Procrastination is my mind bandage

The most obvious symptom of being a multiple may be lack of action. When you have several people inside you and they all want to do something different, if they don’t agree on what to do, you have a conundrum. This leads to all sorts of confusion and disagreement on the inside. Sometimes I just sit around doing nothing because “we” can’t decide what to do.

After my last blog I learned a few things from Madelyn Griffith-Haynie who has a post on procrastination and task anxiety. Her blog is called “ADD and so much more”, and it’s on wordpress.  She explains that we are most likely to procrastinate on a task that has many steps. For example, I don’t mind going out to the mailbox, which is by the road, on spring, summer and fall days, because it’s just one task. However, in the winter I hate to go get the mail because its takes five tasks.

  1. Change my shoes to boots.
  2. Put on my coat, gloves and hat.
  3. Walk to the mailbox, get the mail, and walk back to the house.
  4. Take off my coat, gloves and hat.
  5. Take off my boots and put on my shoes.

For that reason I put off getting the mail, and I owe thanks to Madelyn for her wisdom on the subject.

I have found something to do while I’m procrastinating and trying to get my personalities to agree on what we are going to do. It is my mind bandage. It is freecell, the solitaire game of all games. I can play it without thinking too hard, so my numb mind can be deciding what to do at the same time.

I found a website to help me through my dilemma. It is called Freecell.net and there I can play competitively. The site has twelve kinds of freecell to choose from and playing against other people and having a little competition enhances the idea that you’re really doing something. The site even has a special screen for people who are playing while they are at work. It looks like a screen from excel. The people who host freecell.net are geniuses.

Oh, Oh, I’m starting to feel kind of weird. I must be facing a big decision, because I need my mind bandage. I think I’d better get over to freecell.net right away, so I can relax and calm down!

The True Meaning of Procrastinate

For definitions I always turn to my favorite linguist, Daniel Webster’s wife, Merriam. Here’s the way she defines the word in question: pro– forward + crastinus of tomorrow: to put off intentionally and habitually something that should be done.

My own multi-linguist definition begins with the “pro” at the beginning of the word. “Pro” implies that the person professing to procrastinate is a professional (say that three times fast). In other words, it takes a professional to be very good at putting things off. Amateurs need to “work” on their procrastinating skills, thus eliminating themselves from the group.

Procrastinators start early and stay up late. To truly become an expert one must do it all day. This involves sacrifice. You can’t go out, you shouldn’t get dressed or bathe. Brushing your teeth is optional. Lastly, ordering Chinese is the mark of a true professional.

By definition procrastinators can’t have a goal, but if they did, it would be to forget everything they have to do so they can relax and take time off.  And remember the procrastinators slogan: Procrastinate spelled backwards spells etanitsarcorp, which sounds like “ain’t it a sack of crap.”

Why do we always need to be right?

In our culture we are educated in a system that values being right and abhors being wrong.

We are taught from a very young age that answering a question with the right answer is good and the wrong answer is bad. We are graded for twelve years in school with a system that validates the “right” answer every day and devalues the “wrong” answer. No wonder we all grow up needing to be right all the time.

Our society also rewards people with money when they are right. A school student studys and gets good grades because he/she gets correct answers on tests. These answers help him get into a good college, where he graduates at the top of his class because he gets the right answers on all his tests. (This guy is definitely a goody-two-shoes and I practically hate him already). Finally this superb fellow gets a really high paying job because he has a history of being right.

So a second thing we have to do in order to be happy being wrong, is to be happy being poor middle class and not having every single material item that our neighbor has. The Bible supports this truth with “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbors goods,” and I am adding “even his 48″ flat screen TV!”

The need to be right causes us to get into many arguments, often offending those around us. When was the last time you insisted someone else was wrong about something? When we get into that situation, where we are in a face-off  about a particular point, do any of us have the grace to give-in?

It so happened that the day I was considering writing about this, I had a disagreement with my husband. I don’t even remember what it was about, but as I thought about it, I REALIZED HE WAS RIGHT. That was a painful realization for me. My insides begrudged his correctness. I felt a big lump in my chest, knowing that I had been wrong. Somehow I feared dire consequences for being wrong.

Then I started to analyze myself. I pictured Mrs. Houston, my grade school principal, glaring at me from her desk because I didn’t know my geography. I pictured Miss Zigler sneering at me because I couldn’t remember the words to my part in the play. I thought about these incidents for several days. I even thought about confessing to Bob that he had been right, but I couldn’t do it. Then I started to realize that ever since I had been in First Grade I had been told that there was only one answer to a question and that was the RIGHT answer.

I started to feel  better. I realized it didn’t matter who was right about the point of conflict my husband and I had argued about. I realized there was no need to confront him about it and cause another disagreement worse than the first one. I could forgive him for being right and accept being wrong. I felt good about myself. I felt like it was “big of me” to admit being wrong, even if it was just to myself.

Perhaps we all would be happier if we gave up being right as often as we can. It’s possible we would receive more love and admiration from our spouse,  our children, and our co-workers. We might be more relaxed and have a more peaceful life. It sounds pretty good doesn’t it?

Would you rather be right or be happy?

What is Abuse?

Most of us would be able to define abuse if we were asked. We would probably say “hurting a child or a spouse,” but the concept of abuse goes much further.

The Department of Children and Families in Connecticut defines it this way:

“Abuse is a non-accidental injury to a child which, regardless of motive, is inflicted or allowed to be inflicted by the person responsible for the child’s care. It includes physical injury, malnutrition, sexual molestation, deprivation of necessities, emotional maltreatment or cruel punishment.”

According to this definition, abuse can occur with any kind of bad treatment by a care-giver. It certainly is a warning to people in the business of professional childcare.

In a story from the journal Pediatrics last August, and reported on Time.com, a group of pediatricians warn other doctors to stay alert to the signs of psychological maltreatment as well. This kind of abuse includes terrorizing, belittling or neglecting a child and can be every bit as devastating as other types of abuse.

One of the doctors contributing to the article, Harriet MacMillan of Canada, said “We are talking about extremes and the likelihood of harm, or risk of harm resulting from the kinds of behavior that make a child feel worthless, unloved or unwanted.”

Psychological abuse is more common, and as harmful as other child maltreatment. This type of abuse is hard to identify because it is not defined by any specific event, such as a hospital visit for a burn or a broken bone. It can only be recognized by observing the nature of the relationship between the caregiver and the child.

Other Multiples

If you know someone with multiple personalities, please tell them about my blog. I would like to connect with them