Lately, I’ve almost been having what you might call a “Me Crisis”. Not quite there, but almost. It’s one of those fights that you fight with yourself, with half of you wanting to do something, really wanting to do it, and the other half obstinately resisting that desire.

The fight is almost like those little characters in the Disney-Pixar movie Inside Out, only, instead of being named after individual emotions, they are named for my particular personality traits, or rather, they encompass certain aspects of myself. If something conflicting, confusing, or desirable comes up, they basically play tug-of-war until someone wins. Allow me to introduce the key players that are now permanently stuck inside my brain, being the way I’ve coped with the world since I couldn’t write/vent as much as I used to be able to:

Emoti, aka Emotional Side of Me. She is my ditz. My impulsive ditz. My impulsive, romantic, immature, irrational, loud-mouthed and often bratty ditz. She is my high-functioning autism on steroids, and I often have a challenge in controlling her; however, she is also responsible for any joy, excitement, and passion I feel (cough… fangirling… cough…), so she isn’t a TOTAL brat 100% of the time. (This is probably why she hasn’t been locked up, like a certain someone else inside my head… but I’ll get to that one later.)I often picture her as a smaller, giddier, more excitable, entirely blossom pink version of me inside there.

Sensi, aka Sensible Side of Me. She is my conscience, my mother hen when my folks aren’t around, whatever you wanna call her. She’s the one who usually prevents me from doing stupid things, or berates me when I do do them, and also keeps a tight leash on both Emoti and the other certain someone inside my noggin. She is my intelligence, my logic, my maturity (yes, when I try I can be mature thanks to her), my realism, my common sense (when I choose to use it), my big, caring heart (and any selflessness I might have within me), my altruism, and sometimes, my courage. She is more the embodiment of my Christian beliefs and virtues than the other two. I picture her as me with a ponytail, a hooded sweatshirt and jeans, calmer and more collected, and with a golden-ish yellow hue around her.

Certain Someone Else Inside My Head– aka My Subconscious. Probably the most dangerous part of me, this part is always kept under lock and key, and strict surveillance, by Sensi. She is basically Emoti’s worst qualities times 10, is inconsiderate, selfish, immoral, lustful, cruel, has no control over herself whatsoever, etc, etc, etc. I don’t wanna say it, but she’s kinda pretty much the “deeper, evil, sinful” part of me, aside from Emoti, who only embodies it on a smaller scale. Minus the horns and the pitchfork. (LOL) She has wild hair, leery eyes, and a emerald-greenish hue around her, and is almost always locked inside my small mental cage, and buried deep, deep within the recesses of my brain, where I hope and pray with all my might that she never, ever escapes. Unfortunately, sometimes her influence will seep out and either a., affect Emoti and tempt her to unleash Subconscious, or b., affect me directly and tempt me to do something completely out of line, whether it be immoral, weird, cruel, or something you would not at all do in a social situation. To my knowledge, there are only two known ways of unlocking her, and I’m really not big on either idea (but, knowing MY luck, there’re probably MORE ways…). Think of her as Yakumo Kurama from Naruto’s  “Ido,” if you will. Not the best influence, and someone you definitely want to steer clear of.

…. Now, you’re probably wondering, why am I bringing all this up? Well, recently I’ve been reading a semi-popular fictional series known as “The Grisha Trilogy” by Leigh Bardugo– just finished the first installment, “Shadow and Bone,” in fact. (Spoiler Alert, if you haven’t read it yet– if you don’t want to be spoiled, then turn and run away while you still can!! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!!!) One of this story’s main theme’s, other than literal darkness, to my surprise, was that the protagonist, Alina, was like me. Not just in persona, but in have inward struggles with her own version of MY Subconscious. And, not gonna lie here, it was SCARY similar.

