Do you ever live in denial? I mean, really, really live in denial? Like true, honest to goodness DENIAL.
I don’t mean like the type of denial where you fudge your weight on your drivers license (yes, we all do it) or the type of denial where you should balance your checkbook and just haven’t “gotten around to it”. What I mean is the type of denial where you need to look really hard at yourself or a situation that you’ve found yourself in. That’s what I’m talking about.
Denial was defined by Freud (Wikipedia backs me on this) and he labeled it as a defense mechanism where a “person is faced with a fact and is too uncomfortable to accept it and rejects it instead”. It doesn’t matter that there is a ton of evidence piling up around said fact. Basically, as a person you kinda get scared senseless and don’t wanna deal.
I’ll goes first; Hi. My name is Anne Kemp and I love denial. I do, I do, I do! (Say that like the Cowardly Lion in the “Wizard of Oz”. I did. Made me laugh!)
I probably have had a better relationship with denial than I ever had with any man – well before therapy. I’ve actually learned over the years to allow myself denial for a brief time then I have to face whatever the demon is I’m running from head on.
Is it fun? Nope, not one bit. But I’m not a girl that is known in social circles for her patience. I’d rather “rip the band-aid off” than slowly peel it back. But that’s just me.
My dear friend Abby is also a “denialist” from way back. I think when I stepped down and threw away my Active-Duty Denial Crown, Abby found it in the dumpster and put it on that hard head of hers.
She is a genius when it comes to denial. In the past, she denied that she needed to pay her bills – which led to her becoming terrified of answering her phone due to all the creditors that were calling; she denied that her car needed to get an oil change…twice – resulting in both cars completely dying on her at the worst possible times; and she denied that she had a problem in one (ha! All) of her relationships – until it was over.
Look, I’m the first to admit that no one’s perfect. We all just wake up and try to connect our own dots everyday, right? No one sets out to screw up their job because you didn’t complete your project in time, resulting in the loudest silence ever at the board meeting right before you had your butt chewed out in front of everyone….right?
Look at Abby’s denial of anything that happens with her boyfriends. Seriously, it’s an addiction (I mean, it has to be!). No matter what, at some point while with someone, she shuts down just a tiny bit and stops paying attention. Sometimes she projects, blaming it on them and their actions, but we all know the truth. She denies that she has stopped loving them, or in the case of one ex, denies that he has all of his own issues (alcoholism, gambling, drugs) to deal with. She pretends he’s fine or they’re fine and keeps moving on.
***Disclaimer: Abby said a few of her ex’s fall into the description above. So, please, don’t be narcissistic and think it’s all about you. Cause it isn’t! ***
I think denial can come in handy for severe issues, like trying to fit my size 7.5 feet into my new vintage Dolce & Gabbana Mary Jane’s. I’ve never been a shoe person, but these are flipping brilliant! I wear them, and it hurts like a mother. I can only wear my Uggs or Converse for days after. Why do I do it? Cause I’m in denial. Or am I just an idiot?
Denial comes in all kinds of lovely packages: denial that your marriage or relationship has changed, denial that you gained a few pounds (so you still try to squeeze into those True Religions you love so much!) or denial that a parent is becoming the child right in front of you. Denial is there, all around you, me, Abby…I think it’s more of a common thread these days than anyone wants to admit (cause they’re in DENIAL!).
I guess denial can be a positive thing, though. I’ve just proven to you that we are all in this together. And if you deny that I’m right, well…We all know you’re lying, cause you are in denial of my rightness (see what I did there? Boo YA!).
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Anne Kemp writes a regular column for fredericknewspost.com.