’s faces look like is by looking at a photograph of them.
It fucking sucks. Like, I’m really jealous of those of you who can just conjure up images and memories of people you’ve lost over the years. Or hell, fun events you attended or good things that happened.
I’m jealous of it all.
If a photo or written account of an event doesn’t exist, it basically didn’t happen to me. Sometimes a song of line of dialogue on a screen can bring me back to the feelings I was feeling when something important happened. It’s always a delightful surprise when that happens.
But a lot of time it’s a negative connotation instead of a positive one.
Then, last night, as I was getting ready to take my hot bath in my ghost tub, I just had a thunderbolt of realization, like I said up above.
My brain holds on to the negative things people have said to me way more than it does the positive ones.
Part of that is because, I dunno, the negative stuff “imprints” harder on me. My body/brain are really good at emotional recall (idk what else to call it), so if someone says something negative to me that mirrors something that has fucked me up in the past, my body will put itself right back into that same response.
My heart will race and I’ll start getting hot face and I can feel my body shrinking into itself. It is not anything I can control so if you see this happening to me and tell me to “stop”, you will just make it worse. I just have to let it pass.
Lately, most of the time I am able to turn my body’s response around with some focused breathing and positive self talk.
Imagine that. Talking to myself in a positive way when negative self talk has been a literal way of life for me.
I think I’m am so used to people only telling me when I am doing something wrong, it makes it hard to accept the compliment when I am doing something right. Especially because people are way more likely to point out bad behavior over good.
I mean, just take a look at Yelp! or Google Reviews.
Look, I know this blog is a rambly mess but sometimes writing things out like this helps me untangle them in my head.
At first I was just angry at all the space the negative people in my life are taking up in my brain, but after writing this I’m just sad that all I have left of the people who were the best to me in my life are “Hey, Sis!” and “Schatzi”.