Wednesday, January 14, 2009


When I was a kid, we used to go to the local carnival and they had a fun house. Dark, twisted hallways, mirrors, smoke, scary heads that pop out from no where, horrible noises...the ususal dark ride stuff. I always hated those because you never knew what was going to happen, but you knew that it was going to scare the **** out of you.

These days, while things are calmer...sense of resignation, still borders on the bizarre from time to time. And I don't know what to expect anymore.

H grabs me in the hallway, really, really upset looking...almost in tears.

"I have something important that I need to talk with you's been bothering me a lot," he says.

I think "Oh boy, is this another relationship conversation?" But what I say instead is, "What's bothering you, honey?"

"Well, I've been watching this movie and the US government really DID cause 9/11 to happen. They let it happen, the b******s. I just knew that it couldn't be the terrorists...the government just wants to control us with fear to advance their agenda...."

OK, so I'll stop there with his narrative on this.

Another time he's visibly shaken and is telling me that he's having nightmares. So we are talking about that and then he starts telling me about watching CSI shows and shows on serial killers. And while he won't watch a horror or ghost movie with me like we used to (or even a tense movie at all with me because he "has enough nightmares"), he's clearly obsessing on death these days. And in some ways, he needs to confront it...even if on TV.

I'm finally learning to just hear what he has to say, not have any pre-conceived notions in my head about what he's going to say, and to not cut him off. The only way I know what is happening with him is if I get the unfiltered story. And so, I've shifted my internal monologue from "Oh, God, what is the issue now" to "I wonder what he's thinking." And when he says something, I just try to have an open mind and listen.

Keeps me saner.

But I really never know what to expect: it ranges from outright rage at simple things ("Dammit, you put WAAAAY too much food out for the dogs (insert much yelling about how I never listen to him)"), to complete contradictions in a single sentence, to multiple shows on serial killers (e.g, movies about them or documentaries about them) on the DVR, to a whimpering puddle at the thought of a government conspiracy.

Another step in my acceptance is that I just need to think of him as a child...sometimes they rant, they cry, are mad, are lost in fantasy land, or scare themselves silly.

Truth be told, it scares me too.

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