Slow Processor

No, I am not an AMD Athlon.

People who have argued with me or debated with me will know that I am exceptionally good with rapid-fire arguing. When particularly impassioned I can rail off a line of questioning that would make Jack McCoy proud. Given the chance, and if I am pissed, I will blast my opponent with questions, over and over, until they either start arguing back with equal to increased ferocity or knuckle under and give me what I want.

Unless it is N. I am forbidden from doing this with Him, and if I inadvertently try He shuts me down and sends me away.

This habit does not make me a fun friend if you have done something that wounded me. It does not make me a good person for mediation and reconciling. I know that, and I have made peace with that.

With that in mind, I will share another facet of living with me that will make you scratch your head. When I was named, they should have named me Mary, because I am quite contrary.

When I have a momentous event happen in my life, I react immediately with what I know and feel. If my first emotion and my first thoughts are anger and hurt, I will react accordingly and lash out. If it is surprise and humor, I will laugh and feel at ease. As time has gone on, I will revisit the event and process my feelings and thoughts further, often discovering another layer below the initial flare. Sometimes my impressions will go through three or four evolutions before I have fully examined and absorbed an event’s effects.

Because of my initial flare of feelings and reaction, people think I have accepted the event and I am done with it. That I may express differing emotions a few days afterwards surprises them, but they usually roll with it, let me talk it out and feel my way through it, they are understanding of my need for a sounding board and occasional guide.

What they don’t understand is that if the event was very intense, traumatic, or painful, I won’t go back to process it right away. I will put it away for weeks (or even months) until I have sufficient resiliency to withstand revisiting it. Sometimes it may take me a few years to fully understand what happened, what I did, what I felt, and how to incorporate it into my self. Each time I reassess these points, I put it away again for awhile. Processing painful or scary events takes a lot out of a person.

Unfortunately, each time I go to revisit and further process an event, there are less and less people willing to listen to me, because they feel I am lingering, dragging on the drama, playing the victim card. I start to feel vulnerable and attacked, so those events never fully get processed. Instead they take up little corners of my mind, like craft projects never finished, little pieces scattered here and there in the middle of use. And once in a while, I’ll step on a sharp piece and become absolutely pissed that it was left out to begin with, not finished and neatly put away like I would prefer.

I’m at that point right now. I have this craft that I am wanting to revise and process further, but I can’t from lack of supplies and tools. So I’m stuck with this pile of craft parts, and each time I walk by it in my brain, I just scowl and stick my tongue out.

I don’t know if anyone else is a slow processor like me.This might just be a part that was permanently transformed by my abuse. Or maybe I’m still rather screwed up cognitively, but I just don’t know it because it doesn’t come up as a conversation.

So if anyone out there is reading this and saying “Yep, I do that too” or “Well, I used to do that but then I …” I would really appreciate hearing from you. Advice and suggestions are welcomed, because I don’t want to be a burden on my family and friends much longer.

In Other News: Everything is going well here. I’ve been fucked a few times, and those injections of sanity have cleared my funk up. I’m still tired and I still occasionally dream about flying to Boston by myself to stay at a hotel on the beach, but hey, it beats wanting to burn down the barn for entertainment.


8 thoughts on “Slow Processor

  1. Hun, I could so easily have written this post. I take a L O N G time to process things, most of the time I do not vocalise the actual act of doing this, because, as you say, people get bored and fed up of you seemingly rehashing the same scenario again and again.
    What they don;t realise is that, as time ticks by, we are simply better placed emotionally to deal with different aspects of that scenario, and we NEED to tell someone, to express our new found perspective. So yes, I understand.

    Flip x

    • If I have learned anything, it is that there are always more out there facing what I face, and if I can swallow my pride and ask for advice and support, it will be there. I hope you have found a way to be who you are within a society that expects us to be done a few minutes after it happens.

  2. I can take my time to process as well. i think its very fair to say that abuse plays a part in this coping strategy. When you are stuck in survival mode, you don’t have the resources to process more trauma. There is nothing wrong with this approach. i have to look at something from every direction to understand it and become frustrated when my attempt to understand are thwarted. i will think on it and see if i can find some helpful advise because you are worth it. Honor your experiences and your truth. You are the only person who can.

    • Thank you, thank you, jade. 🙂 “The divinity in me recognizes the divinity in you.”

      Once upon a time, I thought this was a defect, just like my inability to lucid dream, or lick my elbow. As time has gone on, I think this is just a facet of who I am and who I have become. I can’t change that I need more time to fully understand events, but I can control who I discuss it with and how I express it.

  3. Another hand up in the air – I take a long time to process on some issues too. It is really hard for the people in my life but I am going to agree with what you said and Jade said – I think it does stem from a coping mechanism from abuse. One traumatic event I had in my life, I didn’t process for 10 years. 10 years after it happened I was finally *able* to process it.

    I don’t have any words of wisdom on how to process faster or even if we should. I think it is better we just process when we are able and not rush it or things might get stuffed away and crop up at later time anyway and maybe in not so good of way.

    • Hi danae. Thank you for sharing your experiences with me. I can identify with what you said about stuffing it away only to have it become ten times worse. I wrote a post once about my tendency to stuff things in tight little boxes and never look at it again, only to be overwhelmed by an avalanche of boxes later. I think our slow and steady approach is much better. I am not sure I *can* process faster. I am glad that you were able to process the event that was so traumatic for you. Did you have support that was able to accept that it would take longer?

  4. I am exactly the same. And it causes all kinds of issues in my life. I always react with my gut instinct, and it’s not until later that I re-evaluate and process how I really feel. It’s ended relationships, jobs, friendships, the list goes on. So no, you aren’t the only one. I’ve tried to change it, but it’s how I am. And I have no idea why. It is kind of nice to now I’m not the only one though.

    • Desire, you are definitely not the only one. After discussing it with others like me and you, and looking over my past, I don’t think it is something that should be changed, for me. I think I just need to learn how to harness it, refine the process, and figure out what has to be done with outside assistance and what can be done in my head, so I don’t exhaust my support system.

      Peace. 🙂

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