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Hypnotized

Josh and I went to a gala with a magician, and I was called on stage as a volunteer for one of the tricks.  (I know, I’ve been having great luck lately getting chosen from the audience, but to be fair, I had a front row seat this time.)

He first had six of us each hold a piece of string with a bolt, and he talked us through a trick where he made my string and bolt swing wildly in a circle even though my hand wasn’t moving.

He excused four of the people from the stage, and then he had two of us sit down on chairs about six meters apart.  He proceeded to hypnotize us, and I felt very strange while I sat in the chair.  He brought me out of it and showed me a bunch of cards, asking me to read what they said.  They were just a jumble of letters.  He would turn the card toward the audience, and they would all laugh, apparently seeing something else.  Then he would show me the card and it was just a jumble of letters that I couldn’t form into words.  Like A-P-P-L-S-O-S-S.

He put us back into a trance, and then he tapped my shoulder, but the other woman felt it.  Then he walked across the stage and touched her nose with the edge of a pack of cards, and I recoiled because I could feel someone touching my face.  (And everyone knows that I hate it when people touch my face.)  He brought us out and told us what had happened.  He was nowhere near me, but I had felt the cards travel down my nose, their edge making my whole face scrunch up.

It was such a strange trick.

I spoke to the magician at the end of the night, and he mentioned that I was very susceptible to hypnosis; that I went into that state so easily.  It made me wonder if it would be worth going to a professional hypnotist — a therapist who incorporates hypnotism into their work — to get over some of my fears.  I would love to live without some of my more annoying fears (like, I don’t know, fear of flying), but I’m also afraid of hypnosis itself.

It’s one thing to be in a room with hundreds of other people, participating in a magic trick.  It’s another to be alone in a room with someone and trust that they are changing my brain for the better.  What if I emerge with more fears?  I am not great at giving up control, and being in a vulnerable state like that, all alone, would definitely be about giving up control.

Have you ever tried hypnosis to get over a fear?  Did it work?

May 24, 2017   8 Comments

#MicroblogMondays 143: Boots

Not sure what #MicroblogMondays is? Read the inaugural post which explains the idea and how you can participate too.

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One of my biggest problems with air travel is my inability to wear my boots.  Maybe I could wear my boots, but I never risk them when I have to go through security because they have steel toes.  I will not pack my boots with my baggage, which means I never fly with my boots.

My boots make me feel like myself, and because I can’t wear them when I need to go somewhere on a plane, I never feel like myself when I’m on a trip.

I wear my boots all year round.  Pretty much every day.  Sometimes they’re tied.  Sometimes they’re not.  They make me feel powerful even though I know in my heart that I’m not powerful.  My big, black, clunky boots are the most Melissa thing I own.

Do you have something you wear that makes you feel like you?

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Are you also doing #MicroblogMondays? Add your link below. The list will be open until Tuesday morning. Link to the post itself, not your blog URL. (Don’t know what that means? Please read the three rules on this post to understand the difference between a permalink to a post and a blog’s main URL.) Only personal blogs can be added to the list. I will remove any posts that are connected to businesses or are sponsored post.

1. A Focused Journey 10. No Kidding in NZ (Mali) 19. Karen (River Run Dry)
2. Mettle. Fertility Blog 11. Isabelle 20. Empty Arms, Broken Heart
3. Middle Girl 12. Risa Kerslake 21. Failing at Haiku
4. Lori@ Laughing IS Conceivable 13. Traci York, Writer 22. Journeywoman
5. Jenn P 14. the OCD infertile 23. Talkback: Pushan Banerjee | TaU
6. Cristy 15. Chandra Lynn (Pics and Posts) 24. Tina Basu
7. Parul Thakur | Happiness & Food 16. Turia 25. Bijal Mehta
8. Loribeth (The Road Less Travelled) 17. Shilpa 26. Unpregnant Chicken
9. A Separate Life (Mali) 18. Melissa N.

May 22, 2017   22 Comments

Melissa and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Flight

Last weekend, I went to Mom 2.0 in Orlando.  It was great, thank you for asking.  I met interesting people and ate a lot of cupcakes and got to hang out with friends I rarely get to see.

And then it was time to go home.

