our under-evolved PFC is the place in our brain that gives us social control. it also makes up predictions and rules based on past experience. the PFC works with and against our primitive brain, particularly the amygdala, as it's function is fear-full and storing emotional memories. these two parts of the brain, in my understanding, work together to construct some of the important rules we make for ourselves.
these rules can be simple (ha!), e.g.: the coffee at L'Autre Cafe is always delicious.
how might this rule come to be? you had a lovely trip to paris. the ambiance was unlike your experiences at starbucks. you had a tasty and sugary cup of joe and went on your way.
now, that memory is special and you created a little rule that will probably never be broken. you will probably never have that rule put to the test. rest assured, it is safely tucked away.
but what if a rule is broken? what if some of our self constructed rules are untrue to the rest of the world. untrue to the laws and theories of math and physics? i suppose it doesn't matter as long as the self constructed rules don't permiss unethical behavior or put others in danger. but what if they do? what happens when the rule i have created for myself fails me? my under-evolved PFC doesn't know what to do with this. i recently had a few of my rules broken, torn down... and i don't particularly enjoy the rules that my brain is trying to make to replace them. unfortunately there has to be a rule in place regarding these things in my life.
i have tried to contextualize my rules by comparing them to other failed rules. i have previously written about a friend who has an addiction, here on my blog. he has fascinating rules regarding his life and the way he lives it. noticeably different rules than when we were young. his rules go directly against the set of rules i have regarding substance abuse, and for the most part life in general. to add: they don't seem to be working for anyone else but him. does it matter? maybe not. however, when you become a parent and make rules that are security rules, they do matter. it is the matter of safety, a biological and emotional desire to keep your offspring and therefore DNA alive and well. one of my recently broken rules explicitly failed my children. i failed my children by having a faulty rule in place and one of them had to endure trauma because of it.
and i feel fucking terrible.