In a bid to better understand myself and grow as a human, I follow a few psychologists on social media. One of my favorites is Dr Nicole LePera who is @the.holistic.psychologist on Instagram and Facebook. Her posts have helped me realize some of my dark spots and understand some of my patterns. She is very big on journaling and keeping small promises to yourself as a way to honor one’s inner child. I struggle with the “inner child” work, if I’m completely honest. I also struggle with journaling, however I do blog! So this post, like so many of my posts on here, falls under stuff that might be kept private by some folks, but won’t be by me. What can I say? I find this arena easier to express my thoughts vs. keeping all my nonsense in my head and to myself.
So, what does my title mean?? Dr. LePera posted about how we act when our Ego is in full swing and triggered. Her post stated: “My Ego is Activated When I” 1.) Deny another person’s reality. 2) Become defensive and reactive**. 3.) I have cynical thoughts of comparison or scarcity, or feel “less than**. 4.) Judge others to elevate sense of self**. 5.) Engage in cynical arguments in an attempt to control someone or change their viewpoint**.”
This particular post hit me between the eyes because lately, I’ve been very angry and reactive in my thoughts. Mind you, I live alone so all I’m left with are my thoughts on most days. This can be really uncomfortable but also, a great space for personal introspection and growth. I’ve been most angry, lately, when it comes to Covid 19 & people choosing to not wear masks. Well, this and those turning a public health crisis into a political one, thus making strong lines which divide us all. The anti vaxxers also really get under my skin. My personal observation is: the anti vaxxers also tend to be anti mask people. This observation might be limited to seeing posts from family members on Facebook, but I digress.
Now, if you haven’t already guessed, I am all for wearing masks. I’m a massage therapist (albeit one who isn’t practicing at the moment) and I am for measures that keep our germs to ourselves. I’ve always been a bit of a germaphobe so, if wearing a mask keeps folks safer? I’ll do it. My question to myself is: Why do the “no maskers” and “anti-vaxxers” of the world get under my skin in such a precise and fantastic way?? I really had to examine this within myself. Why bother understanding my reaction? Well, every time I venture out into public or I’m driving in the parking lot and I see a large group of people not wearing masks as they enter the supermarket, I genuinely want to hit them with my car. My thoughts of injury and harm towards others (which is quite uncharacteristic of me) required further investigation.
I can only deduce some of my internal rage stems from earliest experiences. “Oh boy, here we go. Snowflake” *insert eye roll*, you may have just said to yourself. Here I go, nonetheless.
Our family seemed picture perfect on the outside but my sister and I were raised by two emotionally unavailable adults. When I was a child, I felt dismissed and brushed aside a lot. I felt I was a HUGE bother to everyone around me. No one wanted to deal with the sad, emotional kid who was “touchy”, easily offended and who cried a lot. I was an emotional kid and I was easily offended because the smallest, perceived injustice only reinforced my core belief that I was thoroughly insignificant. I remember getting jealous of my sister when she was sick once. She was getting attention and I was being ignored. I was a very depressed kid and I often wondered why my folks decided to have my at all. I remember telling myself they would have been better off drowning me in the bath, because then they wouldn’t have to put up with me being around. (I remember clearly thinking this as a 10 year old) Granted, my folks were imperfect people who did the best they could at the time as they parented through their own unaddressed baggage. But these experiences left an imprint and formed my Ego in such a way that I react in anger when I feel helpless and alone.
What does any of my personal baggage or core beliefs about myself have to do with our global problems??
When I see people choosing to NOT take measures that could protect their fellow human beings, it makes me feel very unsafe in the world and that’s a horrible feeling. It also makes me feel angry because logic cannot influence other’s to choosing “my” way of thinking. I feel these people view lives, outside of their own, as unimportant because of their actions. By their actions, I feel they see my life and contribution to this world as insignificant and unimportant. I feel frustrated with people when they try to disprove science, just because they don’t want to be inconvenienced or be told what to do by anyone.
The world feels like a pretty fucking selfish place, even if folks with these opposing opinions are generally said to be “good people” and “well meaning”. It’s exhausting to be alive right now. It feels exhausting to make myself care about people when all I can see are a bunch of selfish, tantrum throwing children. I feel scared for my family who has to work with the public. I feel scared because I have zero control over anything but my own actions.
I feel sad, angry, scared and generally melancholy due to the state of the world. However, I suspect I’m not the only one with these feelings, regardless of the triggers behind them.