/*amazon_ad_exclude = "christian"*/ The Skin I Am In: The Basket Of Denial: A Short Story

Saturday, July 5, 2008

The Basket Of Denial: A Short Story

Once upon a time there was a fictitious man named Dave who, although fictitious, bore grave importance because he was so very representative of the many men and women living in the alternate universe of non-fiction, aka reality, who shared the same condition. In an interesting twist, not only was Dave himself fictitious but so were many of the beliefs in his head. This is because the poor fella was afflicted with what we in the real world call denial. My definition for this condition: A stubborn and selfishly motivated disillusionment about certain facts of reality which, if accepted as truth would rob bearer of his or her blissful ignorance. Well, this creates a problem since in order to maintain self-preservation the bearer must choose to ignore or deny said facts and, since denying them does not actually make them any less real, the cycle continues.

So back to Dave. Dave was in denial about a lot of things that he didn't wish to be true ranging from his parents' emotional abuse, to his children's issues, to his own negligent and often foolish behaviors. He consistently made excuses, manipulated facts, and swept things under the rug, somehow believing that he would not have to deal with such problems if he ignored them long enough. Now if only his family members were able to join him in the depths of his mythological mind, they too may have been able to ignore these situations. But unfortunately they reside in the real world where not only do the issues remain, but left untreated, intensify. Because of this, Dave's refusal to see things for what they really were slowly destroyed the bridge between him and his loved-ones.

With the almighty wisdom bestowed upon me as narrator, I analogize this practicing of incessant denial to putting all of your eggs into one basket. After all, maintaining denial is nothing short of banking on the premise that either your beliefs are true or will eventually be accepted as true the longer you protest. Yet this unhealthy mind game can only function for so long before frustration and resentment moves any capable and responsible beneficiaries of the behavior to demand change or incite it themselves, usually via ultimatum or a parting of the ways. At least that's what happened to Dave.

One morning Dave woke up to find that his wife, Diane, was actually serious all those times she said she'd had enough. It was now too late; she was gone. He suddenly became aware that his tightly woven universe was unraveling although he really shouldn't have been surprised—after all, the basket had slowly been slipping from his grip for quite some time now as Diane had repeatedly shared her frustrations and discontent with him. She was desperate for growth and vitality; he was desperate not to change. Ever. And he had successfully prevented any for years. What he hadn't expected, however, was that she would finally draw the parallel of this situation to one she had learned long ago in discipling her children: idle threats are quickly defeated -- one must follow through their alleged intent or become equally guilty in fueling the flames of the vicious cycle. Naturally, Dave hadn't counted on this realization.

Now, a person of merit (or at least of compassion) would find a way to win her back. But Dave? He just lost his grip. On the basket of denial, that is. At the moment the basket made its last contact with his skin--his fingers desperately fumbling, reaching for the handle--his unwise investment was finally realized, yet again too late. Burning into one's memory the sights and sounds of a life falling apart, was the unforgettable scene of spilling eggs accompanied by a sharp and poignant noise that echoed like a choir of shattering glass as one by one each fragile piece of the past tumbled slowly and dramatically to the ground.

In the aftermath the shattered shards of shell lie loosely bound together by the slimy remnants of life that was once contained within. Hoping to salvage something from the mess, Dave soon discovered that scramble as they may to repair the damage, neither all the kings horses nor all the kings men can put a blind man's basket (fictitious or otherwise) back together again.

Morals of the story?

1) The truth hurts, but denial doesn't change it.

2) Waiting until it's too late is just that.

My prescription for this condition: Reality. And now.

Please note that it does not come in liquid form, only non-coated, hard to swallow tablets. Must be swallowed whole. Do not crush or break.

Possible side effects: vertigo, confusion, disgruntle, upset stomach. (If you begin experiencing hallucinations, need not fear, this is not a side effect, just the part of the world you have refused to see.)

The End.


Ferd said...

In my world, Princess Gail is the most realistic person I have ever met. I've told you that before. That's part of the reason she is "Princess" Gail to me. She sees the reality, the rightness, what's fair and appropriate, what's bullshit and what's not, and she deals with it accordingly. She does not go along with any bullshit ever, for any reason. She would be a very just ruler of a kingdom. She comes off cold, because MOST of the world operates with some sort of reality manipulation. I call it "bending" reality. I do it, though I really try not to.

I'm talking about common things, like rationalizing, or minimizing, or compartmentalizing. Addictions. I'm sure we could come up with a long list of coping mechanisms that bend reality. The only ones that don't are the healthy ways of dealing with the world: straight up, honest, one thing at a time, no bullshit, good boundaries.

Great post!
Good luck to Dave and Diane! ; )

John said...

It's obvious "Diane" has a grip on reality. It almost makes one feel sorry for "Dave". Caught onto your blog from a friend who thinks you are an incredible writer. I can see why.

Pentad said...

Absolutely brilliant, my friend!!

The Blogger Exposed said...

Why, thank you, all.

This post just kind of came out of nowhere and materialized faster than any I've ever written. I had a lot of fun expressing myself through both first and third person channels. I may continue the saga of Dave and Diane in future posts!

I'm curious as to who sent you! I didn't know I had any readers left now that summer has caused an inadvertent hiatus in my writing. I genuinely appreciate the compliment. Oh, and the irony with Diane being the realistic one is that a big part of her is idealist/dreamer while Dave is Mr. Practicality. (Or so I've heard through a friend of a friend of the original author.)

john said...

Do you want the long explanation or the short? A fan of a fan of yours? Not really sure how it works but this gal (who my friend only knows from her blog) got my friend reading your blog and I believe she only knows you from your blog too. The connection point here is fermentedfur.com (don't know her other than she is a fantastic blogger per my friend).
I think your writing, still, is fantastic. Continue.

Jeffrey Ellis said...


Subtlety is lost on me, so I'm not sure what you're on about -- I assume more of your own personal situation -- but anyway, just wow. You have a real way with words. Your prose is really awesome. Please start on your novel posthaste, if you haven't already. Seriously.

Lori said...

I got tagged by a fellow blogger with the "Brillante Weblog" award (sorta like chain letters for blogs, I know) and I had to nominate other worthy bloggers... and I chose you! Just stop by Fermented Fur and copy the image, then post it to your blog and nominate seven others. We gotta share the love!