September 04, 2006

Where'd I Leave That Armor, Again?

Mood: Neutral.
Music: Come Out and Play, Offspring.
Game: WoW (Yes, again...), Dead Rising, Second Life.
Book: Guns, Germs, and Steel, Jared Diamond. (Still...I read Watchmen and V for Vendetta in between...)
Watching: Nothing.
Weather: 60, Partly Cloudy.

Rebecca has opened her eyes, grabs fingers, and is responding in general. Apparently, as far as these things go, she's doing really well.

The rest of the family, however, with the exception of Eric and my mother are basically basketcases. I don't think it comes as any surprise that Eric is a tough son of a bitch. My mother mentioned that she wished I were there, also, because "you're so good in these kind of situations."

Reflecting on that...I guess I am. The truth is that when bad things happen, I do kind of just get on with it, once the initial shock is over. The unfortunate part is that I have way too much experience with this sort of thing. I lost my half-brother as mentioned last time when I was in high-school. I lost my father just before I graduated highschool. I lost both of my grandparents on my father's side during my first few years of working at Modem Media. I've lost friends from high school and other places through the years.

In a lesser way, I handle crises in the same way pretty much. Lose the emotion, get rational, and just set about doing what needs to be done. This was true during car accidents, fires, closing offices in Tokyo, bombings in Atlanta. the loss of the World Trade short...anything that seems to create a level of stress that's potentially paralyzing. Those things don't match up to losing a father or brother or niece...they don't. But I've always had that ability to compartmentalize. I don't know if it's due to my ability to rationalize, or just how my psyche is built to defend itself.

The danger part, as I've mentioned before, is that if you find yourself in extended periods of needing to compartmentalize, you forget how to release the emotions. You forget that during that "function first" mode, you're incapable of caring or feeling, with the intent of doing it "later...right now I need to get this stuff done." No lie, it makes you a cold, callous son of a bitch. Doesn't mean that the human side didn't poke out now and again...but it does mean that you're largely impervious to being charming or tactful or caring or warm...except as the task at hand requires.

So I kind of understand what my mother understands when she says "I'm good at these sort of situations..." but I'm not sure how much of a compliment that is, really. I suppose being strong in the face of adversity is a positive attribute, and I suppose being able to function in moments of extreme stress is what enables me to be a project manager, but again, I'm pretty sure it's a double-edged sword.

Posted by Glenn at September 4, 2006 08:59 AM