That. Did you hear that? That loooooooooong exhale?
Funny how one face-to-face talk does wonders.
Funny how it does wonders every. single. time... and yet I still get wound up about even just talking about it - worrying that something I say is going to get his hackles up and be the straw that broke the camel's back (do camels have hackles?).
And P, very calmly, says that well, this stuff doesn't get triggered all that often and he knows I'm still turning over stones, so he's just happy it was a familiar animal and not something new.
He offered reassurance that yes, his family understands that I'm just as important to him as M1 is, that they ask about me when I'm not there, that it's not "How's M1? And how's that other girl you're seeing?" That kind of thing.
And the whole Christmas thing was a bit of a misinterpretation (not the Xmas Eve thing, but the whole "do we go up to my mom's and bring M1, and then what about the other relatives?") - P was suggesting that he, I, and M1 do dinner at home first, THEN he and I would go up to mom's. Given the drive, etc., it wouldn't be feasible, though, so I just assumed he meant we'd all go up to mom's. Derp.
Anyway, Christmas needs some more discussion at the very least.
P's biggest worry through all this was that I got all wound up about talking about it... that whole "is this going to be the straw that breaks the camel's back" thing. Yeah, it stems from insecurity. When my ex decided he wanted to separate, it was after a few months of telling me "I just want you to be happy" - which translated into "I just want you to shut up and be happy with what you have; I don't want to work at this - I'm going to keep my GF, not go to counseling with you, and isolate you from your friends. You need to be happy with that." I kept bringing up issues so we could work through them, and he decided he'd had enough.
(Yeah. I know. I should have had the balls to have had enough, myself, but kids are a powerful motivator for staying in an otherwise crappy situation)
17+ years of conditioning (add dating in the mix and we were together 22 years - yikes...). Of "Why can't you be happy with what you have? Why do you always want more? Why isn't anything good enough for you?" So yeah, it's work to get past that.
I'm evidently projecting this onto P. I know I'm being an enormous PITA at times, and keep wondering if each time is going to be the "I'm done" moment. He's being patient - understanding that it's not that I don't trust him, but that in those moments, I feel that despite our relationship being a great one, that my PITA-ttitude will be big enough to mess it up. And he offered a lot of reassurances that he's not going anywhere.
At least until the brussels sprouts kicked in and he went to bed in pain. D'oh.
Damned food, always getting in the way of a good time.
Anyhoo... I plan on calling his mom tonight on the way home from work. The stress has lifted. The FB crap seems as insignificant as I thought it would, had I not already had the other emo crap going on. And tonight is "demo night" - the remaining studs and drywall (and other assorted junk like the old central vac unit) are getting removed so I can pick up some concrobium, fog the hell out of the mold down there and kill it once and for all.
As an aside, this was one of those things I was reluctant to post - the whole internal twisting and turning, and the process by which things got worked out. But if there is anyone in the same boat - who goes through the same issues sometimes (and sometimes over and over again), I thought maybe it'd be good to see that someone else does this too... If it's a bit eyeroll-inducing for some, I understand, but I figured what the hell... it's worth sharing this stuff.
Hope all is well with everyone... All the cookies are gone, BTW. You missed your chance.