Okay. This post will probably not make any sense unless you read Phobic Me and Non-Phobic Me go out for a beer, which explains the cast of kooky characters (uh, it’s just one guy).

But the short version is: I refuse to make certain types of phone calls and have zero issues with making other types of phone calls.

And this is often a problem in that odd thing known as In Real Life.

So I did some sneaky investigating in order to learn more about Phobic Me and Non-Phobic Me and discovered some pretty astonishing things.

And then I arranged for them to get together and have a conversation about this so I could eavesdrop and find out Useful Things for destuckifying this. And here we are!

The room.

I spent way too much time wondering what room to put them in, since they seem so different. Like completely different people.

But then I remembered that they both like isolation and solitude, and that they’re sisters and also that they said they work together.

So I asked to see their office.

It turns out it’s not so much an office as a … secret lair.

It’s in the mountains. A cave that you access by pressing on a certain rock. I’d tell you more, but I’m sworn to secrecy.

It’s cool in there.

Both in the sense that the air is cool and a tiny bit moist, as is the rock floor, and also that it is awesome.

There are woven rugs. And antique lamps. And light comes in through many cracks and crevices.

Phobic Me has a giant round bed all to herself.

In a very Austin Powers kind of way.

And she watches Shiva Nata being danced on the walls and the ceiling.

The increasingly complicated mathematical sequences show themselves in flashes of light, as if they are being danced by light sabers.

The spirals and squares and figure eights build layers and layers of light around her. Points of light.

She’s in a force field made up of … theoretical form: the possibilities of structure. The boundaries of chaos.

Not-at-all-Phobic Me has an office nook.

She leans back in a ridiculously comfy looking chair and puts her feet up on the desk.

She has tea to drink, notepads to scribble in and Selma to keep her company.

The conversation.

Apparently I’m an idiosyncratic nutjob.

Me: Guys? It would be really helpful if I could listen in while you talk to each other. I hope that’s okay.

Phobic Me: It’s cool.
Not-at-all-Phobic Me: You know, I think Havi is hoping that something about our situation will change once we’ve talked things out. But our situation is really good right now.

Phobic Me: I know! I wonder if what she really wants is permission to let it be the way it is.
Not-at-all-Phobic Me: Awesome. That would be funny.

Phobic Me: Seriously. People already know she’s an idiosyncratic nutjob. They should just be able to deal with it.
Not-at-all-Phobic Me: Totally. But what about the goo-slathering? Havi really likes getting goo slathered on her, and then you won’t make the call for her. What would help with that?

The patterns.

Phobic Me: Here’s the problem. Not enough structure. Not enough mapping out. Look at the patterns. (she points at the ceiling)
Not-at-all-Phobic Me: Oooh. Yeah. I see that. Interesting.

Me: (stage whisper) I can’t see!

Phobic Me: It’s important to have three treatments picked out that you might want. In order. And possible times.

Because what happens is they ask what treatment and then Havi answers and then they name an impossible time and she gets flustered. They think she cares about the specific treatment when she really just wants goo slathering in some form.

Not-at-all-Phobic Me: So it’s all about mapping out structures. That’s why I wouldn’t be good at that kind of call. Structure isn’t my genius.

Phobic Me: But it’s Havi’s genius. She’s the Head Shivanaut.
Not-at-all-Phobic Me: So it’s not about you learning to be more like me. It’s about Havi learning to be more Havi and use her strengths.

Pirate queens like maps, right?

Phobic Me: That’s what it seems like.
Not-at-all-Phobic Me: Pirate queens like maps, right?

Phobic Me: I believe so.
Not-at-all-Phobic Me: So she could draw a map for goo-slathering appointment-making.

Phobic Me: Yes. And let me take a nap.
Not-at-all-Phobic Me: And let you take a nap. That sounds good to me. Well, as long as I don’t have to arrange any goo-slathering.

Phobic Me: Tee hee! Don’t be ridiculous!

They fall apart in a heap of giggles

I exit stage right.

And then Phobic Me and Non-Phobic Me went out for a beer.

In the rain.

Under a gigantic rainbow-striped umbrella. Holding hands.

And I started mapping out maps for making the goo slathering calls.

Of course we still haven’t dealt with the Me Who Never Answers Her Phone (whom I suspect of also being the Me Who Doesn’t Turn Her Phone On For Days At A Time).

But that’s enough for now. It’s a start.


I did make the goo-slathering call. In fact, I made two goo-slathering calls, and the goo-slathering that resulted was life-changingly great.

And I developed a Quite Silly Process (it involves pirate maps and goofiness) for doing things I am avoiding doing. I’ll be teaching this at the Rally next week if you want to play.

And comment zen for today.

As always. We all have our stuff. We’re all working on our stuff.

And part of how we let each person have their own experience is by not giving advice (unless someone specifically asks for it). Sharing your own experience or what works for you or what you’re learning about your stuff is absolutely fine.

Kisses all around, and wishing lots of safe and delightful rooms for your various phobic and non-phobic selves, if you have them. 🙂

The Fluent Self