I do this a lot: rant/vent about something here, get myself all worked up to talk about it, and then... have the talk go exceedingly smoothly and mutually beneficial (for the most part). You'd think it'd have happened enough for me to get out of the "all worked up" part of the cycle, but I suppose this is what happens when one tries to come up with how the conversation's going to go in their head before ever actually talking.
So, in the few days leading up to the powwow, my stomach was occasionally in knots, and Xena was being exceptionally nice over FB, emails, etc., and I felt sooooooo guilty, it was awful. Kept tossing it over in my head that maybe I don't need to go as far as blocking her... maybe we can work this out... but I don't know how to do that without asking her to change, and yadda yadda yadda. I did "unfollow" her posts on FB, so I could sort of step back a bit and have at least her posts be a bit less in my face. Baby steps.
Yesterday, Chops and I (and the girls) had a nice, low-key Easter dinner: lamb chops (Oh, LORDIE, I love lamb... my youngest daughter, though, is so squeamish over it, I almost feel bad for her), a nice Zinfandel, and assorted veggies and stuff. Oh, and cupcakes. Nom.
Nap-inducing food for sure, but no nap in sight...
Later in the day, I dropped them off at their aunt's house for another dinner, and after schmoozing a bit with the ex-inlaws, I left so we could get the powwow started. My anxiety over the powwow was replaced with anxiety over taking the motorcycle down to RI (did I mention I'd only ever ridden on a motorcycle twice, ever, and not for more than 10 min... AND never on the highway? Yeah... Hoo boy). Quite the inaugural ride. C-C-C-C-COLD too. Once we finally got there, I was frozen, my ass hurt, my legs hurt, and I had to thaw out in front of the portable heater for a good long time before we could even talk. Xena was an amazing hostess, offering multiple space heaters, beer, coffee, and pie. Holy crap. Felt even worse about what I was planning to talk about, but mmm... heat.
So then we talked. I decided I was going to go last, since I'd probably dominate everyone's time (and mood). When it was Xena's turn to talk, she mentioned that the thing that had bugged her recently was noticing that she was feeling more competitive on Facebook - feeling like she needed to be the first to comment, that it was a race, etc., and that she didn't like how that felt, and she wanted to step back from that.
So in one fell swoop, she pretty much took half my words away from me, and I sat there, dumbfounded, then laughing as I wondered if she read my mind (or these posts). Chops denied any discussion of the topic with her, BTW.
In that one action, pretty much most of my anxiety was lifted - she understood from her own POV that it felt competitive and territorial, and it made my discussion a lot easier.
So, when it was my turn, we talked about that... talked about the envy and the "in your face" nature of a lot of the comments/posts (which went along with the competition to be the first to comment on things), and I discussed the issue I had with her comment on Choplet's status (really the only thing left that still hit a huge nerve). Before I could really get too far, she rolled with it, said that she didn't really know what to do with that (since he kind of instigated it), and tried to keep it light, but wasn't really comfortable with it at all, which I didn't realize.
I brought up how tweaked I was by it, that I was considering blocking her entirely on FB due to all the comments, but especially that one. She thought that maybe we should tell Choplet we're both uncomfortable with that type of banter (and Chops offered to talk to him as well), so that seems to have dried up THAT particular well of discontent.
So once again... that pffffffft sound is me letting go of all that anxiety.
So, for now, no change on my part re. the FB thing. We'll see how things change on her end, and we'll revisit it at the next powwow. Blocking is still an option, and one she's aware of (and didn't seem particularly wounded by, thankfully). So a probationary period, of sorts. We'll bring it up to Choplet that we're not really cool with bantering that way, and we'll see how it goes.
- I am usually pretty good about trying to find the best in people's intentions. I'm finding that I do the opposite where Xena is concerned, and I need to work on this. I'm still seeing her as a rival, and that's impacting how I interpret her actions... it makes it easier to take our personality differences as an affront, rather than as something that "just is". It'd be worth working on that.
- I need to not let the negativity build up when it starts... calling a powwow together when I need one, rather than slogging through it because "we already talked about the FB thing and we agreed to disagree" wasn't cutting it.
And I am abso-friggen-lutely exhausted today. Holy hell. I can haz nap now?