Last week was about health, and another week of just waiting without any news has just passed. Physically I do not feel any better, however, the Mouse has been busy. One of the upsides of using Grammarly as my spell checker is the weekly review and count of how many words it has checked. Last week it checked nearly seventeen thousand words, which means that in terms of literary output I have been busy.
I, not the Mouse, am also working on a new business venture and it has moved forward although launch seems ever further away the more work I do. It’s imperative that something launches before Christmas because that is a busy time and a good time to test the waters. Last week, I also introduced how the Mouse, as a therapeutic device, was helping me process the past. In terms of creativity, at the moment, the Mouse and therefore, my past is driving my writing. The Mouse has it easy, as I am already a half competent writer learning a new skill, while as an artist am in completely uncharted territory where everything is new, everything is learning and nothing at all is even remotely visible from my comfort zone. The fact that I am also creating with a commercial view is a discipline, and launching a business, a completely new business in a field I am completely new to being part of, with no reputation, no qualifications, training or background, is an incredible undertaking.
What is probably more remarkable is that my creative anything at all is entirely due to the fact I created the Mouse. Through the discipline of writing, and by facing the demons of the past, through the Mouse, was able to reach a place where failure was okay. This new venture does not have to be a success, its failure or success does not define who I am. In fact, the very fact that I am undertaking this venture at all speaks volumes about how I have changed as a person. The Mouse too, as was mentioned, has changed, growing in confidence and finding a voice that was more strident than ever. From writing last week’s reflection came the realisation that the Mouse cannot speak for me, and that the Mouse has boundaries, crossing them is to dalliance with disaster. After all the Mouse is a persona, and as a persona, it was created to keep me safe.
Contemplating the relationship between the whole me, and the Mouse who is a personification of part of me led to some interesting thoughts on how I cope with life, and I did ponder on the “normality” or otherwise of using a persona to handle trauma, especially as Mouse is not a disassociative persona. I felt that brilliant as the Mouse is, the Mouse, like me needs to heal, and that by healing I may be actually letting the Mouse die. However, as long as I need anonymity to deal with my past, I know the Mouse will have a place, and an outlet for his creativity.
In between feeling very ill and doing the stuff of life, my reflective focus has been on healing and the future. I have been wondering what does healed look like. The idea is that I have a goal, or a target, or even just milestones on the journey that indicate I am travelling in the right direction. What I realised is that my childhood, my adult relationships, meant that actually, I have no idea what healed looks like in positive terms. I can produce a definition based on what healed is not, but a positive, constructive and attractive what healed looks like leaves me blank. I am unprepared in my quest, unequipped by life experience to build up what a person who has gotten past their trauma looks like. I know my experience will be a journey round the grief cycle, I know I have buttons that can be easily pushed by situations and that I have hard-wired protective behaviours that are actually no longer appropriate or protective that I need to unlearn.
I have no idea what the life I am looking for post trauma looks like. From child to adult, the majority of my relationship experience is abusive in one way or another, and mostly emotionally. So I know intimately what love and relationships should not look like. DVUK have a their “Love doesn’t hurt” campaign, which I think is inspired both in its simplicity and its accuracy. It is another thing that defines what I am looking to build by what it is not, a negative definition. There is the Biblical 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, the staple of many a wedding. When you look in detail, love is patient, love is kind – the rest are again negative definitions love does not envy, love does not boast, it is no proud, it is not rude, not self-seeking, not easily angered, keeps no account of wrongs.
I do not like defining anything by what it is not. So my challenge is to build a picture, for myself, of what it is I am looking to achieve; set the Mouse and myself some goals. One definite goal is to get the Mouse or me to take notes through the week or make a list of reflection prompts on my desk notepad. Yes, I have a spiral notepad I jot notes on at my desk so I can go back and see them, everything from phone numbers, addresses, writing prompts to inspirational quotes and things to do that fall outside a defined to-do list or task list. Instantly out my head into storage.
Indeed, I am learning to use more tools in my life, to take more time to learn how to do that which previously I had been scared to try. I was fearful, if I tried to be more organised or a new system, any failure real or invented would be used against me. Mostly, I learned for the intellectual experience of learning things, any sort of change I implemented so slowly so that it could pass undetected or with something big I could use to shield my real intentions. What I learned was that in reality when someone sets out to sabotage and undermine you, even the simplest positive change becomes a massive almost impossible undertaking. I wonder where I found what I needed to keep on trying things and to keep on trying to learn and use what I learned.
Perhaps, the fact that I am breaking new ground so much is the reason things are taking so long. I am not sure, I know that the Mouse writes with great emotion, often streaming with tears as we relive the emotion of the experience being used to create the words. It is draining and very tiring. But, at the same time, the reward of looking back at work that was genuinely produced, and to see it connect with someone and evoke emotion is impossible to quantify or explain.