I’m not all here yet

Sorry if this entry is a little more jumbled and disjointed than usual, if that is indeed possible. I am writing earlier then usual  because Le Gang is getting together earlier than usual tonight and that is throwing me off my game a tad.

We’re getting together early because the Great and Almighty Joe, Doer of Things, is on spring break starting today. Normally, we would not be getting together till Joe gets off work at midnight.

But tonight, we can get together at a time when, god willin’ and the creek don’t rise, the sub might actually still be in the sky.

It’s hard for someone woith my background to believe but it’s already beginning to look summer-like around here. In March.  Where I come from, there’s a sort of folk belief that Saint Patrick’s Day, which is tomorrow, marks the end of the really BIG blizzards.

But summer won’t even be a twinkle in Mother Nature’s eye on PEI till about a month from now. And that’s when PEI will be getting the sort of weather we are getting right now – still cold-ish, but sunny.

OF course,  here, cold-ish means 8 degree Celcius, whereas back home on Prince Edward’s Island [1] it means -8. Positive temperatures are a month away too.

And seeing as this year marks my 20th year in the GVRD, the evidence clearly indicates that this disconnect between where I live and what my mind insists “should” be happening is never going away.

Even more enduring is my belief that if people are home, the door should not be locked. That’s never going away. There is something fundamentally offensive to me about opening a locked door and finding there are people home. It shocks and upsets me.

I’ve tried to wrangle out exactly why in this space before. It has something to do with friendliness and hospitality, but it goes much deeper than can be adequately explained by the Acadian assumptions of hospitality and gregariousness. [2]

So let’s look, instead, into my own personal history for an explanation. As patient readers know, I was a latchkey kid from an (arguably too) young age.

That means that for most of my childhood, coming home from school meant coming home to an empty house. That means I have thousands of memories of unlocking the door and walking into a home where I would be all alone for around an hour.

And that’s a very lonely feeling. I had just made the difficult emotional transitions necessary for an agoraphobic person to walk home from school and what I really needed was a warm welcome and someone who would listen while I related the events of my day to them.

But nobody gave a shit what I needed. The general attitude was that everyone was doing me a big favour by allowing me to be there in the first place, and anything I asked for above that was simply beyond the pale.

Not that anyone ever said that. That would have required thinking about it and that would involve thinking about me, so clearly, that was out of the question.

Anyhow. Back to the topic.

So I experienced this small daily trauma of coming home to a cold and lonesome house thousands of times. It was particularly bad when my mother started leaving for work before I even woke up, so that she would have time to walk there and still have time to get her lesson plan for the day together.

By then my siblings were all either out of the house or at least out of school, so those who were still home could get up whenever. So that meant that every school day, I got up by myself, made and ate my own breakfast, got myself ready for school, and left home without seeing another human being.

Throw in the months of the year when the nights were so long that it wasn’t even fully daytime when I walked to school and you get a pretty good picture of an extremely cold and lonely childhood.

What can we conclude from this? That for the lion’s share of my childhood, if I had to unlock the door when I got home, that meant nobody was home, and that made me sad every single time.

And when a trauma, however small, is repeated that often, the mind comes to accept that as simply “how things are”. Like it’s a rule of nature. And when something violates that, it shocks me.

And now the real problem appears on the horizon. Patient readers also know that I have massive issue regarding feelings of abandonment and rejection.

You just have to see how I describe my relationship with my family to realize that.

So when I open the door to find people home,  I immediately feel rejected. Like those home were trying to keep me out because they didn’t want me around.

They are not, so to speak, open to me.

And that kicks me right in the issues. My neuroses are such that I am always ready to believe that people don’t want me around and are trying to get rid of me so they don’t have to deal with me any more.

And for an agoraphobe like me, to have that happen in connection to home, the one place we can feel safe, is especially traumatic.

So what might seem like a small thing – my roomies locking the door while still home because they want to take a nap or whatever – has a very large effect on my mood.

And yeah, that doesn’t “make sense”. But in case you haven’t noticed, I am a crazy person, and by definition, crazy people are not rational.

I guess that’s it. Mystery solved.

So why don’t I feel any better?

I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.


Footnotes    (↵ returns to text)

  1. Only people who are from PEI can call it Prince Edward’s Island, It’s Prince Edward Island for everyone else. It’s kind of like a nickname, usually used when one is being sardonically grandiose about our little Island.
  2.  Not that those things aren’t part of the equation. There’s still a little part of me that can’t accept that nobody “goes visiting” after church on Sunday around here.

    I guess on Sunday afternoons, they just do…. whatever. Weird. 

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