Monday, March 24, 2008

Perception... It's the new reality...

So the other night, Janet and I are talking, while I'm totally kicking her ass at Scrabble on Facebook. (And I ain't scared of NONE of ya', I'll take you on anytime, just so you know. ) We're talking about something that's been bothering me for a few days. And I'm angry, and feeling just a bit abandoned.

I said this: "I think he's angry that I got angry. And he said that *I* took it wrong. Which totally threw the blame back at me."

And Janet said, "You have every right to be angry, if that's how you feel. It's what you do with that anger that's important."

And then she said this: "Perception is reality."

Well, this totally blew my mind. BECAUSE I SAY THAT ALL THE TIME, THAT'S WHY!! And I don't just SAY those words. I BELIEVE them.

Perception is reality.

And here's why:

Reality is fleeting, unsubstantial, and ever-changing. It wasn't so long ago that the REALITY was that big hunks of metal could not fly through the sky.

It wasn't so long ago, that, in REALITY, you couldn't flip a switch on your wall and light up a room.

You couldn't use the bathroom inside your house, unless you were prepared to dump it out the next morning.

Eating eggs was good for you. Then it wasn't. Then it was again. Is it now? Who the fuck knows?

My point is, REALITY changes. Something that is real and true today, can change overnight, and become false by morning.

Of course, great thinkers, inventors, and scientists had a lot to do with the changing of reality in the things I mentioned above.

But I can bring it down to a personal level.

I look into the mirror each morning. I see a woman who is unhappy. Who struggles daily with the trials of a failed marriage, the loss of loved ones, and the "empty nest syndrome". This perception of myself has become my reality. Perhaps you see something different when you look at me. That perception is YOUR reality. You cannot force me to accept your reality. Because I can't SEE it.

There are things we can accept as truth. There are things that we learn, and then have to UNLEARN, as reality changes, as truth becomes untrue.

But there are things that we PERCEIVE to be true, and these things are no less true to us, than if they'd been presented by the world's greatest scientists. And overcoming negative perception, or seeing things from a DIFFERENT perspective, is damned hard. Especially when those perceptions are reinforced in a negative way for years upon years, by a person or persons who SEEM to have our best interests at heart.

If I believe that I am unloved because I do not deserve to be loved, it does not matter whether or not I am right. Perhaps in the GRAND SCHEME of things, in the BIG PICTURE, there are some who believe me worthy of their love. But here, in my little world, in my country and in my state and in my little town of SUCK: Population 1., I can't see the big picture. I see what I see when I look in the mirror. I see what I PERCEIVE is in your eyes when you see me. I hear what I PERCEIVE is in your voice when you speak to me.

And the thing that I keep trying to make you understand, you stubborn person? What I perceive is REAL to me. It is MY reality. It may not be real to YOU, but then, you have not offered to live my life. Therefore, your reality doesn't really make a hell of a lot of difference to ME. And so thank you very much, if you will please not tell me that MY reality is wrong. It is mine. It's what I have.

For many years, I fully believed I was not a good driver. I was TOLD I was not a good driver. I believed it so fully that I never ventured farther than the state fair, about 40 miles from my home. And then only once a year, and THEN only after psyching myself up for the trip DAYS in advance. But I got tired of that truth, and I changed it. I packed my shit and my kids in the car and I drove for nine hours, through 5 states, to Brother 1's house. From then on, my reality is that while I may not be the BEST driver, I can usually find a way to get to where I want to go. But it took nearly 20 years for that reality to change for me.

I never believed I was a good mother. I was TOLD I was not a good mother. But my children are 17 and 21, and they are both intelligent, funny, loving and decent girls. They talk to me, they share their lives with me. They trust me. My perception of my abilities as a mom have changed. And it was hard as hell to change them.

You can talk to me until you are blue in the face. Until the cows come home. Until you want to bang your head into the nearest brick wall. But you cannot change my reality. And you totally blow it all to hell when you say something that hurts me, and when I tell you that it hurts me, you tell me *I* took it wrong. And then you shut me out.

Because it doesn't matter if I took it right or wrong. It hurt.

perception is reality...


Sheri said...

really great post! It got me thinking.

Have a good Monday!

janet said...


and here's a reality of yours that can be perceived ONLY one way.

i love you, miss ann ... you are indeed my bff.

Burfica said...

That was an amazing post, made me see so much of things in my life with how you explained it.

And I'm with janet. I love you too girlie, and that can only be perceived one way!!

Anonymous said...

Great post! Sounds to me like someone else was trying to turn their perception of you into your reality. Hang in there we enjoy your posts.


Miss Ann... you are a brilliant woman! And you gave us all a lot of food for thought today, thank you darling.

Now here's a question for you that you've broken it all down and laid it all out there...

are you going to change your perspective and/or your reality?

Worker Mommy said...

So true, so true!

Miss Ann Thrope said...

Heh. I have people asking me if I started a new blog.

Miss Ann Thrope said...

PS: if you started this to get away from being stalked and/or hated, you picked a really bad name. Seriously.

baseballmom said...

You rawk, girl. I so agree, and I haven't really thought too much about it, until reading this post. There are so many things that have been sort of ingrained in me from the crappy relationship I had with my dad, that I STILL believe them even though he's not alive anymore. I know that I need to change my thinking about myself, and it sure does take forever. Also, I think a lot of times that people tell you that you 'took something wrong' when they KNOW they've fucked up, and want to make it so they're not the bad guy, you are. Dumbasses.

Sleeping Mommy said...

Absolutely Perception is reality. My husband is always saying that too. It is so true.

dinky said...

Let me see, someone says it , you do the opposite.....I think you make horrible pnut butter fudge, and should not send that fucker mitchell any......