Thursday, October 15, 2009

Pavlov's Dog

Pavlov was so smart. Him and that dog. I think he really could have done a little human testing though and found the exact same thing. We are all Pavlov's dog, right? We get conditioned to be a certain way and then it takes an entire re-learning process to break out of it.

You can see it so easily in other people all the time. The way they react to situations. The way people follow relationship patterns. They have the same one repeatedly, with different people, whether it is good or bad. They allow people to treat them a certain way. Their habits and customs and figures of speech. We are completely captive of our emotions, our instincts and our conditioning. History proves that over and over again. People still fight wars, there is greed and hate and damage to the environment. We've seen the effects but it doesn't stop us. A universe full of Pavlov's dog. Can we change it and begin to control at least our own personal destiny or are we just stuck in stream of evolution?

I have a friend who had a really awful, crazy, insane, drug addict, boyfriend. She finally got rid of him. She had a new boyfriend. He had some better qualities, but many the same and instead of doing cocaine he is taking steroids. He didn't care when she was sad, he invaded her privacy, he tried to control her, but yet she was upset when he broke up with her for the fourth time in two days. I said, "I don't understand, what was the draw? How was he making you happy?" She said to me, "Well, he's good with my child and he never hit me." Holy God. That's how low her bar is set? I feel like I need to repeat a thousand times, "You are to good for that. You are an amazing person. You deserve someone who can make you as happy as you make them." If I repeat it enough will it break her of a habit of putting herself aside for someone else? Making excuses for people and settling? Or is she to conditioned from previous relationships that this is what is "normal?"

But what about ourselves?
Seeing it in someone else is easy. Realizing that you do it too is so eye opening. I have found that it's hard for me to tell people when I'm sad. I am really good at making them feel better about my stuff or just not saying anything at all. I know I will be able to get through it alone (or with the help of my payed shrink). I might tell them what is going on but I have a hard time admitting how it is affecting me. I learned a long time ago that some people don't want to hear it. They have had their own long day. They don't want to hear that you're sad. You have no reason to be sad. Shut up. Smile. Look pretty. Your problems aren't nearly as valid as theirs.
Last night I needed to talk. I realized that how I was feeling was a little to much for me on my own. So first I txted a friend, almost as the heads up that I wasn't okay. Kind of giving them an out in case they didn't feel like listening. Although I said, "Don't call me. I don't feel like talking," my phone rang immediately. So I talked. I talked and cried and was completely honest with my feelings. I heard myself saying to my friend, "I'm sorry. I don't mean to do this. I hate to complain."
You know what I got?
"Shut up."
"Shut up? Shut up? YOU shut the f*&k up!"
That didn't happen. Not last night at least. ;)
Last night the "Shut up" I heard was followed by. "Don't ever apologize for telling me how you feel. You can't be happy all the time. You are allowed to feel sad. When you do, I want you to call me first. Don't tell me you are bothering me. I want to hear everything. Good and bad. I want to be here for you."
I listened and then explained that I would need retraining. Don't get frustrated with me if I hold back at times. It's what I am conditioned to.
Like Pavlov's dog.

Thank you friend and friends and Mommy :)


Kathy said...

"Don't ever apologize for telling me how you feel. You can't be happy all the time. You are allowed to feel sad...."

You have a very smart friend.


Sue said...

YOU shut the f*&^ up!

Seriously. You know I love you and I'll always be here for you to talk to. You are one of the dearest, sweetest, most giving people I know. You light up a room when you walk in, you make everyone around feel better. You are an amazing mother (and friend) and you are allowed to ask for help or an ear or a glass of wine to help you through whatever you need.

Whever you think you shouldn't ask a friend for something, just think, "if she asked it of me, would I do it?" If the answer is yes, then ask.


Love you.

Love you long time.

You Know said...

Every time I think it is finally maxed out, I find out there is even more. Amazing.

Too Busy To Comment said...

I can't be bothered with this. I have a low voiced phone call to make.

Nancy Reagan said...

Just say no to drugs!

Sneezy the Leather Clad Dwarf said...

Drugs can seriously stunt your growth. I should know. All my friends are over three feet tall while I'm just two foot sumthin sumthin.

Very Hard Worker said...


Lucy said...

Yo, speaking of dogs, stop neglecting me. Hurry home with some groceries. I'm hungry and can't find any cans of slimfast, crackers, or rye bread. I could really use a grilled cheese and bacon sandwich. Just go ahead and leave everything on the counter. It will be fine.

Comment Control Central Headquarters Bat Cave said...

This is a really good post. For realz. We are trying to stop the commenting madness polluting the sincerity and wisdom here. But we are distracted by complaints regarding phone voicemail messages. Plus, we see something shiny.

Frank the Grocer said...

We are watching the crazy lady laughing at her phone. The authorities are on high alert. Don't forget to buy Lucy a can of green beans.

Pete Yorn said...

Is this why I constantly let you kick me in the ribs?

Fun Stoppererer said...

I don't have a chance here, do I?

Target said...

Does this explain why you come see us multiple times a day every day?

Anonymous said...

amy~your friend is right. no one can be happy all the time unless they are the court jester. and the court jester curled up in the corner after a long day of shenanigans with a big mug of ale.
love you as is.


Anonymous said...

I love the shut the ^%$# up!

Hmmmm, who could be the idiot friend with the steroid freak as the boyfriend. That's a toughy! Ahhh, that post made me feel great and sad, and happy. Your writing is very entertaining, I must say. I'm glad that you had someone to talk to and be honest with. That's the part that makes me happy. Maybe we can go to dinner with Fergie soon. Black eyed pees can't be far behind. Ok, so i've pocrastinated enough, and I don't look bad for my 1st date (i'm sure of many, UGH!) Til I stumble along the biggest psycho I can find among the next herd of rejects. This is going to be a tough condition to break out of. Maybe, bc i'm on the rebound, this will be the last guy I date. He's genuine, caring, and nice. Cross your fingers I like him. I'm sick of this awful pattern!