20 – Denial

If the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, then I’m an orange. I rolled away.

I don’t like to think of myself as a reflection of my parents in any way. Sure, we’ll have similar features physically and mentally, but I don’t like having that comparison done to me. I don’t want to have to fall in anyone’s footsteps. Especially not those of my parents. They’re both very understandable people with personalities that are generally kind. I can’t say much beyond that. There’es a whole story behind “generally”.

Now this outright denial of my  connection to my parents brings myself to ponder the roots of the sentiment. Denial, I mean. Why deny what’s in front of you? Why put up this front of resistance to a natural occurence? When it comes to mourning, why can’t we accept easily what has come to pass? Why do we refuse to believe that the love is gone and why do we refuse to let our hearts heal? This stubbornness, this irrationality confuses me. How can we deny so strongly what is clearly in front of us?

Pyschology is something I ponder about all the time. Reasoning things out, analyzing parts bit by bit. It’s a wonder why I’m not taking the course itself when it’s offered at my school. In poetry, I try to expand my feelings on a certain subject, write convoluted explanations to why a certain thing is happening. Sometimes though, I’m searching for a clear cut answer – and that, that can only come from a rant or discussion like this one.

Why deny at all? The question is simple, but the answer is so mystifying. Some may argue that the truth is too frightening, too difficult to accept at the moment. Then it becomes a matter of acceptance. The fact or the event simply cannot be accepted by the person in denial. We hold on tightly and fragilely to things like love, friendship, and believed truths. When these things disappear, we feel lost. We feel like we’ve lost all sense of direction. We conjure up denial in order to hold on to those things – but those things are still inevitably gone. Holding on only makes it harder to let go in the end.

Humans are strange beings. Acceptance is not easy.

Perhaps denial is some kind of defensive measure against the pain of accepting reality. Some kind of way for us to hold on to what we know to be true, but isn’t. In any case, it’s not healthy. It’s better to admit that you’re hurt, then pretend you’re not and never receive the support you so desperately need. It’s better to accept that someone is gone and is never coming back than hold on to the idea of that person still being there. It’s not healthy to live in the past.

But we’ll do it anyway. We’ll stick ourselves into a moment and cling on for our lives. There will be people who shove the truth at us and call for us to return to reality. And we’ll refuse them. We’ll deny the slice of pie offered to us. Reject what doesn’t fit into our premade speculations. Reject what hurts us – what doesn’t give us happiness. But then we fall. We lose hold of the false reality, lose hold of what we thought was still there. This falsified reality lifts us. Higher and higher. We become afraid of the fall. Will there be someone to catch us? We lose sight of the people who would catch up. We’ve gone too high. The fall hurts. It becomes ten times harder than it would’ve been if we didn’t deny what was in front of us at all. The pent-up frustration, the suppressed pain, it all comes rushing back so much faster.

Humans are stupid. I’ll stand by that fact anyday.

I’m stupid.

—tumblr: realities change.

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16 thoughts on “20 – Denial

  1. First off, I’d say that I think *sometimes* denial is a good and healthy choice! There are things that absolutely defy logic and worry and FIXING and deserve to be cut out of our lives in any way we can manage it. I’ve seen people who have been wounded too deeply to ever have a semblance of normalcy without the ability to just plain decide to pretend that wound or cause doesn’t and didn’t exist.

    But I’d say that for the most part, even deep personal pains (as opposed to ‘externals’ like war that we cannot affect individually) that I’d like to think should never happen in the universe–I’ll use the example of a dear friend’s having been murdered–can’t be denied. The only way I have found to cope in those instances turns out to be *transformation*–finding ways to change my own focus and the place that untenable events have in my daily life enough so that I can move forward. Do I still think of him longingly pretty much every day, a decade later? Yes, of course I do. But is that the color of my whole day? Far from it. Not least of all because that is the last thing on earth he would expect or approve, but also because I want and need to continue my life and give the beautiful things I gained from knowing him meaning and continuity. So he, along with my other lost loved ones, remains in a particular layer of my being that I choose to open or leave alone during each day, a place that over time *does* gradually shift to be much more flavored by the sense of what was good and joyful and beautiful in each of those lost people or things or events than by the implacable sense of loss.

    I agree that it’s fascinating to look at how we as sentient beings find some things important to embrace and others not so much, and how we *blame* ourselves for not embracing what we might have declared so important. Who made those ‘rules’? Us. Who can use them? If not us, then whom?? 🙂

    • You seem to have taken denial into a whole new level, some different kind of denial that most people do not undertake. What I was referring to in my post was the type of denial that grows and engulfs you over time. Such as if you deny a broken relationship is actually broken, you’ll simply be hurting yourself more and more over time. Or if you’re denying the death of a lost friend and you’re stuck in this constant state of believing they’re still alive – you’ll only end up hurting yourself.
      What you’re referring to is the denial of an idea and the re-centralization of your thoughts into moving on and just getting on with life. That is splendid and is a quite difficult task if someone doesn’t possess the will-power or attributes to carry through with it.
      And guilt. Which is what I’m assuming “blaming ourselves” is associated to. It’s definitely true that feelings, these “rules” – are all bent to our will and are ultimately there for our manipulation. We have more control of our lives than we sometimes think we do.

