one hundred & forty three: beast

i have to thank dr seuss’ brilliance for my association to this word, which is of roast beast (what my wife and i have always called roast beef).

it also reminds me of roald dahl, coz i think he uses the word beastly in nearly every book. i wish we used it more over here, but it is not part of our vernacular, and in fact sounds utterly ridiculous in a north american accent. which is too bad, because i think it’s an excellent, descriptive word.

(and now i’m imagining pocketbrit saying it and it’s making me smile, very big.)

one hundred & forty two: ambivalence

interestingly, when i first read the word, i understood ambivalence as a sort of shrug of one’s shoulders, a lack of clear feeling about something. and i thought, meh, i usually have pretty discernible feelings and opinions about most stuff, one way or the other. i’m not sure i’m ambivalent about much.

when i actually went to read further, though, there were other definitions: ambivalence not as a lack of feelings, but a complete and utter mix of them. ambivalence as the stateĀ of having simultaneous, strong, contradictory ideas or feelings about something or someone; a continual fluctuation between two opposing poles. a site called wiktionary defines ambivalence as a coexistence of opposing feelings. and that feels familiar. if that’s true, then i’m ambivalent all the time.

it has got to be one of the hallmark traits of trauma survivors, don’t you think?

for me, just a few tiny examples: wanting my mom, and hating her for not protecting me. believing myself, while desperately hoping that i’m a big fat liar. resenting the echoing cries of my little one and holding her close. it’s one fucking huge WWF match inside our heads and bodies, every day.

pocketbrit and i often joke about lobotomies and there’s a good many reasons why, the chronic ambivalence being one, the fluctuating, ongoing mindfuckery of recovery being reasons two through eight hundred. i keep meaning to check youtube for a DIY option – or d’you think that maybe our local library has ‘brain surgery for dummies’ on the shelves?


Strength (107)

When I was younger I was even more of an idiot than I currently am, and I decided I wanted to make myself physically strong. It wasn’t a conscious decision, I just seemed to start doing it. For all sorts of reasons… I hated nothing more than my mum telling me to leave something and get my brothers to lift or carry it because they were stronger. Pocketcanadian will testify to my belligerence… and tell me not to do something, (especially if its based on the fact that I’m a girl and therefore not strong enough), and I’ll fucking well make sure I do it. It used to make me so mad, and for a while I’d always shout back that just because I was a girl doesn’t mean I’m weak and incapable (and I certainly wasn’t).

I also, I think, decided that I wanted to be better able to protect myself, and so began the getting stronger. And people wouldn’t look at me now and think I’m strong, but I’m certainly not weak. Nobody else would ever protect me, so I started subconsciously making it easier to protect myself. It felt safer, to feel stronger.

And lastly, being physically strong somehow makes me feel more emotionally strong. And yeah, doing exercise definitely makes me feel better (though it’s normally just about the last thing I want to do). It shuts off all of my “weak” feelings, and keeps me feeling walled up somehow. That sounds completely ridiculous, but there you go….