My Dark Place

A mini catharsis.

I believe in the philosophy of catharsis. Without a catharsis, we can only continue to be the same person and never evolve to our next level. According to Urban Dictionary:

Catharsis – a therapeutic technique used to release tension by bringing repressed feelings and fear to surface

As some of you know, I had another mini catharsis last year when I realized my true passion: I’m going to be a travel show host. Every day since I made that decision I’ve been trying to turn that dream into a reality. If you know anything about the realization of dreams, you know that it can be a pretty long path. A LONG DAMN path. This is no walk in the park, and there are ZERO shortcuts.

My path towards making my dream a reality has been thwarted by several of my lurking inner demons. To clarify for the reader, your inner demons are those things deep within you that you hold you back from being as great as you possibly can. For me, these demons include, but are not limited to:

Over the course of my 24 year life, all of these demons have manifested themselves into what my boyfriend calls “my dark passenger“. If you’ve ever watched the show Dexter, you know Dexter is just a regular Joe Shmoe but living with a grim past. At a young age, Dexter’s mom was brutally murdered by a cartel his mother snitched on. Dexter watches the whole thing happen and is officially scarred for life. He is rescued by an officer named Harry, who adopts and raises him. Those grisly images, however, eternally haunt Dexter and he develops a desire to kill, I assume as a consequence or revenge for his mother’s death. This desire to kill becomes Dexter’s dark passenger. Not saying I want to murder people, that definitely was NOT where I was taking that metaphor.

Anyway, the demons listed above manifested themselves into my dark passenger. So as we speak, I have this dark passenger residing within me, always wanting to ride shotgun in my life, and constantly shooting down all of my good ideas. Some may ask, but why does the dark passenger exist? I’m so glad you asked.

I believe in the Inception philosophy. It is possible for ideas to become implanted in your head. Your mind then takes the idea and believes that it was your own. For me, it was many moons ago in my youth, when someone implanted in my head an idea. And since the implantation, that idea has festered in my mind, becoming it’s own thing, becoming it’s own entity and evolving in it’s own way. The idea was this: “Marrissa – you need to be perfect.” This was a profound idea for my young mind, and it caused a great relief in me (for why it was a relief, read The story of why I want to be perfect and then come back here). Knowing that I needed to be perfect gave me something to live for, it gave me an understanding. It became my comfort zone and it’s where I’ve lived for 24 years. I live in the unreal world that perfection exists and that I belong in that world. And my dark passenger is there to certify that I continue to live for this idea — that perfection exists and I must strive for it.

But as I get closer and closer to making this big dream of Taste and See into a reality, I realize that my dark passenger is a WHOLE lot of baggage. Because of all this extra baggage, I have been dragging the hell out of my feet. It took me almost 6 months to get the trademark paperwork done just to own the words “Taste and See”. It took almost double that time to even write the script for Episode One of the first Season. And I totally half-assed it, let’s just be honest.

But here’s the thing! I’m not defending these ridiculous thoughts from my dark passenger that come into my head, but I need to confront them head on! Locked deeeep inside me is the idea that I need to be perfect. As a result, I believe that every episode of Taste and See must be perfect. And if each episode of Taste and See is not perfect, then I’ve failed. And if I fail, then I’m right back where I started. Confused about what the hell I should do with my life and at a loss for what my next step should be. What I’m failing to realize is that my dark passenger is steering me on this crazy collision course of queer thoughts and misconceptions of perfection.

So how do I correct my course? I’m so very relieved to tell you that I’ve figured it out. It’s all in the Leonardo DiCaprio method: you must confront your demons head on. By confronting them, you will control your dark passenger and thereby replace the original incepted idea in your mind. You create a new idea. You manipulate your dark passenger to work for you, and not against you.

It took me a little while to think of my new idea. Like a long little while. I actually didn’t come up with it, let me not lie to you. My boyfriend did because I was half-stepping on that too. It can be downright hard to control your dark passenger, let’s just be real. But it’s so worth it. And it’s the ONLY way to get over what the hell you’re going through. Your new idea, one that is all your own, one that replaces the wrong idea, is actually pretty simple. A lot more simple than I was making it. Your new idea needs to be the opposite of whatever your dark passenger wants you to believe.

For me, my new idea is simply this: “You are awesome.”


Mind = blown. So my next steps are these:

  1. Believe every single day in the new idea that I am awesome.
  2. Accept my dark passenger for who she/he/it is but I won’t let them run my life. I’m in control of my destiny – I am the master of my fate, and the captain of my soul. What I say goes, which is cool, cuz I’m a control freak anyway!
  3. Thank God that I figured out He made me perfectly in my imperfections.
  4. Lemme say that again – God made me PERFECT in my IMPERFECTIONS. When he made me, He said, This child was made in my image, and for that reason she is perfect. She got her own lil quirks about her, but those quirks were made by God, and are thus still GOOD quirks.
  5. Remember God’s promises and pray for wisdom.
  6. Take a deep freaking woo-sa and make this Taste and See thing happen, acknowledging that every second, minute, hour of the show won’t be perfect, but that it will still be a great freaking show, because it was made by a great freaking team of people and came from the inner recesses of the mind of a fantastic freaking person.

Thank God I’m coming out on the other side of this.

I really hope this lengthy passage helps someone.


2 thoughts on “A mini catharsis.

  1. Pingback: The story of why I want to be perfect. | MARRISSA PATTERSON

  2. Pingback: Overcoming writer’s block. | MARRISSA PATTERSON

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