Last week Mya described me as a patient person. I've never really thought of myself that way. But when we talked about it, and the more I think about it, the more it starts to sound like it's true. It may be that I've always been quite patient but I think I've become better at it.
Today, I'm thinking about patience in relation to communication. I think the bit of reading I've done about poly and the importance of communication has had a major effect. Somehow, I'm becoming a very good listener. I think it comes from realising how important it is to listen. But I think there is some baggage I've left behind, and the concept of boundaries has been really helpful. For example, if Alec tells me about some negative feelings he has, I only take it as a statement of a fact. I listen and interpret it as it is meant: that he has feelings. I no longer take it to mean that he's blaming me, or attempting to control me, or that it is something he wants me to fix. And I no longer feel guilty. Wow. It's taken me seven years to get rid of that shit.
Looking back, first I always felt guilty and tried to please him (as in do as I thought he wanted me to). After that I started to get angry about the feelings of guilt, and at him for "making me feel guilty". After that I started to doubt whether he was in actuality trying to make me feel guilty and control me or whether the guilt was purely my own reaction to what he was saying. In most recent years, I haven't believed in him trying to make me feel guilty anymore, but I've still tried to fix stuff and I haven't been good at making boundaries. But now. I can actually have a conversation and listen to him and sympathise to his feelings. And not feel guilt or feel that I have to change something or automatically believe that his negative feelings come from something I must have done wrong.
Wow. What a load of crap it is that parents are able to install into us as our way of relating with other people!