trials and tribulations and bears, oh my

My thoughts have been running amok in recent months. I’ll find myself thinking about fantastical situations, even if they aren’t particularly appealing or interesting, and especially if they are kind of icky or even gruesome, and find myself barely able to control where they lead.

Say I’m on the train and my attention is drawn to some guy sitting a few seats down. Lately it’s been the tall, tan, almost blonde-ish fellows who are pulling me in, the ones with closely-shaved heads, lean, angular faces, and eyelashes I could swim in (I can’t tell if I’m into eyes or lashes these days). I’ll notice him and begin to wonder what his skin feels like, particularly his face, if I went up to him and put my hands on both cheeks, ran my thumbs over his eyebrows, licked his temples, smelled his neck, and if his lips would taste salty and full of sun. These imaginings feel perfectly normal to me, are undeniably entertaining, and quite harmless.

This does not bother me. In fact, it is one of my chief pleasures in life right now.

But lately, I’ve also been having thoughts of a more odious and/or ominous nature. I’ll see someone who I’m not attracted to, someone who might be the exact opposite of the above description, and I’ll run with it. Like, say there was a guy at work who was super nice, a little weird, and didn’t float my boat in the slightest. But a thought will pop up, like “what would it be like to…?” and even though I don’t want to think about where those dots lead, even though it doesn’t arouse, amuse or inspire me, I continue with the thought. I have to make a determined effort NOT to imagine smells and tastes and touches. I don’t want to but those little bastard thoughts are persistent.

Or I’ll be walking with Ryland along a bridge, a big drop down to the water below. And he’ll be riding my shoulders and I’ll wonder, “What if I just sort of let him fall over the side, down into the water? What would I do? What would the people around me do? Would he be okay? Would he drown? As soon as I let go, would I suddenly scream WHAT AM I DOING? Would I dive after him? Would I stand there and watch everything unfold, like a slow-motion movie scene? Would my heart beat any faster? What would everyone say to me later? Would they see I did it on purpose?” I force myself to stop picturing the details and the aftermath, and I feel a sickness in my stomach, at both the idea of that ever happening, by accident or design, and also at the idea that I could even consider such a thing, that it is a part of my conscious mind.

Yesterday, as I stood on the platform, watching as the train got closer, I saw myself suddenly jumping in front of it, and picturing the reaction of the crowd, and if everything in my bag would fly out, and if it would hurt right away or if I’d just pass out from it all before I really felt anything.

Are these weird thoughts? Does that make me a homicidal mother, or a suicidal commuter, or a sexually dysfunctional employee? Am I just bored and unchallenged in life right now? Do I not love my son? Do I hate myself? Do I really secretly want to make out with someone from work? Am I alone in these musings? Surely other people have similar wonderings.

I know the answers to these questions. Yes, in general, right now, I’m feeling bored and unchallenged, but not to any degree of seriousness; that’s kind of my inherent and general malaise in life. I love my son like I breathe, without thought, question or condition, but wholly essential to my continued existence. I do not hate myself; in fact maybe I like me a little too much. I harbor no secret crushes on anyone at work (or if I do, it definitely isn’t with the guy from above). I know that I’m not alone in thinking these things, or even in the extent of details. I just hope that my bedfellows are not of the bars-in-the-window variety.

5 thoughts on “trials and tribulations and bears, oh my

  1. morgan

    I think we’ve all had crazy ‘what if’ thoughts. It’s all good. I used to imagine driving into oncoming traffic. That’s a good one.

  2. Marianne

    I have had similar situations in my life. The
    first was in the midst of overwhelming postpartem
    depression which probably should have been
    professionally treated but wasn’t. I would picture
    myself driving away from everything and never coming
    back, the kids dying, Chris dying, I would play out
    the entire funeral process, etc. Or I would picture
    myself living a thousand miles away with some bohemian guy and I would play it all out, how much would I miss Chris and the kids, would I contact them, etc. I still fall into this occassionally, particularly with Chris and/or the kids dying, my mind will just get on the
    train and I’ll follow it until I can pull myself out of it which is not generally all that quickly.

    Anyways, I don’t know if it is anything to worry about
    or not, I know that I will get to a place where I get
    worried about myself and will generally pull myself
    out of it at that point, but it is always myself I am
    more concerned with than anyone else, and I would say
    the same for you. Nobody else is in danger, it’s just
    sort of a weird thing and who knows why it happens? I
    know exactly what you are talking about though, almost
    like they are not my thoughts at all, but someone
    else’s, or like I am outside of myself and just
    watching. It’s weird.

    I actually do think it might have something to do with being bored and/or unchallenged in life. The times that it has happened to me are frequently when I feel like my life is very mundane, or when it was after DW was born my life was filled with minutia. I think we all want to believe that our lives will be or are extraordinary and full of excitement and intrigue and when it just isn’t turning out that way, our mind plays out a few scenarios wherein we can “safely” escape our bonds and live the exciting lives we know must exist somewhere.

    I also tend to think that, especially as mothers, we need to play out our personal worst case scenarios and that in a way this makes us stronger and more able to deal with crisis, which we have to be as good at as possible because we are usually the ones who have to deal with things first (at least in my house this is true…if I’m not calm, nobody is calm and I think even Chris would agree with that!). It’s just like anything else, practice makes you more prepared, so your mind makes you practice.

    I don’t know, but very interesting topic, Christa M! You are really making me think these days….

  3. Lorelei

    I don’t think it means you’re bored and unchallenged, I think it means you have a fantastic imagination and you use it to its fullest extent. This is a positive thing.

  4. gimme me a minute

    I have similar thoughts. I am similarly bored. I think that we could all just do with a little more excitement. And personal tragedy is exciting. Death is exciting. Icky is really exciting.

    Don’t stop daydreaming to that icky, icky beat.

  5. Jonathan

    Not that I think you’re even .0001% likely to harm Ry or harm anyone, for that matter, but since we’ve all had thoughts like these, I wonder if in the cases of people who do legitimate insane & despicable things, like the mom who drowned her five children by hand in the bathtub, or that lunatic wrestler who murdered his wife & son, at what point do the random crazy thoughts cross a line? Like, can you quantify the amount of crazy, where Christa thinking of dropping Ry is a 2 and Chris Benoit imagining exactly how he will murder his son moments before actually doing it is a 97? Do the thoughts of these sociopaths start out at a 2, like “heh! I can’t believe I just imagined drowning my children. Nutty.” And then over time do they just get more frequent, or stronger, or are they purely evil thoughts right from the get go? Like, was the first time that Andrea Yates imagined her children dead a happy thought for her, like “yay, at last the solution to my problems”? These are morbid thoughts…

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