Wrestling with Negative Associations

On my nightstand is a tablet that I barely touch. There’s nothing wrong with it. I bought it for a specific purpose a few years ago, and it can still fulfill that purpose. It’s not that I have no use for it. The problem is that it reminds me of a difficult time, and holding the thing puts me back into that mindset. It’s fraught with negative associations.

The only other experience that I can compare it to is when you get sick after eating a particular meal. The food might not have been the cause, but what you ate and how you felt become linked together in your mind. You no longer want that meal, at least for a while, because you feel a bit of nausea just thinking about it.

I keep the tablet around mainly as a reminder. It grounds me to be smacked in the face with how far I’ve come since the time and events it’s come to symbolize. Sometimes I need to be reminded of that, which makes me thankful. There’s also a lesson to be learned from how easily I can be knocked back down, emotionally, which keeps me cautious. There will always be things that I need to be wary of, and things that will always hold unexpected power over me.

It’s an inanimate object, I know, and it has no more power over me than I allow it to have. I think that if I’d had it for a longer period of time before the incident, and got back to using in sooner afterward, it wouldn’t be so tangled up. As it stands I’m trying to get back to using in, to rehabilitate and rebrand it if you well. I need to be able to get over it. What I’m going to do is put one of my favorite books on it, which I’ve wanted to re-read for a while. Now that sunlight is coming back to the world after a long winter I want to find a comfy spot and read, in daylight, on the tablet. Hopefully that will infuse it with positive connotations, at least enough to exorcise the bad vibes.

One thought on “Wrestling with Negative Associations

  1. I remember that happening after my divorce, especially with some songs and movies, but especially with Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane. It’s been long enough, and life’s very different now, so maybe one day I’ll be able to read it again baggage-free.

Comments may be held for moderation.