2005-03-10 - 9:42 a.m.

There is a commercial on the radio that is cracking me up. I only heard it once, yesterday and since then I have been laughing about it. And the only line I remember is someone saying in a Dan Akroyd, Dragnetish voice, “Uh, you can’t come in here, you’re a taco salad.” I don’t know what the commercial is for, I mean, I know it is for a taco salad but I don’t know where this taco salad is made. I do remember at some point it is made clear that it is a FIESTA taco salad we are talking about…but I don’t remember anything else but the you can’t come in here, you’re a taco salad. I keep saying it to everyone and cracking myself up even though they have no idea what I am talking or laughing about.

Anyway…this is not what I wanted to write about this morning.

I wanted to write about something that is very disturbing to me. Lately I have been having some trouble understanding myself. I have been going around in circles in my head with certain issues about my being and no matter how long I think about them I do not understand them. THIS is where a psychologist is good. Back when I was going to a psychologist I found that I wasn’t helped by the experience because she offered me advice or answered any of my questions about the things that I was dealing with…but by going to her she helped me work through them on my own by talking and talking and talking and her questions helped lead me to a clear and honest answer that I provided myself. So while I am talking circles in my head I am trying to employ psychologist methods to myself…

The thing I am grappling with right now is the fact that lately, in the past year, I have been so completely shutting myself down when I leave Eric. It happens about a week into our separation, after I’ve gone through the phase of staring at walls and trying to get my alone routine back in place. Then I completely shut down. Whenever his image comes clearly to mind I have to stop thinking about him. I can’t look at pictures of him when we are not together because it makes me physically HURT. All I have to do is look at a picture of him and I start crying. It’s ridiculous. But it makes sense to me why I have to stop thinking about him, lately, when I get a clear image of him in my head. Because I know him so well now that the image I will conjure in my head is just like looking at a picture of him it is so clear. I can see his every expression when we are talking on the phone…but that is okay because my vision of him is so clear that when we are talking it is as though we are actually together. So I can handle the images when we are talking. It is when we are not talking that it gets difficult. I hurt. I’ve been hurting for three years now. Sometime within this last year I got to a point where I just couldn’t handle it anymore and I started totally shutting myself down. I just wander around in some sort of daze.

But I have gotten so good at shutting myself down that now when we are reunited it takes me a day or two to snap back. When he arrives here, or I arrive there, I am almost cold to him, he says he feels as though he is a stranger to me. And I know this is happening. I have gotten so good at shutting down that it takes me days to feel okay about someone touching me. I know he is here, for real, but I have gotten so good at shutting off the thoughts of him that it takes me a while to realize that I he is here for real and not just some conjured image or thought in my head. He asks me why I wasn’t like this before…before whenever we were reunited it was an instant thing…we would be all over one another…and I am sure that the reason for this is because I have come to know him as intimately as I know myself now. And because of that it is harder for me to shut off those images I have when we are separated. And because of that my ability to do that has grown stronger, so strong that it is hard to come out of. I have always, since this started, shut myself off to some degree when we are not together. I remember a couple years ago after Eric left here and someone from work hugged me and I burst into tears and became aware that I couldn’t hug anyone when Eric wasn’t around because being touched in any way would remind me that he wasn’t here. So even back then I started to shut myself down when we weren’t together. But back then his being wasn’t so ingrained in me and it was easier to shut it down. It progressively got harder and my ability to do it became stronger and stronger and now I am at the point where I am so well trained at it that my subconscious mind can overpower both my conscious mind and my heart.

But what disturbs me the most about this phenomenon is the WHY of it. WHY do I have to shut down so completely? Normal people won’t even know what I am talking about. NORMAL people know the missing of someone so much that it hurts. But NORMAL people have no idea what I am talking about when I say that I can shut down so completely that when I am with him in those first couple days it takes me a while to turn myself back on. WHY can I do this?

That is what I want to know.

Am I still so disturbed and hurt by all the loss that occurred to me between the ages of sixteen and twenty that this is a survival method? I remember at the age of 18, just shutting down. It was a conscious decision then. I remember clearly saying to myself that I needed to shut down and wait it out in a state of half living. And I did…and sometime in my twenties I slowly eased back into being conscious. But thinking back…I don’t think I came to full consciousness until I was about 27, when I broke up with my ex boyfriend. And then there was only a year between that before I started dating Eric. That is not enough time to ingrain full consciousness. I guess I am still better trained at the daze living, of shutting off the painful rather than dealing with it. And this bothers me. I have spent far too much time in my life being so hurt that the only thing I can do is shut down. I am so ready to change that. All I want to do is get to Spain, end this distance, so I can open back up again. Be myself. Love that man with everything that I am. I keep telling him not to worry about my shutdown thing. I have do to it because I love him so much and it is unbearable for me to live now without him. And that is all I want to do, just be with him.

But this shut down thing really scares me. It scares me because I am SO GOOD at it. I don’t want to be like that anymore. I am missing life. I am missing emotion. I missing openness everything good that comes with being an emotional being.

So I need to knock it off…but I don’t think that at this point I can survive it. So I just need to get to Spain and heal myself. Learn again how to be a person living on this planet.

You can’t come in here, you’re a taco salad.


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