Brain freeze. That’s possibly the best way to describe my stress response. Metaphorically, my brain stumbles, frizzy-haired and wild-eyed, into a classroom, late to a midterm she didn’t realize was happening, and the world — whom I imagine to be a disappointed, McGonagall-esque sort of presence — slides her a multiple choice exam sheet and an exam with only one question: “You must handle [insert stressor here], what is your best response?
D) None of the above, handle this situation in a way you know you are capable of doing”
And my brain, in all of her primitive and evolutionary wisdom, lights up, because she knows the answer (everyone knows this one, it’s so easy)! Iiiiiiiiit’s… freeze (because the answer is always C)!
Thus, I freeze. I freeze like a possum playing dead, like a stone eater aboveground, like a corpse in rigor mortis (not playing dead). I freeze like cream-that-will-soon-be-ice-cream in liquid nitrogen. Continue reading “Split Self: Essun’s Identities (And My Own Procrastination)”