Years ago my friend Michael made a mean martini, incredibly dry; in fact all he would do is open the bottle of vermouth next to the gin glass. That was it. Michael was an athletic, funny, sweet, easy-going guy most of the time. Most, being the operative word there. Sometime around the third martini, if he indulged he became a little snarkier. The sarcasm had a harder edge, not mean but sharp. This happened very rarely but the next day over lots of coffee he would say that his “Little Fat Man” came out. He was the first person I knew to name his dark side or his Inner-Asshole.
We all have them, Little Fat Men and we can manifest them at any time or anywhere given the right circumstances. The lead up to my IA or as I prefer LFM coming out is Ms. Cranky-pants making an entrance first, she is like the scout for the tribe of bad behavior. I try to pay attention to what circumstances occur that create the perfect storm where I go from cranky to my Little Fat Man mouthing off but sometimes it’s hard to catch it until it’s too late. Some of the many factors can be over-worked, over-whelmed, under-fed, under-rested, stretched too thin and being purely reactive from a less than balanced place. A less than balanced place translates to Crazy Town where Rita-resentment, Edna-entitlement, Vicky-victim, Captain Control live to name a few. Lots of folks spend their lives from a spot like this and in my past I have as well. It has taken lots of hard work and self-reflection to move to a more balanced and centered place. That being said it does not mean the Little Fat Man doesn’t make semi-regular appearances, however we are no longer engaged and living together contrary to what TMZ is reporting.
Recently he came for a visit, the longest I have had from him in a bit; it was a little over two days. The signs were all there, Ms. Cranky pants was popping up at regular intervals at work and screaming like a banshee in my head. Driving with her as she ramps up is like having a foul mouthed trucker on meth as a co-pilot. I tried to reel her in, to gain some control but what I know is when I try to gain control over what is going on and white knuckle it I spin out. Tighter is never the correct answer here, looser always is but I don’t always see it as things start to slide, not till I hit the dirt on the tail end. What always works is releasing my grip and giving up trying to make things work. I need to just take a breath, a step back and let it go. I am not a brain surgeon and the consequences of my actions don’t result in life or death on a daily basis so really, WTF?
The problem is I cannot always see the forest with all those fricken trees! The end result was a houseguest. The LFM came to stay this weekend just in time for a training event with more than 60 tutors, among other things. Yea, me! I was fully aware of the work load at the beginning of a semester and all that goes into it had been part of what was his ugly entre. I try to go through my bag of tricks to reset or reframe where I am to shift to a better place. Walking on the beach or exercise, mediation, spending time with folks I love and make me laugh but doing all those things this weekend just pissed the little bastard off more. Then I tried cooking, napping, reading, watching bad TV and still nada. As Joe Walsh said “it’s hard to leave when you can’t find the door.” The desire to get to a better place is real, the need or want to stay right in the ick is also real. I had to look at my reasons to stay stuck and if I was done with my tantrum yet.
For a Little Fat Man he is a stealthy bastard, he can slip away as you pull back the curtain to get a better look. I hate myself when I am sarcastic, snarky or an ass. Hating that part of me adds fuel to his fire but sometimes being him feels good. Reacting like an ass in any given situation can feel like a relief, like scratching an itch. As soon as the comment is out of my mouth and has landed however- it feels awful. I feel the impact of my action and then self-loathing adds to the LFM’s party. These are not nice things to say about myself but they are true, they are human and they are real… if only for me. Looking at why’s, as to why that feels good, in that moment for the lash out is the key and the fuel that fires the Little Fat Man. If we don’t look at our darkness and embrace all of who we are and in doing so tracing the threads of our behavior back to the origin or belief system that no longer serves us or is sabotaging our lives, we are destine to repeat it. That is what is meant by living an unconscious life, what that looks like is using your Little Fat Man for PR then marrying him without a prenup. Yikes!