Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Where We Hide Our Thoughts

Sometimes I need to be reminded that the brains of most people that I see shuffling around from day to day are not really dead. With all of this talk of death in the news, it's a refreshing fact to know. Johnnie Cochran is dead, TS is still 99.9% dead, and the country is still tearing itself up over what to do with the other .1%. The Pope has to be about 99% dead at this point. He has a feeding tube now. How ironic is that? Jerry Falwell is apparently also about 98% dead. If he goes, I'm not sure to whom I should turn for confirmation if I suspect some children's show character is gay, or a cross-dresser, or otherwise "not worthy"?

As I was saying, I'm generally an optimist, and so I know that these blank stares aren't going to walk around with their hopes and fears on their sleeves, but I know that these hopes and fears exist, and that they are therefore fully alive in there. This blog that I found seems to give me the confirmation that I need for today. I guess this is where the double-edged sword of blogging comes in. It's great for sharing your life with others, and saying "Hey, check out my vacation pictures!" as I often do on my German blog, however it makes it impossible then to share my very deepest thoughts, because I like to keep them private. Actually, no, that's not exactly true. I would like to make them public for many to see, but only for people that are not already so close to me in reality. It seems that there should be one person besides me that knows the link between this blog, the public me, and the "anonymous" me, that is not already a real life friend or family member. At least one other person needs to understand my reality in total. However...

It's not for guidance. I know where I'm going.
It's not for validation. I am already confident.
It's not for therapy. I'm quite sane, thanks.
It's not for encouragement. I'm not depressed.
It's just for the proverbial tree falling in the woods. I need someone to hear me, and be heard.

I don't have especially deep dark secrets or thoughts compared to anyone else. They do exist though, and they beg to be expressed.


corpus callosum said...

"I would like to make them public for many to see, but only for people that are not already so close to me in reality."

What do you think is going to happen if the people who are close to you in reality put the public you, the blog you and the anonymous you together into one "gestalt"?

Erik Grow said...

Corpus, this blog *is* the public me, and isn't a secret, but they don't really read it, and it would be fine if they did. The people close to me in reality won't see the anonymous me. My wife keeps a handwritten journal, so she would understand even if she read this. "Gestalt", ah, a good German word! I considered using it in that post actually. I should have.

What will happen? I don't know. I guess it depends on the person. Wife, family, friends... Picture this. You are in high school and you reveal your crush on a girl somehow, that is nice but really out of your league. She is flattered, but cannot return your affection. You then see her in the hallway, and say "hi" a little sheepishly. She smiles and walks past. Now, forget all details of that story, and just think of that *feeling*. That is what I am avoiding.

corpus callosum said...

So I guess it's a cognitive dissonance thing. I.e, the discomfort of the "feeling" you described is greater than the longing for someone to connect all the parts of the whole.

There are some unfortunate consequences of cognitive dissonance - but what you're talking about isn't quite classic CD, because you keep the "anonymous you" hidden.

A suggestion: Start yet another blog that ONLY contains the dark side of you. If you happen upon someone that you trust that isn't already a real life friend, let them know the URL. Keep it private from everyone else.

Erik Grow said...

Heh. Did you major in Psychology Corpus? I actually have an MS in Counseling Psychology, but have been out of the field for over six years, just a couple years after getting my MS.

Yes, I am already familiar with that study. My directed research study that I did when I was a senior in undergrad was about cognitive dissonance.

I have thought about trying your suggestion. It wouldn't necessarily be the "dark" side, more like the "other" side, and not even the other "half" really. I'm still formulating ideas.

corpus callosum said...

I never formally studied Psych. I've had some close friends who were/are WAY into it, though, and they influenced me greatly. So, it's sort of a life-long preoccupation - lots of reading and discussing. And oh yeah - about 10 years of various forms of therapy for myself.

My wife happens to be a psychologist - but I was already into it before I met her - probably one of the reasons I was drawn to her. People ask me if she sits around "analyzing" me all the time. But after a full day of clients she really has no desire to psychologize. It's usually more the other way around - she relies on me for psych perspective.