sj: making space

There is a process talked about by a guy named Pieget called decalages. At least that is what I think who I think was talking about. I read about them in Perry’s essay on growth. Anyhow, I decalage (as best I can remember) is taking an experience from your life and imposing the understanding that you gained from that experience and using it to contextualize another experience.

I think that I was doing a decalage earlier today.

I was remembering back on how I used to deal with stuff. Stuff being actual physical possessions. I was a huge pack rat. I would never throw anything away. There was always the thought that if I got rid of something then the day would come when I would have a use for it and it would be gone.

This extended to emotional possessions as well. I would save all kinds of useless things such as receipts and scraps of paper because I thought that some day when I was beyond my childhood I would find these things and they would connect me to my youth and I would like the experience.

What happened was that I ended up with lots and lots of crap and no place to put all of it. It simply wasn’t feasible to have the amount of stuff that I tried to have.

Over time the problem got worse and I began to discover that I had a hard time giving it up. I was afraid that if I got rid of anything that later on I would have to go without. Especially I was afraid that if I let go of the past and the few enjoyable experiences that I had that I would not have any in the future to take their place.

It was a simple scarcity need. I was afraid that I wasn’t going to have a life that I enjoyed so I needed to work to protect the little bit that I had gotten so far.

Another area where this takes place is with e-mail. I separate my e-mail out into folders according to its relevance to me. When I first got here I didn’t have enough e-mail to warrant using folders at all. As time went on I started separating it out. I wanted to save everything again because I wanted to capture the little bits of pleasure that I had for fear that I would not have them again.

I have gotten better at throwing stuff away though I am still a bit of a pack rat. I do not do it for emotional reasons as much anymore though and I do not save stuff that is damaged.

Still though when I think about this I can feel my chest tighten in fear of not having. Its not really not having anything specific. Just general stuff, not having love, not having happiness, not having satisfaction. I believe more than I did when I got here that I will like my life, but I am still doubtful.

All of this relates to how I deal with people. I have always worked really hard to be a likeable person (most of it is not work really, but some things like being non-aggressive and swallowing anger I do for fear of not being liked.) As of late my desire to be around people has been less. I like people. I enjoy talking and sharing and experiencing, but some of the drive to have to do it is gone. I do not have the fear of if I let people go off on their own then I will still be welcome later.

I was thinking about it because I want to try to set my bed time at somewhere around 11:00 and I think that this is entirely reasonable. It was also entirely reasonable last semester as well though and I rarely made it because I spent so much time being with people.

I am not saying that I did not enjoy most of my time with people that kept me up too late, but I think that I would have been more comfortable saying “this is fun and all, but I’m going to bed” if I had the confidence that the fun would still be there if I tell the person to go away for the night.

The thing is that there is the potential for what is know as the undersocial personality adaptation to be taking place here. This is a nuance of Schultz’s model that I wrote about a while ago. The idea is really simple, I don’t think that I am worthy of having friends so I don’t try to and I subliminate my desires to.

I don’t think that is it really. I have noticed a shift in most of my interactions. I am alot more willing to do things that grate against the other person like telling them that I think that they are wrong or that I have an opinion other than what they have voiced. Wayne stayed here at school for most of the break and he and I were working setting up computer labs. I noticed the changes alot in interacting with him, though at the same time I noticed also my feelings and inclinations around the other people who I was working with and I was still really quiet and reserved even when I had opinions.

I think that as time goes on I will gain more confidence in myself and base more of my concept of myself out of myself rather than other people’s opinions.

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