I don’t know why I like that phrase. I basically understand what it means (although I don’t have a cat and, if I did, I’m not sure why I would want to put it in the bag in the first place). But, having the condition I have, metaphors are always going to be challenging.
So the pattern my brain makes is not a cat in a bag but a cat in a box, which makes me think of Schrödinger’s cat. And if that cat is alive then it is going to be pretty unhappy when it’s let out of the box. And it could well attack the first person it sees, regardless of whether that person is blameless or culpable.
All of which is a pretty long-winded way of saying that I was forced into a position today where I had to let my parents know what’s been going on with me. Which I hadn’t intended to do yet. Particularly not over the hotel breakfast buffet on my birthday.
My mother initially took it very badly. And said some things I don’t think I will ever forget. I should have anticipated that reaction, as it’s unfortunately not that uncommon if I say or do something that challenges her unshakeable belief in her own parenting abilities. But I had hoped it would be different. Completely opposite reaction to anyone else I’ve ever spoken to about this. Everyone else has actually been really supportive. (My father didn’t seem surprised. I think he may have suspected.)
I think it will be OK though. They seem to have discovered Google and my mother is basically justifying it as a side-effect of being intelligent (I wish it was that simple…)
So today’s been a rollercoaster, emotionally. And I know there may be more difficult conversations over the days to come. But tonight, reflecting on it, I actually feel a huge sense of relief. The cat may be out of the bag. But at least I don’t have to pretend it doesn’t exist any more.