It kind of seemed like the right time to stop avoiding that conversation with the stuckified stuckness of stuckery-stuck.

But I still didn’t want to actually talk to the stuck.

Oh, and the stuck definitely did not want to talk to me.

So I decided to go on a reconnaissance mission: just to collect some basic information, in case we ever should get around to talking. You know, eventually.

The plan was to do this without the help of a negotiator or any other form of mediation, but to have Selma tag along as back-up. I may have also brought a sock monkey.

In which I try to establish contact with a stuck.

In case you don’t remember from last week, this particular stuck is the one that doesn’t let me take time off because ohmygod the guilt. And the shame.

And the fear that everything will fall apart.

Me: Hey, stuckified resistance that lives inside of me. I would like to get some information from you.
My stucknesses: We’re not talking! We’re not talking! You can’t make us! You can’t make us!
Me: Oh, crap. There’s a bunch of you? And you’re what, six years old?
My stucknesses: We’re not talking!
Me: Are you not talking because you’re afraid I’m going to talk you out of your position?
My stucknesses: Maybe.
Me: Aw, come on. You know I’m all about meeting people where they are. I won’t try to convince you to not exist. I just want to know what you think.
My stucknesses: Pthffthlphthlphth!

Me: Fine, I might logic with you the teensiest bit. It seems to me, though, that when you say things that scare me, you also use logic. So it’s only fair that I can logic back sometimes, right?
My stucknesses: Oooooooooooh. Look who’s not afraid to be all confrontational. You think you can logic us? Ha! Think again!
Me: Wow. Okay. Nobody’s confronting anything. You know that’s not what this is about. All I want is some information about what your arguments are.
My stucknesses: No you don’t.
Me: Try me.

In which I catch my stuck in a bald-faced contradiction.

Me: Just so I know where you stand, tell me again why it’s bad for me to take time off. Because my experience is that I work much better when I let myself have restorative time.
My stucknesses: Everyone will hate you! They’ll resent you! They’ll say mean things! They’ll throw shoes!
Me: And why is that?
My stucknesses: Come on! You didn’t take a vacation for ten years! You couldn’t afford to take time off. Now you can (or you think you can)? Everyone will hate you!
Me: Oh?

My stucknesses: You used to hate it too when those biggifiers would write noozletters about how much fun they were having in Paris or whatever.
Me: That’s a little different, though. I’m not interested in bragging about being able to take time off. I just want to take it.
My stucknesses: Everyone will hate you. All of them!

Me: Tell me more about why you think everyone (everyone!) will hate me.
My stucknesses: Everyone will hate you.
Me: What if I don’t ever take time off? You’re saying that would be better?
My stucknesses: No, they’ll still hate you.

In which I get closer to something tiny and true about fear.

Me: This isn’t even about me taking time off, is it? It’s about your fear of people being mean to me.
My stucknesses: Get used to it. Everyone will hate you no matter what.
Me: Interesting. What does that mean?
My stucknesses: If you don’t take time off, they’ll also hate you because then you aren’t practicing what you preach and they’ll think you’re a total fraud.

Me: So you’re trying to protect me from other people’s stuff.
My stucknesses: Yes.
M: And you also think that people are going to be mean and throw shoes no matter what?
My stucknesses: Yes.
Me: So really, I could still take time off and it doesn’t matter.
My stucknesses: Well, kind of.
Me: And either way, you’re going to worry about me.
My stucknesses: Yes.
Me: Because you love me?
My stucknesses: Yes.

Me: That’s really screwed up.
My stucknesses: Well, we are Jewish, you know.
Me: Yes. Believe me. I know.

In which I remember the thing I already knew.

Me: Wow. That’s kind of a relief.
My stucknesses: It is?
Me: You throw shoes at me so that I won’t get hit by other people’s shoes.
My stucknesses: Yes.
Me: That’s kind of sweet. Still screwed up. But it’s sweet.
My stucknesses: Yes.
Me: Everything you do is intended to keep me safe. And yet everything you do results in me being paralyzed, exhausted and unable to do any of the things I need to do to stay grounded.
My stucknesses: Oh.

In which I recognize what this is really about.

Me: So this is really about the sovereignty thing again.
My stucknesses: That’s bullshit hippie talk.
Me: Listen. You believe that everyone is going to hate me no matter what. Maybe that’s true and maybe it isn’t. But either way, I need to be able to not care so much about their judgments, which they might or might not be experiencing.

My stucknesses: What do you mean?
Me: If they don’t hate me and it’s all in my head, then it’s not helpful for me to constantly be worrying about it. If they do hate me, they’re not my right people. And anyway, it’s not useful for me to avoid taking care of myself because someone else might feel resentful about that.

My stucknesses: Stop logic-ing us! We don’t like it!

In which we come to a temporary agreement.

Me: What if we talk again in a while? That will give you some time to prepare some better arguments for why I’m supposedly not allowed to take time off?
My stucknesses: What’s the catch?
Me: I want to be able to experiment with time off in tiny little doses just to see what happens. It’ll be all scientific method-ey and I’ll take notes and stuff.

My stucknesses: Okay. But don’t tell anyone who might throw shoes.
Me: I will surround myself with people who are supportive and appreciative of my choices.
My stucknesses: Good!

Me: Does that mean that you’re going to start being supportive and appreciative too?
My stucknesses: Don’t push it.
Me: Okay. We’ll stop here for now. I’ll be back.
My stucknesses: Next time bring something to eat.
Me: I love how this gets weirder every time.

Comment zen for today.

No advices, please. Support and appreciation welcome, as are thoughts and wonderings and stories about your own gremlins.

The Fluent Self