What I mean is things like this.
I have spent the last three days thinking obsessively about various posts I made while I was dating E.S. the last time, about people I slept with in various settings and various ways but all connected by the thread of gross disrespect for him. My train of thought has run thusly:
I know E.S. said he read my blog. But he never mentioned such-and-such a post or asked about it, though he might be naturally curious about it, and he asked about other things I wrote about. What if he somehow missed this post? That means that, although he knows in a general sense what a cad I was, there’s at least one specific sense in which he doesn’t know. I have to tell him. If I don’t tell him, our relationship is based on a lie. If I do tell him, what if it’s the straw that breaks the camel’s back and he breaks up with me, because he hadn’t realized up to this point what a jerk I’d truly been? I have to talk to him I can’t talk to him I have to talk to him I can’t talk to him I–
You get the point. My rational mind realizes that this is all nonsense, that he almost certainly read whatever post I was obsessing about at the time, that even if he missed it somehow, he still knows I was a jerk and has forgiven me, that even if I told him about it and he got mad, he wouldn’t break up with me, that it’s just not that big a deal.
But try telling that to the norepinephrine flooding my locus ceruleus. And I’ve been so preoccupied thinking about this that I’ve become distracted and distant, which in turn is upsetting him, and if I finally work myself up to talking about it with him, I will have invested the issue with such a powerful emotional charge that it will have turned into more than a mountain when really it’s less than a molehill.
At least there’s a Law & Order marathon on TNT all day to distract me.