Sometimes I get inspiration from reading other blogs. For instance, I was reading this post over at Don’t Forget To Feed The Baby about her aversion to confessional blog posts. She wrote that humor was more cathartic for her than deep, dark, emotional confessions and I thought, “AMEN, SISTER!”
I find it extremely difficult to talk about my problems seriously. In fact, I’d rather run through a burning building than be the subject of a Barbara Walters interview. No joke.
Barbara loves to watch people cry. What is wrong with her? I bet she tortures puppies for fun. I’m sending the ASPCA over to her house.
There are plenty of painful things in my past and I’ll talk about any of them. Seriously, ask me. I’ll tell you whatever you want to know. Just know that there will be some cheeky humor involved. Nothing is sacred.
I don’t think Barbara would like that. She’s not alone.
I think I was ten the first time someone accused me of being inappropriately irreverent. My sister found me to be “flippant” at our mother’s memorial service. Perhaps she took issue when I grew weary of all the canned condolences and began talking to a potted plant.
I can see where she might think my botanical conversation was a sign of disrespect, but in my defense, Mom had told me that I could find her spirit in anything she loved and sitting in that front row folding chair of the pastel-colored hospital conference room/make-shift chapel, directly in front of a large fern and surrounded by awkwardly grieving adults, I decided to address her spirit. She loved plants. Who was to say that she wasn’t sitting in that fern? So I struck up a conversation. I figured I’d earned the right. She was my mother. I could talk to a potted plant if I wanted to.
My sister found that inappropriate, which is a little ironic considering that she showed up wearing a transparent black dress that didn’t button properly and more makeup than a tranny. She was also high. And not on life. But I didn’t think twice about that at the time because I took my sister at face value: a confused and grieving not-quite-adult with an interesting wardrobe. I was baffled that she didn’t take me at face value: a confused and grieving child with a fondness for decorative plants.
She assumed, like many, that my irreverence indicated a lack of feeling, which isn’t the case. I simply have a hard time facing pain without poking fun at it. It’s a coping mechanism and so deeply ingrained that I doubt it’s going anywhere. Nor would I want it to. I treasure it. It helps keep me sane.
I know what you’re thinking: I bet that girl kicks @ss in yoga.
Then it must be: That girl is a prime candidate for therapy.
Yeah, I see your point.
But I am horrible at therapy. I absolutely lose my mind in a therapist’s office (and not in a great cathartic way) and then I just start telling the therapist what I think they want to hear, which, as anyone who has successfully utilized therapy could tell you, defeats the purpose.
After Hubs’s best friend was shot on duty I saw a departmental therapist to discuss the trauma. I made a deal with myself that I would be absolutely honest. I went twice. We talked about my fragile side. I spoke earnestly. It was torturous and after the second session I backed my car into a pole then drove off into the sunset in a fit of irritation, never to return. I may have been on the verge of a break through or break down, but we’ll never know.
Humor works better for me.
So I will continue to break my pain into bite-sized morsels and laugh at it until it isn’t so scary. Some of those morsels are likely to end up here, like emotional crumbs. Hopefully we can all laugh at them because that’s the best catharsis of all. Even better than saving Barbara Walters’s tortured puppies.
Disclaimer: There is no evidence to support the claim that Ms. Walters tortures puppies. However, there is bountiful proof that she regularly makes celebrities cry.
Cheeky humor and inappropriate laughter have saved the day for me many times.
Me too, Paula.
I love therapy. But it’s when I can’t crack jokes anymore that I know I really need it. Jokes ARE a kind of therapy! And now I have an image of a clown psychiatrist in my head. Terrifying.
Oh my god, that is terrifying.
What I need is a therapist who will sit and joke with me in an office that looks like a coffee house, so that I don’t actually realize that I’m in therapy.
I think you’re onto something with your “emotional crumbs.” A lot of people try to take the whole trauma in one big gulp, which is probably what lands them in therapy (or sitting across from Barbara Walters).
Trauma in one big gulp results in a lot of ugly crying and I can only do so much ugly crying. It gives me a serious headache. And it scares children.