When I got to the airport, there was a long line at check-in, and I couldn’t figure out how to get into the line itself.  I finally asked an airport employee who informed me that the end of the line was back by the Sea World store.  I dragged my suitcase to the end of the line, my heart pounding, where another employee informed me that there was absolutely no chance that I would make my flight.

The woman in front of me snarled that we would make our flights.  We had almost two hours until our respective flights.  This was not going to be a problem.

This was going to be a problem.  You know that, right?

I learned a lot about this woman’s life because we were together in line for an hour.  Her elderly mother informed me that she just loved the enormous grey streak in the front of my hair and that it was very “brave.”  (Yeah, it is brave, you know why?  Because I’m doing a freakin’ Rogue cosplay every single day of my life.)

I finally made it to the front and checked my bag, asking what would happen if I couldn’t make it through security in the next half hour when my flight boarded.  The employee shrugged.  I moved into the security line where I inched forward for about 45 minutes until I got through and could take an Ativan as I ran for the gate.  I jumped onto the plane.  Five more minutes and I would have missed it.

The Ativan (remember, I’m a bad flyer) started kicking in as we were taxiing away from the gate.  And that’s when the pilot’s voice came over the loudspeaker.  “Everyone, I want to apologize, but we’re going to hit turbulence this whole trip.  Start to finish.  It’s going to be bumpy on the way up.  We’ll hit pockets of turbulence while we’re in cruising altitude.  And it is going to be bumpy coming down.  All of it.  All of it filled with turbulence.  Melissa in row 9, you are now stuck on this flight for the next two hours.  Try not to pee yourself.”

I looked around and everyone had a look of disappointment on their face because they may not be able to get their precious Schweppes if the flight crew couldn’t get up from their seats.  But I was screaming on the inside (and possibly the outside — I don’t know) over this news.

The plane took off and, as promised, it was bumpy.  The flight crew remained seated.  I knew that they would get very cranky with me if I seeped onto the floor in a weepy mess so I panted in my seat like a dying animal.  The boy by the window gallantly asked the girl between us if she was okay.  I leaned forward and heard myself tell him, “I am not okay.”  The college boy stared at my grey hair and sweaty face and choose to ignore me.  I spent two hours in this state.

Finally the plane wobbled down to the ground and I exhaled and unfroze.  (You know how animals go through fight, flight, or freeze when dealing with stress?  I freeze in order to trick my stress into not seeing me.)

Please don’t ask me to go anywhere.  I don’t think I am ever flying again.

May 21, 2017   14 Comments

647th Friday Blog Roundup

So the coda to the concert post is that it was my first show standing on the floor and not having a mosh pit.  I’ve been to concerts where I’ve had a seat in the arena.  And I’ve been to concerts where there have been no seats but everyone has crammed either into a mosh pit in front of the stage or stood on the sidelines outside the mosh pit.  But I have never been to a show that had no seats AND no mosh pit.

Everyone just stood.

And by “stood,” I mean that they blocked my view by holding up their phone.  They didn’t dance because that would have resulted in a blurry picture.  The rest of us couldn’t dance because we might bump into the people broadcasting on their Facebook feed.  I don’t think I’ll ever go back to that concert hall because it made me really sad to watch the guy next to me carry on a three-hour-long text message conversation, only breaking to take pictures of Peter Garrett and post them on Twitter.

The music was great.  Peter Garrett’s dancing was great.  The few people we spoke to before the show began were great.  But the crowds who pushed their way to the front to block everyone who was there to listen to the music and dance?  That part made me really really cranky.

I’m getting old.

I whined on Twitter this week, #GetOffYourPhone is the new “get off my lawn.”  This is what happens when I can’t work out my feelings in the mosh pit.

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Stop procrastinating.  Go make your backups.  Don’t have regrets.

Seriously.  Stop what you’re doing for a moment.  It will take you fifteen minutes, tops.  But you will have peace of mind for days and days.  It’s the gift to yourself that keeps on giving.

As always, add any new thoughts to the Friday Backup post and peruse new comments in order to find out about methods, plug-ins, and devices that help you quickly back up your data and accounts.

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And now the blogs…

But first, second helpings of the posts that appeared in the open comment thread last week.  In order to read the description before clicking over, please return to the open thread:

  • None… sniff.

Okay, now my choices this week.

