Monday, July 29, 2013

Why I Named My Gremlin Anne Boelyn

As I've written about before, I sometimes like to refer to my condition as the gremlin inside my head. You can read more about it here, but basically, it personifies my brain in the times that it decides to take control against all common sense, logic, or emotional intelligence.

I've suggested in previous posts that it helps to name your gremlin, because it allows you to separate it out. It also allows you to take the voice less seriously. I am known to emotionally beat myself up for things I've done or said when the gremlin takes the reigns. There are times that I've loathed the gremlin, and in turn, felt terrible about myself because I had trouble separating it out from me as a person. So I decided to take my own advice an name my gremlin. This way, I can yell at it and reprimand it all I wanted without berating myself for things resulting from a condition that I never, ever asked to have.

I decided to name my gremlin Anne Boleyn. I love Tudor history. I particularly am enthralled with the story of Henry VIII's wives. Of them, Anne Boleyn is the most intriguing to me. She is also generally the most detested of all of his wives. At the time, some people claimed she was a witch. They said that she enchanted people, cast spells on them to do things against their will. While I tend to disagree with that theory, it reminds me a of my gremlin..... it too seems to steer my brain in a direction which I never would choose to go willingly.  Anne was a bit of a mystery. Often, the same things about her that tended to pull people in were those that later turned them against her.  I feel the same about my brain. There are moments when I love the creativity and depth of thought and emotion that I am capable of because my brain pushes boundaries. There are other times that this same depth of emotion can cripple me and I turn on my gremlin, wishing it cast out, never to come back.

Ultimately, Anne Boleyn was never fully understood, and I suspect she wanted it that way - though not to the degree that it cost her her life. Depending on who you ask, she was intelligent, learned, beautiful, and beheaded despite her innocence. According to others, she was an unnatural monster who was out only for herself and deserved every punishment she got, including losing her head. Either way, she most certainly took secrets to her grave. And ultimately, I feel the same about my condition aka gremlin.  It's something I feel I will never fully understand. On one hand, it makes me who I am, and I'm quite happy with who that person is overall. I feel it's helped me understand my true purpose, and in that sense, there's beauty to it. In a way, I suppose it's intelligent in that it helps me be more empathetic to and understanding of others who deal with similar things. It's guided me towards some amazing people I would never have met otherwise. On the other hand, it's workings will always remain a mystery to me. Why it l turns on me when I least expect it, I struggle to understand. It leads me to hurt (emotionally) and upset those around me, and in that sense, it's ugly and deserves to die a miserable death. It's powerful, in some ways fascinating, yet terrifying in others.

So Anne and I will go through life together, battling each other some days and working together on others, sometimes understanding each other, and sometimes despising each other. But at least I can now say I hang out with Anne Boleyn on a daily basis, and that sometimes I even manage to out-smart her. For a Tudor fanatic like myself, that's often enough to make me chuckle and smile.

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