Dear Rat Brain,
It’s taken a while, but I’ve finally realised that I’ve been horrible to you lately. Cruel, in fact — and maybe that’s been going on longer than I’d like to admit.
You can see it in the previous posts on this blog, even. These were always meant to be compassionate letters to myself (or my “thinking brain”, so to speak). It was meant to be a practice in self love. Or something like that. And yet the patronising tone is right there from the beginning. Dear Rat Brain, why can’t you write? Dear Rat Brain, why can’t you deal with criticism? Why don’t you act the way I want you to act… Or how I think other people want you to act?
I think I know better than you. I talk down to you, constantly. How can you panic about this stupid, small thing? How dare you do… what rat brains do?
How dare you do exactly what I taught you to do?
Even though I’m the one pushing you on and off the wheel, I still find something to fill the silence left when you stop spinning. I don’t know how to cope just yet when you’re not on your wheel. I don’t know how to handle being happy, or being good at things, or being praised, or realising I’ve done okay. It’s not perfect, so it’s worthless.
All I can say is, new situations and a sudden uptake in my stress levels made me revert to old habits. But just because cruelty is habitual, doesn’t make it okay. All that tells me is that I’ve made a deliberate practice of being awful to you (myself).
And one might wonder how I could possibly claim to be a compassionate and loving friend or family member, if I am deliberately choosing to treat any entity with this kind of malice and hatred. If someone was outwardly a kind and generous member of their community, but secretly went home and told their spouse or child they were a piece of shit for hours… That is not a kind and generous person.
We are the sum of our actions towards everyone, not just the ones we think “deserve” our respect and love.
That includes Rat Brains. That includes ourselves.
I’m sorry. I’ll try to be nicer.
(re: the rat drawing this week – I finally unearthed my tablet. It’s sketchy but so is my brain right now. Maybe it’ll improve alongside my mental health skills…)