Reiteration Mostly

Men get their opinions as boys learn to spell,
by reiteration mostly.
—Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Because most people have a limited number of tapes that they keep in their head, put in there by rote, they tend to be easily modelled.

it’s usually not hard for me to predict what they will say to most given circumstances by just extrapolating what they have regularly said in the past, by knowing what their habitual responses are.

With a good memory, then, a blessing and a curse, I can hear them in my head, knowing the probability of repeat is very high and the possibility of surprise is very low.

That doesn’t mean that I don’t get surprised sometimes, so I need to be able to hear that change and shift in the moment, adapting to new information.   For me, being locked into reiteration is just wrong and not useful.   I need to be able to take the new as new.

But it does mean that the slams they put on me are written on my skin or at least in my memory, and when they go after those scars again, trying the same trope and expecting different results, well, it just hurts.

Classic tapes comfort people, making life as seem easy as hitting the familiar cue on the cart deck, no new work, thought or compassion involved.

And if that continues old patterns, well, why the hell don’t other people just change?  Can’t be my tapes that are the problem.

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