Monday, October 14, 2019

Punished, Going Down


Part 14 of 30
My Fragile Self-Esteem

That's me in mid-air slipping on a banana peel and falling. In a situation like that of dangerous circumstances and terrible consequences, bananas and gravity are your worst enemies. Of course it's also proverbial, meant to illustrate aspects of the experiences of people with fragile self-esteem.

But the connection with bananas/falling and having fragile self-esteem is only a thing of art. Because there’s no one-to-one discernible physical relation between the two. A person with great self-esteem -- never down on him- or herself in the slightest -- can also accidentally slip on banana peels. But their feelings on fragile self-esteem would not come to mind unless it’d be like this, “As a person with great self-esteem, I see no connection between any of that and slipping on a banana peel. It could happen to anyone, a person like me at the top of my game psychologically speaking or even an unfortunate dragged-down schlub with fragile self-esteem. It could in fact happen to me more frequently because, unlike the schlub, I'm not always looking down.”

Those are good thoughts, but when I go down, my first thought is always, “Yes, one more thing to add to all my other gripes. This had to happen to me, a damned persistent curse always working itself out, adding to my misery because misery is always a constant with someone with fragile self-esteem. Within a second or two my body is going to meet the floor, and there’s no way I’m going to escape it without feeling pain. Pain is a certainty. I may break something, although I hope I don’t. Let me get this punishment over with and perhaps I'll learn a lesson from it.” CRASH.

Another great point to make is it’s always something, again true for those not being punished as well as those of us who are. For someone like me, though, it means a lot more than for those who are completely innocent. The innocent slip and fall and may be embarrassed -- how I’d love to settle for mere embarrassment! -- but the rest of us feel and even know there’s something out to get us. Whatever our crime was it doesn’t matter. A punishment like this doesn’t really help. Or perhaps it does, in the sense that it’s one thing after another. Were I not being punished, I’d surely think of myself as more innocent than I am. But this judicious punishment -- one more punishment in a non-ending string of punishments -- keeps me dragging along at a particular pace and lets me know the trouble has not passed.

It’s interesting how these punishments are lined up, not in an obvious way but only discernible when the trap is sprung and experienced as if on a strict schedule. Going along with that, it’s also interesting that I don’t get, say, 10 punishments at once. It might be tripping over a board, my dog running into traffic, or a sack of dog poop catching fire on my lawn. One at a time. It’s never all three at once, an interesting aspect of punishments.

Well, here’s my response: I could much more easily shake my sense of doom and overcome my sense of fragile self-esteem if I saw a clearer, more blessed path in front of me than this drip drip drip of the negative. What a nightmare! And I genuinely like bananas, don't get me wrong.

Anyway, I thought all of that in mid-air. And my thoughts even went on for several more pages, mercifully excluded here, before I hit the floor. Which really hurt and was embarrassing. Several people were nearby. Also some snickering kids.

No comments: