True Story

Well, that is surprising.

I’m working my way through a book entitled Becoming Real by Gail Saltz, and her premise is that we have all been telling ourselves stories since childhood to help us deal with life stuff. With things that are difficult or impossible for children to process, she says we create stories about ourselves and our lives that help us get through. For example, perhaps if you had a parent that was absent a lot for one reason or another, you would make up a story about how when you were “good” your parent would spend time with you and when you were “bad” you would be neglected. In other words, it was something you were doing wrong, not your parent.

Fast forward to adulthood, and you’re still living that story. You’re in a relationship with someone who neglects you and you’re still telling yourself that if you were “good” you would have the type of relationship you really want. But one day you realize that you keep repeating the same behavior and living the same story over and over again. That’s the day, hopefully, that you decide to get brave and face up to the fact that you have outgrown your story and it’s time to let it go.

So. Of course I have a story. I probably wouldn’t have picked up the book if I didn’t. I don’t even remember when I bought it, but it’s been a while. Want to know my story?

I have superhuman powers. Not the one I really want, which is flying. Mine is that I can deal with any problem and smooth it over until it looks pretty damn good. No matter how bumpy and crumbly the cake is, I can come up with enough frosting and wield my knife so skillfully that it will look just right.  At least on the outside. I am a problem solver, even for problems that can’t be solved and even for problems that aren’t my problem.

But that’s not the surprising part. I’ll tell you about that tomorrow.

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