There was a book by Emma Frost that I read and it stayed with me in that way that some books do. I’ve blogged about it before. Because that book very much effected my views on getting stuck in the conventions of relationships. Relationships that impress me remain those that are wide eyed and self-knowing. Falling into thoughtless love remains my idea of hell, unconscious pattern following has come up in therapy as something to be avoided.

There’s a metaphor that gets used in group therapy – because the woman who runs it loves a metaphor. That of being on a sledge that keeps heading down the same tracks in the snow. Whilst I don’t deny I have my own patterns a lot of the way I’ve set up my life is to be conscious and to try and avoid the obvious tracks.

It’s easy for me to avoid the obvious patterns but something that my RE/Geography teacher said when I was about twelve occurs to me. She said that she had always tried to avoid becoming her mother but that her daughter tried to be just like her. She was talking about the patterns we create and the patterns we avoid.

I try and avoid particular conventions, I try to avoid things I know hurt but I’m so doing I make my own mistakes. I used to say I only made a mistake once but I have my own patterns. They’re just not the ones I’ve been trying to avoid. There’s a pull and a push there, it’s difficult to stay aware when the brain is closing itself down. There’s a way my mind floats more in survival mode but noticing it’s floating more when it’s been so gradual that is something I need to work on.

I am more of a mess now than I was three years ago, I was so ready for the world in 2020, I knew what was hurt and why then. But then three years of turning everything up to eleven, it’s a lot. But even so I was a mess then in ways I didn’t know, if not for the pandemic I’d have skipped away from what I’d been doing to myself unknowingly, unseeingly for almost ten years at that point. And isn’t it better to taste the pain and know it?

And never make the same mistake twice?

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