I was going to make a YouTube video of a re-creation of my memories of my mom driving off with another man while leaving me on the side walk alone. It’s not one of my more proud moments, but nonetheless it’s there in the back (sometimes front) of my mind. And like YouTube, I can’t erase it.
In real life, there are certain triggers like this that set off an emotional chain reaction.
Ya I was that little kid watching his parent drive off. But in my case it was my mom leaving with another man. What seemed to be a large happy family (I thought) living in a huge country ranch house, became my father and I living in a two bedroom apartment. At least it had a swimming pool. But back in the 60s, men didn’t do all of the domestic things that needed to be done. I went a semester in 6th grade without electricity in our apartment. Not because we were poor, but because my father had more important things to do. My brother and sister went on their own and it seemed like everyone left. I had to learn from my friends when school sign ups were and pick my classes. It sucks falling in between the cracks. Now they have social workers that would have wiped my ass and send me to counseling.
I know we all have our own mental YouTube videos that we can’t erase or keep from playing.
Why is it that the painful Videos seem to outweigh the happy videos? I have to really stop and purposefully think about the happy ones. But the painful ones seem to come out of nowhere, knocking on my conscious mind’s door. Before you know it, the 10 second commercial has passed and you’re reliving something really hurtful like something that was said in an ugly divorce. Maybe it’s rejection from someone you thought you loved. You walk away saying: “Well at least I know what it’s like to give love”. You also have a decade or two worth of mental YouTube videos in your mind just waiting for some trigger object to hit play. It could be something as simple as watching a mom buy school clothes for an ungrateful son.
I guess if our painful memories were really YouTube Videos that popped up and started playing, before long we would just hit the close button as if we were sending something to the Norton Spam folder, but we can’t.
But with anything in life, it all depends on your emotional bank account.
Listen to this, Sociologist claim that we want to watch the mental video because the pain that it invokes keeps the relationship alive. In a way, it keeps the abandoning parent alive. It keeps the rejecting mate “present”. In a self-destructive sort of way, we want to hold on to every last memory good or bad. In some cases, it’s so bad that when you lose something insignificant (like a cheap ink pen) you’ll keep looking for it until you find it. Psychiatrists say this is a common practice. Deep down in the seeds of your unhappiness is a mental “loss prevention program”. You’ve lost a parent or both and you can’t stand losing anything else, even if it’s a damn ninety nine cent Gel pen. Searching for it makes you feel like you can do something about the loss of a loved one. You also get a dopamine release when you find it.
But reality hits and you’re still an orphan. Oh well…..
It’s how Scientists say it works. Don’t ask me for answers. I spend nights going through my emotional play lists.