Slaying, Blogging, Whatever is once again the voice of reason in regards to parents being up in arms about their child not doing a Mother’s Day/Father’s Day project at school.  She writes, “The schools are not there to make the kids do crafts for your gifts.  They are there to learn … The school is trying to teach a more important lesson about people in general and about having empathy and understanding about various cultures and families, etc.”  It’s a moving post about kids aging, written by someone who has a very different take on the concept of a Mother’s Day gift.

Anabegins has a post that resonated with me because I also don’t want to go anywhere.  I really love the idea of staying home, and we are also only going to nearby beaches and visiting family.  I don’t feel any impulse to explore at the moment, and the idea of really traveling makes me feel so tired and overwhelmed.  I mostly just want space to read.  Joining her in wanting simple right now.

Countingpinklines has a graphic breaking down her ectopic pregnancy.  Despite using pastel colours, it is still a sobering picture of loss.  Though, as she writes, “It made a ridiculously shitty experience into, not a positive experience, but at least an interesting one.”

Lastly, the OCD Infertile has a beautiful Mother’s Day post juxtaposing two balloon releases.  Years earlier, her niece was with her when she released balloons after a miscarriage.  This year, she helped her niece release balloons in memory of her mother.  This made me cry: “Who would have known all these years later we would stand there together, a child without a mother, a mother without a child, somehow both now having both sending their love to angels in Heaven that made us who we are.”

The roundup to the Roundup: Phones and concerts don’t mix.  Your weekly backup nudge.  And lots of great posts to read.  So what did you find this week?  Please use a permalink to the blog post (written between May 12th and 19th) and not the blog’s main url. Not understanding why I’m asking you what you found this week?  Read the original open thread post here.

May 19, 2017   3 Comments

Third Person

Pace yourself.  I still have a few more thoughts from Matthew Quick’s book, Every Exquisite Thing.  You don’t have to read the book to follow these posts and have an opinion because I’m using the book as a springboard to other mental spaces.  If you want to read the other posts I’ve written about this book, you can find them here, here, and here.

I learned that I really don’t like it when people speak about themselves in third person.

This was not a shocking revelation — I’m always annoyed when I see people writing about themselves in third person.  Nor is it a shocking revelation for anyone else in the book.  When the main character, Nanette, begins to speak in third-person, she is greeted with this bon mot:

“Don’t take this the wrong way, but your talking in third person is positively unnerving. It’s like a punishment for the rest of the world (p. 168).”

Yeah, that’s how I feel, too.

But backing up for a moment, it was enlightening to first read why she is speaking about herself in third person and then realize that I was still annoyed with her usage of third person.

The idea comes from her therapist, June, who asks her to stop using the word “I.”

“We live in our heads, Nanette, which can be very scary places. We forget that we are not just an I, but a she and a you, too. We forget to see ourselves as others see us. For some people, the problem is narcissism—meaning they are selfish, too self-absorbed. But I think that your problem is that you are too selfless. You care about the needs of others more than you care about your own needs. You are strong for them even when it’s a detriment to your own well-being” (p. 146).

The solution is to move into a third person mindset. The therapist leads her to this experiment:

“I want you to do an experiment,” June says, and then suggests that I should begin to think of myself in the third person—not as an I but as a she. “Nanette is very good at making decisions for other people. She clearly sees that Alex shouldn’t have done what he did. But when she is deciding for the first-person I, Nanette, she is much less sure. So why not live in the third person for a bit and see how that goes? See yourself as someone else. Refer to yourself as Nanette in your inner monologue—the words that run through your brain all day. Kill the I. Maybe begin to keep a diary in the third person, too (p. 147 – 148).

But here’s the interesting thing: even knowing that this is sound advice — that we are better at thinking through solutions for other people and terrible at giving advice to ourselves and that we all could benefit from getting outside of our heads and considering ourselves from a different angle — still… I WAS COMPLETELY ANNOYED BY HER SPEAKING IN THIRD PERSON.

Like the whole book moves from first person to third person.  And it annoyed me.  Completely.

And, at the same time, intrigued me.  What would I learn about myself by speaking in third person day in and day out?

What do you think of this idea?  Are you also annoyed when people speak about themselves in third person?

May 17, 2017   6 Comments

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