Thursday, April 12, 2012

I'm Not a Psychopath, I'm a Woman

Flying from Salt Lake to Phoenix in order to eventually get to Spokane is annoying, and it takes a long time. During this time I was able to read 'White Girl Problems' and 'The Female Brain'. In different ways, these 2 books helped me to see that no, I'm not a complete psychopath, I'm just a woman. Let's start with Babe Walker, who I'm still not sure is a real person. Either way, I can relate to her in some horrifying ways.

We'll start with a shopping addiction. Babe spends some $200,000 in a day at Barney's. I only spent like $120 at Target, but if we compared bank accounts, percent spent is likely dangerously similar. Now, Babe and I shop for the same reasons. It is peaceful and calming and helps us get over a bad day. Let's jump over to 'The Female Brain', which tells us that a woman's brain is so deeply affected by hormones that they can create a sort of alternate reality, dictating what is important. The scary thing is, that reality can change from day to day. So, somedays its important for me to get a good job, or to work at a relationship, but some days my hormones are like-YOU LITERALLY NEED TO SHOP RIGHT NOW AND THAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING. Whoa, hormones.

 If we go back and look at those work on relationships days, those happen to me like, a lot. Babe, a true woman, is always super concerned with what other people think. I'm the same, but not quite so extreme that I start jogging on the freeway to my therapist's office because my bff/maid called me fat. Almost, but not quite. Here is the real deal-baby girls are born interested in emotional expression. From these cues they determine whether they are worthy, lovable or annoying. If a baby girl sees an emotionless face (think of a mime, or a mother suffering from post-partum depression), she interprets this as a signal that she is doing something wrong.

Fast forward to a 23-year-old Kelsey Hansen and you will see these cues still in effect. When I am having an especially hormonal, relationship-oriented day, and someone I love shows me an emotionless face, I just cannot deal. Remember, this is how my FEMALE BRAIN is telling me to act. Maintaining the relationship at all costs is the female brain's goal. I often sit around, dwelling on my future and getting emotional thinking about relationships that are falling apart or destined to end, or just plain not going how I think they should. 

For a woman, when a relationship is threatened or lost, the stress hormone takes over. A woman starts feeling anxious and fearful of being rejected and left alone. Soon she longs for a feeling of closeness, which is boosted by social contact. The minute that social contact is gone, she is in emotional trouble. The irony is, its times like these that people (mostly men) are most likely to be like, "NOPE, NOT HAPPENIN'. You are wayyy to hormonal to be around right now." Well, damn.