I got it!
I got it, I got it, I got it!
I've gotten it before and then forgotten it. Gotten it and then talked myself out of believing it. Gotten it and then puffed myself up in vanity for being so smart; forgotten it and then beat myself up for being so dumb.
Oh, but it comes back to you and then you can sing. Now you remember. Now you see it--and how nice it is to see it again! Not sad but bittersweet: You had to see it again, had to re-see it. Bittersweet that you forgot, bittersweet that you got distracted.
It's okay. It's back now and you could use the reminder, and you can trust it.
Women, this is what we do not get told and this what we variously get and forget:
We can trust ourselves.
We are not always stupid; sometimes if there is a thing we are not getting it is because we do not have all the information, and sometimes that information is cunningly hidden from us just to make someone else feel smart.
We are not always depressed (except when we are, not backing down from that one, sorry); sometimes if we are down it's because we're in an environment that would bring anyone down who spent any time in it.
We are not always our own worst enemies; sometimes we're simply pitted against each other for the sport and delight of others.
We are not always poor analysts, we do not always make bad decisions, we do not always choose poorly; sometimes we're simply stripped of the tools to do any of that right at the door. You know, for security. So it will stay a safe space.
We are not always high-strung, too emotional, needlessly inflammatory, or overly argumentative; sometimes we're just struggling to say something we worry won't be received well, and our anxiety about that becomes fear becomes anger.
And of course sometimes none of this is true and sometimes we really are a mess, but listen:
WE CAN TELL THE DIFFERENCE.
There's a little sensor in your bones and it stores all the times you thought you were stupid, but only because someone wanted to feel smart at your expense. It stores all the times you thought you were hopeless, but only because you were forced into a hopeless situation. It stores all the times you were set up to be jealous, all the times someone confiscated your toolkit, all the times you were told to calm down by the same person who enraged you to begin with.
That sensor KNOWS.
It will sound an alarm whenever a situation, place, or person matches something in the database a little too closely. When you heed that alarm and adjust the way you know from experience you have to, when you heed that alarm and do what you need to do to survive--
--that's when you get it.
When you don't--
--that's when you forget it. And shit becomes enormously confusing from that point on until the next click, until the alarm goes off again only this time, you ACT.
I love the click. I hate getting to it, it's often grueling, and damn I wish that light could just stay on all the time, but I love the click: Right, recognize this. Seen it before. Should have seen it here earlier. Shouldn't have disconnected the alarm. Won't do that again. (Oh, yes you will.) Well, no need for more of it; out ya go. That's better. Where were we?
Thank you to the people who helped me reach the switch today.