I try to avoid them. Confrontations create a visceral reaction within me, and I normally cringe away from them. And anytime I’m faced with one that I can’t avoid, there’s a noise that starts playing in the background. And I know it’s in my mind. And the noise is a screaming woman. Screaming my name. Telling me that I’m bad. Telling me that I’m wrong. Telling me that I’m defective. Screaming about suicide. Telling me they can’t take it anymore.
Then I hear Mack. Only… it’s not Mack the way he is now. It’s Mack when he was 6 or 7. And he’s saying: “Sean, make her stop. Make her stop, Sean. I’m scared! I’m scared of her!”
Then I hear me. Me say: “Mom! Stop! You’re hurting me! You’re scaring Mackie! Stop! Stop! Stop!”
And then… I give them whatever they want. The person confronting me. Because when the confrontation goes away, the voices playing in my head go away too.
I suppose someday I’ll have to really take them on. Those voices in my head. I can’t let them go on forever dictating to me this way. But… not yet. I’m not ready yet to really take them on. I have minor skirmishes with them all the time. And, occasionally, I beat them. But not always.
My best tactic for beating them has always been trying to please people so there won’t BE a confrontation. I don't give them a reason to speak. But… it’s getting harder and harder to do. As my star has risen, so have the demands on my life. I can’t please everyone anymore. Its too hard. There are too many of them now. That tactic doesn’t work as often anymore.
And… it scares me.
Confrontation. It’s not something I like to think about.
Muse: Sean Astin