  2. OK- I’m back after giving this more thought today … look at the response fro bipolarmuse – living off the ‘juice’ it gives, doesn’t matter what form it takes, it just ‘feels’. If you get a chance to check out Dr. David Hawkins he talks more about it. We are strange beings – but just listen to the way you pose the question. It’s like you are living outside looking in, and trust me – that is a good sign! It means you are not stupid, maybe your ego is, all all our egos are, but when we can step outside and look at ourselves and laugh (or cry) or ask the questions you are here then welcome to the side of evolution that is on its way home. Don’t try not to be like anyone, especially your parents, try just to be yourself, be the best you can be, be the person who makes you happy (and makes you cry) ‘The sky would have no rainbow if the eyes had no tears’ – Navajo saying
    Namaste

    • Your feedback always seems to fuel my thoughts in addition to my own individualism.
      It’s definitely important to reflect on behaviours, to try to understand why something happens and why we respond like how we do.
      I like the quotation you gave me. I think I ought to keep a book of them as I find a lot inspiring and especally the ones you reference me, Grandfather. Maybe I’ll do just that.

  3. Oh ‘Nessa. Each word that comes out of you resonates so deeply within me. It’s true that acceptance is always difficult. But you’re willing to openly criticize humanity, yourself included, which I think is fantastic. Humans are stupid? It’s good to acknowledge that.

    But yes. In terms of letting go of the past, I think there are two major influences on it. First is memory. Ever notice how, as a child, we remember something to be so amazing, but when going back to it you find it’s not great at all? Memories amplify feeling so terribly much. When a memory is associated with being good, we focus more and more on the pleasantness each time we remember it. Over time, we forget everything bad about it, and we remember it to be perfect. The same goes with bad memories. I wrote something once. About severely missing a person; the memory of the person, rather than the real person. But yes, memories amplify feelings to the point of dream-like perfection. And we believe that it was once real.

    Second thing is comfort. Oh, how humans long for comfort. To us, comfort means being able to live a happy little life, with no drastic changes to wreck it. Humans are so very afraid of change, because it is as likely to be detrimental as it is to be beneficial. And humans are afraid of falling more than anything else. We throw such silly ideals around, simply to have a clear sight of a fabricated perfection. By making it as straightforward as possible, we don’t have to go through the discomfort of ever moving backwards, or losing belief in ourselves. What an insane world we created, hm? And letting go of the past means taking in all this change, reevaluating life, and altering our very mindset. That is uncomfortable.

    Though acceptance of change is better in the long run, humans are stubborn and oh so blind.

    • Mm. Moonlight brought up time, but I like how you went into specificity and brought up memories. This is a clear and inevitable link between the two and honestly, at the time I didn’t think of mentioning either.
      You’re right. Good memories get better with time and bad memories get worse. A lot worse. And whether we’re conscious of this or not, but the majority of us will hold on to both the bad feelings as well as the good ones. We love pain. To some extent. Not to say the human race is masochistic, but there’s this certain degree of human nature that is attracted to feeling emotion – whether it be pain or something else.
      “What an insane world we created, hm? And letting go of the past means taking in all this change, reevaluating life, and altering our very mindset. That is uncomfortable.” Yes, yes, and yes. I don’t think I have anything to add to that.
      The majority of the human race, I agree, is stubborn. We refuse acceptance. But as a counter to that, I believe every single person out there is capable of being accepting, of causing and being in change. It’s just harder for some than it is for others.

  4. When it comes to mourning, why can’t we accept easily what has come to pass? Why do we refuse to believe that the love is gone and why do we refuse to let our hearts heal? This stubbornness, this irrationality confuses me. How can we deny so strongly what is clearly in front of us?

    For me, if I allow myself to heal, it is like I am giving blessing to “forget”, which is not the case of coarse.
    But if you keep the wound open and bleeding, there is no way for forgetting. It keeps it alive.

    Just my experience…

    • Your comment is something like what Grandfather said. The pain is emotion and emotion makes us feel alive. We’re afraid that if we let go, we’ll stop feeling or stop remembering. We’ll abandon whatever it was that we loved despite it having hurt us.

      It’s hard, isn’t it? Allowing yourself to heal.

  5. I really liked this post. Probably because I always had this fear that I would be like my parents and that scares me and makes me feel a little lonely while giving me a little comfort at the same time. It wasn’t until years later did I realize that the more we fear it the more we feed that fear and maybe that’s how we become what we don’t. I dunno, it made sense in my head.

