Head, meet Heart. Heart, this is Head

I am not a head person, or a heart person, or a blended head/heart person. I am a person, my head is over here where I can see it and occasionally make use of it, and my heart is behind it somewhere in the shadows waiting to jump out and vomit emotions all over me. So I may well be a crazy person, but only in that twee ‘gosh I’m just insane’ way and not in a serious mental illness way.

Perhaps it stems from years of being called ‘such a sensible girl’ or the odd passivity of the household I was raised in. Outwardly I think I am composed, reasonable, and often say clever things. This probably comes off as aloof and big headed though strangely knowledgeable. My reserved nature in childhood wasn’t through any virtue of being sensible but from chest crushing anxiety. I wasn’t too clever to do stupid things, just too afraid. So I developed an analytical front, a way of processing the world into something I could easily understand and therefore not have to be anxious about.

Which was all going so well until sex got involved. I was not overly anxious about sex, having studied it both mechanically and in Cosmopolitan, but the men that came with… well there is no training for that. They liked to be listened to, and agreed with; they liked to advise me on what to look like which I foolishly endorsed by asking and trying to satisfy their imagined ideals. Any hurt I should have been feeling about this was pushed down beneath the rationalisation that I loved them and therefore it must be natural that I try to please them, to excite them by fulfilling their wants and desires. Also my old friend anxiety was still there, encouraging my self-destruction further by implying that I could lose these men I supposedly loved if I were to ignore their wants and desires.

In fact, not only were most emotions and reactions suppressed, but where was Head in all this? I actually find it embarrassing to think of how I allowed myself to be mistreated for so long. I’m not a stupid person and yet I allowed myself to be hammered into a new shape to suit someone else’s tastes. This was a long time ago but I think I still have dents.

And so to the happy ending right? Well I do live with a man I love who I don’t believe would try to hammer me. But I still have dents. There are ways in which I still behave as if he is trying to control me, as if his opinions should count for more than mine. And he’s not doing it, it’s all me. I have these learnt behaviours that Head has been programmed to think would show consideration and Heart panics and anxiety comes back. Or maybe it’s the other way, Heart panics so Head takes charge and tries to fix the situation by walking into a wall repeatedly. Bless Head, it tries so hard and is so thoroughly confused when despite all its hard work Heart still starts to cry.

So Head and Heart need to reconcile somewhat. Head needs to stop being so bullheaded crashing about everywhere and Heart needs to speak up a bit more. Heart tells Head that arts and crafts make it happy, so Head helps by making designs and concentrating. Head likes to read clever books and think about them. It sounds like I live in sheltered accomodation for the mentally/emotionally disturbed. I actually live and work in busy cities. I’ve only got shelter on the inside, which is really what I always had, but it’s starting to exist in the outside world too. Perhaps that is part of the reason why having a room of one’s own is so important.


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