Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Gremlins and psychopaths and genes, oh my!

When I have a "gremlin episode", I wonder nightmarishly whether I'm actually seeing things with greater clarity (horrors!), or am deluded with dark nocturnal pessimism.

Do I really want to know?

I'm thinking of a show I saw on TVO a few months ago, called "Genetic Me". A Scandinavian journalist - there's darkness right there - disturbed by what she sees as her negative personality resulting from unhappy incidents in her childhood and adolescence, explores where our personality comes from, ie. genetics.

Can we help it? No. And yes.
Does our family life have a role? No. And yes.

Apparently, we have some say in how unhappy or happy we are, because we can choose how we respond - and our choices may be rooted in what has happened to us in our family.

The strangest story involves her encounter with a Dr. Fallon, a leading expert in psychopathic murderers, who accidentally discovered that he too is a psychopath -- his brain scan confirms it. However, he's a "pro-social" psychopath. He dispassionately analyzes how a "good person" responds, and this has mostly worked for him, preventing him from damaging those around him. He gives his mother's raising of him credit.

The Scandinavian journalist has troubles with what she calls "ruminating" - the experts call it perseveration - the first time I heard this term was June 28th, 2000. A speech therapist used it to describe my younger daughter, then four.

So, I think, the gremlins are my own way of ruminating. I can embrace it, recognize it, and move beyond it.

Can't I?

I rose, walked the Accent Snob with the Resident Fan Boy. As we made our way back, I thought of ruminating, gremlins, my panicking amygdala. I did my Creative Visualization exercises, and the angel cards drawn from my Blessing Bag read: "Comfort", "Cooperation", "Healing".

I can't stop aging.
I can't change younger daughter.
I can work on how I respond to these things.