Slithering Subconscious

The interesting part, to me, is that when it comes to psychological mechanisms – like the subconscious or defensiveness or cyclical patterns of trauma – is how they occur under the surface, seemingly undetected, causing destruction later on. It’s like an eel slithering under a layer of frozen water. The eel slithers around – slither, slither, slither. All you can see, from the surface, is a thick mound of ice. Over time, you start to notice weird little wiggling shadows, but you brush it off. Later, when there’s an eel infestation, you’re shocked. (Semi) unbeknownst to you, these eels were slithering around your subconscious for years.

This is probably why I like Carl Jung so much. And Freud. (Although I tend to associate the latter with the Oedipal Complex and phallic shapes.) They’re all about the subconscious, the collective unconscious, synchronicities, dreams, association, archetypes, Psychology 101.  They’re all about how the mind says things, responds in kind, acts out, misbehaves, forces the person to turn rocks to connect the dots and make constellations and ultimately heal.

During moments like this, I particularly miss V. It’s always nice, and rare, to have a space and person with whom you can honestly discuss the eels and weird wiggling shadows lurking beneath. There are the V’s – those who listen and guide – and the me’s – those who whine and cry. Most people in V’s position are quick to judge, offer advice, or quietly wait so they can run out the door as soon as humanly possible. The me’s – the whiny – are quick to become burdensome in all the eels we’re drowning in. It’s a weird balance, hoping to address these eels, in a human space, in the most non-burdensome way possible.

I remember watching V in these moments. As V observed me, I observed V back. I took stock of V’s demeanors, responses, mannerisms. Sometimes, I tried to mimic them, but only V could V as V did. I noticed how the silence sometimes felt threatening, how I filled the gaps with some inane blubbering before drilling down to the bone. I noticed V’s kind eyes and kind smiles and kind way of asking, point blank, if I was avoiding V because we were becoming closer. I vehemently denied it. To me, I was really just so genuinely busy, my calendar filling up, that I just had to go do my own thing for the next few weeks. But in that moment, I sensed V pointing at an eel that’d come too close to the surface. And at the very least, I had to address it.

At one point or another, I’m going to have to address this, whether it crops up in my behavior, dreams, or nightmares. Without V around, I’m not entirely sure how I can do this most effectively. V had a sort of removed neutrality that made it easy to open up. I know I can, it’s not impossible. And I know I will, it’s very possible.  I’m getting to that point, as I often do, of not just addressing these eels, but also determining what to do with them. I can slay each eel, one by one, which may pain me, because they are sentient eels. I can freeze an even thicker mound of ice so I can stay far away from the eels. I can investigate the source of these eels and their rapid propagation and try to eliminate it from there. Or, even better, I can blog about it on my online diary.

So stay tuned.

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