To understand all this, I’ll give you a brief summary of the plot (hence, the major spoiler warning beforehand): Alina Starkov and her friend/ childhood crush Mal are orphans and are drafted into their country’s military, Mal as a soldier for the King’s First Army, and Alina, as a cartographer. They attempt to cross the Fold, aka the Unsea, created by the Black Heretic many, many years ago to separate them from the regular sea and is filled with horrific monsters called volcra. They are attempting to cross the Unsea for resources on the other side while aided by the mysterious Grisha, magicians of sorts that can manipulate matter to their will while making it look like magic. They are attacked viciously by volcra, and, in an attempt to save Mal, Alina unintentionally wards off a volcra by using a power unknown to her: she can summon and create light. When she wakes up she is taken to the Darkling, the leader of the Grisha/ Second Army (which, his name should puh-ritty much divulge ALL you need to know about the guy… Mark my words, NEVER trust someone w/ an obviously dark title/name, a pretty boy face, and chock-full of power.); the latter investigates to see what she really is, and, upon provocation, manages to force her into exposing herself by cutting her, the light coming out as a defense mechanism. She is then taken to the Little Palace, where the Grisha stay in the kingdom of Ravka, and is trained in the way of the Grisha Summoners, since she is a special and unique Sun Summoner, of the likes that no one else has ever seen. The Darkling in particular pays special attention to her on at least a couple different occasions (much to some of the other female Grishas’ jealousy), telling her his supposed goals and wishes for the future, strongly desiring her to help him achieve such goals. On two of these conversations, he kisses her, and very nearly manages to seduce her in the second. Shortly after the second, she is confronted by Baghra, the Darkling’s mother and Alina’s personal tutor, who is heavy-set on Alina fleeing due to the Darkling being the Black Heretic and lying to Alina all this time, only wanting her power for his own selfish gain– to take over the country.

….Imma stop there before I give too much else away, and because I stopped close to making my point. When the Darkling seduced Alina, while a part of her was confused about she wanted and mildly resisted, a part of her also strongly desired it (thankfully, the description the author gave didn’t go past almost- intimate caressing or I would’ve a REAL bone to pick with her… If you’ll excuse the pun.). And I’m pretty sure you can guess which part of me was secretly dancing and even swooning for the ever-good-looking-yet-lying-and-manipulative Darkling all that time.

Later on, Alina, like me, realizes that though that desire is a part of her, choosing to resist and rebel against it and against the Darkling’s future advances in the first book (much to Subconscious’s disappointment and Sensi’s relief.) is the wiser, better option. But the book opened my eyes to something: how our Subconsciouses, our “Ids,” as Wikipedia calls them, can manipulate dangerous, sinful desires of our fallen hearts into actuality if we aren’t careful. And though, thankfully, I’ve NEVER experienced what Alina experienced with Mr. Creepy (I instantly got an “Orochimaru/Chase Young” vibe when I first read about him, I’ll put it that way. And that, no matter HOW many people swoon over the dude and wish him and Alina in a relationship, his actions speak infinitely louder than his words– cutting a man in half in front of Alina’s eyes, slitting a beautiful stag’s throat without hesitation or remorse, oh yeah, and when he’s not caressing, cooing to and making out with Alina he’s threatening to kill her and Mal. Yeeeeeppp, sounds like a real lover-boy… Not. More like lust-boy.), it’s good to know my struggles aren’t just mine, and I can and will resist those wicked, subconscious desires buried deep within me.

I’ll close with a quote from both Mother Gothel from “Tangled” and the Darkling himself (they’re amazingly similar.):

“You want me to be the bad guy?  FINE! Now I’m the bad guy!”– Mother Gothel to Rapunzel, “Tangled”

“Fine, make me your villain.”– The Darkling to Alina, after she thoroughly resists him.

Yes, you are the villains. Glad we’ve made that clear to everyone.

“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do–this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, but the evil I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?” Romans 7: 15-24, NIV

“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:21, NIV

Image Credit: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/142637513175976173/

 

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2 thoughts on “To Suppress Or To Cave In?

    1. Thanks, Reed. 🙂 TBH, the “Do or do not do” verse of Romans has been nagging at me a great deal about both this and repetitive sin in my life; I rather thought it was great for applying to both. Ms. Bardugo, the series’ author, stated that she never truly believes all her characters are either completely good or completely bad, which I both agree with and disagree with… However, due to the Darkling’s actions I think we can safely conclude he is at least “mostly evil”. 😄

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