Perhaps I read too much when I was little. Or saw too many movies with voiceover narration. I’m not sure how it happened.
[Narrator: She is. She’s just not telling you.]
But at a very young age some part of my mind decided the best way to prepare for a challenge, an adventure, or even getting up to go to the bathroom was to narrate the situation. And so in my head when I’m going to do *something* there is usually a narrative happening. Talking internally about what I’m doing, why I’m doing it, how it’s going to be accomplished.
Sometimes, it’s simple. Sometimes it’s instructive. Sometimes it is harshly realistic, or sarcastic, witty, funny. Sometimes it’s a running commentary on what’s going on in my head, in my house, in my world.
Sometimes I boldly insert it into my writing. Sometimes it sneaks into my writing.
At night, it can be more like a guide to a place of rest or reason.
But sometimes… sometimes it doesn’t stay in my head or in my written word and it starts to slip out of my mouth to narrate life for everyone around who cares to listen.
[Narrator: She does it whether they want to listen or not.]
The narrator has been with me as long as I can remember. I don’t know life any other way. But I also didn’t know this was notable for the longest time. I think I’m still learning that it’s notable. That the narrator is a part of me. A key piece of my personality. Of my system of checks and balances. But my narrator has also become my greatest tell.
I say it’s a tell like it’s a bad thing. And sometimes it is. Sometimes it is an uncontrollable vocal reminder to those in my area that something is not quite right. Because the narrator gets vocal when I am at my most vulnerable. At my most damaged. At my most frightened.
The narrator steps in to take care of me when some part of my brain knows that I’m not doing the best job of regulating how I’m doing at being okay with who I am.
Sometimes this comes out in long rambling texts with too much information to my friends. Other times it’s over-explanation of the minute details of something that is of interest to probably nobody but me.
[Narrator: Let’s be honest. They’re not even interesting to her.]
Today, as it sometimes does, it came out as my actually talking aloud about everything I was doing or going to be doing. My cat seems perfectly content with this behavior. But when my partner and my kid think I’m talking to them and stop to listen every time I speak… I’m sure that’s a little more than most people would bargain for.
It’s a good flag for me. It’s a good signal, if I pick up on it, to reset some expectations for myself. And it’s a cue to those who know me best to give me a little bit of space or a little bit of love. Or maybe just not be all up in my face about some shit.
Today it was a reminder that, no matter how hard I try to pretend that everything is normal and fine there is part of me that is deeply aware that my dad starts his latest rounds of cancer treatments today.
And apparently I’m just not okay with him having cancer.
[Narrator: She isn’t. It sucks.]
Featured image by Leah Kelley from Pexels
2 thoughts on “the narrator…”
I very much relate to the narrator. I thought that it stemmed from having too much alone time and that’s why I started “talking to myself.” ;) Most of the time it has a therapeutic effect. Makes me feel a bit less lonely.
Sorry about your dad. Cancer sucks!
My daughter also tends to do this (sometimes I can hear her while she is in her room). Personally, I tend to spend a lot of time having imaginary conversations in my head. I especially did a lot of this while I was on the swim team, and I was kind of bored swimming back and forth – I would either practice math (usually converting fractions to decimals, to compute how much I had to go in my swimming), or I would practice German, which I was learning in school.
In complete contrast, my wife says that she does not even think in language at all.
I hope all goes well with the cancer treatments.