Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Recovery: Fear Revisited.

I am now well into what I always thought of as a "normal life". I have part-time work of several kinds, an interesting social life and an active mental and educational environment. I was shocked to see how quickly, overwhelmingly and stubbornly an old habit totally stopped me in my tracks.

I am my church's webmaster. I basically handle it all. We have recently added audio broadcasting for our sermons. I haven't set it up as something one can subscribe to, as I'm not sure we are professional enough for that move, yet. I ran into a technical snag and just completely shut down mentally.

I have made arrangements to do some of my audio editing work in Berkeley, while cat-sitting. Their computer is slower then mine, but after chopping sermons into ten-minute chunks, it works fine. I felt scared inside, but tried to continue. It occurred to me that there may be a difference in sound quality between the two computers. At this possibility, I just shut down and went away mentally.

It took me over a month to thaw out enough to realize what had happened to me. I tried all the normal tricks to get around my fear. Absolutely nothing worked. I then attempted to see if my pastor was interested in another member who appeared to know more about web mastering then I. He turned me down flat. He believed in ME. Man, I just was in hiding and was refusing to come out.

About a week ago, I decided that even if there was a difference in sound quality between the two machines, I could do the work anyway and correct any errors I may find when I get home. Poof! I felt myself return to normal. I at least was willing to TRY to continue as a webmaster.

Due to my family's way of using any information I'd give them against me, I learned a sure-fire defense. Literally know nothing. My cousin would scream at me about something I did, or didn't do. I truly had no memory, no thought. I just was stupid. I could survive her accusations of my stupidity a lot better, then having her savagely tear up another part of my person hood.

As an example. I was a huge fan of the program The FBI, as well as of the real organization as a young teen. I dutifully went to the library to read up on the real FBI. I was shocked and saddened to discover that the real governmental agency was riddled with controversy, conflicts and down right incompetence. It really made me sad.

When my cousin found out about this by talking with me, she never failed to laugh at how nieve I was. From this painful incident, I learned to keep the real me far away from any one's knowledge. I couldn't afford to know things even for me, as I didn't have the ability to deny my cousin information when she demanded it from me.

I know in my life now, that I have several friends who would and have given of themselves to help me with my dilemma. It is a blessing to have so many smart, friendly and amusing people in my world. But, I had run into an emotional freeze producing a mental blank wall.

As I force myself to continue to edit sermons, I realize that I'm still teaching myself the ins and outs of sound editing. Sometimes, I don't like the way part of a sermon sounds, but am unable, or unaware of how to fix it. I'm learning to put it on the web anyway. It is better to do something instead of nothing. Something can be fixed. Nothing is a cop out.

I don't have a final answer on this one. I hope I am willing to not freeze up again. When I feel the fear starting, I need to talk to God AND keep working! This freezing behavior did not serve me well as a student in college either. It is hard to learn something totally new, when one feels they must be perfect at the task, the FIRST time they attempt it. Ah, I guess all this immature stuff doesn't just magically change into maturity, huh? DRAT!

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