I’ve lost focus.
My therapist used to tell me an story intended to assist me in addressing my anxiety issues after my accident. I related to it – not because of the accident, but because of my ex.
Imagine you’re driving a bus. You have a particular route and destination in mind, but you have to stop every once in a while and let people on and off the bus. Then a guy gets on who stands right behind the yellow line. You know – the one that you’re not supposed to cross over if you’re a passenger. The new passenger is quite aggressive. He’s shouting directions in your ear. Don’t go that way. Don’t turn right. You need to turn left. Every turn, every direction – he’s right in your ear.
So what do you do?
You could just ignore the guy. But he’ll keep shouting in your ear. And it’s getting annoying. Not only is he loud, but his breath smells horrendous. He’s leaning so far over the line you can feel his sweat dripping onto your shoulder.
So that won’t work.
You can argue with him. Tell him no, you’re going the other way. Or shout at him to go to the back of the bus and shut up.
Those don’t work either though. He’s still at your shoulder. Right in your ear. So close, you can feel his breath on you. Shouting. Go the other way. You’re so tense, you feel like you’re going to explode. You’d like to just turn around and slap him, but you’re afraid you’ll lose your job.
What other options do you have?
Well…I don’t know. Why is he on the bus anyway? Why do I have to take him where he wants to go?
The answer is – I don’t.
I don’t have to take him where he wants to go.
And I don’t have to take his shit.
I can stop the bus and push the asshole off.
Instead of giving him an opening to shout his bullshit. Instead of allowing him to continue, I can throw him off the bus. If he shows up at a later stop, I don’t have to let him on.
And I have – I have thrown him off the bus before. I’ve set my boundaries and not allowed him to get back on. In the past.
My problem now is – I’ve let him on the bus.
In this case, the ogre on my bus is the Goblin King. And he’s been shouting in my ear a lot lately. And I’ve been shouting back at him to shut the heck up. And (of course) it’s not working.
It’s time to throw him off the bus. And if he won’t go, maybe it’s a good day to take a walk.
|Image Credit (Edited): This image is available from the United States Library of Congress‘s Prints and Photographs division under the digital ID fsa.8d30824|