Every one of us can remember that one guest, the one who arrived uninvited and stayed too long.
But there is one thing infinitely worse than having someone you don’t like turn up uninvited at your house and not leave and that is having someone you don’t like turning up in your head and refusing to leave.
At first I didn’t even know my guest had arrived he simply moved in one day while my guard was down and set up his camp in that little dark corner of my mind that even I didn’t like to visit.
Although I didn’t find out his name until he was well and truly comfortable in his new surroundings I shall share it with you now as it’s easier than simply referring to him as “guest”. His name, the name he insisted I call him, was Lincoln, it sounded like a stupid name to me but I didn’t say anything I simply agreed and got on with life.
When Lincoln first moved in I was already struggling with life around me, the boss was riding me at work and therefore work was giving me the shits, my family were constantly badgering me to do stuff I didn’t want to do and I was sleeping less than three hours a night. So it’s hardly surprising that I nearly welcomed Lincoln and his alternative views with open arms.
From talking me into quitting work, immediately after he talked me into punching my ex-boss in the face and leaving him with a broken nose, to becoming reclusive and spending my entire day sitting in front of the TV Lincoln was able to control me without even trying. Truth be told I think I wanted to be controlled, I was sick of being ordered around, I was sick of being responsible and I was sick of having to be a part of the society I was beginning to dislike and being controlled without requiring any effort on my behalf was just what I was looking for.
With little else in my life other than Lincoln and TV I simply got up in the morning, ate breakfast in front of the TV, ate lunch in front of the TV, ate dinner in front of the TV, went shopping on the internet in front of the TV and then went to bed where I’d turn on the TV and watch it until I fell asleep.
The problem for me was that while kidding myself that my life was fine I still didn’t know Lincoln had moved in. Of course the few friends I had left and my family who visited but rarely stayed longer than an hour at a time kept telling me there was something wrong, that something needed to change but I couldn’t see it. I was happy, I was content, I just wanted to be left alone.
The more Lincoln nested in the more my mind kept telling me that my life was fine and that it was everyone else who had the wrong idea. I not only became reclusive I had started to become snarky, rude and at times angry. If people tried to tell me what I didn’t want to hear I would often start by insulting them, if that didn’t stun them into silence I would throw in something crass and if that didn’t work and they still wouldn’t back off I’d simply lose my cool and scream at them.
It wasn’t until Lincoln grew his own set of balls and came out of that dark little corner to introduce himself that I really started to see that the only person in my life with a problem was me. Not only that but the only person in my life who could get rid of Lincoln, was me.
I won’t lie to you and tell you that it was easy. I won’t lie to you and say that after a few sessions with a councillor I was suddenly able to get Lincoln to move out. And I won’t lie to you and say that Lincoln won’t ever move back in. But the one thing I can tell you is that if the prick does move back in he won’t ever take control like he did last time.
So while many of us have had unwanted guests move into the spare room and seemingly not want to leave spare a thought for those of us who have had an unwanted guest like Lincoln move in without them knowing. Spare yet another thought for those who haven’t yet realised that they have someone like Lincoln who has already moved in.