Traps, Black Holes and emo Vampires

I had a meltdown a few weeks ago (I say meltdown, but really it was just like being kicked in the stomach really hard or falling on your head with a crash helmet on from 15 foot or so.  Which I've done before you ask how I'd know that.  It hurts.). A small blind thing that nobody bar my wife would notice because truth be told the older you get, the less you want to bother people so you just bare your teeth but your eyes shine a little less at the time. Members of my family ran me down publicly and re-wrote history. History used to be written by the victor. Now?  Now it doesn't matter.  Regardless of superior might, my words are out there, and it's down to the reader to decide what is the truth. Zeros and Ones baby. (Insert your deity of choice here ) bless the Internet.

My issues with my family are not the point here believe it or not. It's rare you'll find a family without issues between the gaps in their lives. It's something I've accepted and responded to. What bothered me were members of my family's ability to ignore what was noted as historic acts in our family line.  Something that had actually shaped me, dictated potentially who I could become and left a shadow on me I've fought against my entire life. Boo hoo.  Cry me a river right? I hear that.  However, if you understand where you have come from and who you are, you are in a better position than a lot of people to guide yourself.  You know where you've been and you recognise familiar landscapes as the perilous potholed emotional battleground you've been to war on before and you can try a better approach and see if diplomacy works. Who needs another war? And that is of course just my opinion.

When I am sideswiped by events that I know are unjust a quiet rage silently joins me and follows me around for a bit. And it's terminally focused on injustice, pure and simple and this derails my creative thoughts. 
It is everything that I am yet its thoughts are filled with arguments and counter arguments. Such interactions with it disrupt my creativity like a young child wanting something while you are on the phone or someone talking at you while you are trying to mull something over that requires a lot of mulling.  It leaves me shadow boxing in my head with opponents who are never aware of the fights that have taken place between us. I live in my head far too often. It's comfortable but it's moored in a set space and time emotionally. And it's not as big as the Tardis so it can get a bit crowded and noisy in there.While this single mindedness made me into an effective BMX freestlyer, it kills my creativity, or rather caps it and limits how free my mind is. It goes into a kind of DEFCON EMO1 status that is purely focused on the task at hand and is as reactive as it can be. The creative has no place in my mind's War Games apparently. In these periods I find photography incredibly difficult.  Sure I can still shoot, light things, get captures that people like, but I don't feel like the hyperactive little bunny firing on all cylinders that I like to be when I am shooting and enthusiastic. It kills writing stone dead for me as well.  I can't put sentences down that I grin about as I type them. Unfairness and injustice are the mind killers for me.

Try as I might, I can't escape how my mind processes such events and consequently what it does. The Quiet Rage is here for my lifetime I suspect, so I've decided to look at what is/was surrounding me to limit my exposure to its appearance and I decided a number of relationships and by extension situations were simply too poisonous for me to be around them.  Pompous to actually read in print but it's how I see these things. I had to look at the shackles I had accumulated that make me less agile and shrug off as many of them as possible.

We all have chains.  Whether you are aware of them or not, we manage to drape ourselves in metaphysical and sometimes semi professional unconscious servitude to people and ideals that no longer work for us (and possibly never did). People, processes, routines and interactions that are linear tunnels of emotion and time, sucking black holes that sometimes make your personal life seem like a job you can't actually clock off from and stop you being in the here and now.

A lot of the time there is no reciprocation, or none that we understand on an emotional level but we cling to the relationships in the hope that somehow the polarity may equalise or at the very least shift a bit more towards us and the attention will indeed become a two way street as it once may have been or as we had imagined it would at some point become.  Sometimes, you just know that things are broken beyond repair.
When it gets to the point where all you have between you in a friendship/relationship is a dread sense when any kind of communication is brokered, it's time to cut it free. And I say this only of course as a last resort. And cutting that aspect loose can have such a detrimental affect to the social web that binds our lives together that we fear a backlash, loss of popularity or 'face' amongst our peers as they decide that perhaps you aren't the friend they thought you were. Maybe because another person has more to offer to them and enhance their life, it may be their partner's friend who doesn't like you and you are just an acceptable loss in their push for happiness, or countless other reasons. This then however shines a light onto that friendship and you wonder where it went wrong and are you one of the Black Holes?  And yes, we may be in that particular dynamic.  And that is just how it is. I don't mistake my failing with people, turn it into a sympathetic resonance with other people that I deem to be emotional black holes and try to change how we communicate.  I'm too old and too wily to fall into that trap anymore. I have loads of new traps to fall into.


This is the point I reached a little while ago.  My quiet rage had guided me into an emotional cul de sac, where I felt I had no choice but to just park up and look at my friendships and associated situations. I realised that my days are so full of  people that don't really need to care about me or tolerate me, and that I knew the maelstrom I've lived in for so long trying to juggle friendships with these people is entirely a trap of my own making and serves absolutely no one at all.  I had to decide how I spent my time, the quality of it and with whom.

So, I logged out of everything and dropped out again for a bit.  My head cleared, and I realised what I needed to do.  So I jettisoned a number of friendships that were no longer working for me.  From the emotional vampires that I feel exhausted around, the people I know are friends with me for what they perceive I can do for them,  and the people that I know are just no good for me. 

It doesn't bother me that a few people reading this will have their noses put out of joint.  It's all rather transitory really, and I'll be forgotten about quickly.  

My mojo has appeared again, and now I want to write again.

I need to spend my time with people that actually want me around, be they old friends or new, and push my energy towards people and things that I know have energy no matter what the outcome. 

Andrew Clifton-Brown