“Trust me”…whenever I hear these words I feel like doing the opposite. Similar to “relax”, “everything’s going to be ok”, “it’ll only take a minute”, and “it’s nothing serious”.
Seems to me (and my suspicious mind) that these statements, these combinations of words, have all somehow come to be used in instances to disguise situations where their meaning is not quite the same as their intent.
I have trusted to my own detriment. Trusted that my contributions were being valued. Trusted that what I was saying was being heard. Trusted that someone else would have my best interests at heart. I have also tried to “relax”, believed that “everything’s going to be ok”, that “it will only take a minute” and that perhaps “it’s nothing serious”…and I have come to terms with the fact no good can come from hearing these words.
Where is all this coming from? Why am I feeling so suspicious now? Why am I on heightened on alert?
Years ago I attended a corporate retreat – the kind with all sorts of team building exercises and presentations, too much drink, tons of new people, staggers to breakfast completely hung over with a bunch of strangers with whom you have to network and remember, etc. For a global company like the one at which I work, these kinds of “retreats” can really be quite extravagant and this particular event was so overbooked that attendees were asked if they would be willing to share a room. I volunteered as soon as I heard that for my sacrifice, I would get “special recognition”. Who doesn’t like recognition??? Well, aside from not having any space of my own, my “special recognition” wound up being a gift basket – a SINGLE gift basket to SHARE. NOT the kind full of spa goodies, fantastic condiments or gourmet cookies. No. This one had weird cheese product, pate and cheap wine – and all I got was regret and a bag of peanuts.
In any case, it was at this particular retreat, after a Myers-Briggs assessment, where I learned I was an extrovert…
…the act, state or habit of being predominantly concerned with and obtaining gratification from what is outside the self…extroverts tend to enjoy human interactions and to be enthusiastic, talkative, assertive and gregarious…energized when around other people…prone to boredom when they are by themselves
So what happens when an extrovert, such as me, is immersed in hours upon hours of one thing?
Theorizing for a moment…at its most basic, Carl Jung’s theory of extroversion and introversion may suggest that sticking an extrovert in a room full of say, happy-go-lucky people, would probably put the extrovert in a similar (if not the same) state. To continue theorizing, what happens when you expose an extrovert to hours upon hours of the Vampire Diaries?
For the past 4 years, I had been under a complete rock…after discovering the Vampire Diaries, I can’t stop. I have finished over 20 hours of viewing in the past 3 days – which makes it two entire seasons over the past week. And when have I found the time? Between the hours of “they’re finally asleep” and the “crack of dawn”.
All this TV viewing has been in an attempt to forget about the stress: 2 summer colds (one for me and the other for the 3 year old down who’s throat I had to shove horse pill sized antibiotics 3 times a day for 10 days – it’s 2013! Is there NOT a one-pill solution???!), lots going on at work, and all the usual stuff that comes with being a career woman and homemaker! I have been feeling completely run down.
So, to survive I found the most unexpected salvation: pretending to be like a vampire. WAIT! Not the sucking blood and killing people part. The detached, heightened awareness, super strength part. Like, when I get really mad and upset – say because I’ve been told to trust someone who clearly does not deserve it, or relax in a situation where surely one cannot relax, I remember to keep my powers in check. I remember to be magnanimous, to have a grand presence and above all, spare those who seek to cause me distress.
But all of this has also manifested itself in the physical: I walk taller, sneak about, I’ve been making these odd facial expressions like I can read more into a situation and see through people, and just the other day, while enjoying a sandwich over lunch, I snapped my head to the right, took a sniff and knew someone was eating ketchup 7 feet away from me… I have to fess up a little secret here – this is not all attributable to the vampire thingy: I have a nose like a bloodhound and an absolute LOVE of ketchup, which in fact, was the only thing that helped keep my meals down during two pregnancies. It is the perfect condiment – why didn’t they include a bottle of 57 in the gift basket??!!
Last night I watched a marathon of 8 episodes – at about 45 minutes an episode, that’s about 6 hours’ worth – from 10 pm to 4 am. And when I was finally falling asleep I saw flashes of light, and heard whooshing noises and footsteps. Completely freaked, I forgot all my vampire strengths and woke up Mr. Niceguy:
Me: Wake up. PLEASE wake up!! Shhhh…I think there’s someone in the house. I saw flashing lights and heard footsteps.
Mr. Niceguy: Ok, take the phone, if I yell, dial 911. Don’t hesitate. [Seeing the terror in my eyes] Just relax. Trust me. Everything’s going to be ok.
Me: What? No!!! Where are you going? Please…
Mr. Niceguy: I’m sure it’s nothing serious. I’m going to look around…it will only take a minute.
Me: <GULP> [Oh. My. God.]
I stood completely rooted to the spot, between both boys’ bedrooms in the dark hallway. I couldn’t hear him anymore. And I couldn’t see him. Did I really hear those things? Did I really see those flashes of light? And more than that, should I have let him go? Can I really trust this situation? Where is he? I know I have to keep cool, I know I have to keep my wits about me…what’s taking so long??!!
And before I know it, he’s back. And he’s checked everywhere. And there’s no sign of anything or anyone. And everything’s ok. And the rules don’t apply here. I can exhale. I feel trust, I can relax, everything is ok and it only took a minute to realize that it’s nothing serious…or is it???