I’m not sure why I didn’t make the connection when I was watching Jessica Jones. But I think all superhero stories are an allegory for abuse. Something really fucked up and bad happened to you. Something that should have killed you. Something that would have killed anyone else. Only it didn’t. Instead, it gave you a gift. Now, it’s probably a gift you don’t want, mind you. Whatever gift it is I almost certainly guarantee is a double edged sword. But a gift nonetheless.
One thing I’ve been realizing lately is that I still have a hard time trusting my intuition. But my intuition is actually pretty damn good. Like, really on point. And then I was reading more about anxious attachment styles, and it said that people with anxious attachment are hyperfocused on any small shifts in their relationships. It actually references “spidey sense,” too.
But one of the problems with repeated gaslighting is that in addition to developing that hyperfocus, you also develop an inherent mistrust for anything your intuition is telling you. I have a habit of looking outside of myself for reassurance. I sense a shift and try to get outside verification for that shift. It’s hard for me to completely trust my perceptions, especially when emotions get involved.
I’m not saying that’s a totally bad thing. Because what our anxiety tells us might happen might not always be happening, especially when that anxiety is in overdrive. There are times when I might be making a mountain out of a molehill.
But, a certain amount of anxiety actually keeps us alive. That’s why we have it. That hyperfocus superpower also kept me alive when it needed to. There might be times when I’m overreacting. But there might also be times when my intuition is actually right. When that hyperfocus is actually showing me something that’s really there.
And if I’m in the habit of downplaying or ignoring it, or taking reassurance from others at face value, then I miss out on that. When you have a superpower, you can try to get rid of it, you can try to ignore it, you can refuse to use it, or you can learn to harness it.
I have a superpower. I can tell when something’s wrong before you even know it’s wrong. I can tell you’re lying to me when you’re still lying to yourself so you think you’re telling the truth.
But like I said, double edged sword. Because sometimes that sucks. Sometimes I don’t want to know that something’s wrong or that someone I care about is not being honest with themselves or me. Sometimes it’s easier to mistrust my perceptions and just believe the reassurance.
And it will take some time to actually be able to figure out the times when I’m catastrophizing or overreacting and the times when I really am seeing the most subtle beginning of a shift in a relationship.
So I think that from now on when that spidey sense gets activated and I sense something is wrong, even if I ask for reassurance and receive it, I’m going to keep my eyes open. When I think I see the light flicker and someone tells me it didn’t, I’m going to pay a little more attention to that particular light socket just in case. Because sometimes they’re right and it was just a trick of my eyes. But other times, that light socket explodes later and turns out power for the whole house and I could have avoided that if I would have trusted my initial perception.
I have a superpower. It’s not one I asked for. It’s not one I want. But it’s there. So I might as well use it.