While retyping the memoir, I’ve run into something I did consciously, yes, but have just run into again. I avoid “slippery slopes” as much as possible.
This includes all the comparative notions: being better/worse than someone in almost anything: money, status, power, looks, religion — whatever.
Long ago I realized my pain meant that if I let myself get into one of those comparative sorts of contests, even just internally, it could easily become both an obsession, taking all my time and resources, but it could also take away my mental health too.
I’m human. I still compare myself to anyone/everyone around me, because it’s a human thing to do. But I try really hard to limit it to glancing comparisons, so I don’t get caught up.
So I refuse, as much as possible in the consumer society/times/culture I live in, to define myself with stuff, money, status, or belief system as compared to others or another unattainable standard.
Egging this on from my past are everything from statements from people about “giving it to God,” someone telling me about their treatment level in a Mental Hospital, the neighborhood I grew up in and the funeral of a friend there recently, some members of my family, etc.
If I could stop the comparisons completely, I would. I’ve never found the switch. I think it’s still and forever will be tied to the abuse and my reaction to it, the PTSD. For decades I “scanned” those around me to see what they were doing, how they were reacting, etc. It was the hypervigilance required by PTSD and the situational awareness of an abuse victim. I no longer do that to anywhere near the same extent, but the vestiges of it are there.
Sometimes I wish however, that the slippery slope thing allowed me to deal with something which isn’t emotion or concrete. I survived and thrived, beat what I had to by concentrating as much as possible on this 3D world of ours, day in and day out. It was the only way I could cope. But I made this rule for myself: no slippery slopes — which excludes religion, spiritualism, karma, and probably several forms of psychology too. Those things which can’t be dealt with by our senses.
Sometimes I think if I could make myself get past this in some safe way, I’d really finish my work and triumph. But I know no safe way. They all require a leap of faith. I don’t have that faith. I’ve gone from feeling the world is a nasty place full of nasty people and some nasty people who haven’t been nasty to me, yet — to the world can be a beautiful place with some nice people and that took quite a lot of time and effort. To then do anything like, “I trust the world or universe will take care of me,” while I make that leap of faith? Hardly. The idea makes me smile — it just isn’t going to happen. Not because I can’t see the idea as a thought experiment, but because of that slippery slope thing.
In my head, slippery slopes = potential insanity
Or, I suppose alternately, instead of worrying about the slippery slope aspect of this, I need to try and find my “off switch.” That is, the part of me that keeps pushing me emotionally. If I could stop wondering if I’m done yet, maybe I’d get to enjoy the work I’ve accomplished?