there are words that we use that have judgements inherent in them, and this is one of them, i think.
to be a pessimist is to have a shortage of hope or confidence that things will work out. to see the ‘worst’ in things, to focus on the negative. it’s seen as an ‘attitude’ (which is also a judgy sort of word, if you ask me) that things are not going to be all right. i’ve met very few people who would say, oh yeah, i’m a total pessimist except, you know what, you’re going to, right now. coz unfortunately, i am a pessimist.
i say unfortunately because you know what, it fucking sucks to feel like this. to not trust that things are going to be fine. to catastrophize, to have those niggly annoying convictions that the other shoe is going to drop and it’s all going to hell. to wait for people to leave you. to find it nearly impossible to imagine that people might like you, for real.
i feel like the judgements about pessimism is from people who don’t have a trauma history. and while i am so glad there are people out there who don’t, who were born into families who harvested hope, security and trust, who grew up with confidence and pride, i also feel a bit resentful about the discrimination. i would LOVE to know what unadulterated hope feels like, without the panic alongside. i would have loved to have been a child whose autonomy and growth was fostered and encouraged, instead of squelched. while we’re at it, i would truly have loved to have been spared my dad and uncle’s nocturnal visits, and if they really had to happen? i would have loved someone to have noticed, and to have intervened, rather than turning the other way.
coz it seems to me that the ideas of pessimism and optimism suggest we all start off on equal footing in life, and somewhere along the way, we make a choice to see the glass as half empty or half full. and that, friends, reeks of bullshit to me, and is an incredibly simplistic, reductionist way to classify people into who’s good, and who’s less good. and crappily, some of us start off with less of a chance of a sunny outlook than others.
among the things that make me tired, taking full ownership for my lack of hope is yet another one.
Written Feb 12/19 but backposted to Feb 3/19