Charlie Bertsch (cbertsch) wrote,
Charlie Bertsch

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Acting Out

kdotdammit asked me a few minutes ago whether she should modify her most recent entry, out of deference to me.

I said, "No."

Everybody misbehaves. I just picked a bad -- but common -- day to do it.

One of the fascinating things about knowing a good deal about the history of psychology and different theoretical approaches within the discipline is that you sometimes find yourself making arguments that you don't really believe in the heat of the moment, but which subsequently seem dead-on.

That's what happened yesterday.

I started out trying to explain my hour of thoughtlessness by saying that there must have been a connection between what I was doing -- calling my parents -- right before I became irrationally upset and the upset itself. I know enough to pay attention to conjunctures.

Yet I didn't really feel the connection.

The more I talked with Kim last night, though, the more I realized that I was feeling bad about not being able to be with my parents, about my sister being in New York instead of with them, about the fact that Kim's parents are so close-by and therefore involved in our daily lives in a way my parents can't be.

The whole experience reduces to a pretty neat flowchart:

Step 1: Act happy on the phone when I'm actually feeling sad.

Step 2: Act out as a way of ending the phone call and converting my dimly intuited sadness into feelings targeted outward instead of inward.

Step 3: Act like I don't know what I'm doing by becoming a "method" actor within my anger.

Step 4: Act like Kim is overreacting.

Step 5: Act like I realize I was acting out as a way of acting conciliatory.

Step 6: Realize that I actually was acting out in the first place.

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