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Embed code for: The Revelation of the Governance of Anxiety
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The Revelation of the Governance of Anxiety
I have always known that I am an anxious person. But it is only recently that I have used the word ‘anxiety’ to describe that element of my character. Prior, I viewed incidents of anxiety from a quite isolationist perspective. If I was reticent or fearful of any given situation, it was not because I was anxious ‘per se’ but was reticent & fearful because of the particular situation. There was no comprehension as such of an overarching, collective, emotional rule within me. What I lay out below shows the circumstances which lead to a revelation concerning this matter.
I had been employed by an agency as a Scheme Co-ordinator on a temporary, zero-hour basis. Having no financial security as such within the terms of my employment, I sought work of a more permanent basis whilst still carrying out my duties in the temporary position. I attended interview for a job, performed badly, did not get the post applied for, but was offered an alternative position which I accepted.
In due time my prospective employer sought references from the current employer. This resulted in my line manager contacting me to inform me that they had done so, but would like to let me know that the post of Scheme Co-ordinator would shortly be advertised as a salaried, permanent position which she hoped I would have applied for. Not only that, there were 3 positions available within the company and as i had done the work for over a year, it was highly unlikely that I would not be offered one of the positions. Would i therefore reconsider my decision to take up the offered job and apply in due course. After considering the proposal and seeking counsel, I gave back word to the prospective employer and duly applied for the old position. I was invited to interview and duly attended. Once again I performed badly – exceptionally so. I knew that I would not have been successful as was the case. This now meant I had no work at all.
Some few weeks later I was editing a novel which I am writing. It is semi-autobiographical. I was not content with a particular scenario within the novel so I gave thought on how to rectify that. The scenario (abridged) was is as follows;
A little boy runs home, obviously upset. He presents himself to his mother for comfort. She sits him on the draining board. He has tears rolling down his chubby, 5 year old cheeks, he is sobbing, and his pet lip is protruding. The mother provides a reluctant solace. I was not happy with this. What could i do to improve upon it? It occurred to me to consider what my mother would have done. What did she do in situations like this? What did I remember? I then recalled that she always asked a question of me in these circumstances – one that if I responded in a certain way would mean I would receive the comfort I yearned. The question was this. ‘And what do we say?’ If I responded with ‘It was my own fault’ I was rewarded with the solace & comfort sought.
This, of course, must look & sound incredibly cute. Of that there is no doubt. I can only very vaguely recall the scenarios themselves. However what I do recall is a comment made by my mother when I was in my late teens. She said to me that she would purposely upset me to create the self same cute scenario just so she could love me better. The ramifications of this have proved immense. Consider this if you will; Whether the child is at fault or not he has to take responsibility for how he feels. Because the mother purposely upsets him, this means that she has altered any given situation which the child is experiencing to one of her own design. The child may just have been watching TV, playing with his toys, or with his friends and is then transported to a renewed scenario which then includes self-judgment & self-recrimination. No matter what he does the outcome is one of pain and blame. Never mind that he has to take responsibility for when he is correctly wrong, he is also at fault when he isn’t – this being entrenched within him because this is not a singular event. It is common to him. Powell, in his book ‘Why am I afraid to love?’ posits that by the age of seven the template for our character has been formed, and we act in accordance with that.
I concur with his hypothesis. By the time I was seven I was protecting myself emotionally as a result of this abuse. Courses of action included seeking comfort elsewhere – stealing money for sweets, lying, avoiding, people pleasing, not initiating, hiding, etc. These things were done to either avoid or relieve the consequences of self-loathing. I was to busy protecting myself to think of others in any altruistic way.
I had also become extremely suspicious of others – how would they respond or react to me? I was constantly on my guard – in a state of perpetual analysis.
To further complicate matters, the following occurred. At around age 7 i once stole 2 biscuits from a saddle-bag on a bike belonging to a six year old girl who lived nearby. Because I was the only one around she blamed me. She was right. She told my mum. My mum had also said that you never got in trouble for telling the truth. I denied I had taken it for days. Mum became particularly kind towards me during those days. She asked me once again at the end of this scenario whether or not I had taken the biscuits. Because she had been so nice, and also because she had stressed that you don’t get in trouble for telling the truth, I risked it and admitted my guilt. I got severely in trouble for the act. But to a seven year old, I felt humiliated because I had been deceived, my seven year old mind perceived that it was not true that you didn’t get in trouble for telling the truth. I just had! Perpetual analysis deepens and continues.
As all this stuff was never dealt with, it firmly entrenched itself deep within my character. I was walking around in a constant state of fear of getting anything wrong in life. How do you not be wrong ? No matter what I do I am wrong. And what follows is the biggy. Because it is a state of constancy it is a state of governance. It is all consuming. The validity of any relevance in any matter is measured by it, producing a living conditioning of anxiety. Somewhere along the way I accepted the way that it was, pushing it further down, making reference only to those situations which were blatantly obvious as a marker of my condition, thus producing the living lie of singularity, not the truth of an overall, living entity of totally imperfect, governing self-assessment.
It is not a great leap of imagination to consider why I performed so badly in the interviews. No matter what the question at the interview would be, I had walked into the room ‘knowing’ my answer would be incorrect and I would be at fault, whether I was or not. To me, I was and I ‘knew’ I wasn’t good enough. I see this all to clearly now in ALL aspects of my life, particularly relationships & stressful situations.
I thank God deeply that He has revealed this to me. I believe he has done so because He is going to rectify the situation. I do not know if He already has but it is not, as yet, manifest though considerably lessened. The scarring remains. Yet, if it has gone, that leaves a void upon which to build. I will be as a child once again, learning how to deal with life but inexperienced in how to live in the actuality of the situation, not my reality!
God Bless, Martin x ave proved immense. Consider this if you will; Whether the child is at fault or not he has to take responsibility for how he feels. Because the mother purposely upsets him, this means that she has altered any given situation which the child is experiencing to one of her own design. The child may just have been watching TV, playing with his toys, or with his friends and is then transported to a renewed scenario which then includes self-judgment & self-recrimination. No matter what he does the outcome is one of pain and blame. Never mind that he has to take responsibility for when he is correctly wrong, he is also at fault when he isn’t – this being entrenched within him because this is not a singular event. It is common to him. Powell, in his