(Editors note: I was kind of, sort of, really really tired and yet wired so this thing might not make sense – you’ve been warned!)
One of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do was learn how to protect myself. No, not from physical harm, but from emotional trauma. In fact it’s a lesson I’ve only learned fairly recently. But really, to understand we’ll have to go back a bit.
Now I’m not sure why or where it came from – perhaps from being a latchkey kid raising my little brother while my mother worked 20 hours a day. All I know is how to mentor. How to get people to overcome their issues, conquer their fears, understand their own motivations and all sorts of other essentially useless parlor tricks.
Most people wouldn’t exactly consider this a negative ability. And it probably isn’t, if you are a generally well-rounded individual and contained the whole gamut of conditions that makes us human. One of the most basal and important instincts is to not allow your body to come to harm. You know, the ole “My hand is suddenly engulfed in flames, I best remove my fleshy bits from the source of ignition and take care of this”.
Sadly, this “don’t allow yourself to come to harm” doesn’t really apply to the psychological state. It’s more of a learned trait. Like when you learned “fire = hot” and then no longer shoved your face into a bonfire, your mind learns patterns that manifest into emotional harm and also tends to avoid them.
That is, unless you have one of those “good plague” traits; self-awareness.