With the view that I have now, from 2011, I can see that even though there is a corpus callosum, which is essentially a large bundle of nerve fibres that connect the left and right halves of the brain, I very much had a division in the way the two sides of my brain worked.
As early as grade four, when I was nine years old, I had struggled with this division between what my left, analytical, well-trained brain had thought and what my right, outrageous, biological brain had wanted. I tortured a little boy in my fourth grade class and I was unable to stop myself.
Here I was again. As a preteen, [during the dichotomous questions: love or money, beauty or love, parental approval or love] I had always chosen to be in love. In all of the possible dichotomous scenarios I had chosen love over all of the other considerations. There was no question that I was in love with my husband. The first part of our marriage had been rocky, to be sure, but how much of that was my fault?
A battle ensued. I knew that he had chosen to leave instead of to work things out with me. I knew that he had not been there when I needed him to be. I knew that he had lied. I knew that he had not done what he said he would say do.
Had I been impossible to work things out with? Was I too needy? Was he actually lying or did I remember things wrong? He had had a great opportunity come his way so even if he did not do what he said that he would do, could I blame him?
I wanted more children just like my first daughter, who I adored completely. Did I want to start over with someone else? Was there any guarantee that I would be more successful in maintaining a relationship with the next guy? How old would my daughter be before I had other children? Would I have the opportunity to have other children?
To say that I was confused would have been an understatement. I discussed this with a couple of good friends that knew Bob and they were decidedly neutral. It is part of our social system to stay neutral. The argument goes like this, “if you choose sides and she goes against your advice, you lose a friend.” Perhaps. The problem with this reasoning is that it leaves loved ones that are in a true state of confusion, in confusion. The objective outside voice is missing. There is no one that knows the true situation that can expertly give you insights.
Counselors or therapists are always trying to discern the truth from one side of the story and simply cannot give any objective insights that are not simply reflecting back what the patient has told them.
The proof is in the pudding, or so they say. After what could be considered another marriage proposal, or a proposal for being reunited, Bob leaned in and kissed me. There has to be a way to put a long pause in the narrative here to let the reality of this set in. He kissed me. We were sitting at the kitchen table having this discussion and I immediately got up and tried to walk away. He came up behind me, brushed my hair away from the back of my neck and began to kiss my ear and my neck softly from behind.
I literally was having trouble moving away from him and maintaining my balance. My protective left-brain was purely focused on moving away, but my right brain was flooded with all of those nasty chemicals that sustain the human race.
When raising my daughters I take the time to explain to them that despite all of the poverty, disease, war and conflict in the world there are six billion people on the planet—so far. Actually, during the writing of this story, it has been announced that there are now seven billion people on the planet! The reason for this is that we are designed to get pregnant. I tell them this as a warning so that they will know how to protect themselves. I tell them this so that they will know that they need to protect themselves. Part of this speech always includes the fact that it is just when you are convincing yourself that it will be OK this one time, you should be aware that when your resolve is the lowest it is because you are the most fertile.
The next thing that I remember was literally crawling across the dining room floor. I felt that if I could just get to the washroom, and shut the door, I could regroup, think about what was happening, and make an informed decision. This is what he was good at. This was the heart of the confusion. How could someone that could completely make me melt into a mindless mess be someone that was bad for me? The battle between what I should do and what I wanted to do was being won, once again, by my outrageous right brain.
Keep Reading: Begin With a Move