It's not that I was a complete mouse before, because I wasn't. I just got beaten down by a lot of things like gender identity and a terrible job and cancer and my spouse's broken back and alcoholism and probably some other very dramatic stuff like my seasonal depression and general anxiety, and I forgot that I could come out of my hidey hole and take some control of my life.
Wait, I wasn't going to get all in depth about everything that went haywire over the last half-decade, plus that mouse analogy doesn't work at all, because the one time I lived in a place that had a mouse, it was a very brave mouse that would stand up in the middle of the floor where it was dragging one of my candles around and look right at me when I turned on the light as though to say Do. You. Mind? with its little feet balled into fists on its little hips.
Anyway, the point of this post is that I've become much braver. I'm winning my bravery back! And this is how I know that I'm winning my bravery back:
I took a shower tonight while the Palinode was out of the apartment.
This is huge. I am always certain that, as soon as I am not paying rapt attention to every creak and rustle when the Palinode is out, a mad rapist will sneak into the apartment and do unspeakable things to me and probably murder my cats. As a result, I have spent many dirty hours and days over the course of the nine-and-a-half years of our marriage patiently waiting for his presence in our home so that I can use soap on my person.
Tonight, I declared a victory over my fear by taking a shower while the Palinode was out, and not one of those hop-in-and-out three-minute showers, either, but a good and long shower complete with hair conditioner and some extraneous soaking.
Okay, I have to admit that I did turn the water off once and then stood very still so that I could hear which room the mad rapist was creeping through. It turned out that it was our cat Onion creeping very slowly down the hall, which is how he usually walks around. He's in no hurry to get from Point A to Point B, and, in fact, he often goes so slowly that he loses track along the way and ends up licking his butt and curling up to take a nap before he makes into the next room.
Still, though, I showered, and now I am awaiting the Palinode's arrival so that I can greet him with my clean, shiny face and brag about my great courage in the face if nearly non-existant danger.
Next, I will wipe out the weird little cupboards in our bedroom closet! They're small and dark and I'm pretty sure I'll find small spider and rodent corpses in there. I'm quaking in my Danskos.