Me and my monkey

Before I go any further with this blog thing I should introduce my co-author and research assistant. His name is Bert.

Bert is my inner monkey.

< (A recent photograph.   I know, he looks more like a gorilla.  But Bert is a monkey of many moods.  Today he feels gorillaesque.) 

We’ve lived and worked together for decades, Bert and I, but it’s only in the last few years that I began to notice him.  He’s unhappy about that.  He prefers I not notice him at all.  (In fact right now he’s sitting next to me, poking me with his monkeyfinger and trying to get me to stop writing this.  Attention inhibits him, he says.   Tough shit, Bert.)

How shall I describe him?

Well, Bert’s the part of me that

~ Tried to talk me out of writing this blog (because I’ve never done it before and have no idea what to expect).

~ Stops me from writing anything (because he’s scared of what people will think of what I think).

~ Does the same thing over and over, hoping for different results.

~ Avoids new places and new people.

~ Dislikes change (because it leads to feelings).

~ Dislikes feelings (because some are uncomfortable).

~ Loves numbness (especially the sorts induced by tv and sugar). 

~ Dwells in the dark twisted jungle of Worst Case Scenario.

~ Feels, when confused or scared, just like a six-year-old.

~ Regresses, at such times, into narcissism.  Even at his best he tends towards self-centeredness.  When confused or scared he tends not to give a rat’s ass about what anyone else is needing or feeling.

~ Is self-conscious, often about silly things. (Right now he’s wondering how you reacted to rat’s ass.)

~ Pushed me into private practice (because he can’t stand having supervisors).

~ Wants to be a writer (because on bad days he can’t stand clients).

~ Stops me from writing my book (because he’s scared of readers).

~ Can’t relax.

~ Creates To Do lists that stretch beyond the horizon.

~ Loves driving tiny nails into my brain.  Fat.  Lazy.  Undisciplined.  Cowardly.  Nail-driving is his favorite hobby.  He learned it when I was a kid and had it perfected by the time I hit puberty.  It’s taken most of six decades to get him to at least occasionally put down the fucking hammer.

~ Wonders how you reacted to fucking. 

~ Is never here, now.  That is, he spends most of his time is caught up in either memories (mostly bad ones) or projections (usually scary). 

~ Wants.  Endlessly. 

~ Wars with life.  That is, tries to replace whatever reality life hands him with the version he carries around in his head.

All of which amounts to a long way of saying that Bert

~ Believes in what I call the illusion of control: that if he tries hard enough long enough he really will be able to change people, places and things into what he prefers.

I call him my co-author, but in fact Bert’s role in this blog has yet to be determined.  For a while he’ll probably try to stop me from writing it.  Then he’ll try getting me to write as little as possible, and/or only safe stuff that won’t embarrass me or my family.  Eventually I expect he’ll settle for drooling on my shoulder and telling me what a shitty job I’m doing.  

Anyway, Bert and I welcome you to Monkeytraps.

PS: Bert says Hi, and please don’t come back.

10 responses to “Me and my monkey

  • Susan Perretti

    And my “Bertha” is stomping her feet and screaming, “Don’t read this stuff! Too scary!! I like what I get to do in your head and it looks like this Steve guy is on to me!”

    Great work, Steve. I love what you’re doing!

  • Amy

    Great Blog! It’s nice to get into your head for a change!


    Tough shit, I love it and I’m coming back!!!!

    I guess you realize by now that most of us feel this way….especially ME!!!

    Thanks Steve, YOU ROCK!!!

  • Sue

    Hey Steve, what’s the saying “misery loves company”. I think we’re all in this head war together. Thanks for bringing me back to a place I forget to go to sometimes…

  • marsha

    I think it’s brilliant but somewhat scary, I now have to decide if we share the same monkey and if so, does Bert share my secret insecurities with Steve or is Bert a member of a secret society of monkeys that live inside us all? That being the case, do they inflict all mortals with the same symptoms or is it willy-nilly? Do they perhaps choose only certain folks to inhabit (inhibit?), those who are vulnerable or who are creative?

    Is “Bert” the reason I crave bananas for breakfast?

    • fritzfreud

      Bert’s reply:
      (a) Yes, I belong to a secret society, and yes, we live in each person, and yes, we inflict the same symptoms on each of our hosts. Luckily our hosts are too embarrassed to talk to each other about it, thus permitting the society to remain secret. (b) No, I eat only metaphorical bananas. Your breakfast craving must reflect some other problem. Are you getting enough potassium?

  • Tracey Berry

    Loved this article! Can so relate to so many issues – especially the fear of writing and making one’s thoughts public – open to ridicule and criticm. Methinks this can help!

  • Al

    My inner monkey has a PhD in Making me feel ashamed, just about everything about me and she is stopped in her tracks by your blog Steve. It’s so real, so warm and human. Thank you, and regards to Bert. Al

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