    I’m going to give my 2 cents and it’ll feel like a quarter later but oh’well.
    I think sometimes our minds know that we’re not ready to deal with things when they happen even when we ourselves think it’s best to just accept. Time is necessary. I was never one to believe that things happen for a reason or that awful things are actually the things that mold us into the people we will become, even if we don’t want to. But as time passed and bad things kept happening it was one of those things that was forced on me to accept in a silver lining sort of way.

    “Some may argue that the truth is too frightening, too difficult to accept at the moment. Then it becomes a matter of acceptance.” I agree with that statement.

    Anyway I’m sorry if my comment makes no sense :/
    I don’t know about you, but before I write about what’s bothering me I really I already know what it is, the post just helps make me feel better and organize my thoughts on it, which is my mind fools me into thinking that I don’t already have the answer to my own question. Even even sometimes there isn’t a question to answer. 😉

    • I definitely agree with everything you’ve said.
      Yes, sometimes thinking about a fear such as becoming like your parents can cause the fear to grow and can cause it to become reality. The more you worry, the more there is a need to worry. Or something along those lines.
      And time. I completely missed talking about that. You’re completely right about how sometimes we just need a certain amount of time to restabilize, to move on. Sometimes we need an extra push. And I love how you said the bad things that continued to happen forced you on acceptance. It’s a push. And we all know it’s hard to move on without a little bit of help.
      There honestly wasn’t much of a question here as much as there was a theme. Just theidea of denial, of refusing to accept, is enough to generate this much discussion. I’m honestly surprised. And yes, it does take writing it out to realize that you’ve had the thoughts or answers all along.

  6. Just like your poems, your prose are really good! 🙂

    “Pyschology is something I ponder about all the time. Reasoning things out, analyzing parts bit by bit. It’s a wonder why I’m not taking the course itself when it’s offered at my school. In poetry, I try to expand my feelings on a certain subject, write convoluted explanations to why a certain thing is happening. Sometimes though, I’m searching for a clear cut answer – and that, that can only come from a rant or discussion like this one.”

    Why I do I feel like you read my mind? 😀 Seriously, I have been thinking of going for MA in Pysch. And I am still debating. I don’t kno why but I still have to make up my mind. This field fascinates me, and the whole idea of reaching out to people that are having difficulty is something am passionate about, maybe because I’ve faced difficulties in my life. But I still deny myself the opportunity to go into this field. Perhaps due to my interests in other fields, perhaps I will hate myself to spend my life analyzing others, perhaps this, perhaps that, no clear answer. 😀

    Denial is such an interesting subject that we experience in most things we do in life, sometimes we r conscious of it, other times we aren’t.

    Ah … great take on it! You made me ponder about a lot of things. 🙂

    • Thanks, Elyas.
      Psychology is quite an attractive subject isn’t it? It’s thought provoking and there’s no human that doesn’t wish to understand why they behave in a certain manner or why others are behaving a certain way. Humans naturally search to comprehend, to understand and I don’t think anyone could deny that fact.
      And yes, sometimes we aren’t conscious of it. ‘Till we think back like this. Or sometimes we just don’t think about it at all. Which is perfectly alright. I think.

  7. Just as a tree soaks up the nutrients of the soil it’s planted in, we grow in the midst of our environment. Unlike a tree, we humans choose from all that is offered us. And while we may be somewhat like parents or others, we were unique individuals from the moment of conception and continue to be that way in spite of all influences.

    • Yes! I’m all for individuality so I don’t particularly like comparing anyone. Except human nature causes myself to compare myself to others, to look at my flaws. But as you can probably tell, human nature and I are not friends.
      I like your tree analogy. How we “soak up” the environment. There’s a certain uniqueness in all of us.

  8. Nessa, I am typing this on my tablet so it my be shorter than need be. You have a keen sense for people and their motivations, so trust your intuition, because it is spot on. The reason people hold on to grief is because the love the ‘juice’ it gives them. It makes them feel, even if that means they feel lousy – they at least feel. As a society we promote that we should feel good all the time, otherwise we are depressed. Even in paradises like Tahiti does the sun shine all the time? – no,it rains,and it pours. Its ok to grieve, but its ok to get better. Just last night on the news was a story of parents still grieving over 3 years after losing their daughter at age 22. Yeah, thats a hard one but its been 3 years! Psychologically, and mystically the issue here is the same – we are taught to look for happiness outside ourselves, we define our lives and well being by what we have, who we have in our lives, when it should be defined by who we are. Gotta go for now – more later. Great post.

    • I completely agree with the insight you have offered me. The sun definitely does not shine all the time. I suppose this emotion is what ties us into the feeling – any emotion as you have stated, not just happiness, it could be pain – and then it’s hard to let go.
      Actually, I don’t think it’s ever easy to let go. Yet we tell ourselves to do so all the time.

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