One evening right after I’d moved into my new little house and had just unpacked, I reached into the cabinet to take out a cereal bowl and, when I had it in my hand, looked down to see a very large palmetto bug sitting in it. (We like to call them that, on the Gulf Coast. Let’s…
Holy fuck. This is the sort if thing I expect to have a million notes, because it explains everything.
And it doesn’t even have to be that similar to the original situation—your brain just has to make the connection. Pwople fighting and yelling at each other are probably always gonna make me shut down a bit, and I’ve mostly made my peace with that. But it was the first time I crept out of my hiding place because of this horrible temptation to try to stop the scary thing that I was sure was happening—the thing that had my heart rate off the charts and my hands a bit trembly—to find people with raised voices, joyous, laughing, that I realized how insidious it could be. Your brain is infinitely weirder thanyou thonk, and sometimes it overreacts.
But listen to it when it’s trying to tell you something. Sonehow those online checklists about identifying “unhealthy relationships” (which makes them sound like ill-advised dietary choices that can be fixed with an easy 20 minute magazine workout, which, need I say it?, they aren’t) and the fact that they told me he wasn’t good for me never made me realize that *he wasn’t good for me*. But the moment when I noticed thst curiously enough he made me feel tue same way angry yelling people do, even when he wasn’t angry and yelling, that tipped me off.
Because yeah, probably that bug isn’t gonna show up in your cereal bowl again, but your brain makes some of these connections for a reason.
If your danger alarms are going like the house is on fire and filled with bugs and everything is wrong with the world, for fucks sake listen. I did eventually. And every time it’s a false alarm, at least you know the alarms still work, the triggers are still primed, and your brain has decided that it wants to protect you and to make sure you live.