I almost got murdered today. Or maybe I imagined it. Who can tell anymore?
My sweet dog has been a little off lately. It could be that she’s sad since my daughter left for college or it could be that vengeful ghosts have taken up residence in my bathroom. Again, who can tell?
So, after a busy and scattered morning, I come home in the middle of the day for a quick lunch. My dog, unusually, did not greet me. I found her growling at my closed bathroom door. So, since I am a 40-year-old father of two, I did what is mature and brave. I called my dad…who lives 4+ hours away.
I think I was convinced that being on the phone while confronting a murderer would leave a trail for the homicide detectives. And bring me comfort in my dying moments. However, in reality, my dad said, “wow…that’s two of these calls today.” Paranoia confirmed.
I opened all the doors and gathered objective data that no one was actually in my house. I swear my dog was smirking at this point. Still unsettled, I abandoned my dog to the not-yet-materialized murderer and went to my favorite coffee shop. I walk in to see the smiling faces of the coffee geniuses who have become part of my community. As I approach the register, one says, “Hey…you’re the subject of a mystery around here. Any idea why your name and number are on our employee bulletin board?” Yes. Because all of the murderers are looking for me. And they’re getting sloppy.
I’m sure there are logical explanations for both of these events. However, it can seem on days such as today that all things everywhere are collaborating to maintain my neuroses. I know it’s all about state-of-mind. When in a calm, mindful place, these events would add up to a completely different set of meanings. Today, though, I allowed for a mounting overreaction and my cortisol is just now leaving the recesses of my nervous system. The world is not out to get me. I am just a little stressed. Perspective gained. Imaginary murderers defeated.
Reflections on lessons learned from being a therapist and adoptive dad.