This week my twin girls participated in the local Sheriff’s Youth Week. It’s a program for middle school students that want to learn more about how the sheriff’s department operates and all the different jobs within the department. They learn about detective work, physical fitness, tools of the trade, and a host of other things. The week culminated Friday with a field day style event with all the parts of the sheriff’s department, the fire department, and EMS team, a helicopter, horses, and military representation from the local Air Force, Army, and Coast Guard bases. It was quite a show, a very impressive set up. My girls visited all the displays with their friends while I watched from the tables in the shaded area, occasionally talking to a fellow parent about the heat or the annoying noise of the sirens from the different police and military vehicles at the event.
On the drive home my girls told me how much fun they had. One of the twins was very excited about the hostage negotiation set up. They took turns being the negotiator and being the hostage taker. She went into detail about both parts and finished up by saying, “Dad, I was a lot better at being the hostage taker than the negotiator.” I don’t know if I should be pleased that she’s a badass or scared. Haha. She’s youngest of six (technically only by one minute to her twin, but still the youngest). At the bottom of that totem pole, I would imagine that negotiating doesn’t come near as easy as taking hostages would. My twins are some of the sweetest, kindest girls you could meet, but they are both competitive and into athletics. And apparently, they can flip the switch when needed.
The last couple of years I have felt like a hostage to my mind. I used to be more of a negotiator in life, being able to handle things and finding resolutions to conflicts. Now I negotiate with my mind by going to therapy, taking my medications, and writing. It’s a slow negotiation with some days making good progress, some days going in reverse, and some days not wanting to negotiate at all. But it’s a negotiation I have to stay in actively. It’s a negotiation I have to win. But I am both the hostage and the negotiator. I am on both sides, trying to figure out how win.
Part of my issue lately is the things I need to do well at, I’m getting better at. The things I need to change, I’m doing worse at. It’s like I’m going in opposite directions from myself. I’m doing better with taking care of myself and my kids. I’m doing worse with dealing with society, stupid people, and my anger. I’m trying to negotiate with myself to be better when I go out in the world, to be able to be better sociably. I’m not there yet. I’m still trying to figure out how to negotiate that. I want to be better, but I want to protect myself. If I negotiate with myself to something out of my comfort zone, I leave myself vulnerable. If I stay in my own little world, I won’t get better.
I am the negotiator and the hostage, stuck in my own mind. But unlike my daughter, I don’t much care for being either one right now. But I will continue to figure it out. A couple steps forward, a couple steps back. One day at a time.
Thanks for reading. Good day, God bless.