To Assume Or Presume, That Is The Question?

These words are used almost interchangeably in every day parlance but there is a subtle difference.

To assume is to take for granted, as proof, with or without having the facts; to presume is to do the same on the basis of probability or belief–perhaps even based upon future revelation of fact. To look at the Latin prefixes, a- means without and pre- means before.

I tend to assume a lot. Well, sometimes? Alright, hard to measure but I try not to. However, I find myself doing it, even if I don’t like to admit it.

So many times I find there are so many unknowns and I am constantly grasping at straws, reaching for answers. I’ve always believed that I was a patient person and I do believe that I can be but some people have proven me completely wrong in this respect. Of course, I haven’t liked it. How often do we like to be proven wrong about ourselves?

I can also be incredibly impulsive and yet at other times, I can labour over a decision that seems like an eternity that most people would make in a split second. Very simple decisions!

I used to have such a “clear vision” of myself. Was that the hypomanic, energetic, frenzied version of PA who never doubted anything? And if she made any “assumptions” then, was she right, was she wrong? Was she so absolutely filled to the brim with confidence that it didn’t matter?

Now having grappled with the diagnosis of Bipolar for many years (and for a few less years ADD) things are more complicated. Unpredictable mood swings, impaired judgment, medication rollercoasters and living in a constant state of flux can set you up for a permanent state of readiness for “assumption.”

Also, when you are a trauma survivor and you have little to no memory of your abuse you are practically born to assume. You have no one to ask so many questions to! Really important ones! Well, you can but they are not always the right people. The people that I need to talk to, the people that hold the keys to all the secrets are not accessible to me.

This leaves the mind to wander…and unfortunately to assume. I try not to let all of the above pervade my life too much in allowing my thoughts overwhelm me but I know that I am only human with a very overactive brain. I need to accept that as well.

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