He's BackSome years ago I learned about a Vulture that lives on my headboard. The sick little voice that talks to me late at night when I can’t fall asleep or whispers in my ear, early in the morning, just before I really gain consciousness. The voice that whispers things to me for which there is no factual basis and talks directly to my inner most fears and doubts. And because it seems to know how to talk to those parts of me that I seem to have little defense for, those things that scare me to the core, I tend to listen and believe if only just a little. Here is how some of those early morning exchanges went:
Hi there, glad to see you awake ‘cause I’ve been wanting to talk to you. You know, you really don’t want to get up. So why bother, you just have to go to work. And, after all that really is a crappy job. They never truly appreciate all you do. The boss just doesn’t like you no matter how hard you try. In fact, they are just looking for a way to get rid of you so why bother. The hell with them, you can do better----screw it, stay in bed, your in a dead end career there.
Of course there is no mention that I have 20 years at this job and have always received a good job evaluation and regular salary increases. So now after approximately 10 seconds into the new day, the Vulture has me convinced that I am under appreciated, in a go no where job from which I am about to be fired. It is at that point that I become aware enough to realize that there is that someone lying next to me. And the Vulture continues:
Oh yeah her. You know she is really not good enough for you, you could do better. Hell over the past few years she has really let herself go. Of course that is because she really doesn’t love you. You don’t really think she is hanging around just waiting for you to come home do you? You know she is cheating on you, has to be, only makes sense. Give her just a little more time and she is going to dump you dead ass.
No mention of the long and intimate nature of the relationship or the many ways she shows her love for me. Now I am about 20 seconds into this and not only am I going to be fired from a dead end job, and my cheating partner is about to dump me. At this point I might be just stir a little. And of course since I am not quite the youngster I used to be, I feel just a slight ache, somewhere. So the Vulture continues:
Yeah sure, try to convince yourself that is just a sore muscle. You know the truth. Cancer. You’ve seen and heard it before. Oh sure miracle drug, modern treatment, blah. They just cut you up a little at a time over the next few months, fill you full of weird chemicals that make you sick, then blam, you’re dead. Why bother with anything, you’re just a dead man walking.
Never mind the recent physical that show me in good shape. So there ya go. 30 seconds into the new day and the Vulture has me convinced that I am about to be fired from a dead end job, dumped by my partner and dead from cancer in the next few months. And all that really happened was------ I woke up.
There are times when the Vulture has some factual basis for his bile. When Diane was alive we spent a lot of time comforting and holding one another after the Vulture had backed us into the corner of fear over her cancer. The Vulture knows how to exploit real fear with a factual basis. But, it was during those times that we discovered that just holding each other and getting in the here and now would usually quiet the filthy beast. The fear was, of course, not based on any imaginary monster. But the Vulture was exploiting fear of the future to gain his evil control of today. With mutual reassurance we were able to get grounded in today, to understand that even though the worst may happen we would loose the best of today if we get overwhelmed with that fear. The mantra of "just for today, I’ll be OK" got us through a lot of tough times.
Factual based fear is not what has been going on with me lately. With the new paradigm I find myself living in, my old nemesis has been trying real hard to work his way back into my life. All the rational understanding of how this filthy beast is just taking advantage of my mourning and exploiting old fears of abandonment are sometimes a weak defense against the insistent Vulture. But lately I have been hearing another soft strong voice comforting me with the learned wisdom, " just for today, you’’ll be OK".