I hate to sound harsh, but I’m gonna sound harsh. Uncaring, unfeeling, cold. I don’t mean to, but that’s how it will sound. So if you like me, you might want to stop here; you might not like me after what I say.
In truth, you may have thought it yourself.
If you live in a trailer in Tornado Alley expect to be a statistic.
Knowing better does not include magical thinking like “it won’t happen to us”. There’s nothing magical about being prepared; that takes work and planning with full realization of consequences. Like maybe digging a hole in the ground next to a mobile home, just in case.
I indulge in my own magical thinking when the reality stinks. It’s magical thinking to put myself in a situation to get overheated and thus unable to walk. Literally. I rely on David to “rescue” me and that magical thinking traps us both. He has to always be around (even metaphorically) and I have to have the expectation of a 2 year old: running away but looking behind to make sure mommy is there in case she’s needed.
I don’t know how much those poor tornado-stricken folks live with the delusion of “it can’t happen to us”. Maybe each of us needs to tempt fate and feel empowered each time we cheat and win.
I know, and you do too, that always and eventually it is not us that wins. There’s no magic in predicting that.
You can read more about facing adversity in one of my favorite reads: Deep Survival by Laurence Gonzales.So whaddya think? Talk to me! Link to me! Tell me you like me! Kathe Skinner is a psychotherapist living in Colorado with husband David, Lucy and Petey — only the last two are small with fur. They all live with Kathe’s multiple sclerosis.
2 thoughts on “SO, WHAT DID YOU EXPECT?”
I like it that you really expressed the case of magical thinking being deliberate at times. I always conceived of it as almost delusion-like, but you’re right. “I don’t have to go to the doctor to get check-ups. If there was something wrong with me I’d know.” It’s made me want to think thru my life and see if there’s anything I’m choosing to think magically about.
We all need magic sometimes, don’t you think? Some people, like Walt Disney, tapped into it visually; every writer and artist and musician does, too.