Thursday, February 18, 2010

Reflection: Intact After an Attack

I'm intact. I have learned, though, not to go near Madrona Grocery Outlet even at midday in bright sunlight. There are some major teenage thugs there. There is something to be said for quitting certain things while one's ahead -- or at least intact, save for one knee. Someone does have my purse, unless they discarded it somewhere. I lost some signed time sheets, but I retained my keys and a few valuables that were in a smaller bag that fell out. My jeans leg is ripped, and one knee bleeding, but I declined to have the officer haul me somewhere to have someone "take a look at it". It's not worse than if I took a fall somewhere.

It was because I held so tightly to that purse that I was dragged a few feet. Was my heart racing when I finally collected the fallen possessions and walked toward the bus stop? No. Once again, I think the physiological/ emotional response was a good bit less than most people's would be. I wasn't as deflected.

That's hard for people to imagine, if they've seen me when I've had to face some narrow phobic-fear. There's a little bit of research to back up that in some cases focused phobic-type fear is associated with not hyperactivity, but rather deficits/sluggishness in the normal fear response system. There's a saying that when the zebra is outrunning the lion, it can't afford to be thinking about the past. In other words, forgetting isn't always a passive act; there are neurochemical systems designed to help us forget, to disengage from our own core selves and act (in extreme circumstances) as if our past didn't exist. Some people disengage -- dissociate -- when circumstances don't demand it. Others lack the wiring to so. I may look like I have zebra instincts (and not just to teenage thugs by Madrona Outlet!) but those zebra instincts are actually a component of what's missing in me.

Well. I wrote two posts this afternoon. I hope people do still read that earlier one -- I think it was a good one.