Cave Dwelling

Pretend for a moment that you are in a cave, and it’s dark, and you are surrounded completely by hungry lions waiting to yank your tiny muscles apart for a nice brunch.  What would you do?

Solution-focused. Laser-eyed vision. I’d do a Sydney move a-la Alias and zap them with my bobby pins, and somehow get them distracted by electromagnetic pulses, or jedi-mind trick them into devouring each other

Seriously? First thought?

Why would lions want to eat a skinny girl like me?

The answer to the question, not THE answer, but A answer…


One of the ploys in my professional tool box involves assessing the integrity and content of pretend play. This skill develops as part of a “theory of mind” where a person demonstrates representational ability….ONE THING STANDS IN FOR ANOTHER….as well as social insight….EMOTIONAL CONTENT WITHIN EVERYDAY ACTIONS.

During adolescence, trying on a variety of role superficially hallmarks exploration. Pretending is a key ingredient for identity formation, because if one decides “this is me” before sampling, well, identity is less robust and secure. (That’s a great excuse for all the hair colors I’ve brought upon myself…)

So, yeah, being a “pretender”, serves as an achievement multiple points along our development.

And yet, some of us have the process down a little TOO WELL.

Sometimes, I pretend myself into unhappiness. It goes a little something like this

So and so can’t make it to my BBQ. There must be something wrong with me.

The guy hasn’t touched me in two weeks. There must be something wrong with me.

This case/report/genetic tests are  hard to figure out. There must be something wrong with me.

I mowed the electrical cord in half. There must be something wrong with me

I didn’t get to making cookies for the office. There must be something wrong with me.

The dinner didn’t taste as good as I thought. There must be something wrong with me.

Usually, this pretend game doesn’t work out in my favor. I am pretending that there is some essential deep flaw in me that I somehow have to perpetually plan and compensate for in order to….well, exist. Or not really physically exist, but emotionally feel “okay.”

Truth is, I didn’t like pretend games when small, and don’t much care for them now.

So why do they come so easy?

Your anxiety…over how well you will do on a test, over if you are parenting with enough consistency, over possible decisions to spend the night, or spend your money, or whether or not you will ever “find” the right man/job/citytolivein/pairofjeans/recipeforthepotluck may be because you pretend there is something wrong with you.

And yep, there is…

It’s that you pretend there is.. When really….

you aren’t in a cave at all.

This realization of course is celebrated as I return to my ROOTS, smile back a year ago from my locks of love transformation, and become more of myself…welcoming brunette back into my follicles….ah! It’s nice to be back, in a way…

Back to Basics

Any cave dwellers out there? or is it, was it, just me?


5 thoughts on “Cave Dwelling

  1. definitely enjoyed this post. i definitely get caught up in the whole anxiety thing (and duh my own posts reflect that!). sometimes it’s so hard to step back and say “you know what? there’s NOTHING wrong with me”. but it needs to be done. great reminder.

    and you look amazing as a brunette 🙂

  2. You really do look gorgeous as a brunette!

    This is such a great post because I was recently reflecting on how much I feel like the problem lies with me…I enter a room and someone glares at me…what is wrong with ME? But the truth is the person probably wasn’t even looking at me in the first place, they were probably wrapped up in something else and just happened to glance up. Anyway, I totally understand what you are saying!

  3. love the new blog background. very pretty and soothing.

    i too play the pretend game in my head. i do not like when i do this! i am getting better at realizing when i start this up. turning it off is challenging but i am getting there!

  4. I’m a total cave dweller. I do this all the time, second guess myself and make assumptions about myself that simply aren’t true. I don’t dye my hair, but I have it straightened, pretending to be someone I’m not. I was born with a curly fro, that’s ME! This is not.

    I love your hair dark. I really do. No more pretending!

    I also love the new look of your blog. It looks great.

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